Container Citrus Trees!

A post about Future Food!

I’m far too far north here in Connecticut, and further yet in Massachusetts, to be able to plant citrus trees in the ground.  But many of them will take well enough to life in containers.   They can sit out much of the year, and be placed in the basement (or better yet, the future greenhouse) during the dodgy season.

Citrus trees, container fruit, finger lime

Finger Lime, with flowers

I’ve ordered four citrus trees to date.  If I prune properly, these should be manageable.

The most unusual one is shown above – the Australian finger lime.  Tiny pinkish blooms, thorns (alas!), and fruit that will be elongated like fingers.  Inside the peel, the fruit is supposedly little tart balls, probably about the size more or less of salmon roe.  Little bursts of flavor!  (I can see getting some ikura – the salmon roe – and interspersing some of these finger lime balls within, for both the color and taste effect!)  Since this one is flowering, I do expect some fruit this season.  This bush has more flowers on it than since it arrived here, about ten days ago.

citrus trees, gardening, container plantings, bearss lime

Bearss Lime

This is the standard lime tree that bears the same limes you find in most groceries. It is named Bearss lime, dunno why the double-S.  It is seedless.

Did you know that if you don’t pick the limes when they are green, they will turn yellow, just like lemons?  I didn’t!

citrus trees, gardening, thai lime, kaffir lime, container planting

Thai Lime

Thai/Kaffir lime trees will fruit, but in Thai cooking, it’s the leaves that count.  I love me some Thai cooking, and so…  I will have to see if regular Bearss leaves have any culinary use, or indeed if anyone ever eats them or not.

citrus trees, gardening, blood orange, container planting

Blood Orange

Blood oranges are a thing only rarely seen in my supermarkets. Very rarely.  But, they’re SO tasty!

The specimen above has a few insect nibbles in its leaves… I looked to make sure no insects were riding along, and all seems fine.

I’ve been putting these plants outdoors, but bringing them into my garage if the predicted temps look dodgy.    You need to keep them warm enough – I am setting them out if the temperatures are above 50 F.  (In-ground, and established, they can tolerate lower temps, but I’m playing it safe.)

They love sun!

They also need plenty of water and good drainage.  I planted them with a combo of peat-moss soil, and citrus soil (Lowes), with river rock pebbles at the bottom of their pots – to facilitate drainage.

If these thrive, I’ll be buying a couple other citrus cultivars next year.


About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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8 Responses to Container Citrus Trees!

  1. I have both a Meyer lemon and a line tree in large half wine barrels, they are dong very well. I’ve been meaning to get a Thai lime to grow in a container, I will be interested in how it does for you. We don’t have a problem with snow and freezing temperatures, but I keep them on the deck away from deer and gophers.

    • Sounds great, Liz. I am considering a Meyer lemon for next year; and I do plan to update here as the citrus plants thrive or fail… but they should thrive! How cold do your temperatures get?

  2. Sounds great, Liz. I am considering a Meyer lemon for next year; and I do plan to update here as the citrus plants thrive or fail… but they should thrive! How cold do your temperatures get?

  3. Oh fun! I’ve always wanted some citrus trees. It will be good to see how they do in containers, as I’m in a cold climate too.

  4. Wish we were warm and dry enough to grow citrus fruit or than under glass.

  5. Pingback: Of Olive and Apple Trees! | Of Goats and Greens

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