I was feeling a little bit of minor family stress today and I needed some time in the garden. Unfortunately, our unseasonably warm weather has finally ended and there is snow on the ground once again. I took a trip to my local garden centre to dream about spring.
I was just happy to take a nice walk up and down the aisles, looking at herbs, tropical plants, and some shrubs being prepared for spring. I stopped by a display of citrus plants, and I thought that one might cheer me up. I picked a small lemon shrub, ready to bloom with small white flours. There were also tangerines and grapefruits, but I thought I would give this one a try.
The plants were from mycitrustree.com. They are hardy to zone 9 and 10 – so definitely not for my zone 5-6 area, but my lemon shrub will look at home in the pot that I received for Christmas in a bright bay window. It is described as indoor/outdoor patio plant which should receive full or partial sun, kept semi-moist, and only hardy to 30-40degrees F – so no frost at all. It is self-fertile, which is awesome because it’s definitely not going to be near any other lemon trees in my neighbourhood. Fertilization should occur every 6 weeks for the first 3 years and mature trees should be fertilized 3 times per year March through September.
My oldest son arrived home from work (formerly a garden centre expert) tells me to mist the leaves, to give it 6-8 hours of sun per day and to move it away from heat sources. So I will move it within the same window to the opposite side away from the gas fireplace!
I look forward to watching it grow over the winter, and putting it out on my porch in late spring. My Citrus Tree offers lots of care instructions on their website, and I feel like I should head back to the store and buy some more types of citrus trees. I’m feeling energized after a quiet walk through the garden centre.
The plant tag gave me a recipe for Lemonade, but this is one of my staples to have in the refrigerator – my recipe:
Mix equal parts of sugar and lemon juice in a pitcher to make a syrup – add lots of water to taste and stir. I love just a little flavour of lemon and sugar in my water – so less concentrated is better for me – the kids like it stronger so one cup sugar, one cup lemon juice to a pitcher of water is perfect.