How to Care for a Grapefruit Tree


Grapefruit trees produce zesty, juicy fruits and grow best in warm subtropical climates, since they are cold sensitive. They are typically found in the southern region of the United States or in the area known as the "Citrus Belt." A full-grown grapefruit tree can reach heights up to 30 feet. Taking proper care of a grapefruit tree requires specific tasks and routine maintenance.

Step 1

Use soil left over from planting (and more, if needed) to create a watering basin around the newly planted grapefruit tree. Form a circle 2 feet in diameter with walls 6 inches high and wide.

Step 2

Fill the watering ring with water and allow it to drain. Add more soil to the wall or around the grapefruit tree trunk, if required, once soil settles.

Step 3

Continue to water the grapefruit tree every other day for two weeks. Supply water every seven to 10 days after this time, until the walls of the ring around the grapefruit tree blend naturally into the surrounding soil. At this time, the grapefruit is considered established and only requires watering when the top 1 or 2 inches of soil is dry.

Step 4

Shovel a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the bottom of the grapefruit tree. Keep the mulch 12 inches clear of the trunk and extend it out at least 3 feet on all sides of the tree. This will prevent weeds from emerging in this area and help retain the moisture in the soil.

Step 5

Pinch off any sprouts appearing around the base of the grapefruit tree. Prune only broken or unhealthy branches off the tree the first season.

Step 6

Check the grapefruit tree often for signs of any problems in the form of diseases or pests. Look for changes in the color, shape or textures of all parts of the tree.

Step 7

Contact your area's nursery or extension office to identify the cause of any problems found. Inquire about the necessary treatment or control process needed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Protect your grapefruit tree from freezing conditions, if required during the winter months. Pile the soil 15 inches up around the base of the tree and cover the tree with blankets.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Shovel
  • Pruning shears


  • Tree Citrus Tree Care
  • Texas A&M University: Home Fruit Production-Grapefruit
  • University of Florida Extension: Your Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide

Who Can Help

  • Tree Help: Citrus Tree Care - Grapefruit
  • USDA: Cooperative Extension Offices
Keywords: care of a grapefruit tree, water the grapefruit tree, routine maintenance

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 on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.