Here are some tips from our nursery manager on how best to take care of your citrus plants for the best results. For a handy PDF guide to print out and keep please click here.
Outdoor: Full sun. Place outside as early as possible.
Indoor: Southern-facing window for maximum light during winter months. When bringing your plant in for the winter, it may benefit you to spray with a horticultural oil to eliminate potential problems.
Overwatering is the most common problem with citrus. To alleviate this issue, allow the soil to approach dryness before watering thoroughly. This helps prevent root disease, while promoting a larger, healthier root system.
65°F and above is preferred, but will handle night temperatures as low as 50°F in winter. EXCEPTION: Citrus aurantifolia “Key Lime” will not tolerate temperatures below 60°F.
Apply a slow-release fertilizer from late winter to mid-summer. Your plant will slow or stop growing during winter months and applying fertilizer then could damage the root system. However, you may apply a chelated iron spray to the foliage if yellowing occurs due to iron chlorosis.
50% humidity preferred, but not necessary.
Occasional pruning to maintain shape should be done after fruit is removed. Removing crossed or broken branches should be done whenever they occur.
Soil-less mixes (mixture of peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and composted bark) are best. A soil pH around 6 is preferred.
Terracotta are best for citrus as they let more moisture out to keep the roots from staying wet too long. Glazed ceramic or plastic pots can be used if you are careful with how much water your plant gets. Citrus do well with being slightly root-bound. Repotting into a pot that is too large will cause overly moist soil, so choose a pot only 1-2 inches larger.
Meyer lemons are ripe when they are yellow and can hold on the tree for several months. Limes are ripe when they are between yellow and green.