Caring for Citrus Plants

You may well have received a citrus plant as a present at Christmas or the New Year. David Coton shares his knowledge on how best to look after these attractive plants that will bear fruit if provided with ideal environment.

Created by David Coton on Monday, 16th of February, 2015.
Updated on Wednesday, 9th of May, 2018.


Caring for Citrus Plants

To avoid disappointment make sure that your plant is a named cultivar from a reliable retailer. Remember that plants grown from pips will not flower, you need a grafted plant for successful fruiting.

In this country, citrus plants are generally grown in containers - preferably terracotta - but if the growing instructions have been mislaid or are not comprehensive, you may be wondering about the best way to care for these sometimes challenging plants. 

Growing Conditions

Citrus will thrive best in conditions that replicate their native warm climate. Lemons and orange cultivars can fruit regularly, grapefruit is a little more difficult while clementines and satsumas are good for beginners.

A warm environment, on the humid side, is necessary and a conservatory full of light is ideal with the temperature preferably maintained at no less than 50F. Plants can be moved to a sheltered location outdoors during the summer, but they will need to come inside when autumn approaches. Although claims may be made, there are no citrus plants that are hardy in our climate.

The growing medium should be ericaceous and have good drainage, such asJ Arthur Bowers Citrus Compost that has a blend of peat, composted bark, loam and gritty sand. Water thoroughly every other day during the summer and weekly in the winter but don't over do it, citrus don't like to be waterlogged.

Feeding Requirements

Plants will need a well balanced feed in the summer and one that is high in nitrogen during the winter, and there are specially formulated fertilizers available such as Baby Bio. Re-pot in spring only when necessary.

As with many other plants, citrus may respond badly to temperature or humidity changes, leaf drop is a typical problem and will reduce fruiting. So keep any fluctuations to a minimum and, especially in a centrally heated home, mist the plant regularly or place on a moist pebble base.

Also look out for soft scale, aphids, mealy bugs and red spider mites. As you will probably be eating the fruit, treat with organic sprays that are not persistent such as Bayer Natria. Other ailments include Little Leaf (ensure that the soil contains all the required trace elements), Lemon Scab (apply copper fungicide) and Cirtus Gall Wasp (cut out and burn affected areas).

Don't let this list of pests and diseases put you off, it isn't worse than most other plants and there is great satisfaction in growing citrus fruit. If you provide the correct conditions, you could be rewarded with your own grapefruit for breakfast, lemon for your tea and juicy satsumas on a summer's afternoon.

Related Articles

GardenSite Supports Successful Boldmere Community Festival

GardenSite Supports Successful Boldmere Community Festival

GardenSite were once again pleased to support the Boldmere Community Festival which took place on 18 November, with the Christmas Lights switched on by Alan Gardner, well known for his appearances as TV's Autistic Gardener.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 23rd of November, 2018.

What Do I Need For A Great Halloween Garden Party?

What Do I Need For A Great Halloween Garden Party?

You can create the spookiest Halloween Party in town with a spine chilling cast of para-normal misfits including ghosts, ghouls, zombies, vampires and many other sinister characters who inhabit the dark side. David Coton tells you how to transform your home and garden into a thoroughly scary experience.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Wednesday, 10th of October, 2018.

How To Choose, Plant And Maintain A Fruit Tree

How To Choose, Plant And Maintain A Fruit Tree

Late autumn and winter is the perfect time to plant fruit trees and, whatever sized garden you have, Martyn Loach thinks there's space for a tree if you choose carefully and manage correctly.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Tuesday, 4th of September, 2018.

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Dazzling with colourful interest in the sunshine, the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is a tremendously popular annual event as it caters for both keen gardeners and also families who want a terrific day out.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Friday, 24th of August, 2018.

comments powered by Disqus

Author

David Coton

Partner at GardenSite

View Profile

RSS

View RSS Feed

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

Review of the Juliana Urban City Greenhouse

Review of the Juliana Urban City Greenhouse

Robert Hall highlights the pros and cons to Juliana's new urban greenhouse range, reviewing the City, Balcony and Vertical greenhouse models after his first look at these fabulous new additions.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Thursday, 9th of May, 2019.

What To Do In The Garden In May

What To Do In The Garden In May

With the recent hot weather encouraging everyone out into the garden and the threat of frost disappearing during May, David Coton is in no doubt that this is going to be a busy month.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Monday, 30th of April, 2018.

Review of the new Elite Edge Greenhouse

Review of the new Elite Edge Greenhouse

Elite Greenhouses have always been at the forefront of new design combined with an unrivalled user-friendly experience and the Edge has got it all.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 5th of April, 2019.

Planned TV Gardening Programmes 2019

Planned TV Gardening Programmes 2019

There's no doubt that television provides gardeners with inspiration, sound advice and good ideas, that's why we're all looking forward to new programmes and the return of old favourites during 2019.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Tuesday, 13th of February, 2018.