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Growing Like a Champ

October 25th, 2011

Remember when I talked about the plants I purchased on my trip to Monticello? One of the plants was a small variegated citrus.

I potted it up after we got home and it lived by the window in the living room all winter long. Late this spring I put it outside, along with many other potted plants. It spent it’s days on the back deck soaking up the sun and the rain.

It hadn’t grown a ton over the winter, but I hadn’t really expected it to. I figured this summer it would take off, and I was right. I’m just about to carry it back inside and thought I’d take another photo to compare just how much it had grown over the summer.

This little tree is about three times the size it was in the spring when I put it out. I made sure to fertilize it on Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day as the Lemon Ladies Orchard recommended to me when they heard I had a few citrus trees in pots. I’m wondering if this little tree will bloom this coming year? I certainly hope so. I would love nothing more than to be able to harvest a few lemons from it. Or limes from my dwarf lime tree. After all, if I have houseplants, they might was well provide some food too!

Do you have any houseplants that are edible? Any tiny citrus trees in pots?

20 Comments to “Growing Like a Champ”
  1. kristin @ going country on October 25, 2011 at 6:23 am

    That’s how I feel about houseplants, too. Unfortunately, I share the house with someone who goes in only for non-edible potted plants, and a LOT of them. So no window space for anything else at the moment. I’m waiting for some of those useless plants to die, and then there will be a lemon tree, oh yes . . .

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  2. kathi cookk on October 25, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Not yet, but I have always wanted a meyer lemmon tree. I don’t even care if it produces edible fruit or not. The smell of citrus blossoms is heavenly!

    Reply to kathi cookk's comment

  3. Jane on October 25, 2011 at 8:42 am

    I have a lemon and orange tree both were the size of a twig got them for 99 cents at Home Depot last year and now they are huge. It takes 5 years for fruit. It’s I live in St. Louis so they have to come in for the winter. Then there is the bay leaf tree that comes in also a rosemary. Pretty well all the windows for now.

    Reply to Jane's comment

  4. Sincerely,Emily on October 25, 2011 at 8:49 am

    It is so gratifying to see such great healthy growth. That is a beautiful plant. I was just looking through some past photos from when we bought our house. Amazing to see in the 3.5 years how the trees have grown. Emily

    Reply to Sincerely,Emily's comment

  5. Allison on October 25, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Wow – it looks very healthy! I would love a lemon tree!

    Reply to Allison's comment

  6. Texan on October 25, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I have a Meyer lemon, Keylime, and kumquat tree in pots. I didnt know about the days to fertilize them. Have made a note of that. This will be my first winter to over winter them. I hope they do well. They all made fruit this first year which really surprised me.

    Reply to Texan's comment

  7. The Sage Butterfly on October 25, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I tried herbs in the house during the winter, and they did not fare well. It is always a challenge for me to maintain the indoors at the perfect temperature and humidity for the plants. And I don’t think they got enough light. Good luck!

    Reply to The Sage Butterfly's comment

  8. goatpod2 on October 25, 2011 at 9:52 am

    We have a lemon tree in a pot inside that we brought home from Florida in March ’11 and we planted some seeds from a tangerine and we have some other plants as well, we have a bay leaf plant from my sister-in-law.


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  9. Justin on October 25, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Looks like they’re doing fantastic! About two summers ago, I purchased a bay tree (for edible bay leaves) from a local plant enthusiast’s booth at the farmer’s market. As suggested by the seller, I potted it and it comes indoors during the cold New England winters.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t grow very fast. I’m not sure if it’s me or if it’s just a slow-growing plant and I haven’t taken the time to go look it up. It seems to stop growing during the winter and I get 3-4 new leaves during the summer. At that rate, I should be able to harvest some in 5+ years. *chuckle* Maybe I’ll look-up when to fertilize it…

    Reply to Justin's comment

    • Susy on October 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      That’s too funny, what is that one pot of soup every year! I’ve been thinking of adding a bay too this coming spring. Perhaps a little more fertilizer would give it a boost. Maybe a spot of blood meal.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Mary S. on October 25, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Your citrus looks lovely! My mom has been growing an orange tree (from seed, no less) for about four years. No sign of fruit yet, but it is a nice-looking house plant.

    Reply to Mary S.'s comment

  11. MAYBELLINE on October 25, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I have a couple of potted citrus – varigated lemon & mandarin. You only feed your tree 3 times each year?! I thought citrus were hungry and demanded much more food. Maybe it’s different here where the citrus are outdoors.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

    • Susy on October 25, 2011 at 12:06 pm

      Yep, only 3 x per year (although sometimes I’ll give it some in Jan). Generally though I think they go semi-dormant when you bring them inside in the winter.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. Debbie on October 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    We’ve just started an avocado in a pot. SO looking forward to seeing what happens with that. Any tips???

    Reply to Debbie's comment

  13. Misti on October 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Our variegated citrus was beloved in Florida. We never got a ton of lemons, enough to use for a lemonade or a marinade. Miss it a lot! The inside of the lemons were pink if I recall.

    Reply to Misti's comment

  14. warren on October 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I grew a Myers lemon and it did great for awhile. It bloomed after I had it for a year or so. A beautiful lemon formed and grew to full size…and then the plant dropped its leaves and died. Very weird but it was awesome to see it grow the lemon!

    Reply to warren's comment

  15. Victoria on October 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    What a beauty! I’ve toyed with the idea of an indoor citrus or bay…but haven’t made the jump. Right now we have lots of inedible houseplants and a few rosemary and thyme plants that are too young to survive the winter.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply to Victoria's comment

  16. itchbay on October 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I have a dwarf Meyer lemon tree in a large pot on my front steps. I have been quite lucky with it since I got it earlier this summer. It already has 11 lemons on it developing quite nicely. And it blooms regularly, which makes the butterflies and hummingbirds quite happy. And me, since I get to smell its sweet blossoms whenever I go in and out my front door.

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  17. Barbara on October 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Nice pictures, your yard look so nice! I have two huge lemon and lime trees in my yard. They’re pretty much taking over the yard! My lemon trees grow insanely huge lemons. Sometimes they grow even bigger than ones I see at grocery stores.

    Reply to Barbara's comment

  18. KimH on October 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Beautiful plant you got there…

    I dont have any indoor edibles… I want to get a fig at least.. Not sure if I’ll try to plant it outside or bring it in.. I’d love to have some lemons & limes & kumquats too since I grew up where they grow outdoors, but I dont have enough light to keep em happy over the winter and I know it.. sigh. ;)

    Reply to KimH's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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