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Grow Well Guides

Citrus

Citrus are a valuable asset to any garden. As well as producing masses of fruit, they are also sought after for their attractive foliage and highly scented flowers. Suited to almost any garden style, citrus consistently prove their versatility and their undemanding nature.

Planting Calendar

Summer
Autumn
Winter
Spring

Lemons, limes, mandarins and oranges are best planted from March right through until November.

Harvest In

2 - 3 Years

Citrus will be ready to harvest after 2 to 3 years from planting.

Prepare

Our citrus plants are available in grafted forms (either grafted onto a standard root stock or a dwarf root stock), as well as grown as cuttings. Grafted plants are well known for their disease resistance and fast growing habit. Dwarf citrus are perfect for gardens with limited space and are suitable for a large pot or container, with an average height of 1.5 to 2 metres when mature.

Position

Citrus require a warm, sunny position with at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Protect from cold, harsh winds. Make sure there is a good amount of airflow in the area.

Soil

The soil or mix should be free-draining. If drainage is a problem in your garden, or your soil has a high clay content, then you can improve it by digging in a mixture of Gypsum Claybreaker, Kings Organic Compost and Kings Pumice Sand. When planting into a pot, use Kings Container Mix.

Plant

Enrich the soil by digging through Kings Organic Compost and Kings Slow-Release Citrus Food before planting. Plant your tree only as deep as it is planted in its current pot. As citrus have sensitive roots, handle with care. Also remember that dwarf citrus trees grow very well in large pots. Before planting in a container add some scoria to the bottom of the pot for improved drainage and then plant in Kings Container Mix. This container mix includes water storing granules which will help to stop the mix drying out over summer. Water deeply once planted.

Care

Watering

Citrus will need regular watering during spring and summer, but not so much in winter. Water your plants when the top of the soil is dry. For container plants, this will probably mean daily watering during summer. To help with providing moisture, apply SaturAid to the top of the soil. SaturAid is a wetting agent that channels water down to the roots helping to keep the roots moist for longer. Insufficient water will result in poor plant growth, bitter tasting fruit and fruit drop.

Feeding

As citrus are greedy feeders, they require regular feeding for optimal fruiting and growth. Kings Citrus and Fruit Tree Fertiliser can be applied every six weeks and Kings Sheep Pellets can also be used as a top-dressing in spring and summer. Granular fertiliser can sometimes be too strong for citrus in pots, instead use Kings Slow-release Citrus Food.

Mulching

Spread Living Earth More Than Mulch around the base of the tree in spring and summer to prevent water loss, as well as suppressing weeds and adding beneficial nutrients.

Spraying

Citrus can sometimes be susceptible to attack from aphids, use a natural spray such as Organic Bugtrol to treat these. To protect against citrus scab/verrucosis, spray with Copper Oxychloride after petal fall, and at 3-4 weekly interval until harvest. For any other problems bring a sample or photo instore, and our Plant Doctors will be able to diagnose the problem and suggest a remedy.

Pruning

With grafted citrus, remember to remove all shoots from below the graft as this growth is from the rootstock, you will be able to tell the difference in the foliage. All other pruning is for shape and should be done after fruiting but before October. If pruning large branches, seal the wound with a pruning paste to prevent borer infection.

Beginner Tip

Citrus are heavy croppers, often setting more fruit than they can sustain. Early removal of approximately 1/3 of the crop will result in improved fruit quality, and help to prevent biennial bearing (setting fruit only once every two years).

Tip

Yellow leaves most often mean that young trees require Magnesium. Magnesium can specifically be supplied by applying Epsom Salts.

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