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Eight Steps to Growing Eureka Lemons in Containers

How to Grow Eureka Lemons in 8 Steps

This classic lemon is what you most often see in the grocery store and is known for producing large, juicy lemons of high quality. The flowers produced by this tree are extremely fragrant, making it a prime choice for scented gardens.

Eureka Lemon Fruit

Features of the Eureka lemon:

  • The rind is medium-thick, and the flesh color is greenish-yellow and it is fine-grained and tender.
  • Very juicy with a highly sour flavor, excellent for cooking, especially seafood.
  • The fruit can be used as a salt substitute.
  • The crop is well distributed throughout the year, but mainly in late winter, spring, and early summer.

Eureka Lemon Tree

Features of the Eureka lemon tree:

  • Vigorously growing, with purple-tinged flowers.
  • This tree requires pruning to keep appropriate size, and it not recommended in very humid areas.
  • This variety is moderately hardy to cold temperatures and capable of withstanding brief periods of freezing temperatures.

Want to grow your own Eureka lemons? Try a micro-budded Eureka lemon tree for sale online right here at US Citrus! This is a fast-growing citrus tree due to our patented micro-budding technology. Bear fresh and juicy lemons within the first 1-2 years of growth.

Where Will Citrus Grow?

With proper care, having a citrus tree such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat, eureka lemon or orange tree will produce decades of delicious fruit. However, the growing regions in the United States where citrus can be planted into the ground are Limited to regions in California, Arizona, South Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

If you do not live in those regions, we do not recommend planting Eureka Lemons in the ground. However, we consider this a good thing, because it's going to make your lemon growing a lot easier.

Growing Eureka Lemons Outside of Growing Zones

So how do you grow Eureka Lemons outside of these growing zones? You do so by planting your tree in a container. You can use a plastic barrel, a wooden planter, a nice decorative pot, or really any sort of container that has adequate holes on the bottom for drainage.

Another option, which we enjoy, are fabric smart pots which do not have holes, however, the entire container is made of a fabric mesh which allows proper drainage and aeration of the soil.

The Planting Process for Growing Eureka Lemon Trees in Pots

The actual planting process of our trees in pots is very straightforward, with standardized use of potting soil and watering and fertilizing schedules.

You can keep any citrus tree pruned back, but the Eureka lemon is naturally a smaller dwarf type variety which gets to be about 4 to 6 feet, but it will still produce an abundant harvest.

Step 1: Container for Eureka Lemon Trees

The keys to an appropriate container are having sufficient drainage through the material either being some sort of mesh cloth (SmartPots) or having a few holes on the bottom of your planter.

Secondly, the size of the pot should be at least 5 gallons, with our favorite size recommend being 15 gallons. We find that anything above 25 gallons is quite difficult to physically move with only one person. so we recommend 15 gallons as the sweet spot.

Step 2: Soil for Eureka Lemon Trees

Choosing soil for your Eureka lemon trees is simple. All you need is any sort of potting soil. We do not recommend gardening soil or topsoil to use for container gardening. This is advantageous because even if you lived in a citrus growing region, you would have to take into consideration the type of soil.

For example, US Citrus is based in the Rio Grande Valley, and we have a wonderful sandy loam type soil which drains very well. Other types of soil such as different types of clay soils especially with limestone mixed in will have a very difficult time draining and this will adversely affect the root health of your tree.

With a standard potting soil for your container gardening, you do not need to worry about any of these factors. You also don't have to worry about the pH balance of the soil. We have just removed a large part of the headache of growing citrus by having all customers grow their citrus in containers and using any standard potting soil which is available at your local nursery garden center supply store.

Step 3: Watering for Eureka Lemon Trees

Watering is crucial, typically when citrus is planted into the ground there is a worry of proper drainage and overwatering your tree. Citrus trees planted in the ground prefer to have their roots a bit on the dry side. We have found that if there is proper drainage in container gardening it is difficult to overwater citrus trees.

