Growing Winter Citrus – Donna Balzer -152Craig McManus
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Growing Winter Citrus - Donna Balzer - 152

In this episode we welcome Donna Balzer, an award-winning horticulturist, keynote speaker, and author with over three decades of experience in gardening. Donna's journey from her roots as a farmer's daughter with an agriculture degree to her current role as a media personality has equipped her with a wealth of knowledge in horticulture.

In our conversation, Donna shares her expertise on a fascinating topic: Growing Winter Citrus. Despite traditional beliefs, her method enables individuals to successfully grow citrus plants in regions typically unsuitable for them.

Donna discusses the challenges of cold weather citrus cultivation, emphasizing the importance of strategic location within the home

Drawing from her own experiences, Donna explores the resilience of certain citrus varieties to chilly temperatures and stresses the significance of excellent drainage and breathable root systems.

We delve into essential aspects such as watering practices, pest management in indoor environments, and the intricacies of pollination and fruit development under controlled conditions.

Throughout our discussion, Donna highlights that gardening is accessible to everyone, regardless of experience level. She introduces valuable resources like Lemon Camp—a collaborative platform fostering engagement and learning in the citrus gardening community.


Time Line

00:00 Introduction to the Garden Question Podcast

00:42 Meet Donna Balzer: The Expert Horticulturalist

01:06 The Art of Growing Winter Citrus

02:25 Understanding Cold Climate Citrus

03:10 The Ideal Environment for Growing Citrus

03:58 Common Mistakes in Citrus Cultivation

05:18 The Impact of Temperature on Citrus Growth

07:20 The Importance of Proper Drainage and Breathable Root Systems

13:29 The Pollination Process of Citrus Plants

20:41 The Flavor Difference in Homegrown Citrus

21:20 The Unique Thai Lime Story

23:08 Growing Citrus from Cuttings

28:04 The Importance of Fertilization in Citrus Growth

29:44 The Struggles of Indoor Plant Care

30:17 The Importance of Light and Fertilizer for Plants

30:51 The Magic of Worm Castings

31:05 The Journey of Making Homemade Worm Castings

31:43 The Benefits of Buying Worm Castings Directly from the Producer

32:40 The Exciting World of Online Gardening School

32:48 The Difference Between a Class and a Camp

34:30 The Global Reach of Online Gardening Camp

34:52 The Joy of Growing Your Own Food

38:31 The Importance of Understanding the Connection in Gardening

40:12 The Misadventures of Growing Strawberries

48:15 The Excitement of Starting a New Garden

50:17 The Love for Calamondin Orange

51:08 The Importance of Sharing the Love of Gardening

51:50 Conclusion: The Joy of Gardening from Two to Ninety-Nine