Yes, citrus trees can be grown indoors

Garden Q&A

December 08, 2007|By Ellen Nibali and David Clement

Can I give blood orange, tangerine or other citrus trees as gifts, as long as they will be kept indoors?

Marylanders can successfully grow citrus trees as indoor plants, usually summering them outside. Each clay or wood container must be at least 20 inches by 30 inches with plenty of drainage holes in the bottom. Soil moisture is crucial, but citrus roots also need lots of oxygen. Water well when leaves begin to droop. Provide ample light. They do well in a southern-facing window or sunroom. In order to get fruit, hand-pollinate each flower with a small brush.

I saw discolored spots on my ornamental cabbage and found little fuzzy gray things under the leaves. Can this be from insects this time of year?

Unlike most aphids, cabbage aphids become active as weather cools. They huddle together, covered with a dusty wax coating, on ornamental or crop kale as well as cabbage. Spray with insecticidal soap. Consistent colder temperatures will stop them.

Ellen Nibali, horticulture consultant, works at Maryland Cooperative Extension's Home and Garden Information Center, and David Clement is the regional specialist. The center offers Maryland residents free gardening information. Call the center's "hotline" at 800-342-2507 or e-mail plant and pest questions through the Send a Question feature at hgic.umd.edu.

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