WE GROW EXOTIC CITRUS
Citrus plants invariably delight us in winter. Especially now there are so many different shapes and varieties! It happens that a neighbor liked Fortunella, and she is even ready to share the treasure with joy. And here you will need knowledge of how to propagate citrus fruits.
Citrus fruits can be propagated in different ways: cuttings, seeds, grafting, layering.
In room conditions, for this purpose, plants are most often cut from cuttings. Cuttings are cut from healthy fruit-bearing plants, from shoots on which the wood has not yet coarsened. The cutting should be about 10 cm long and have 2-3 developed buds. Very young branches for cuttings are also not suitable: they do not root well. This method of reproduction is possible throughout the year, but the best results are obtained in April.
When harvesting cuttings, the top 1-2 leaves are left, and if they are very large, they are cut off by a third. The remaining leaves are removed, the lower end of the cutting is cut 2 mm below the kidney, and the upper end is 1 cm higher. The lower cut is made almost perpendicular to the axis of the cutting, the upper cut is at an angle.
A layer of sand 2 cm thick is poured into a pot on a layer of earth. A cutting is planted to a depth of 1-5 cm, covered with a glass or a jar on top and placed in a bright place (temperature 2-20 °). Rooting under normal conditions takes 25-2 weeks. Then the young plants are transplanted into a pot with a diameter of 3-10 cm to the same depth that was during rooting.
If a lemon has already given fruit, then the plants obtained from its cuttings will begin to bear fruit in 2-3 years. Plants from cuttings of an unfruitful lemon will delight you with fruits only in the 3-4th year.
But representatives of citrus fruits grown from seeds bear fruit only in the 8-12th year and later. In seedlings that have formed 4-5 leaves, it is necessary to cut the taproot at a distance of 8-10 cm from the root collar so that it begins to branch.
Another possible method of reproduction is budding with a sleeping eye in July-August or growing in March-April. Plants obtained from seeds or cuttings serve as a rootstock - often it is a bitter orange, Meyer lemon (gives the scion a stunted growth).
Reproduction by layering consists in the fact that the most developed one-year-old branch 20-25 cm long and 4-6 mm thick is chosen on the plant. At a distance of 10-12 cm from the lower edge of this branch, two annular cuts are made with a sharp knife one centimeter apart. The incised bark is removed with a ring. All leaves 5 cm above or below this place are cut off.
A small pot is carefully cut in half so that the cut goes through a hole in its bottom. The pot is tied to a branch and to a strong stand so that the place where the bark is cut is inside the pot. The halves are tied and filled with well-calcined river sand or steamed moss. Watered with warm water. After 3-4 weeks, when the roots appear, they are fed with a weak solution of fertilizer. After 1-5 months, the branch can be cut off and planted together with a lump in a pot with nutrient soil.
Crown formation is also important for fruiting and appearance. The best form is the low standard one. The higher the trunk, the later the plant begins to bear fruit and the less the harvest. When a young plant reaches a height of 15-20 cm, the top is cut off, leaving 4-7 leaves. Of the new shoots that have appeared, 3-4 are left growing in different directions. They leave 3-5 buds in the axils of the leaves, and the last bud should not look inside the crown, but out. From the lateral buds, the growth of branches will begin again. Etc. An already formed crown must be maintained by removing fatty and thickening crown shoots.
At the age of 15-20, when fruiting decreases, the tree is rejuvenated. In March-April, all large and medium-sized branches are cut into 3-4 eyes, causing the growth of dormant buds, and the plant is transplanted into a new pot, cutting the roots by a third.
And in conclusion, very briefly about the basic requirements of citrus fruits for their growing conditions. Since these are southern plants, they are demanding of light and heat, but they should not be placed under the direct rays of the hot sun in order to preserve the juicy color of the greenery. The temperature in winter is not lower than 12°. Watering is plentiful in summer, moderate in winter. Citruses respond very well to spraying. Dry air, poor lighting, watering with cold water, drafts, a sudden change in location can cause leaves and flowers to fall off.
In summer, it is very good to take the trees out into the garden, onto a balcony or terrace. Fresh air and an abundance of ultraviolet rays have a positive effect on the development of citrus fruits. But in the early days, it is better to put the plants in a shady place, for example, under the canopy of trees, and then gradually move them to a more sunny place. In the fall, citruses are gradually accustomed to the conditions of the room again - leaving them on the street during the day, and transferring them to the house at night.
TOP 5 ORIGINAL CITRUS 2022
LEMON LUNARIO. A popular variety with unusual elongated fruits with a "navel" at the bottom, with a thin, beautiful golden skin. Pulp with a strong aroma. It is famous for its annual flowering and productivity, rapid growth. In the room, the tree grows up to 1-1 m. Very unpretentious.
CITRUS LIMETTA ROSSO. Remarkable for large fruits (up to 8 cm) with a red integumentary color. It is also called "red lemon". The height of the tree is about 1 m. The leaves are dark, beautiful, similar to tangerines. Flowers with a purple hue.
CITRUS LIMETTA PURSHA. The fruits are flattened from the poles, so they are not very similar to citrus either. The pulp is sweet and sour, pleasant. A plant about 1 m tall with beautiful dark leaves.
CITRUS KAFFIR LIME (papeda blackberry). Round fruits are remarkable for their bumpy skin, which makes the plant look very exotic. It's just that you won't eat them. The fruits are terribly sour and almost without juice. But you can use the fragrant zest for baking or limit yourself to the aesthetic pleasure of this plant. The tree grows up to 1-1 m. Not only the fruits are beautiful, but also the leaves - emerald, shiny, original shape.
LIME FINGER. The fruits are elongated, green, there are brown shades, and if the fruit is cut, there will be caviar inside. That's what pulp looks like. Tiny juice bags. This juice tastes like lime, but more tart, with a hint of pine needles.
Reference by topic: How citrus fruits winter + top dressing
REPRODUCTION OF CITRUS AT HOME - ROOTING ON VIDEO
© Author: E. LASTOCHKINA, citrus grower
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