See our watering schedule for our citrus trees based on their size and the outside conditions.

The best way to figure out how much water your citrus tree needs is to actually look at the tree. If the leaves are wilted and dry, your tree needs more water. After watering, the tree’s leaves should perk up.

Overwatering Your Potted Citrus Tree

Overwatering is a possibility and we find that this especially happens when the trees are indoor and there's a garden saucer used underneath the pot. When there's a garden saucer there is impeded drainage, which is helpful while you're on vacation and cannot water your tree for a week, or when you have your trees indoors to prevent water seeping onto the floors and causing damage.

However, if trees are over-watered, the plant leaves will wilt and may turn a bit yellow and look sad. Watering more will not improve the condition of the tree obviously, and you will likely notice that the soil is waterlogged at this point.

Giving your tree a break by taking it outside if possible or letting the soil drain without a garden saucer in the bathtub for a day is a good solution. Afterward, you can adjust your watering schedule appropriately. Our watering schedule also has a section for indoor planting.

Step 4: Fertilizer for Eureka Lemon Trees

Your Eureka lemon tree will need both macro and micronutrients, just like a human. The macronutrients that all plants need are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. You have likely seen fertilizers and soil which state three numbers together, this is the N – P – K system which shows the concentration and relative amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium respectively.

These machinations are very important for the development of the root system, the color of the leaves, appropriate photosynthesis, the growth of the trunk of the tree, proper flowering, fruiting, and taste of the fruit. See our blog article on nutrition for more information.

Micronutrients are also very important - think of these as vitamins for humans. They are needed much in smaller quantities and plants can have characteristic symptoms if they have a micronutrient deficiency. We will detail out micronutrients and symptoms of deficiencies in later articles.

However, our promise to you is that we make this simple. Between regular potting soil and the fertilizer we recommend, you will have all the macronutrients and micronutrients that your tree needs and a simple fertilizing schedule for easy and effective fertilizing when you get your tree and for every February, May, and August. See our fertilizer schedule below for amounts that we recommend.

Fertilizer Schedule

Ounces to use every Feb, May, and Aug

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3+

 

 

 

Miracle-Gro for Citrus, Avocado and Mango (13-7-13)

5

7

9

 Espoma Citrus (5-2-6)

10

14

18

Step 5: Sunlight for Eureka Lemon Trees 

Sunlight is crucial to citrus trees, especially citrus being a tropical plant. In most areas of the United States, you want to maximize sunlight with full sun exposure. If you are planting indoors, make sure that it has full sun next to the window, but we would also recommend having a grow light.

Citrus does best when it has six hours of sunlight a day. If the temperature is consistently above 90° especially for younger trees, there may be some wilting of the leaves. This wilting will reverse however and at this point, it would be advantageous to keep your tree by elementary and partial shade. 

Step 6: Winter Protection for Eureka Lemon Trees

We recommend that under freezing temperatures, you move your citrus tree into a warmer area such as a garage or indoors for the entire winter. This point you can utilize grow lights for continued growth.

There is nothing more frustrating than losing years of work and future decades of fruit than losing your citrus tree to a freak cold-snap which occurred while you were vacationing out of town! Citrus can die with exposure to temperatures in the teens for even up to 12 hours. 

Step 7: Where Do I Buy My Eureka Lemon Tree?

First of all, if you live in the states of California, Arizona, Louisiana, or Florida, you will need to purchase your citrus tree locally as citrus cannot be imported into your state because of USDA regulations.

Otherwise, check out our US citrus tree selection today!

Step 8: Harvesting Your Eureka Lemons

The crop is well distributed throughout the year, but mainly in late winter, spring, and early summer.

Grow your own micro-budded Eureka lemon trees for sale right here at US Citrus. Get a fast-growing citrus tree shipped straight to your door that bears fresh and juicy Eureka lemons within the first 1-2 years of growth!

