Table of contents:
Video: Pavlovsky Lemon: Growing On A Windowsill
Citrus garden in the apartment
- A little about the history of Pavlovsk lemon
- Lemon requirements for environmental conditions
- Lemon propagation
- Formation of young lemon trees
- Seedling care
- Lemon pests
- Lemon disease
The species of evergreen subtropical woody plants - lemon, orange, tangerine, citron, grapefruit, bigaradia (orange), pompelmus and others - belong to the botanical genus citrus, which is part of the orange subfamily, the Rutaceae family. In ancient Greece and Rome, the word "citrus" was understood as "an odorous plant."
Vitamin C in lemons is several times higher than in apples, pears and grapes. At the same time, lemon ascorbic acid is more resistant to destruction and can persist for a long time.
The culture of lemon in tubs has been known for over 2000 years. In Russia, the first lemon trees in rooms were grown in Ukraine even under Peter I.
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The value of citrus plants in indoor culture, especially in the regions of the North and the middle lane, is extremely high. They are decorative and, moreover, are powerful antibiotics.
All their organs - leaves, flowers and fruits - emit special volatile substances - phytoncides, which have a rather powerful antimicrobial activity. Therefore, the air in rooms where citrus fruits grow is not only enriched with oxygen, but also clean of pathogenic bacteria.
A citrus garden in an apartment, with proper care, can yield many healing fruits. Experience shows that in the middle lane, one 5-7-year-old lemon plant in indoor conditions bears 15-50 fruits per year, and in the south - 100 or more.
Currently, the indoor culture of Pavlovsk lemon is very popular.
The purpose of this article is to acquaint all those interested in indoor citrus plants with the history of the Pavlovian lemon culture, with its biological characteristics and form diversity. In addition, practical recommendations will be given on the cultivation of planting material, on the care of young and fruiting lemons, on the fight against their pests and diseases.
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A little about the history of Pavlovsk lemon
Indoor lemon culture in Pavlovo-on-Oka is more than 100 years old. Pavlovsk old-timers claim that several lemon cuttings were brought here by the merchant I. S. Karachistov from Turkey in 1860. He passed these cuttings to his relative E. D. Elagin, who began to propagate rare overseas plants. The inhabitants of Pavlov liked the lemon trees with golden fruits. They began to be grown in almost every house of Pavlovsk residents.
During the years of Soviet power, amateur culture began to play the role of a scientific and industrial problem: in 1935, the People's Commissariat of the USSR in the city of Pavlov created an industrial demonstration citrus farm and a base for the study and reproduction of Pavlovsky lemon. Currently, interest in this unique plant has not faded away, and Pavlovsk lemon is gaining more and more popularity, especially among indoor floriculture lovers.
What does this miracle plant look like?
Pavlovsky lemon grows in the form of a small bush or tree, reaching a height of 1-1.5 m, rarely 2 m. Bush-shaped plants usually consist of 2-4 trunks. The crown is round, 0.8-1.0 m in diameter, with branches hanging down. The bark on perennial branches is olive-gray in color with longitudinal cracks. It is green on young shoots.
Lemon branches have spines 1-2 cm long, pointed at the ends, widened to the base, 1.5-2 mm in diameter. But there are also forms without thorns.
The rhythm of annual growth of Pavlovsk lemon, characteristic of plants in the tropics and humid subtropics, is steadily maintained when grown in indoor conditions. The first period usually starts in late March and lasts until mid June. After a short dormancy, from the second half of June to July 15-20, a second wave of growth is observed, from about mid-September the third period begins, ending at the end of October. For a year, the shoots have a total growth of about 50-70 cm.
The leaves of Pavlovsk lemons are relatively large, up to 13-15 cm long, 5-8 cm wide. The shape of the leaf blade in various samples varies significantly: it can be oval, broadly oval, oval-oblong, obovate and broadly lanceolate. The base of the leaves is often wedge-shaped, with a long or short tip.
