Citrus trees are absolutely lovely to have in the home garden, offering lush foliage, sweetly scented blossoms and tart edible fruits that can be enjoyed throughout the summer. Planting a citrus tree properly is one of the best ways to ensure a long and healthy life for the plant.
Figuring out where you will plant your new citrus tree is an important part of the planting process. Most citrus trees will do better in full sunlight, although some will do well in filtered sunlight or partial shade. Keep in mind that the amount of sun a citrus plant gets has a direct impact on the fruit. Trees that receive only a partial day of sunlight will produce less fruit than a tree that receives a full day's worth.
Dig a hole deep enough for the root ball of the tree to fit into comfortably. Add a controlled-release fertilizer to the hole to give the tree an extra burst of nutrients. Towards the bottom of the tree trunk is a "graft union," an enlarged ring that should be kept about 3 inches above the soil. Carefully place the tree in the hole and fill it up with soil. Smaller citrus tree varieties will often do quite well in an indoor or outdoor container as well. Be sure to plant your citrus tree in spring, once the danger of late winter frosts is gone.
Unless there is a lot of rainfall, water your newly planted citrus plant twice a week for the first year (less during winter). Many citrus plants are somewhat drought tolerant once established, but should be watered if rain doesn't fall for two or three months. Grapefruit trees in particular require little watering, though they should be fertilized every spring. Prune away scraggly or unhealthy looking branches to keep the tree looking fresh and healthy.