How to care for Citrus Trees

 Citrus are best grown in pots outdoors in the summer, positioned in a warm, sheltered spot. During winter they should be brought inside as they are not fully hardy in the UK. This ensures you receive fragrant flowers in the spring and a healthy crop of fruit.

4 tips for growing Citrus trees

  • Citrus trees don’t like to be too hot in the summer, so choose a sheltered spot outside with good light levels.
  • The ideal winter temperature should not fall below 7 degrees C. Growing in pots which can be moved into a greenhouse or unheated indoor room is recommended. Keep an eye out for sudden cold nights.
  • Over watering and under watering are the two most common problems. If you have over watered, leave the plant in a warm, sheltered spot where it can drain thoroughly and don’t water again until the surface of the soil has become dry and then give it a good soak.
  • If under watering, give the plant a soak as soon as possible. Remember not to leave the plant sat in water.
  • Apply seasonally appropriate citrus feed regularly throughout the year. Summer feed is high in nitrogen to encourage healthy leaf growth. Winter feed is nutritionally balanced to encourage flowers and fruit setting


Common Citrus tree problems

Most problems are caused by unsuitable growing conditions. These include:

Failure to flower - caused by a lack of light, lack of feeding, erratic watering or low temperatures.

Flowers drop before fruit sets – caused by dryness at the roots and lack of air humidity.

Yellowing of leaves – over or under watering, low temperatures or lack of feeding.

Loss of leaves – caused by draughts, too high or low temperatures in winter, and over watering in winter.

Fruit fall – fruits should ripen in a period of warm sunny weather, taking almost a year to develop to full size. Most cultivars set too much fruit for the size of the plant – some of these will be shed.

Rotting roots – the first sign may be leaf fall or yellowing caused by over watering. Remove damaged roots and some compost and then repot into a smaller container with fresh compost
January 07, 2021 — Jack Warman