The serration of the edges of the plate at the base of the leaf is finer than at the apex. The surface of the leaves is glossy. The coloration is green and dark green. On the surface of the leaf and along its edges, small glands are scattered in which essential oils are produced. The leaf petioles are short, up to 1 cm long, of medium thickness, with a small groove. Forms with noticeably pronounced winging on the petioles are rare. Lemon leaves live for 2-3 years, and then fall off.
The condition of lemon trees can be judged by the degree of their foliage. The more healthy leaves a plant has, the better it grows and bears fruit. Observations have established that for each fruit in the crown of a tree, there should be at least 10 physiologically active leaves.
Lemons usually react strongly to changes in environmental factors such as moisture in the soil and ambient air and lack of nutrition. When the soil and air are dry, the trees often shed all the leaves, except for the apical ones. This further negatively affects growth processes, flowering and fruiting. Therefore, forced leaf fall should not be allowed. In the event that the leaves still fell off, you need to achieve quick foliage with the help of proper care.
The flowers are quite large, 2-3 cm in diameter, five-membered, bisexual, located in the axils of the leaves singly, in pairs or in small inflorescences with 3-8 flowers. Pavlovsky lemon is a self-pollinating plant.
By its nature, Pavlovsky lemon is an evergreen remontant plant, capable of forming flower buds under normal conditions and blooming throughout the year. This property is especially pronounced in some of its forms, both in indoor culture and in lemonaria. It is not uncommon for one tree to have ripe fruits, young ovaries, flowers, and buds at the same time.
However, Pavlovsky lemon blooms profusely in two periods: in spring - in March and April and in autumn - in September - October. Citrus fruits usually begin to bear fruit at an early age (2-3 years after rooting). However, early fruiting weakens them, worsens further development. Therefore, it is necessary to remove all the flowers that have appeared for two years, in the third year to leave 3-4 flowers, and in the fourth - to remove all underdeveloped and thin out the flowers sitting close to each other.
It is necessary to leave such an amount of fruits that can ripen, i.e. 1 fruit per 10 full leaves on a branch. Preference should be given to fruits sitting on short branches closer to the base. On a long branch, the fruit grows more slowly, it is pulled back, and it has to be tied to pegs or to an old lignified branch.
Do not weaken the plant with abundant flowering and the formation of ovaries, which will still fall off, especially in the early years of development. It has been established that of all the blossoming flowers on the tree, only 17% of the ovaries are ultimately preserved. The percentage of useful ovary in spring flowering is higher than in autumn-winter.
The fruits are set on a lemon plant usually 3-4 years after the cuttings have taken root. Higher yields in tub culture give 15-20-year-old plants. Fruits usually complete growth 8-9 months after flowering, with the ripening phase lasting 30-35 days. In apartments with insufficient lighting, the growth and maturation process can take up to 11-12 months.
It is interesting that the fruits not harvested in time can continue to develop for at least a year. They again acquire a green color, grow in volume, their skin thickens, the pulp becomes rough, and as a result, they lose their taste. Therefore, ripe fruits must be harvested on time.
Among the forms of Pavlovsk lemon, parthenocarpic, with seedless fruits, are often found. But more often there are 5-10 of them, less often there are fruits with 10-20 seeds or more.
Lemon requirements for environmental conditions
Lemon, as a southern plant, has increased requirements for light, heat, nutrition and moisture.
Shine. Citrus fruits are classified as plants with a short daylight hours, therefore, with a long daylight hours, their growth increases, and fruiting is delayed. Lemon does not like direct sunlight, so in summer lemons are shaded with gauze, paper, or removed from the windowsill onto a stand on the southern windows. In winter, it is useful to make the tree a highlight, this will allow it to continue ripening the fruits. The best place for a lemon is windows facing east, southeast, or west.
It is not recommended to take lemons out into the open air, since a sharp change in heat, light and air conditions can provoke the shedding of leaves, and they are a storehouse of nutrients for the formation of flowers and fruits.
