Citrus Tree Growth

Overview

Citrus trees are tropical and subtropical plants that provide a variety of vitamin C-laden fruits. They produce mature fruit only in areas where they easily survive all winter conditions. They are also valued for their blooms as ornamental plants.

Citrus comes in many varieties. image by "Life is juicy." is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Carla216 (Carla Hufstedler) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Location

Citrus grows in soil that drains well and has a pH between 6 and 8. They grow best in full sun and need plenty of room. The top of the citrus root ball should be at the surface of the soil.

Seedlings and Grafted Trees

Seedlings grow up to 10 years before fruiting; grafted trees often produce fruit immediately. Protective thorns disappear when the tree reaches maturity. Trees grown from seed often do not grow "true" or set fruit.

Fruit Drop

Trees bloom and then self-thin by dropping flowers and small fruit several times throughout the season so that mature fruit is maximum size.

Protection

With seedlings, bury trunks to the lowest limbs with garden soil. Drape the tree top but do not mulch ground underneath older trees during hard freezes.

Pruning

Trees are often pruned before sale. Balance or rejuvenate a crown by removing up to one-third of branches before spring blooms. Remove broken or dead wood and shoots from below the crown any time.

Problems

Most pests are repelled by watering, pruning and fertilizing properly. Use insecticidal soap and oil sprays against scale. Mulching citrus can encourage "root rot," a condition that kills the roots.

References

  • Growing Citrus
  • Pruning Citrus
  • Common Citrus Problems

Who Can Help

  • Planting Citrus
  • Fertilizing Citrus
  • University of British Columbia Botanical Garden forum
Keywords: citrus, trees, tropical, ornamental, fruit

About this Author

Laura Reynolds began writing professionally in 1974. She has worked as author and editor in nonfiction, professional journals and newspapers. Reynolds has also served in numerous appointed and elected local offices. She holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Northern Illinois University.