The Importance of Nitrogen for the Best Mandarins, Calamondins, Kumquats, Australian Finger Limes, Oranges and Lemons

The Importance of Nitrogen for Citrus

Mani Skaria, Ph.D.

 

Introduction.

 

Nitrogen is a vital element required for life, whether it is plants, or animals, including the human being. Nitrogen is the most abundant element on earth as it occupies about 78% of the atmosphere. The figure at the right is the symbol of Nitrogen as per the periodic table. N = nitrogen, 7 is the atomic number, and 14.007 is the relative atomic mass. At room temperature, it is a gas. The presence of nitrogen was discovered in 1772 by a Scottish physician, chemist and botanist – almost 2½ centuries ago.

 

For human beings, nitrogen is required to make proteins in our muscles, skin, blood, hair, nails and our genetic material, the DNA. And in nature, human beings obtain nitrogen from animal products such as meat, mild, eggs, fish and plant products such as legumes, and nuts.  products, mild, egg, and fish, foods such as meat, fish, legumes and nuts.

A basic difference between plants and animals

Animals can move. Plants are sedentary.

When a physician advises on protein deficiency, the patient takes the information and make corrective measures for themselves and even for their dependents, including the pets. People and animals can move around Whereas, most plant owners are not plant doctors; they have no clue that that plant needs food and water. As a plant doctor, I consider it an unforgivable sin.

Why Citrus plants need nitrogen?

  1. Nitrogen is the key components of the following six functions identified for a citrus plant
  2. When the entire leaf becomes light green to yellow
  3. When leaf drop leaves prematuraley.
  • Enzymes
  • Vitamins
  • Chlorophyll
  • Protein
  • Many other plant cell constituents
  • An essential component for fruit growth & development

How much nitrogen is needed?

This generic question comes with a qualifier question – a baby or a mature tree?

A baby tree or a mature adult heavy-fruiting tree?

A baby tree is one to two years-old and a heavy-fruiting tree is over 7-years-old. 

A mature tree would benefit from getting about one-kilogram nitrogen per tree per year (= slightly over two pounds).  This can be spread over 12-montgh period. However, the best time to apply nitrogen has the following consideration.

What’s the best time to apply nitrogen?

There must be enough nitrogen in the plant before the flowering season. The flowering season in Texas, Florida and California is a Spring-season phenomenon; however, it can start as early as February.

I remember a word of wisdom given to Texas citrus growers by Dr. Richard A. Hensz, developer of the red grapefruits, Rio Red and Star Ruby. His answer to the question, “what’s the best time to apply nitrogen” was, between December 31st and January 1st.  What Dr. Hensz meant was that nitrogen must be readily available to the plant a long before the onset of flowering.

Translate this into having enough money in your bank account before you pour the concrete foundation for your new home.

 

Just like people eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the nitrogen application can be spread over 12 months. But remember, just like a good breakfast, enough nitrogen before the flower set in the month of February is important.

How do I know my citrus plant is suffering from nitrogen deficiency?

  • By doing a leaf tissue analysis and when the Nitrogen content is below 2% from the laboratory report
  • When the entire leaf becomes light green to yellow in color
  • When leaves drop premature - normally, a citrus leaf is to last 18 to 24 months.
  • When nitrogen deficiency is severe, plants show stunted growth.

Specific positive roles of adequate Nitrogen

  1. Increase yield
  2. Increase number of fruits per tree

Specific negative roles of too much Nitrogen

  1. Reduce fruit color break from green to orange/red
  2. Increase peel thickness which is considered negative
  • Increase fruit acidity which can be considered negative

 

Eight Steps to Growing Mandarin Oranges in Containers

How to Grow Mandarin oranges in 8 Steps

The mandarin orange tree grows well-known, delicious citrus fruits also referred and closely related to “tangerines” and “clementines”. The subvariety we use is the Satsuma, a sweet and seedless variety. There are dozens of cultivars of mandarins.

