Citrus Care

Table of contents:

Citrus Care
Citrus Care

Citrus fruits belong to the rue family. Lemon, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, kinkan and other citrus fruits are grown at home. Although it must be said right away that attempts to grow a fruiting citrus tree at home often break off when evergreen trees that have grown more than a meter in height do not bear fruit. Although, with an annual cold wintering (+ 5-8 ° C), citrus fruits can bloom and bear fruit after 2-3 years (rooted cuttings).

If you decide to grow citrus fruits from seeds for their fruits, then even if you achieve fruiting, the taste of the fruits will most likely disappoint you, as it will be too sour and bitter. It is easier to buy an already fruiting citrus tree, in this case you will not have to worry about the vaccination and wait for years for it to bear fruit.

In general, at home, trees obtained from grafted or rooted cuttings will most likely bear fruit, and wild birds grown from a stone do not bloom for a very long time - tens of years, but in their natural habitat, somewhere in the vastness of Spain, trees begin to bear fruit at the age of 6 -7 years. For some, it will be a pleasure to grow a tree from a stone, and it doesn't matter whether it bears fruit or not. However, for a citrus plant to thrive, it is important to know the conditions it needs and something about crown formation.

Orange, Lemon, Mandarin and Citrofortunella are described on separate pages on this website. Popular among citrus lovers are also grapefruit and kinkan.

How to care for citrus fruits

Temperature and Lighting

Citrus fruits, like southern plants, demand light and warmth. Most of them grow well at home with any window orientation, if you skillfully organize additional lighting. Of course, the best option is the south side of the windows, southeast or southwest. On the other hand, if you have northern windows, citrus will not be hot and you can always place fluorescent lamps (or LED lamps) nearby. Some citrus fruits are quite shade-tolerant and do not need a lot of sunlight.

Temperature is more difficult, since the concept of thermophilicity does not mean that plants like warm heated houses, not at all! Thermophilicity implies that citrus fruits, especially those planted in pots, cannot tolerate frost. At the same time, bud setting, flowering and fruit formation are best at an average air and soil temperature of + 15-18 ° C.

In winter, citrus fruits should be kept in a bright, cool or even cold room, where the temperature is from 8 to 12 ° C. The lack of cold wintering can lead to the fact that your plant will not bear fruit, but it will become very bald, depleted.


Watering in summer is abundant, immediately after the soil dries out in the upper half or third of the pot. In winter, watering is more rare or moderate, depending on the temperature, it can be once a month (at 10 ° C), once every three weeks (at 12 ° C) or more often, in any case, do not allow the soil to dry completely. When kept in winter in warm home conditions, watering is needed the same as in summer. Do not forget that plants die from excess moisture, citrus fruits easily rot when the soil dries for more than 5 days.

In autumn, watering is reduced with the onset of cloudy and rainy days - the air humidity during such periods rises to 80% and the soil dries very slowly. To avoid decay, you need to periodically loosen the soil in pots, closer to the edge.

Air humidity

The optimum air humidity is 40-60%, therefore, on dry hot days in summer and during the heating season in winter, spraying is necessary 2-3 times a day every day. Sprinkle with warm boiled water. Citrus fruits must be kept clean, rinse off dust by rinsing with a warm shower, if the size of the pot allows you to take it to the bathroom.


Young lemon trees should be transplanted using the transshipment method. The transfer must be done in a timely manner, otherwise, due to a lack of nutrients, the plant will develop worse. The transshipment should not be carried out if the roots of the plant have not yet braided an earthen ball. In this case, it is enough to change the drainage and top soil layers in the pot. When transferring, the pot must be washed with boiling water or a solution of potassium permanganate.

Fruiting lemon trees are transplanted no more than once every 2-3 years. Transplanted before the start of growth. At the end of the growth, the plants are not recommended to be replanted.

It is not recommended to transplant lemon trees with flowers or fruits, as this leads to the loss of both. The soil for young plants needs light, and for large ones it is heavier. Usually a mixture of sod land, greenhouse manure and leafy land is taken with the addition of coarse sand.

Pots and tubs for transplanting citrus fruits are not taken too large - if the capacity is large, there is a danger of soil acidification. When transplanting, the earthen lump should not be severely destroyed. It is necessary to ensure good drainage, both in pots (at least 2 cm) and in tubs (at least 7 cm). The root collar in the new dish should be at the same level as in the old dish. Freshly transplanted plants should not be fertilized.

Citrus primer

  • For young plants: 2 parts of turf, 1 part of leafy soil, 1 part of humus from cow or horse manure and 1 part of coarse sand (fine gravel).
  • For adult plants 4-5 years old and older: 3 parts of turf, 1 part of leaf, 1 part of humus from cow or horse manure, 1 part of sand.
lemon on the balcony
lemon on the balcony

Instead of replanting old plants planted in tubs, the topsoil is replaced with fresh soil every spring. Plants planted in pots or small buckets are transplanted whole, but the root ball does not need to be picked out, just shake off the soil from the sides. Remove the roots above the root collar. The acidity of the soil for citrus fruits should be pH 6.5–7.

In the spring, when the threat of frost passes (the average daily temperature does not drop below + 8 ° C, the plants are taken out into the open air and kept in shade under a canopy for 2-3 weeks. In the future, the pots can be rearranged to an open place, under the light shade of the openwork crown of trees.

Learn more about Citrus Soils.

Fertilizing citrus fruits

In the first half of summer, fertilizing is used. This increases the sugar content of the fruit and reduces the bitter taste that is characteristic of citrus fruits at room culture. The plant needs more fertilization, the older it is and the longer it is in the same container. Fertilizers are applied with water for irrigation, but only healthy, not weakened plants can be fed. With additional artificial lighting, citrus fruits in winter also need to be fertilized, but not more often than once a month.

If citrus fruits were transplanted into fresh soil in spring, then feeding after 1-1.5 months can be started with fertilizers for flowering plants. If the plants were not transplanted, then you need to start feeding with the introduction of organic matter: 2-3 times with an interval of two weeks, it can be an extract from dry horse manure, well-lying humus, ready-made vermicompost from a store. It is very important not to overfeed citrus fruits with organic matter and check the acidity of the soil. After two fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers, you can feed it with complex fertilizers for indoor flowering plants (for example, Fertika Lux).

  • Citrus propagation
  • Citrus principles
  • Citrus content in winter
  • Rooting cuttings
  • Citrus propagation by cuttings - FAQ

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