How to Care for New Citrus Trees


Citrus trees come in several popular varieties, including orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime. Grown for the juicy fruits produced, a citrus tree does best in warmer climates since it is easily affected from extremely cold weather conditions. Provide extra care for new citrus trees and you will reap the benefits for years to come. Supply adequate water and nutrients for proper growth and the tree will thrive. The citrus tree forms fragrant blossoms that grow into fruits.

Step 1

Use a shovel and the extra dirt from the hole previously dug for the citrus tree to create a water basin around the citrus tree. Mound the dirt in a circle surrounding the base of the tree.

Step 2

Make the ring both 3 to 6 inches wide and high. Form the circle 3 to 4 feet in diameter around the citrus.

Step 3

Fill the water ring with water. Fix any leaks to ensure the water drains slowly into the soil at the base of the citrus tree.

Step 4

Place mulch around the tree in a 3-6 foot diameter area to retain moisture and assist in weed prevention. Do not use any mulch within 12 inches of the citrus trunk.

Step 5

Keep all weeds out of a 6-foot diameter circle around the tree. Use a hoe or pull out any weeds emerging within this range.

Step 6

Supply water to the citrus tree two to three times during the initial week planted. Cut back to once or twice a week for a month after that.

Step 7

Check the soil 2 inches deep to see if it is dry. Water the citrus tree only when it is after the first month.

Step 8

Pinch off or cut any young sprouts appearing around the tree. Avoid breaking or tearing the trunk of the citrus tree.

Step 9

Watch for new growth of 6 inches or more on the tree to know when to give earliest fertilizer. Continue supplying fertilizer monthly through growing period (February to November).

Step 10

Apply fertilizer in a 3-foot circumference around the tree. Keep it away from the trunk at least 12 inches.

Tips and Warnings

  • Inspect tree for signs of pests or disease. Look for any changes in color, texture and condition of all parts of the citrus tree. (See Resources for more info.)

Things You'll Need

  • Water supply
  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Hoe (optional)
  • Pruning shear (optional)


  • University of California Cooperative Extension: Planting and Care of Young Citrus Trees
  • Texas Cooperative Extension: Growing Your Own Citrus
  • Texas A&M Extension: Home Fruit Production- Citrus

Who Can Help

  • Tree Help: Citrus Trees
  • University of Florida State Extension: Your Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide -- Young Tree Care
  • USDA: Cooperative Extension Offices
Keywords: grow citrus tree, orange, lime, grapefruit, lemon