Mandarin Orange Fruit:

  • These citrus fruits are characterized by small round fruits with a loose-peeling skin
  • The fruit is usually medium in size with a thin, smooth rind that is reddish-orange at maturity and easily peeled
  • The flesh is a deep orange color, with a rich flavor
  • The mandarin orange variety is perfect for those with a sweet tooth and children
  • The subvariety we ship is the Satsuma mandarin, a seedless variety, as long as there is not another mandarin within 50 yards

Mandarin Orange Tree:

  • The slow-growing mandarin orange tree is also very cold-hardy and drought-resistant 
  • Year-round fruit production, with the peak season being autumn to spring
  • The tree is a large, vigorous, densely foliated tree
  • It has a tendency to alternate bearing with high fruit yield one year, then lower yield the next

Where Will Citrus Grow?

With proper citrus tree care, having your own citrus fruit trees such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, mandarin, mandarin or orange tree will produce decades of delicious fruit. However, the growing regions in the United States where citrus can be planted into the ground are California, Arizona, South Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

If you do not live in those regions, we do not recommend planting citrus in the ground. However, we consider this a good thing, because it's going to make your citrus growing a lot easier.

Growing Citrus Outside of Growing Zones

So how do you grow citrus outside of these growing zones? You do so by planting and growing your citrus tree in a container. You can use a plastic barrel, a wooden planter, a nice decorative pot, or really any sort of container that has adequate holes on the bottom for drainage.

Another option, which we enjoy, are fabric smart pots which do not have holes, however, the entire container is made of a fabric mesh which allows proper drainage and aeration of the soil.

The Planting Process for Growing Citrus Trees in Pots

The actual planting process of our trees in pots is very straightforward, with standardized use of potting soil and watering and fertilizing schedules.

You can keep any citrus tree pruned back, but the Mandarin is naturally a smaller dwarf type variety which gets to be about 4 to 6 feet, but it will still produce an abundant harvest.

Step 1: Container for Mandarin trees

The keys to an appropriate container are having sufficient drainage through the material either being some sort of mesh cloth (SmartPots) or having a few holes on the bottom of your planter.

Secondly, the size of the pot should be at least 5 gallons, with our favorite size recommend being 15 gallons. We find that anything above 25 gallons is quite difficult to physically move with only one person. so we recommend 15 gallons as the sweet spot.

Step 2: Soil for Mandarin Trees

Choosing soil for your Mandarin trees is simple. All you need is any sort of potting soil. We do not recommend gardening soil or topsoil to use for container gardening. This is advantageous because even if you lived in a citrus growing region, you would have to take into consideration the type of soil.

For example, US Citrus is based in the Rio Grande Valley, and we have a wonderful sandy loam type soil which drains very well. Other types of soil such as different types of clay soils especially with limestone mixed in will have a very difficult time draining and this will adversely affect the root health of your tree.

With a standard potting soil for your container gardening, you do not need to worry about any of these factors. You also don't have to worry about the pH balance of the soil. We have just removed a large part of the headache of growing citrus by having all customers grow their citrus in containers and using any standard potting soil which is available at your local nursery garden center supply store.

Step 3: Watering for Mandarin Trees

Watering is crucial, typically when citrus is planted into the ground there is a worry of proper drainage and overwatering your tree. Citrus trees planted in the ground prefer to have their roots a bit on the dry side. We have found that if there is proper drainage in container gardening it is difficult to overwater citrus trees.

See our watering schedule for our citrus trees based on their size and the outside conditions.

The best way to figure out how much water your citrus tree needs is to actually look at the tree. If the leaves are wilted and dry, your tree needs more water. After watering, the tree’s leaves should perk up.

Overwatering Your Potted Citrus Tree

Overwatering is a possibility and we find that this especially happens when the trees are indoor and there's a garden saucer used underneath the pot. When there's a garden saucer there is impeded drainage, which is helpful while you're on vacation and cannot water your tree for a week, or when you have your trees indoors to prevent water seeping onto the floors and causing damage.