Heat. Lemon is a very thermophilic plant. It is better to keep the temperature in the room at least 18-20 ° C. In winter, it is better to keep the tree at a temperature of 14-15 ° C. If in winter the temperature in the room is not lower than 18-20 ° С, then the lemons should be watered with slightly warmed water (30 ° С).
The fact is that the lemon root system needs the same regime as for the aboveground part. When the pot stands on the windowsill and cools, the roots are inactive and delay the flow of water to the leaves. Leaves evaporate the more moisture, the higher the air temperature in the room. This mismatch can lead to shedding of leaves and fruits.
Humidity. Lemon is picky about soil moisture, especially air. Do not over-water the lemon plant, especially when it is young. Then the most active roots die off from lack of air. But drying out of the earth can cause the leaves to drop. Therefore, it is best to maintain a moderate hydration regimen.
It is also important to avoid dry air in the room. Humidity should be maintained at 60 - 70%. From excessive dryness, lemons can shed their leaves, flowers and even fruits. Therefore, it is useful to spray them with clean water 1-2 times a week, put a plate of water under the crown and regularly ventilate the room. Experienced craftsmen advise moistening the stalk (the place where the fruit joins the branch) with water.
Thus, in addition to natural abscission, the ovaries can crumble: with a lack of nutrients and moisture in the soil, at too high a temperature, excessive dry air, when watering plants with cold water, cooling the root system in winter.
Lemon propagates by seeds, grafting (budding), semi-lignified cuttings or air layers.
Plants grown from seeds do not bloom soon, after 10-15 years. To bring the time of entry into the fruiting season closer, you need to plant a seedling. To do this, you need to take a peephole, that is, a bud with a part of bark and wood from a well-fruiting lemon. Budding is carried out in April - May. The grafted lemons will bear fruit in the third year.
The main and most affordable way of breeding Pavlovsky lemon is rooting by cuttings. Plants grown in this way do not need to be grafted. Cuttings can be taken throughout the spring-summer period. But spring cuttings (March, April) root better.
In spring grafting, the cutting is taken from the autumn growth, in summer - from the spring. Cuttings are cut with a sharp knife. They are taken from healthy and fruit-bearing trees, and they are cut from branches at least 25 cm long; flowers are formed on shorter shoots. The stalk should be 4-5 mm thick, 10-12 cm long. Each stalk should have 4-5 mature leaves, the bottom two should be cut off, the top two should be left or cut in half. It is better to cut off those branches whose wood has not yet hardened and which are easily bent.
From a normally developed plant at the age of 4-5 years, up to 5 branches can be cut painlessly for it; at the age of 6-7 years - up to 20; at the age of eight - up to 30 branches. The lower cut is made 0.25 cm below the kidney, and the upper one - 1 cm above the kidney. Slices are made at an angle.
It is best to treat cut cuttings with growth solution. To do this, they must be lowered for 16-20 hours in a heteroauxin solution, made at the rate of 0.1 g per 1 liter of water, or in a solution of indolylbutyric acid - 25-50 mg per 1 liter of water. Further, before planting, the lower cut of the cuttings is powdered with crushed charcoal.
If there are no growth substances, then the cuttings, having covered them with charcoal, are immediately planted in a flower pot or a box of sand. Landing is done at a right angle to a depth of 1-1.5 cm; feeding area - 5x5 cm. The cuttings are covered with a glass jar or film. This shelter helps to create increased air humidity above the cuttings. The temperature must be maintained at 18-23 ° C, at a higher temperature (20-25 ° C), the greenhouses are ventilated.
On the 10-15th day, the cuttings have small roots. At temperatures below 18 ° C, this process slows down. Plants are kept under the jar for 1.5-2 months in diffused light. After that, they must be accustomed to indoor conditions. To do this, the bank is removed every day for an increasingly long time.
