Care for Citrus Fruit Trees

Overview

Citrus trees are native to the tropical areas in the world and are very easy to grow. The most popular citrus trees are the grapefruit, orange, lemon and lime. Citrus trees are small trees, usually reaching no more than 60 feet in height. They prefer bright, sunny locations and are not tolerant of frost conditions, which can destroy or seriously cut back the fruit production.

Step 1

Apply a heavy layer of water to soak the base of the trees when you water them. Wait a few minutes for the water to soak into the ground and water again. Do not water the citrus trees again until the soil becomes dry. You will water once or twice weekly depending on how dry the conditions are.

Step 2

Fertilize citrus trees monthly. Use a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Place the fertilizer in a circle about one foot from the base of the tree and apply water to allow the fertilizer to soak into the soil. Providing the trees with plenty of nutrients will produce healthier, sweeter fruit.

Step 3

Provide your growing citrus trees with protection from the cold. The soil mound will keep the soil warm and the roots of the tree warm during the winter months. Make a mound of dirt, or all-purpose soil, at the base of the tree. Have the soil go as far up the trunk of the tree as possible. The mound should be in place in late fall and removed in early spring. Take care in removing the soil banks. The tree bark will be fragile after it has been underground all winter.

Step 4

Use a six-inch layer of mulch during the summer to control the weeds and to help retain moisture in the soil. Apply the layer of mulch at least a foot from the base of the tree. Do not use an organic fertilizer on your citrus trees. Organic fertilizer encourages the risk of foot rot, which causes lesions on the bark of the tree at ground level and can kill the tree.

Step 5

Prune your citrus trees only to remove dead or diseased limbs. Citrus trees should be allowed to grow naturally and need little pruning. You may thin out the inside of the tree to bring in more light but this is usually not necessary.

Step 6

Control the pests that show up on your citrus trees. Citrus is prone to mites, white flies, aphids and scales. A pesticide can get rid of the pests that are on your citrus trees. Follow directions closely on the pesticide container.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Pesticides

References

  • Citrus Care
  • Home Fruit Production
Keywords: caring for citrus, growng citrus, citrus care

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree has a master's in business and is working on a master's in journalism from the University of Tennessee. She is a member of the Society for Porfessional Journalists and has been writing for five years. Works include publications with Hall County Crime Examiner, Player's Press and The Gainesville Times.