1 I am so fortunate to be able to grow citrus here in the Northeast. As long as temperatures are above 40-degrees Fahrenheit, dwarf citrus trees can be kept outdoors, but during colder months, I put them in this temperature controlled hoop house next to my Equipment Barn.
2 Citrus plants dislike abrupt temperature shifts and need to be protected from chilly drafts and blazing heaters.
3 To simulate the best subtropical environment, we try to keep the temperature in this greenhouse between 60 and 80-degrees Fahrenheit with some humidity.
4 This is a Nagami kumquat. Unlike other citrus fruits, which have thick, pithy rinds, kumquat peel is thin and soft, and perfectly edible. The peel is also sweet, compared to its rather tart flesh. Candied kumquats are delicious.
5 Calamondin, Citrus mitis, is an acid citrus fruit originating in China.
6 The fruits of the calamondin are small and thin skinned. Its juice can be used like lemon or lime to make refreshing beverages, or to flavor fish and various soups.
7 Citrus limon 'Meyer' - my favorite lemon because this thin-skinned fruit is much more flavorful than the ordinary store-bought. I love to use them for baking and cooking.
8 Meyer lemons are also smaller and more round than their regular store-bought cousins.
9 Citrus limon 'Ponderosa' or 'The American Wonder Lemon' - this plant produces a thick mass of highly fragrant flowers, which become tiny lemons. Those lemons get bigger and bigger, often up to five pounds!
10 This 'Ponderosa' citrus tree is usually the last pot to be stored in the hoop house before winter. I always keep it in the front just behind the doors when all my citrus plants are put inside.
11 Citrus sinensis 'Blood Orange.' I really love the fruits of this tree because its distinctive tasting flesh is purple rather than orange.
12 Citrus limon 'Pink Lemonade' trees produce fruits with pink flesh, and little to no seeds.
13 Another striped citrus variety I got from Florida.
14 Orange blossoms can be used to make orange flower water if the plants haven't been sprayed with any chemicals. The water can then be used in cooking and baking.
15 I keep two shelves of cymbidium orchids in this greenhouse. Unlike the more tropical orchid varieties, cymbidiums are native to the cool mountain regions of Asia and Australia.
16 Cymbidium orchids are loved for their pretty, long-lasting flowers. Here is one about to bloom.
17 I also keep a lot of clivia in this greenhouse. They are pretty large, heavy plants with long, arching leaves. They like to be root bound and can stay in their same pots for several years.
18 They are wonderful flowering plants, but the straplike, dark evergreen leaves also make it an attractive foliage plant when not in bloom.
19 I have several agaves, including this blue agave with its beautiful gray-blue spiky fleshy leaves.
20 This is a variegated agave.
21 And, another interesting agave variety.
22 Agaves are so beautiful, but keep them in low traffic areas, as their spikes can be very painful. And always wear gloves and eye protection when dividing because the sap can burn.
23 This is one of four bay laurel trees, Laurus nobilis, in this greenhouse. Native to the Mediterranean, it is one of the plants used for bay leaf seasoning. The leaves are commonly added whole to make Italian pasta sauces.
24 Another bay laurel - they are so elegant in these containers, and look great flanking a front or back door.
25 The bay laurels are dressed with sedum.
26 Towards the back of the greenhouse, I keep this tall pygmy date palm tree, Phoenix roebelenii. This tree grows to about 10-feet tall.
27 It is planted in a large container with another sedum ground cover.
28 I have two papaya trees. Papaya are easy to grow and quick to fruit - both have one or two fruits growing now.
29 The trunk of the papaya tree is a beautiful brown-gray color. It is soft with no bark and no branches.
30 A sapodilla tree - these tall elegant trees grow well in containers and provide delicious tropical fruits. It's also known as Chico sapote, Sapota, and Sapodilla plum.
31 These potted Crinum and Eucomis bulbs are drying out, so we placed the pots on their sides as a reminder not to water them.
32 These pots are dormant alocasia and colocasia - they will all come back with their impressive and stunning leaves in spring.
33 Camellia vernalis 'Yuletide' - such cheerful plants, especially during the dull, gray days of winter.
34 This is Duranta erecta 'Variegata' - also known as skyflower, or golden dewdrop.
35 I also keep a group of sago palms, Cycas revoluta. They are popular houseplants - pretty foliage and easy to care for, but keep them away from pets and young children, as they are also very toxic if ingested.
36 Sago palms are not palms at all - they are actually cycads, and one of the most common types used in landscaping. It is also known as king sago and palm cycad.
37 This hoop house has three large fans to provide better air circulation when needed.
38 The walls of the greenhouse can be rolled up for ventilation on really warm, summer days.
39 Dwarf citrus trees require at least eight to 12-hours of full sunshine and good air circulation to thrive. It was important to place them so none of them touched. Many of the pots are also on risers for ample drainage. You can also grow citrus indoors as long as you have a bright, sunny, draft free corner. Here are some tips. http://www.marthastewart.com/332326/how-to-grow-citrus-indoors