Rooted and "accustomed" cuttings are transplanted into a clay pot with a capacity of 0.25-0.5 liters. When planting, the roots are not pinched: there is mycorrhiza at their ends. If the roots are longer than the can, they must be curled in a ring or spiral at the bottom, sprinkling each curl with an earthen mixture.
Lemon planting scheme
A layer of broken brick 1-1.5 cm thick is placed on the bottom of the pot - for better air flow to the roots and for water drainage. At home, brick can be replaced with pieces of charcoal. Coarse river sand is poured onto the brick with a layer of 1-2 cm. The composition of the earthen mixture for lemon includes: 50% turf (or garden) land, 20% manure humus, 20% leaf humus, 10% river sand.
Plants are planted in a pot 1 cm deeper than in a greenhouse (see Fig. 1). In the figure, the fit on the left is correct, and on the right is incorrect. Then the plants are watered with water at room temperature and placed in diffused light.
Formation of young lemon trees
When the seedling takes root, the pot with it is placed in a permanent place in the room. It is not recommended to move the lemon plant often or turn it sharply: this may change the light regime of the leaves. Each lemon adjusts to its location, forming shade and light leaves. Therefore, the lemon can only be turned clockwise no more than 30 ° C 1-2 times a month.
The decorativeness of a lemon tree depends on how its crown is formed. The buds located in the leaf axils do not start growing at the same time and give shoots of various lengths. By pinching the shoots, it is necessary to induce the growth of branches in the desired direction.
The branches growing from the buds in the leaf axils of the rooted cutting will be first-order branches. Of these, 3-4 are chosen evenly spaced to form the future skeleton of a tree. The rest of the shoots should be removed. The branches of the first and all subsequent orders are pinched after 4-5 leaves.
Lemon crown formation diagram
The formation of the crown of young plants ends with branches of 4-5 orders of magnitude (see Figure 2). When plants propagate by cuttings, it is good to form a crown in the form of a bush. The grafted lemons are shaped like a tree. In this case, the shoot growing after inoculation is tied to a peg so that it grows straight. Curly crowns in the form of bowls, pyramids are also possible, there are trellis forms of crowns (branches grow only in two opposite directions).
In some cases, well-rooted strong plants will flower in the first or second year of life. These early emerging flowers must be removed without waiting for the buds to open: a lot of nutrients are consumed for flowering. You can leave the first flowers only on a 3-4-year-old tree. Also, do not leave a large number of lemons on plants that have just entered fruiting; this can adversely affect the further growth of trees.
An important place in the care of seedlings is taken by proper watering, feeding and temperature conditions. In summer, plants are watered daily, and sometimes twice a day - in the morning and in the evening, in winter - in the morning and rarely: 1-2 times a week and only with warm water, preferably snow or rain.
When watering with cold water, the soil turns sour and the roots rot. Tap water contains chlorine, which is harmful to citrus fruits. Therefore, before watering with this water, it must be defended for at least a day. Hard well water is not suitable for irrigation, boiled water is also not suitable (there is no soluble oxygen in it). It is better to take water from a river or pond, if possible.
The lighting mode for young lemons is the same as for fruiting lemons. With a decrease in the room temperature, a decrease in the light intensity is also permissible.
Young plants are sprayed when they are just adapting to the conditions of the room. In dry air, frequent spraying with clean water delays leaf fall, increasing humidity. When the plant adapts to life in the room, it is enough to spray it once a week.
Top dressing. Potting soil provides the lemon tree with nutrients for about 3-4 months only. In the future, the plant begins to experience hunger. The color of the leaves turns light green and they begin to curl around the edges.
From February to September, lemons should be given liquid fertilizing. A mixture of mineral fertilizers is suitable for them at the rate of 2 g per liter of water.
You can apply each of the mineral fertilizers separately. Nitrogen fertilizers such as ammonium nitrate -2-5 g per liter of water are used to enhance growth. Young plants need elements such as phosphorus and potassium for further development, flowering and ripening of fruits.