However, if trees are over-watered, the plant leaves will wilt and may turn a bit yellow and look sad. Watering more will not improve the condition of the tree obviously, and you will likely notice that the soil is waterlogged at this point.

Giving your tree a break by taking it outside if possible or letting the soil drain without a garden saucer in the bathtub for a day is a good solution. Afterward, you can adjust your watering schedule appropriately. Our watering schedule also has a section for indoor planting.

Step 4: Fertilizer for Mandarin Trees

Your Mandarin tree will need both macro and micronutrients, just like a human. The macronutrients that all plants need are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. You have likely seen fertilizers and soil which state three numbers together, this is the N – P – K system which shows the concentration and relative amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium respectively.

These machinations are very important for the development of the root system, the color of the leaves, appropriate photosynthesis, the growth of the trunk of the tree, proper flowering, fruiting, and taste of the fruit. See our blog article on nutrition for more information.

Micronutrients are also very important - think of these as vitamins for humans. They are needed much in smaller quantities and plants can have characteristic symptoms if they have a micronutrient deficiency. We will detail out micronutrients and symptoms of deficiencies in later articles.

However, our promise to you is that we make this simple. Between regular potting soil and the fertilizer we recommend, you will have all the macronutrients and micronutrients that your tree needs and a simple fertilizing schedule for easy and effective fertilizing when you get your tree and for every February, May, and August. See our fertilizer schedule below for amounts that we recommend.

Fertilizer Schedule

Ounces to use every Feb, May, and Aug

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3+

 

 

 

Miracle-Gro for Citrus, Avocado and Mango (13-7-13)

5

7

9

 Espoma Citrus (5-2-6)

10

14

18

Step 5: Sunlight for Mandarin Trees

Sunlight is crucial to citrus trees, especially citrus being a tropical plant. In most areas of the United States, you want to maximize sunlight with full sun exposure. If you are planting indoors, make sure that it has full sun next to the window, but we would also recommend having a grow light.

Citrus does best when it has six hours of sunlight a day. If the temperature is consistently above 90° especially for younger trees, there may be some wilting of the leaves. This wilting will reverse however and at this point, it would be advantageous to keep your tree by elementary and partial shade. 

Step 6: Winter Protection for Mandarin Trees

We recommend that under freezing temperatures, you move your citrus tree into a warmer area such as a garage or indoors for the entire winter. This point you can utilize grow lights for continued growth.

There is nothing more frustrating than losing years of work and future decades of fruit than losing your citrus tree to a freak cold-snap which occurred while you were vacationing out of town! Citrus can die with exposure to temperatures in the teens for even up to 12 hours. 

Step 7: Where Do I Buy My Mandarin Tree?

First of all, if you live in the states of California, Arizona, Louisiana, or Florida, you will need to purchase your citrus tree locally as citrus cannot be imported into your state because of USDA regulations.

Otherwise, go to uscitrus.com to buy your tree today!

Step 8: Harvesting your Mandarins

This harvest is late fall to early spring for Mandarin oranges.  

The Importance of Calcium for the Best Australian Finger Limes, Kumquats, Mandarins, Grapefruit, Oranges and Lemons

The Important of Calcium in Citrus Plants and Trees

Mani Skaria, Ph.D.

 

Introduction

 

Calcium is the most abundant mineral element in the human body., taking up 2% of the body weight. Our body needs 1000 to 2000 milligram calcium daily. Together with phosphorus, calcium provides structure and strength to bones and teeth.

The figure at the right is the symbol of Calcium, as per the periodic table. Ca = Calcium, 20 is the atomic number (number of protons), and 40.08 is the relative atomic mass (protons + neutrons). It is a hard metal. It is the 5th most abundant element in the earth’s crust.

It is a solid at room temperature. It was first made in Germany in 1669 by Henning Brandt. Elemental phosphorus exists in two major forms, white phosphorus, and red phosphorus. It is highly reactive; therefore, it is not found as a free element on earth.

