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8 of the 10 warmest years on record in Columbia have happened in the past 20 years, but Climate Change isn’t good news – even for warm loving plants.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Citrus were once a fruit that didn’t have a chance in the Midlands of South Carolina, but many gardeners are having luck in recent years. Temperatures are trending warmer across the Midlands, and across the world; however, this climate shift doesn’t necessarily make growing cold-sensitive plants any easier in the Southeast US.
There are hundreds of varieties of citrus available to grow. Each variety has different cold tolerance and ripening times. The fruits come in a variety of different shapes, colors, and flavors. Many citrus are frost sensitive and ripen in the winter. Just one cold morning can make it difficult to reap the fruits of an entire year of labor.
I planted an Owari Satsuma Mandarin in Gandy’s Garden at WLTX because it’s one of the most cold tolerant and early ripening citrus available. The Midlands has a history of getting too cold on occasion for even this citrus variety, so I decided it’d be a great indicator of how warm our winters are getting.
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