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Growing Citrus Indoors In Vermont

Rows of citrus plants
It is possible to grow citrus indoors in Vermont. If you're interested in doing so, Charlie Nardozzi has a few tips.

Each week, gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi shares his knowledge about all things gardening. In this episode, Charlie talks about how you can grow lemons, limes and even kumquats in Vermont.

Some citrus tips

Growing citrus trees in Vermont is doable, as long as you choose the right varieties and grow them indoors in containers. When choosing citrus to grow indoors, pick trees like Meyer lemons, makrut limes, calamondin oranges and kumquat. These citrus trees have fruit and flowers on them at the same time and do not need cross-pollination to produce edible fruit. 

You'll get the best results by using a pot with good drainage. Fill the container up with potting soil as well as bark mulch, coir or sawdust because the citrus plant appreciates the organic matter in its soil. Then, place the container in the sunniest, brightest room in your home and be careful not to overwater the trees.

In the summer, you can move the containers outdoors to continue to grow — but remember to make that transition from inside to outside slowly, giving the citrus trees time to adjust. Bring them back in as soon as the weather starts to cool.

Q: "I did not get to put Holly-tone around my rhododendrons. Is there anything I can do at this time, mid-December?" — Shirley, in South Burlington

At this point, it is best to wait till spring to fertilize because the ground is frozen now. Ideally, you want to put fertilizers — like the organic, acid-containing brand Holly-tone — down in the fall.

Putting it into the soil of acid-loving plants like blueberries, hydrangea and rhododendrons will ensure that the sulfur has a chance to change the pH level in the soil and create the desired effect on your plants and bushes.

Then, mark your calendar for next fall and you'll remember to fertilize your rhododendrons before the ground gets too frozen!

A thin grey line.

All Things Gardening is powered by you, the listener! Send your gardening questions and conundrums and Charlie will answer them in upcoming episodes. You can also leave a voice mail with your gardening question by calling VPR at (802) 655-9451.

Hear All Things Gardening during Weekend Edition Sunday with VPR host Mary Engisch, Sunday mornings at 9:35.

Mary Williams Engisch is a local host on All Things Considered.
Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public. Charlie is a guest on Vermont Public's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.
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