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Brighten Winter with Sunny Citrus

Who wouldn’t like an endless supply of sunshine, especially this time of year? Well, what if we told you that we knew where you could find a splash of sunshine all year round…that’s easy - citrus! Tuck citrus plants around your house in containers this winter and enjoy their evergreen beauty, sweet fragrance and mouthwatering fruit. Once warm weather sets in, move your citrus plants outside and enjoy them all summer long. Most citrus is hardy to 38°F, but we recommend keeping them indoors until late spring. Here's some of our favorite citrus plants to add a little sunshine to your home this winter:

Meyer Lemon - A cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, Meyer has a smooth golden, edible skin, and a high volume of juice but none of the bitterness of a regular lemon. This fruit adds a burst of lemon flavor without the sour bite. With a smooth, golden skin and lush, glossy leaves, this plant pulls double duty by yielding fruit and looking great. It produces small, fragrant flowers year round.

Satsuma Orange - Sweet, juicy mandarin oranges that are easy to peel and are virtually seed-free. Satsuma trees are small, reaching a height of 4 to 6 feet and are cold tolerant to about 26 degrees F. Satsuma trees will grow in the landscape or in containers. Fragrant white blossoms appear in March and April, with the fruit turning bright orange as it ripens in late October into the new year.

Calamondin Orange - Tasty cross between a tangerine and a kumquat. These dwarf orange trees produce fragrant flowers and a small 1-inch fruit. The fruit has a tart, acid flavor similar to a lemon or lime.

McDonald Tip: All citrus trees love sun, the more the better. Keep them near a sunny window during cold weather and let them vacation on your patio during summer months. Learn more about GROWING CITRUS IN CONTAINERS >

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Plants of the Week:

TRIED & TRUE LEMONS FOR HAMPTON ROADS

We love lemon so much, we couldn't select just one "plant of the week" this week... so you get TWO amazing plants! Tuck lemon plants around your house in containers this winter and enjoy their evergreen beauty, sweet fragrance and mouthwatering fruit! Once warm weather sets in, move your lemon plants outside and enjoy them all summer long. Most citrus is hardy to 38°F, but we recommend keeping them indoors until late sprint. Here's a couple of our faves for Hampton Roads:

Meyer Lemon
A cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, the Meyer lemon has a smooth golden, edible skin, and a high volume of juice but none of the bitterness of a regular lemon. This fruit adds a burst of lemon flavor without the sour bite. With a smooth, golden skin and lush, glossy leaves, this plant pulls double duty by yielding fruit and looking great. It produces small, fragrant flowers year round.

Ponderosa Lemon
A real conversation piece, the Ponderosa is a cross between lemon and citron. Sometimes called the Five Pound Lemon, the Ponderosa produces a gigantic, bumpy skinned lemon usually weighing 2-4 pounds! The flowers are intensely fragrant producing loads of huge lemons. Tasting sour like a typical lemon, the juice from one Ponderosa is enough for several pies.

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