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Proper Care of Citrus Trees

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Proper Care of Citrus Trees

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Overview

Citrus trees provide you with sweet-smelling blossoms and fresh, tasty fruits when fully mature. Choose from one of the more common citrus trees, such as orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit, or grow other varieties, such as kumquat or mandarin. Proper care is essential in the development of a citrus tree. Basic maintenance will help your tree flourish so that you can reap the benefits of your labor a few seasons after planting.

Step 1

Make a watering basin by piling the dirt several inches high and wide to form a circle around the newly planted citrus tree.

Step 2

Extend the sides of the watering basin out at least 2 feet all the way around the tree. Fill the entire ring with water and watch for any leaks. Add more dirt if needed.

Step 3

Clear away all weeds in an area going out 3 to 6 feet from the tree. Use a hoe or hand-pick the weeds to remove them.

Step 4

Increase the size of the weed-free area as the citrus tree grows. This area should be larger than the diameter of the tree's canopy (or drip line), which will expand as the tree matures.

Step 5

Shovel a layer of mulch in the weed-free area at least 3 inches deep. Keep mulch 1 foot clear of the base of the tree to prevent damage to it.

Step 6

Water the citrus tree every other day for 14 days. Fill the entire basin with water and allow it to soak in.

Step 7

Water weekly for four to six months. The wall of the water basin eventually will deteriorate and become part of the soil. The citrus tree will be established by this time and will require water only when the top inch or two of soil is dry.

Step 8

Apply fertilizer specific for your region and soil needs, after the citrus tree shows signs of growth. Keep the fertilizer at least 1 foot from the trunk and spread it out several feet. Water the tree after applying.

Step 9

Keep an eye on all parts of the citrus tree for signs of diseases, pests or other problems. Check it for color alterations, markings and abnormal growths. Identify, treat and control anything you find, as directed by your region's extension office.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Rake
  • Water supply
  • Fertilizer

References

  • TreeHelp.com: Citrus Tree Care
  • Texas A&M University Extension: Home Fruit Production - Citrus

Who Can Help

  • USDA: Cooperative Extension System Offices
  • TreeHelp.com: Planting a Citrus Tree: Post-Planting Care
  • National Gardening Association: Plant Care Guides: Citrus
Keywords: grow citrus tree, care for citrus tree, maintain citrus tree

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published in Southwest, Intel, TravelChannel, AmericanAirlines, Poker4Amateurs, AOL, CityGuides, Yahoo, GardenGuides and more. Dilov-Schultheis is an electronics media specialist and has a degree in Accounting.