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Citrus

Citrus

The various citrus species (lemon, orange, lime, mandarins, grapefruit, etc.) have very attractive foliage, sweet-scented flowers and colourful nutritious fruits. Given the right conditions they should produce fruit regularly.

They can survive the odd frost but they need minimum winter temperatures of around 10oC. Some species and varieties are hardier than others. Mature grapefruits and kumquats (which are related to citrus) are among the hardiest species. They will not do well in centrally-heated rooms as it is too hot and humidity and light are too low. Citrus species originate from the subtropics so they need warm temperatures and protection from frosts in the winter. They are ideally grown in frost-free conservatories and taken outdoors for a few months in the summer. They need a sheltered, sunny position – south or west facing is ideal.

Citrus trees grown in the UK require as much sunlight as possible. If they are kept in a conservatory or greenhouse they will also need good ventilation.

When the trees are indoors, you can maintain high humidity by standing the pot on a large saucer or tray filled with hydroleca or gravel. The water level should be just below the surface of the gravel. Placing plants together will increase humidity, too. It is good to mist the leaves with Houseplant Myst or water in the early morning in summer and ensure there is good ventilation. Hand mist regularly in winter to ensure pollination.

In the summer water thoroughly, but allow the compost to dry out almost completely before re-watering. Use rainwater or soft water where possible. They do not like over-watering due to their sensitive roots, so in winter they should only be watered when the soil/compost is almost dust dry.

Citrus trees need regular feeding during the growing season. We recommend using a fertiliser specifically formulated for citrus, such as Citrus Focus, from March to October.

Citruses require only minimal pruning for reshaping. You can pinch back the tips of the most vigorous growth throughout the summer.

Mature plants may produce fast-growing shoots called ‘water shoots’ and shoots from below the graft on the main stem. These should be removed promptly.

Citrus trees are ideally repotted every year in a free-draining medium such as Citrus Focus Repotting Mix, in a slightly larger pot that has good drainage. They can be repotted at any time of the year but preferably in early spring so they get established. The optimum pH for the growing medium is 6.5.

If you don’t repot the tree is it advisable to replace the top 5 cm of the old growing medium with fresh mix each spring.

White ‘threads’ on the leaves and/or white fluffy insects in the plant crevices

These are most likely mealybugs. Remove with a cotton bud dipped in methylated spirit and wipe the leaves clean regularly to prevent an infestation. Additionally, spray with SB Plant Invigorator as per the instructions on the label. After the first signs spray at least four times every four days to kill off any remaining insects.

No fruit

Citrus trees need warm temperatures and plenty of light to produce fruit – if they don’t it is most likely as a response to one or both of these factors. Adjust the environment accordingly.

Related Products

BetterGrow Vermiculite improves the growing media for better plant growth Horticulturalists use Vermiculite as a top dressing for seeds, rooting cuttings and to improve the growing medium. Adding BetterGrow...
For green and healthy citrus trees. Encourages higher flower and fruit production. Citrus focus is specifically formulated for optimal growth and fruiting of all citrus plants. A carefully balanced...
Top quality compost, carefully formulated for healthy growing citrus trees. Citrus Focus Repotting Mix is designed for best results with the widest range of citrus trees, including oranges, lemons, mandarins...
BetterGrow Vermiculite improves the growing media for better plant growth Horticulturalists use Vermiculite as a top dressing for seeds, rooting cuttings and to improve the growing medium. Adding BetterGrow...

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