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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - August 03, 2009

From: Danvers, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Growing a non-native lemon tree in Central Illinois
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How to grow a lemon tree in Central Illinois? Which one would be the best to grow?

ANSWER:

How would we grow a lemon tree in Central Illinois? Well, we wouldn't, for several reasons. In the first place, Citrus limon, lemon tree, is thought to have originated in India, and is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicted to the use, care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. In the second place, we don't really think Danvers, IL qualifies as a tropical or sub-tropical area, do you? From Texas A&M Aggie Horticulture, here is an article on Home Fruit Production - Lemons by Julian W. Sauls.

At OnlineTips.org, we found this article Lemon Tree Planting Tips, where you can find suggestions for growing a lemon tree in a pot which can come indoors.  Here is an excerpt from that article:

"Lemon trees grow where temperatures get no colder than 60 degrees F."

Danvers IL is right on the line between USDA Hardiness Zones 5a and 5b, which means you have an average annual minimum temperature of -20 to -10 deg. F.  Frankly, we're not sure that your nighttime temperatures in the Summer would permit a lemon tree to survive.

 

 

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