From lemon tree to bigaradier, sunny huesThe number one citrus fruit is the lemon tree: it represents 80% of citrus fruit sales in garden centers because it is the easiest of all to grow and the most resistant to cold. Kumquat, mandarin (also easy), orange and calamondin follow. Grapefruit is the most difficult to succeed. The Bigaradier is also a citrus fruit, you probably know it without knowing it: present at the Palace of Versailles, at the Elysée Palace or at Matignon in XXL containers, it resembles an orange tree and shines with its abundance and by the scent of its flowers. But it is unmanageable by its bitterness!
Citrus fruits in the ground: reserved for the southIf you want to have citrus fruits in the open ground, this is only possible on the French Riviera (cf. the famous lemon from Menton). These frost shrubs are very sensitive to climatic impacts and cannot adapt to any garden. In the north of France, they would not survive in winter. Prefer therefore, for most French regions, a pot planting with the possibility of bringing in your shrubs as soon as temperatures approach zero degrees. Opt for large tubs of 40 x 40 cm minimum, for the comfort of the roots in accordance with the mass of the leaves. They will then be developed and solid more quickly.
Cocooning during the first days at homeAfter the purchase in a garden center, look at the substrate of the chosen plant and if necessary, repot it in a container of minimum 30 x 30 cm, ideally 40 x 40 cm for the comfort of the plant. Choose a special citrus or 'mix of Mediterranean plants' potting soil, which is particularly draining. Add a layer of drainage (gravel, clay balls) to the bottom of the pot. Finally, always remember to regularly empty the saucer of excess water, because humidity is the other enemy of citrus fruits.
Precautions on a terrace
Citrus fruits are plants that require a lot of clarity, they like to have their heads in the clouds. If you place them on a terrace or balcony, check that they see the sky and that there is therefore no balcony above the plants. Two other precautions to take: if the walls of your terrace are white and if it is exposed to drafts; in the first case, spread the planters a few dozen centimeters from the wall (or repaint it in a color that reflects less light!), and install other surrounding plants to create a screen against the winds. In winter, in cold regions (reaching -15 ° C to - 20 ° C), put them in a cold greenhouse or even slightly heated - or in a cool room at 8/10 ° C and especially bright (garage, attic with Velux®) - is ideal for preventing them from fatal jelly. If this is not possible or if you live in a cooler region (-10 ° C), it is better to leave them outside and block the pot in an angle with the least draft and stress possible; wrap the pot in a blanket and bubble wrap to insulate the roots from the cold and prevent the frost containers from bursting, and cover the top of the plant with a double winter veil. But still think of airing it from time to time, opening the veil when the temperature rises above 5 ° C; this will create air circulation that will prevent it from rotting. In addition, keep also an opening to be able to water lightly once a month or every 2 months, and do not give them fertilizer between October and March, to allow them to live normally their seasonal rest during which the citrus fruits lose up to 90% of their leaves, which will then grow back naturally in the spring.