Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits

- bitter orange">Exposure

Citrus fruits are evergreen plants of Asian origin; in the areas of origin they enjoy hot and humid summers and fairly mild winters, with minimum temperatures generally never below zero degrees.

For this reason, cultivation in Italy is widespread only in areas with a mild climate; lemons prefer winter temperatures not below -3 / -4 ° C, other citrus fruits, such as Kumquats, can bear even more rigid temperatures, close to -10 ° C.

To promote resistance to cold, citrus fruits can be grafted onto plants of Poncirus trifoliata, a rustic deciduous Rutacea: in this way Orange or Mandarin plants can also be grown in areas of Central Italy. In fact, the rusticity of some plants indicates only the minimum temperature at which they can survive: we want to remember that a rustic plant down to -10 ° C, survives without problems at this temperature only if reached gradually, after a period of a few weeks at low temperatures ; a sudden freeze, with sudden drops in temperature, can cause serious damage.

Furthermore, plants grown in cold climates do not always produce fruit, or sometimes yield poor or low quality crops. Even in Sicilian areas it can happen that sudden low autumn temperatures cause the loss of a large part of the harvest.

So let's grow citrus fruits in a sunny place sheltered from the wind, and, if we live in areas with severe winters, place them in a container, so that they can be moved to a cold greenhouse in case of very low temperatures, or remember to cover them with non-woven fabric during the winter.

- sweet limoncino flower">Cultivation

Citrus fruits grown for fruit are evergreen plants; they bloom in spring, and some species have a second flowering in late summer or autumn, the flowers are white and intensely perfumed; the fruits ripen in autumn and winter; there are many hybrids, with different flowering and fruiting periods, so that the production can cover many months. Most lemon hybrids have multiple blooms per year, so that lemon production can cover practically the whole year; moreover, while all citrus fruits must necessarily ripen on the tree, otherwise once harvested the ripening stops, in the case of lemons ripening continues even after harvesting.

They are fairly easy growing plants; they need soft and medium rich soil in organic matter, very well drained and not excessively clayey; generally two parts of peat are used, two parts of garden earth and one part of sand, adding a few handfuls of lapillus or pumice stone. All species, except the mandarin, do not have a rest period, therefore they need regular watering throughout the year: water abundantly, but avoid stagnation and always wait for the soil to dry well between watering and the other one.

Every 3-4 months let's add some mature manure or a slow release granular fertilizer to the soil; in the cultivation of citrus fruits lupine powder is used as a soil improver, which seems to guarantee excellent results, and is added to the soil in quantities of a few handfuls per square meter, every 3-4 months.

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- lemon flowers">Citrus fruits: botanical names

We list the botanical names most often used for citrus fruits commonly on the market; not all the names are certain, since not all authors agree in considering some species as original or hybrids. There are also numerous hybrids and cultivars of each species, with various names, such as the famous Tarocco or Navel oranges.

Citrus x sinensis: Orange

Citrus x limon: Lemon

Citrus maxima: Pummelo

Citrus medica: Cedar

Citrus aurantifolia: Lime

Citrus reticulata: Mandarin orange

Citrus x bergamia: Bergamot

Citrus aurantium: Bitter orange

Citrus x paradisi: Grapefruit

Citrus x nobilis: Mandarin

Citrus x clementina: Clementine (Seedless mandarin orange)

Fortunella margarita: Kumquat

Citrus myrtifolia: Chinotto.

Video: Citrus fruits u0026 fruits rich in Vitamin C - Wonder foods - 4