 

A basic difference between plants and animals

Animals can move. Plants are sedentary.

When a physician advises on protein deficiency, the patient takes the information and makes corrective measures for themselves and even for their dependents, including pets. People and animals can move around. Whereas, most plant owners are not plant doctors; they have no clue that a plant needs food and water. As a plant doctor, I consider it an unforgivable sin.

 

Why citrus plants need Calcium

Here are the top reasons why citrus plants require Calcium:

  • It is the key component of cell walls
  • It regulates enzymes
  • It regulates plant hormones
  • Helps nutrient uptake
  • For leaf strength
  • Better fruit yield
  • For better fruit set
  • Helps fight root diseases caused by fungi
  • Helps reduce post-harvest fruit decay
  • Increase resistance to heat and cold stress
  • Increase fruit shelf life

 

How much Calcium is needed?

Calcium accounts for over 20% of a citrus plant's nutrient content. Citrus leaves contain 3-6% calcium in dry matter.

How do I know my citrus plant is suffering from Calcium deficiency?

  1. Trees lack vigor
  2. Trees defoliate
  • Poor root development and trees stunt
  1. Root system prone to fungal infections
  2. Fruit show albedo
  3. Fruit pitting, creasing, and splitting

 

Specific positive roles of adequate Calcium

  • Increase yield
  • Increase fruit weight
  1. Increase shelf life
  2. Fight diseases

How do I Protect my Australian Finger Lime, Calamondin, Kaffir Lime, Lemon and Orange Trees From Psyllids?

How to Protect Your Citrus from Psyllids

 Mani Skaria, Ph.D.

Founder & CEO, US Citrus, LLC

Professor & Citrus Scientist (Retired), Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Mani.skaria@uscitrus.com

 

Name psyllid comes from the word psylla means plant lice. The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), scientifically called Diaphorina citri is a pest and a vector that has caused a rapid decline of the citrus industry in the state of Florida.

Difference between a pest and a vector: A pest is a living organism that causes nuisance and competition for food and water. Insects, mites, weeds etc. are common pest found in your backyard. Pest can be numerously occupying a small area. A pest would be called a vector when it carries a harmful pathogen. For example, ACP is a pest when it has no harmful bacterium in it. Whereas, it is a vector also when it carries the bacterium that causes the greening disease (also, called huanglongbing or HLB. 

Psyllids

 

The adult ACP (top figure)

- Three to four millimeter long

- With a brown, spotted body

- Feeding position on leaves at an angle

- White, waxy secretions of the nymph is an indicator of ACP

 

All pictures: Source University of Florida and USDA-ARS.

 

The Nymph undergo five instars or stages; sizes range from 0.25 mm (1st instar) to 1.7 mm (5th instar).

See figure bottom.

Eggs are 0.3 mm, elongate, almond-shaped

One adult female lay about 800 eggs during its life of several months. It will take 15 to 50 days for a cycle.

Control (Non-chemical approach for homeowners)

  1. Cut off infected branches, carefully place them in a plastic bag, tie it and dispose of it. This will physically remove a lot of future adults
  2. Contact your local university extension department for sources of natural enemies such as syrphids, chrysopids, coccinellids, parasitic wasps such as Tamarixia radiata.
  3. The author has successfully controlled ACP infestations on his backyard citrus by dusting diatomaceous earth. (short-term strategy needs to be repeated).

Why Should Psyllids be controlled?

 

Apart from being a pest, psyllid is a vector of citrus greening disease or huanglongbing (HLB). This disease can make your tree useless as a patio plant, if you do not take control measures – ACP control and proper nutrition program for the tree to resist infection 

References

Halbert SE, Núñez CA. 2004. Distribution of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Rhynchota: Psyllidae), in the Caribbean basin. Florida Entomologist 87 (3).

Hall DG. 2006. A closer look at the vector: Controlling the Asian citrus psyllid is the key to managing citrus greening. Citrus & Vegetable Magazine 70 (5): 24-26.