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I've just got a citrus fortunella margarita plant. I'm not sure how to care for it? Any ideas?



Hi, Judi - I hate to see an answer go unanswered, so I'll do my best. These plants (well the ones that go by this name here) are quite often seen here (Italy) as ornamental balcony plants and grown in pots. They are basically a hybrid, ornamental kumquat/mandarin fruit tree that is evergreen and bears white flowers and sometimes can have tiny prickles (so watch it!), and it is going to need special care. It needs lots of hot sunshine in summer and will need copious watering, and in winter will stand temperatures that go below freezing for short periods (no lower than -5°c), when you will only need to keep the soil moist. It will, especially if it's in a pot (the bigger the better) need feeding, and there is a special citrus plant liquid feed available here, which I'm sure you'll be able to find in the UK, too.
Do you have anywhere to bring it in for the winter? A greenhouse, porch, unheated conservatory? DON'T bring it into the house itself - it will die from too much warmth and lack of light.
Best of luck - Hope it survives and thrives for you. Welcome to GoY, and please let us know how you get on.

2 Apr, 2012

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