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Citrus Tree — Plant Care Guide 101

Citrus Tree — Plant Care Guide 101

Citrus Trees are available in many different varieties as there are many plants that are classified as citrus plants. 

These plants are available in many different colors, and they can bring a unique scent into your home and make it more vibrant.

Citrus Trees are often found in hardiness zones nine, ten, and eleven. Citrus Trees are native to East Asia, South Asia, Australia, and Melanesia.

 

 

Citrus Tree Care

Citrus Trees require watering at least once or twice a week. They also need sunlight for up to 8 or 12 hours a day. If you’re growing them indoors, ensure the room’s humid enough as citrus trees love humid areas. Prune them regularly, and use the cuttings to propagate them with the T-bud method.

 

Soil

Citrus Trees thrive in sandy loam soil but can grow in any well-draining soil. 

However, you should avoid soil that has a lot of salt in it or is highly dense. Avoid overly wet soil as it can lead to root rot.

Do not add compost into the potting mix or any other organic matter around your Citrus Trees. Things that retain excess moisture should be kept away from your Citrus Trees.

 

Water

In order for your Citrus Trees to grow juicy and plump fruits, it is important to water them well. 

When you plant a new Citrus Trees, make sure you water it two to three times a week during the first year of its growth. 

Once a year passes, you can start to water your Citrus Trees once or twice a week. The soil should never completely dry out around your Citrus Trees.

But the top one or two inches can remain dry so that your Citrus Tree is not over-watered.

 

Light

Citrus Trees need direct sunlight throughout the year. Provide your citrus trees with all the light you can expose them to. 

Try to provide your Citrus Trees with at least eight to twelve hours of sunlight per day.

If you live in northern areas where it is not sunny, then it will be better for you to get grow lights. Grow light can help fulfill the needs of your Citrus Trees.

 

Temperature

Citrus Trees grow well in 64°F (18°C) temperatures in the morning. But at night, it needs to be kept in temperatures ranging from 41°F (5°C) to 50°F (10°C). 

This plant is not frost-resistant and can easily get damaged if temperatures drop below 50°F (10°C).

 

Humidity

Citrus Trees like to be kept in humid environments. Thus, you should try to place your plant in rooms that have natural humidity. This can be your bathroom or even kitchen.

You can also buy a humidifier or place your Citrus Tree on a pebble tray. Misting the plant occasionally can also increase its humidity levels. 

Generally, try to keep the humidity levels close to 50%

 

Fertilizer

Citrus Trees needs to be fertilized during the following months:

  • March
  • June
  • August
  • November

Fertilize this plant every 3 to 4 months. You should use a citrus fertilizer for every age of the plant. The fertilizer should be applied near the drip line of your Citrus Tree.

Do not put the fertilizer right next to the tree trunk. Slow-releasing fertilizers also work well. 

If you use slow-releasing fertilizers, then the number of times you fertilize your plant will decrease.

 

Repotting

Citrus Trees need to be repotted in spring before they start growing actively. They can even be repotted during summertime. 

Citrus Trees do not need to be repotted every year.

You should inspect your plant regularly to see any sign of repotting. If your Citrus Tree roots are growing around the edge of the pot or from the drainage holes, this indicates that the plant needs repotting.

Generally, Citrus Trees need to be repotted after every four years.

Learn how to repot Citrus Trees with these steps:

  • Find a suitable pot for your plant’s size. The pot needs to be at least twenty-five percent bigger than the old pot and should have proper drainage holes.
  • Cover the pot’s bottom with broken pot pieces. This will allow for proper drainage. This step is essential if you do not want your Citrus Tree to become waterlogged.
  • Choose a good potting mix that has seramis granules and loam-rich soil.
  • Remove your Citrus Tree from its existing pot, do this gently. Then place it in a new pot. Before you place the Citrus Tree into a new pot, remove any brown colored roots
  • Fill the pot up with a good soil mix and make sure the roots are covered with at least 1 inch of potting mix.
  • Water the plant and keep it under light shade to let the roots settle in again.

 

Pruning

Citrus Trees require regular pruning like any tree. But it does not require as much pruning as other plants. 

You should prune your Citrus Tree when:

  • You want to remove leggy branches and suckers.
  • There is freeze damage that must be removed.
  • Your Citrus Tree has grown bigger than your preference.

 

Propagation

Propagation of Citrus Trees is not simple as these plants have strong trunks. However, they can still be propagated through the grafting T-bud method. 

To learn how to T-bud graft, follow these steps:

 

Step 1: Gather your tools

You will need to get a budding tape and sharp knife.

 

Step 2: Collecting Budwood

This is the first step in propagating Citrus Trees. You should do this during the growing season between April and November. 

You need to collect hardened twigs that have buds on them and whose barks have hardened.

Don’t collect soft cutting from your Citrus Tree’s most recent growth. They need to be at least a foot long, and you should place these in a bag. Make sure to store this bag in a fridge.

They can even be stored for up to three months if necessary. If you are a beginner at grafting, then collect extra budwood so that you have a backup in case you make any mistakes.

 

Step 3: Select a rootstock

This can be a rootstock from any Citrus plant that you want to grow. The best rootstocks are those that are disease-resistant and hardy. 

