backyard fruit

Growing Citrus in South Carolina

Is there anything better than fresh lemon or lime in a Margarita or a tall glass of Iced Tea?

Well, there is… if you harvested that lemon or lime from your own tree! Yes, you can do it here in the south, with just a little TLC. Because of frost and freezing temperatures in the winter, it is necessary to protect vulnerable tropical plants, by moving them into a greenhouse, garage or sunroom. In order to move it, your lemon or lime tree should be planted in a pot, rather than in the ground. When that first frost or freeze is upon us, go ahead and move it in. And, don’t forget about it …watering and direct light are still necessary!

  • Place it near a sunny window or use an indoor grow light (6 hours minimum needed), but NOT near an HVAC vent. Protect it from any draft.
  • Be sure not to over water. Let the soil dry out in between waterings.

An added extra for planting citrus in a pot is that you can ensure good, rich, soil. Transplant to a larger pot as it grows – don’t allow it to become root bound. Citrus are heavy feeders, so you will need to be diligent about fertilizing. We recommend Daddy Pete’s Sea & Farm Potting Soil, mixed with a little Stout Ollie Compost (the best organic nutritional additive ever). Fertilize 3 times/year with Espoma Citrus-tone (organic).

Move citrus plant(s) outdoors, once there is no danger of frost or freezing temperatures. Place in a spot that receives direct sun all day, or at least 6 hours.

As the weather warms up and especially during the hottest days of summer, more frequent watering will be required. Soak it when you water, but allow the soil to dry out in between watering. When top 2 inches are dry, it’s time to water. Avoid keeping the area around the trunk wet and NEVER allow plant roots to sit in water. Allow for good drainage by using Pot Pads underneath the pot to lift it off the ground. These are available in Wingard’s Gift Shoppe.

Most citrus are self-fertile, but hand-pollination with a small paint brush improves fruit production.

Little pruning is required, however, suckers, dead twigs and extra long growth should be removed. Clip off fruit as it ripens – DO NOT PULL.

A brand new shipment of citrus has just been received at Wingard’s Market. Stop in soon and take advantage of the large inventory.

Remember…
It’s five o’clock somewhere! Be ready!

There’s always something blooming at Wingard’s!

Check out our video below for more growing tips!