Sunday , June 25 2017
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Grapefruit

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The grapefruit trees grow well in a warm subtropical climate but they are also suitable to be grown indoor or a greenhouse. They will grow best in a place with full sunlight. Temperature differences affect the length of time from flowering to fruit maturity. Humidity contributes to thinness of peel, so a medium humidity is required. Low winter temperatures also may cause a thicker peel for the fruits that will appear in the following year and may even affect the fruit shape. Grapefruits can grow on a wide range of soil types but grow better in a soil that retains water yet drains well. In general, culture of grapefruit is similar to that of the orange, except that they need a wider space to develop well.

Grapefruits ripen slowly over an extended period, storing well on the tree after reaching edible quality, with fruit of a given cultivar harvested from early fall to midsummer. Store grapefruit at room temperature up to a week, or up to 8 weeks in a refrigerator. Leave at room temperature for a couple of hours before eating.

Propagation can be done from cuttings with heel or by sowing seeds. Cuttings can be taken in late summer. Seeds should not be allowed to dry out before sowing. Cover the pot and plant with a plastic bag secured by a rubber band. Place the pot in indirect sunlight or under a fluorescent light. Repot in its regular mix after it has been growing for a while. The plants obtained from seeds are slow in producing flowers and are generally used as stocks for grafting, which can be done early spring, using the splice method. New plants can also be obtained by layering the branches and by air layering, in early summer. Pinch back the plants and mist occasionally with warm water. Prune in the spring.

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Sweet Orange

Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) is a compact, evergreen tree, grown for its edible fruits. It  can grow up to 9 m tall and 7.5 m wide and might tolerate some light frosts. It is probably the most popular of all citrus trees. The leaves are elliptical to oblong-ovate, up to 10 cm long, with narrowly-winged petioles. The flowers are white, sweetly scented, hermaphrodite - have both male and female organs and appear in clusters at the tips of the branches. The plant is self-fertile. The fruits are round or ovoid, orange to reddish-orange in color. The juicy flesh is orange and fairly acid and can contain few or many seeds.

If you live in a cold area you can grow sweet orange trees in a greenhouse or indoors, as they make excellent container plants because their size can be easily controlled with container size and selective pruning.

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