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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lighten up, celebrate and frost proof

Frost is not predicted along the coast of So Cal this week, it just feels like it's freezing. But if you are the proud possessor of a giant sugaro, a cereus aethiops or even a c. hildmanniansus v. montrosa 10 feet tall that only a mother could love ......
 If you wind small Christmas light  strings around the columns, the heat from the light will raise the temperature  enough to protect these tall succulents from being scarred by cold. I didn't make this up. Searching for something positive to do  about a 10 year old Key Lime growing in a pot which  has shed its leaves in a fit of pique when the temperature dropped into the 30s recently, found this link to UC Davis.
 This tree and I have a history, not all of which is good. For years it refused to bear, though it was surrounded by bearing tangerines, oranges and a grapefruit. Well, maybe it needs a hotspot?  Moved  onto a SW facing wall where it gets full afternoon sun. . Ah--that was it. The Key Lime flowered, and bore limes. Not enough limes for a favorite recipe for Key Lime Pie which calls for 6 eggs and a lot of lime juice, but 3 limes, a first. Now this.
I turned to the authorities. http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8100.pdf    If Christmas lights are good enough for UC Davis they ought to work on my surly Citrus aurantifolia.( He  ---Limón mexicano is masculine---wants it known that he is  out of his comfort zone and  Limón mexicano and Key Lime are the same sour lime.) http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=27

He's getting festooned, stay tuned.

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