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Marie Iannotti

Itís a Good Time of Year to Plant Citrus Trees

By December 19, 2012

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Finally, my Meyer lemon tree is starting to deliver. That's as close as I'm going to get to a citrus grove, but I'll take it. Not everyone can grow citrus trees outdoors, but if you can, there are few trees as beautiful, fragrant and rewarding. It's amazing how many types of citrus there are. Our Trees and Shrubs Guide, Venessa Richins, has 15 of them profiled in her citrus photo gallery.

Some citrus can withstand a touch of freezing temperatures quite well and December is generally a good time to plant citrus trees in mild climates. Check here to see if your area is suitable for growing citrus fruit. The rest of us will have to settle for a potted Meyer lemon or maybe just some lemon scented plants, I guess.

Photo: © Marie Iannotti


December 26, 2009 at 8:14 am
(1) prairie gardener says:

Dear Marie,
I really enjoy reading your blog but found this topic alarming. There is a disease called citrus greening that destroys the trees and is spread by tiny insects. All of Florida and Georgia are under quarantine and 10 more states and territories are affected. Here is a link to a very informative and attractive website sponsored by the USDA: http://www.saveourcitrus.org/
Citrus greening has the potential to wipe out the entire citrus crop (and has in some asian countries) so people should be extremely careful about the origin of their plant material.
Prairie gardener

December 26, 2009 at 5:00 pm
(2) Ron says:

Oh my gosh! What happens if all the trees become infected? Could citrus possibly become extinct? This sounds terrible. I read the article you linked to. There is no cure. Will this insect die out if there are no more citrus trees?

December 28, 2009 at 6:12 am
(3) Marie Iannotti says:

Thanks for posting your comment, prairie gardener. I was not aware of how bad the citrus greening problem had become in the US.

You can still plant citrus, but there are many controls being put into place to try and prevent further spreading of the disease. All citrus trees coming into the US are being inspected and they are asking that you only purchase trees locally and only those that come from reputable sources who have done their own inspection.

If a tree is suspected of having citrus greening, it is removed and destroyed. If you think your tree has citrus greening, take a leaf sample into a nursery or Cooperative Extension to find out for sure.

They are working on a cure and on breeding resistant trees. We’ve been down this road before with other trees and we’ll just have to be diligent and hopeful.

December 29, 2009 at 8:41 am
(4) prairie gardener says:

My husband said this might be a reason to plant some!! I would still love to have some citrus tree, just not quite ready to deal with citrus and snow.

December 30, 2009 at 2:34 pm
(5) Luisa says:

Marie, just about ready to report on the issue about Floridaīs “Entire state is under quarantine for citrus greening disease and Asian citrus psyllids” and find that prairiegardener and you are on your toes with actual information. (*)

Sort of give assurance to your readers. I have a Go Green column in Spanish http://www.somosonline.com.

Wish you and your readers a great GREEN NEW YEAR!

(*)(It is illegal to move live citrus plants, plant parts, budwood, or cuttings from Florida. (Note: Dooryard citrus fruit cannot be moved from Florida unless the fruit is packed at a certified packinghouse and has been issued a Limited Permit by USDA. Florida gift fruit must also come from a certified packinghouse and be shipped under a Limited Permit issued by USDA. In either case, dooryard citrus or gift fruit cannot be shipped to California, Texas, Arizona, Hawaii, Louisiana, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.)”

December 30, 2009 at 7:28 pm
(6) jeanX says:

I grow lemon seeds from slices in nj.An interesting thing about citrus seeds, is they may turn out to be any kind of citrus, as it used to be the way it was.I have never brought a plant to fruiting, but I can’t help love those deep green leaves.It’s free…

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