Pushing the Zone, with Perennials

I suspect that you could push citrus to bloom and fruit in the summer and fall relatively easily. I have a Meyer lemon which always has blooms and fruit, regardless of the season. If anything, it seems to prefer summer and fall fruiting. If your citrus already has that trait, then it’s just pushing the zone.

Now, that’s an intriguing idea. How do you push citrus to fruit during the summer and fall?

Primarily forget to water it during the winter. :upside_down_face:

It usually has a dormant period in the early spring (meaning all the leaves fall off, and the first time I thought I’d killed it) then starts blooming once the leaves are established.

It is only a guess, but it seems to me that it might be sun and water related rather than seasonal. Mine always does better in the summer. In its natural habitat, winter is usually the cool rainy season, with the summers being hot and dry.

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Ahhhh. Well, I want to grow kumquats outdoors (right next to my house for warmth – kumquats are almost cold hardy enough for my zone, so I figure I can keep them alive if they’re right next to a warm wall), and winter is our “rainy” season, and I’m really stingy about water in summer, so . . . I guess that guarantees they’ll fruit in winter for me. :wink:

As long as they will actually live through the winter and successfully fruit, though, I don’t mind that idea. In fact, if it works, it might be really nice to have some fruit to pick during winter.

Get them to survive through the winter first. Let the plant figure out the fruiting piece.

Hey @Lauren and @UnicornEmily, I hope you don’t mind if I jump in here to ask if someone here is working with Eriobotrya japonica? I ask because the plant is hardy enough here in Switzerland, but also insists on blooming in winter, which means I will newer get fruit. I have some beautiful seedlings from supermarket fruit (from spain) and I know of some mature bushes in botanical collections etc. but I have newer seen fruiting bushes. Does anybody know what induces the flowering? I seem to remember having read about spring fruiting bushes, anybody know something about this?

The profiles say it’s hardy to zone 8, so zone 7 isn’t out of reach. I’ve never studied it, so I can’t answer your questions.

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I have posted this in another thread, but figured it belongs here as well: the description of Russia growing citrus in trench systems:


Loquat is definitely on my list of species to grow! I live in zone 7b, and they’re supposed to be hardy to zone 8a (sometimes more!), so I figure if I plant a lot of seeds, I can grow at least one living tree.

My thinking is that for the first generation, I’ll plant them against a wall for some extra protection. Once I get fruit, I’ll start planting the seeds from those fruits into open spaces, hoping to find some that are fine without any extra help. Once those fruit, it will be time to send seeds from those to people in colder zones. :smiley:

I’ve been told one of the challenges with loquats is that the seeds can’t be dried out; they need to be planted right away. That greatly increases the difficulty in sharing seeds with other gardeners. But as long as you know that, and arrange ahead of time to send seeds in moist packaging as soon as you have them, it can definitely be done.

A lot of tropical and subtropical trees are challenging to share seeds from because they can’t be dried out. (Pawpaws, mangos, ice cream beans – lots more.) But that’s just an added challenge, not a dealbreaker.


I’ve been told the same thing about other citrus, but I routinely plant seeds that have been dry for months or years and they come up fine. Lower germination, but that’s ok.

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Well, I did not know that and let them dry out. Of course I can’t say how my germination rates would have been, had I not done that, however, I was already quite happy with them.

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That’s good to know! So there must be some leeway. I’m glad!

Loquats are a pome, like apples and pears. They’re not in the citrus family. Which is potentially great news for people who want a citrusy flavor and can grow pomes more easily than citrus!

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