Potassium starvation can be determined by the death of the leaf from the top along the edges, and then by yellowing between the veins. It must be remembered that potash fertilizers containing chlorine are not suitable for fertilizing citrus fruits. They must be replaced with sulfates.
Biennial plants are fed with phosphorus-potassium fertilizers twice a month: 3-5 g of superphosphate and 3-5 g of potassium salt per 1 liter of water. Before feeding, plants are watered with clean water, this protects the root system from burns. One watering consumes 150-300 g of solution per plant.
In the spring-summer period, nitrogen and potassium fertilizers are applied every 10 days, superphosphate 1-2 times a month, in winter the plants are fed once a month.
It is good to use bird droppings for feeding at the rate of 1 part of droppings to 20 parts of water. Lemon is very responsive to feeding with slurry, but it must be diluted 15 times. It is also useful to apply foliar dressing - spraying with a solution of boric acid (0.5 g of boric acid per 1 liter of warm water). Spraying can be done with a brush. Lime-phosphorus-potassium fertilizers include wood ash. The dose of ash is 1 teaspoon per 1 liter of water.
With the combined use of mineral and organic fertilizers, the rates should be halved, but it is best to alternate their application.
In addition to basic nutrients, trace elements are also needed in concentrations of 0.001%. These include: boron, manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, molybdenum. Boron promotes better fruit setting and retention on the tree.
Pink manganese solution stimulates tree growth. With a lack of iron, chlorosis of the leaves occurs, they become pale yellow. To prevent this disease, lemons are poured with iron sulfate - 1-2 g per 1 liter of water. Watering is carried out several times at intervals of 5-6 days.
Feeding with microelements does not replace basic fertilizers, but only supplements them. Stores have complete micronutrient fertilizers or pure micronutrient tablets. One tablet should be dissolved in 10 liters of water. Microelements are introduced 1-2 times a year in spring and autumn.
Transfer. The best time for this operation is from March to May. Intensively growing seedlings are recommended to be replanted annually, provided that the entire earthy lump is braided by roots. This can be determined by the root visible from the drainage hole.
Lemon is mainly used for transshipment, not transplantation. It is necessary to replant it only if the earth is acidic and it must be completely replaced. At the same time, rotten roots are cut off from the tree to a healthy place, increased drainage is made, new soil is poured and a lemon is planted in it. The pot does not need to be changed, since the size of the root ball has decreased as a result of trimming.
When transshipment, a clod of earth entwined with roots is not disturbed, but only an earthen mixture is added to it. There are two rules to follow:
1. The root collar of the lemon should be at ground level or covered by more than 1 cm. At greater depth, the collar rots, the bark vomits and the plant may die.
2. The new pot should be 1-2 cm larger than the old one. If it is too large, the roots will not have time to absorb the moisture of the earthy coma. This will lead to acidification of the soil or fattening of the shoots, which will delay fruiting. In this case, the transshipment is not done until the roots reach the walls of the pot and the lemon blooms.
Before transshipment, an earthen mixture is prepared in advance and poured onto the drain, laid at the bottom of the pot (see Fig. 3). After that, remove the previously abundantly moistened lump with the plant from the old pot. To do this, with your left hand, grip the stem of the lemon at the root collar between your fingers, while holding the ground with your palm, turn the plant down and knock the edge of the pot on a hard object.
After removing the pot with the right hand, they examine the earthen lump. If it is still weakly braided by roots, then they refuse to transship, and the lemon is carefully planted in the same pot. These movements must be done carefully, trying not to damage the mycorrhiza at the ends of the roots.
If, nevertheless, transshipment is necessary, then the top layer of the earth (to the roots) is removed from the clod of earth. Then drainage is removed, all blackened rotten roots are cut off and the plant is transferred to a new pot. The distance between the lump and the walls of the pot is filled with earth and tamped so that there are no voids left.
The ground level should be 1-1.5 cm below the edges of the pot (see Fig. 1). Next, the plant is watered abundantly with water at room temperature. You cannot feed them until they are fully established.
