Well… grove might be an exaggeration, but we do have a Meyer lemon and lime tree that we love.
Purchased from Stutzman’s Greenhouse several years ago, we’ve managed to keep our citrus alive, healthy and steadily producing over the years. Kansas is not friendly to citrus, so it’s indoors in the cool weather months and outdoors in the warmer months.
A little tickling of the leaves helps the citrus plants pollinate when indoors. Plus a room with sunshine helps them continue to grow during the winter.
And the smell… when the citrus trees are blooming, it’s intensely sweet and aromatic. Our Italian Greyhounds have figured out the flowers that drop are sweet, so they keep the floor clear of these.
Not all the fruit that develops makes it to maturity. If this were the case, the limbs would break from the overload of lemons and limes. So the trees shed what’s necessary to stay vital, and they produce amazing citrus every year. It’s enough to keep us in fresh, organic lemons and limes all year. (We freeze the juice and zest in small amounts (ice cube size), making it quick and convenient to use anytime.)
The moral of the story? Don’t let anyone tell you that citrus trees don’t grow in Kansas, because they do! It just takes a little extra TLC to keep them warm, comfortable, and growing all year round.
“Trees and plants always look like the people they live with, somehow. . .” — Zora Neal Hurston, American Author & Anthropologist
Do you have gardening questions? Ask our experts in the comments section below. They’d love to share their knowledge with you!