There are some plants that unfortunately cannot stay outdoors in winter and must be brought to the winter quarters. Especially in the case of citrus plants, hibernation is an important task in order to be able to enjoy its fruits for years to come. My lemon trunk is already three years old and reminds me again and again of my former work colleagues, who gave me the subtropical plant for my birthday. So that this green memento will remain with me for a long time to come, and you too will continue to enjoy your citrus plants, here are the ultimate wintering tips.
The perfect time
There is no deadline for the hibernation of the citrus plants. Basically, you should leave the plants outside for as long as possible – in their natural environment they feel most comfortable and stay fit and healthy there. If sub-zero temperatures are announced, the bucket must be brought inside. But don’t panic, the lemon tolerates more than you think: short-term minus degrees (up to -2 degrees) can withstand such a plant. If it gets permanently cold, however, it quickly descends into the winter quarter.
The ideal location for hibernation
The rule of thumb is “the darker the location, the cooler it should be”. But not everyone has the optimal conditions at home. Here, plant lamps can support perfectly, because without light, no life!
Dark and cool location: This can be, for example, an unheated conservatory, the hallway, the garage or an unheated room in the apartment. The temperature should be constant between 5 and 12 degrees.
Bright and warm location: I have created exactly such a place with the help of my hibernation lamp: My basement compartment is relatively warm but very dark. But now the sun rises for the lemon every day, thanks to my new plant lamp especially for the wintering!
In a bright and warm location, the temperature should ideally be around 10 to 15 degrees and the lighting time around 8 hours. The warmer it is, the longer the lamp has to burn.
Don’t hibernate in the apartment: If you think “wonderful, i’ll get a plant lamp and put my citrus plants in the living room”, then I have to advise you against it. When temperatures are too high, the plants react by and form water shoots with thin little leaves. In the long run, the citrus plant would survive the winter in the living room only very poorly and would most likely not bear any fruit in the following year.
Light – the key to successful hibernation
In almost all locations that are suitable for a winter quarter, light comes in, but almost none of this is received by the plants through the window panes. They need special wavelengths. We are also talking about spectral colours. For us the light is white but in total there are six different spectral colors. Plants are more likely to be bluish and reddish. Each wavelength performs a different task. For hibernation we need mainly bluish light waves, so the resting phase of the plants is best supported – they should finally be allowed to rest. So make sure you get a special hibernation lamp. Mine is from Venso and available here.
The right care in the winter quarter
Before your citrus plant goes into hibernation, you can make a small shape cut. My specimen grows quite wild and I have removed some of the shoots. Fertiliser should be dispensed with completely in winter. The plants are now taking a break and need the full power to get started again in spring. You should only pour in moderation. Check every two weeks whether the earth is still moist. On this occasion you can also take a look at and under the leaves so that you can see a possible pest infestation in time.