Shield. Top covered with a dark brown shield. It is fixedly attached along the veins of the upper and lower sides of the leaf, and with strong reproduction also on the shoots. Against the scabbard, you need to very carefully wash all the stems and leaf blades of the plant with a toothbrush and a knitted rag with one of the solutions:
- Chlorophos - from 30 to 100 g per 10 liters of water;
- Anabazine sulfate - 30 g per 10 liters of water plus 40 g of green or laundry soap;
- Karbofos - 30 g per 10 liters of water;
- Soap-kerosene emulsion - 10 g of kerosene and 5 g of soap per 1 liter of water, the solution is thoroughly mixed;
- Onion gruel (grated);
- Infusion of garlic (3 medium cloves per 1 glass of water; leave for 1 day in a sealed container);
- Infusion of bitter red pepper;
- Washing powder solution;
- Tobacco infusion (one part of tobacco or tobacco dust is added to 10 parts of boiling water and left for a day in a sealed container), soap with the addition of denatured alcohol.
Plants are washed 3-4 times every 7-10 days. In addition, the lemon must be carefully examined daily, pests must be removed and the place treated with one of the specified solutions.
In order to avoid sunburn, the washed plants are not left in the sun. Make sure that the solution does not fall on the ground. The used rag or brush is burned.
Aphid. The insect is greenish yellow. It settles on the young tops of citrus shoots, sucking the juice out of them. In the fight against aphids, you can use any solution used to destroy the scabbard, or sprinkle the plant with strained tobacco infusion (see above).
Scented geranium is an aphid repellent.
Spider mite. Starts up in a dry room at high temperatures. Appears on the underside of a leaf, entwining it with a thin web and sucking out the juice. Damaged leaves turn pale and fall off.
To combat a tick, the same means are used as in the fight against a scabbard. Plants are daily sprayed with infusions of yarrow, tobacco, onion husks, garlic, potato tops, horse sorrel, dandelion, especially the underside of the leaves.
In the soil of indoor lemon, earthworms and small insects - puffs, which cannot be attributed to its pests, often appear.
Earthworms. They do not harm the roots. But sometimes they accumulate a lot, and they can close the drainage hole and make it difficult for excess water to drain. The soil will acidify, the roots may rot and the plant will die.
Earthworm control measures:
- A pot of lemon is slowly lowered into water heated to 40-50 ° C, while the worms crawl to the surface and collect them.
- Water the soil with an aqueous solution of potassium permanganate (pink);
- A mustard solution is used (a teaspoon of powder per liter of water).
Puffs are small white jumping fleas. Their appearance is a sign of excessive watering. Measures to combat podura:
- Water lemons less often, but more abundantly; the soil must be loosened frequently.
- After drying, sprinkle the soil surface with wood ash or pyrethrum dust.
Usually, the appearance of pests is accompanied by a plant disease caused by these pests.
Hommosis is a disease similar to gum flow in stone fruits. Causes of the disease: improper planting of the plant, lack of drainage, excessive application of nitrogen fertilizers and insufficient application of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers, mechanical damage to lemons, fungal and insect damage. Control measures:
- Eliminate content flaws.
- Wipe the place where the bark is cracked with sorrel.
- Clean the wound to a healthy layer, disinfect with a 3% solution of copper sulfate and coat with garden varnish.
- Sprinkle or rinse the tree with Bordeaux liquid.
Sooty fungus. It settles on the secretions of scale insects, complicates the assimilation and respiration of plants. Control measures:
- Destruction of the shield.
- Thorough ventilation of the room.
- Two or three times spraying or washing plants with 1% Bordeaux liquid.
In conclusion, I would like to note that even among inexperienced lemon growers, plants sometimes give a rich harvest. It's just that the owner loves this plant, which means he tries to provide him with all the conditions for growth and fruiting, and the tree responds to him with its beautiful decorative appearance and a good harvest.
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