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Orange Tree in winter (and lemon!)

jamesunsworthjamesunsworth WiganPosts: 26
edited November 2020 in Fruit & veg
So, I've got an orange tree quite young still.

It's fruited this year and I can see the little green oranges coming along nicely, however these aren't going to stick around if I leave it outside in the garden, I know that much.

What have you done successfully to keep these oranges on the tree, letting them continue to grow ready to harvest (I imagine in spring/summer time???).

I can't put it indoors anywhere really, including the greenhouse.

Would be good to hear some successful methods people have done - mixed advice on a Google search, however I've seen horticultural fleece come up appt, albeit I've never actually used it 

I could also ask the same regarding my lemon tree - I took this from my wife's grandparents when they passed recently, so no fruit right now, but definitely want to keep it from dying!


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 24,333
    They are not frost hardy so if you can't fit them in the greenhouse you need to make them a tent of fleece which will protect them from the worst of the cold and keep them in a sheltered, south facing spot in the garden.

    I move my citrus plants from the south facing front steps to the polytunnel for winter and leave the doors open on all but the frostiest days as they tend to have flowers over winter and they need pollinating.   I have a Meyer lemon, limquat and yuzu and they can be in flower and fruit simultaneously over winter.   If it gets so cold (unlikely here) I need to keep the door closed, I'll pollinate them myself with a soft paint brush.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • jamesunsworthjamesunsworth WiganPosts: 26
    Thanks for the advice!

    So, if I pop some fleece over the tree, will the fruits continue to grow ok ready for harvest next year?

    Also, with the fleece, I'm assuming it's best to cover from the top and to the bottom of the pot? Or just the foliage at the top?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 24,333
    Not the pot but you could wrap that with bubble wrap to help keep the roots from freezing.

    For the fleece, try and make a tent using canes with protective tips (stops the fleece tearing) to hold the fleece just above the orange tree so it can make an area of warmer air without having cold, wet or frozen fleece touching the foliage, flowers or fruits.  Make sure the compost is moist and then peg down the fleece so it can't blow off.

    Whether or not the little fruits survive winter will depend on how cold it gets and also how well you have been feeding your plant so it has enough energy.  It will sacrifice fruits, then flowers then leaves to try and stay alive.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 3,494
    I put a lean to growhouse over mine I posted pictures  on another thread with a similar question to yours. I found fleece didn't work. Mine is a wooden frame "glazed" with twinwall polycarbonate.

    AB Still learning

  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,269
  • jamesunsworthjamesunsworth WiganPosts: 26
    Just to feedback on my SUCCESSFUL method for future people who have this question.

    I have a garage with an open back and its actually in a windy spot, albeit I like wind on the trees to thicken the stem.

    I literally placed the tree a foot inside the garage from the opening, everything went perfect!

    As a test, I left a lemon tree (maybe 2ft in height) outside in some terrible weather, snow, ice, icy winds etc - there's signs of growth and no damage to the lemon tree, although I'd be inclined to take it inside the same as the orange tree if possible.

    Ultimately, you just need the orange tree under cover, regardless of how close to 'out of cover' it is - my oranges stayed on the tree all throughout this harsh winter!
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