How to Plant Citrus Trees in Florida

Overview

Citrus trees are an ideal choice for a landscape tree in Florida. Orange, lemon and grapefruit trees have fragrant blossoms, a pretty shape and tasty fruit, which make them a top choice. If you live in the hottest parts of Florida, all you have to worry about is sunlight exposure when planting citrus trees. If you live in the cooler parts, you also need to be aware of freezing and frost complications. Plant citrus trees between the fall and late winter, so the tree has time to become established before the hot summer arrives.

Step 1

Plant citrus trees in a site with well-drained, sandy loam soil. However, as long as it is well-drained, any soil type is adaptable. Choose a location on the south side of a building if you live in a part of Florida that is susceptible to frost. This is the hottest spot. The west side is the next best option.

Step 2

Remove the citrus tree from the nursery container. Wash most of the soil off the roots so they can touch the soil directly. If the roots are very tightly compacted, which is called rootbound, cut through the bottom of the root mass to encourage the roots to grow.

Step 3

Remove debris and weeds from the planting area. Clear at least 3 feet around where the hole will be to keep other vegetation from affecting the citrus tree. If planting more than one tree, space them 10 to 15 feet apart.

Step 4

Dig a hole that is the same depth as the tree's root ball. Citrus trees need to be planted at ground level and not below. If they sit too low, the water will gather and cause root rot.

Step 5

Put the tree in the center of the hole. Fill it halfway with removed soil and water to remove air pockets. Continue filling in the hole, pressing down gently. Add 1 inch of additional soil to the top of the roots to form a seal.

Step 6

Build a ring of soil around the citrus tree. Make the berm 6 inches high. Fill the inside with water and let it soak into the roots. If the water reveals roots, add more soil to cover them.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not over-fertilize citrus trees or they will have poor fruit quality, too much vegetatiion or die.

Things You'll Need

  • Citrus tree
  • Shears
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Soil
  • Fertilizer

References

  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Your Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide - Young Tree Care
  • University of Florida: IFAS Extension: Your Florida Dooryward Citrus Guide-Site Selection
  • Tree Help: Citrus Trees
Keywords: Florida citrus trees, plant citrus trees, grow citrus trees

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.