Quick Plant Care Guides: Citrus Fruit Tree Tips
Caring for your citrus trees doesn't have to be hard! With the use of mulch and organic fertilizers, your trees will look great and give you great-tasting fruits.
Fertilizing Citrus Trees
By far the best fertilizer is an excellent compost rich in earthworm castings. There are no certain times to fertilize with compost. You can use this anytime of the year and achieve wonderful results. I use my homemade compost as a thick mulch around my trees. It works well and retains moisture for even, consistent watering.
Watering Citrus Trees
Provide plenty of water for your citrus trees. Avoid keeping the soil soggy though. Heavily mulched soil will keep the tree from drying out and will save on your water bill.
Citrus Tree Light
Most citrus prefer bright light. Full sun is a good idea. Partially shaded should be fine for many types. If in doubt, research the type of tree you have and go from there.
Pruning Citrus Trees
Cleanly prune away any damaged or broken limbs. If you are just after a bushy, sweet-smelling tree, allow the tree to fill out as much as you want. If you're after the best fruit, pruning will be a good option.
Tree White Washing
Whitewash fruit trees to prevent their bark from splitting during drastic temperature fluctuations. Cracked and peeling bark offers insects and diseases a place to reside. Use regular white latex paint when making your own tree trunk whitewash.
Work on a sunny day with no rain.
Clean the trunk with insecticidal soap. Allow it to dry.
Mix one-part household latex paint with three-parts plain water. Paint this mixture on the trunk of the tree/s.
I've saved many a fruit tree by painting the trunks after my goats had their way with them.
Indoor Houseplant Citrus Tree Care
Citrus trees make excellent houseplants, provided they get enough light and humidity. Locate your trees in a bright place and keep their soil evenly moist. The occasional misting with water will keep the leaves from drying out. Nothing smells better than grapefruits, oranges and lemons, growing on your windowsill.
Citrus Tree Pests
Prevent pests by encouraging air flow in your orchard. When pests are present, try using neem oil, a natural insecticidal soap, dormant oils, and using an earthworm castings tea. The tea will coat the plants with a beneficial film that some pests do not like. Some people even use garlic to spray their orchard trees to prevent pests.
Avoid spraying neem and pyrethrin when the trees are blooming and beneficial pollinators frequent the plants. These natural insecticides will kill them just like they kill pests.