Citrus plants are sensitive when it comes to winter. If you're not careful, they might lose all their leaves. Here are our tips for getting through the winter.
When should I bring the plant in?
In general, you shouldn't rush it. Leave the plant outdoors for as long as possible. This helps the plant stay strong and kills off pests. When the air temperature approaches zero degrees Celsius, you should bring the plant into winter quarters.
Where can I store the plant?
That depends on the space you have available. A heated greenhouse would be ideal. There are two places that are ideal for citrus plants in winter: a very bright, warm area, or a dark, cool and airy location.
In a warm area, (at least 10 to 15 degrees, up to 20 degrees) the plant grows easily.
In a relatively dark, cool location (5 to 10 degrees), adequate ventilation is very important. Garages, unheated rooms, or lighted sheds are ideal. Dark does not mean that the plant receives no light. Citrus plants are dependent on light during hibernation. In a pinch you can use an artificial light source.
Why does the plant lose its leaves?
Citrus plants lose their leaves when they are stressed. Sometimes this is due to overwatering. Usually plants lose their leaves when the temperature difference between the roots and foliage is too great, or the plant is receiving the wrong ratio of light and temperature.
How often should I water my plant?
Citrus plants require little water during the winter. As a rule of thumb: if the soil in the upper third of the pot is dry, you should water your plant. Be careful though, the roots will die if you overwater your plant. It is best to use soft, room temperature water.
Do I need to fertilize my plant during the winter?
Plants require little fertilizer during the winter. Even if the plants are stored in a bright, warm place where they continue to grow, it is not necessary to fertilize them. It is important to regularly check for mold and to keep your storage place well ventilated.