How to Plant Citrus Trees in the Yard


As a general rule, citrus trees prefer subtropical or tropical conditions, and do not do well in climates with harsh winter freezes. Some varieties are more frost-tolerant than others, and this should be kept in mind when you choose what to plant. If you believe your yard is a suitable place for citrus trees, the planting process is fairly easy. Their main soil requirement is that it have good drainage and not be too salty. Note that citrus trees will require a certain amount of babying for the first few weeks after they have been planted.

Step 1

Dig up any lawn grass in an area approximately 3 to 5 feet in diameter from the center of where you wish to place your tree. Discard or compost this grass.

Step 2

Dig a hole that is as deep as the root ball of the citrus tree, if the ground in which you are digging is bare. If you are digging in an area with grass, dig about an inch shallower than the depth of the root ball. Hole width should be a root ball and a half in all directions.

Step 3

Place the tree in the hole, then fill in about half of the hole with soil. Water the soil to help it settle.

Step 4

Fill the hole the rest of the way with soil and pat it into place. Cover with an inch or two more of soil to ensure the root ball is truly protected from the elements.

Step 5

Create a ring of topsoil around the tree. Think of it like making a mud fort. The walls should be between 6 and 8 inches thick, as well as 5 to 6 inches high. This is a watering ring.

Step 6

Water the tree two or three times the first week after planting. For the next few weeks, the tree will require watering once or twice a week. Water only enough to fill the water ring every time. Eventually, the water ring will erode, at which point the tree can be watered as needed, without additional special consideration.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never apply fertilizer until after the tree starts growing again after having been planted. The shock of being planted in the ground is a lot for a young tree to handle. Fertilizer at that point will only stress it further.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Young citrus tree
  • Garden hose
  • Topsoil


  • Texas A&M Agrilife Extension: Home Fruit Production--Citrus
Keywords: planting citrus trees, growing citrus tree, citrus tree requirements

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.