One of the most popular rootstocks is from a variety called Trifoliate Orange.

 

Step 4: Prepare the rootstock for grafting

Use a knife to cut the bark of the rootstock at a vertical angle. 

This should be a one-inch deep cut, and this should be done six inches up from the ground.

 

Step 5: Get the bud ready

Use a knife to cut the bud off of the budwood along with at least one inch of the wood as well. Make sure both wood and bark are included in the cut.

Smooth edges heal the best, so make sure your cut is as smooth as possible.

 

Step 6: Finish the graft

Put the citrus bud under the flaps that you created within the bark of the rootstock. Make sure it is inserted fully. 

The purpose here is to make a connection between the green and cambium layers so that the nutrients can flow well through the roots.

 

Step 7: Wrap the bottom and top with a budding tape

This budding tape will hold everything together as the graft heals. This tape should be wrapping the top and bottom sides of the new graft. 

Do not cover the bud and remove the tape within a month.

 

Step 8: Train

Once the new bud has started to push out a few more inches from the new growth, simply proceed to train the tree on how to grow upwards. 

This will make the Citrus Tree grow much faster as compared to a seed.

 

Blooms

The number of blooms or the type of bloom a Citrus Tree grows depends on the type of citrus plant it is. 

Generally, Citrus Trees that grow smaller fruits often grow the most blooms; lemons and limes are good examples. These two plants can produce blooms four times a year.

 

Growth

Citrus Trees grow to different heights depending on what kind of citrus plant it is. The average size for grapefruit and orange trees is eighteen to twenty-two feet tall. 

Dwarf Citrus Trees can grow eight to twelve feet tall.

 

Common Problems for Citrus Tree

 

Rodents

Pocket gophers love to eat the roots and bulbs of young Citrus Trees. They can be gotten rid of through two ways, one is box traps, and the other is Maccabee traps. 

Poison baits can also be used, but if you have a pet at home, then this is not recommended.

Moles are another rodent that can damage the roots of your Citrus Trees. 

They don’t eat anything from Citrus Trees, but since they dig the soil for insects such as earthworms and larva, they can damage the roots. To get rid of moles, the use of harpoon traps is advisable.

Gray Diggers or more commonly known as Ground Squirrels, will grow roots and bark. They even climb trees to get the fruits and nuts of your Citrus Trees. 

You can control these rodents by using baited box traps.

These traps need to be placed near burrows, and anticoagulant poison bait should be placed inside the burrows. 

Metal guards can also be used around tree trucks to prevent these Squirrels from climbing them.

These issues usually occur when you plant your Citrus Trees outdoors. Indoors these rodents are less likely to show up unless you leave a window or door open.

 

Birds

Birds are a natural part of nature. However, they can often pick on the fruits present on your Citrus Trees. 

To stop birds from picking on your Citrus Trees, you will need to use a screening or netting material.

This screen or netting must be tied to the tree truck in order to keep birds away. 

You can even place owl statues near your Citrus Trees or even cat statues to keep birds away. Flexible snakes can also be used.

 

Botrytis Rot

Botrytis is a fungus that can infect and kill the young shoots on your Citrus Trees. 

These can develop on your Citrus Trees leaves when there has been an excessive amount of rainfall or when you’ve over-watered your plant.

The only way to control botrytis rot is by pruning the infected parts of your plant. Once you have pruned your Citrus tree, take all the infected leaves that you cut off and burn them.

You can also bury the infected leaves in soil, but it should be buried at least a foot (31 cm) deep.

 

Tips for Growing Citrus Tree

Citrus Trees come in many different varieties, and the care for each type of Citrus plant can vary. 

Here are some basic steps you can follow to grow the best Citrus Trees:

  • Provide your Citrus Tree with direct sunlight for up to eight or twelve hours a day.
  • Always keep the soil moist.
  • Water your newly planted Citrus Tree 2 to 3 times a week. Once they grow a little, water them 1 to 2 times a week.
  • In the morning, keep your Citrus tree at 64°F (18°C) temperature. At night keep it in temperatures ranging from 41°F (5°C) to 50°F (10°C)
  • Fertilize your plant every 3-4 months.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Citrus Tree

 

Do Citrus Trees grow best under direct sunlight or partial shade?

Citrus Trees grow best under direct sunlight. This should be provided to them for at least eight to twelve hours a day. If your area does not have enough direct sunlight, consider getting grow lights.

 

Can Citrus Trees grow under partial shade?

Citrus Trees can grow under partial shade, but the fruits they bear will be small. They won’t flower as much either, and thus, the production of fruits also reduces.

 

Which Citrus Trees grow the fastest?

How fast a Citrus Tree grows depends on the amount of care it is given. Generally speaking, Meyer Tree (Lemon Tree) grows the fastest. 

 

Conclusion

Citrus Trees come in many different varieties, and they can really brighten up your house. These plants also bring the added bonus of making your home smell amazing since they have a strong smell.

Citrus Trees were once mostly grown outdoors, but over time they have now even become indoor plants. 

Adding Citrus Trees to your plant collection will create an esthetic that no other plant can.