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    Citrus Simplified

    Eight Steps to Growing Pineapple Oranges in Containers

    Eight Steps to Growing Pineapple Oranges in Containers

    The Pineapple orange is a mid-season orange variety yielding medium-sized brightly colored fruits. The citrus fruit is named after its characteristic hint of a pineapple aroma.

    Pineapple Orange Fruit

    The fruit flesh is light orange, tender, sweet and juicy, with mid-season maturity in November to early January. The texture and the sweet and spicy flavor of this variety make it attractive for juice production. The pineapple orange tree is less frost tolerant compared to other orange varieties. The flesh is quite seedy. 

    Fresh Pineapple Oranges that Grow Fast

    • The pineapple orange tree you will receive is micro-budded, non-GMO, and about 12 inches tall
    • It will ship in a plastic tube and will need to be transplanted as soon as possible into a 15-gallon pot
    • With proper care, the pineapple orange tree will start bearing fruit in its second year
    • You will receive detailed video instructions on how to transplant and care for your tree

    Where Will Citrus Grow? 

    With proper care, having a citrus tree such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, pineapple orange, pineapple orange or orange tree will produce decades of delicious fruit. However, the growing regions in the United States where citrus can be planted into the ground are California, Arizona, South Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

    If you do not live in those regions, we do not recommend planting citrus in the ground. However, we consider this a good thing, because it's going to make your citrus growing a lot easier.

    Growing Citrus Outside of Growing Zones

    So how do you grow citrus outside of these growing zones? You do so by planting your tree in a container. You can use a plastic barrel, a wooden planter, a nice decorative pot, or really any sort of container that has adequate holes on the bottom for drainage.

    Another option, which we enjoy, are fabric smart pots which do not have holes, however, the entire container is made of a fabric mesh which allows proper drainage and aeration of the soil.

    The Planting Process for Growing Citrus Trees in Pots

    The actual planting process of our trees in pots is very straightforward, with standardized use of potting soil and watering and fertilizing schedules.

    You can keep any citrus tree pruned back, but the Pineapple orange is naturally a smaller dwarf type variety which gets to be about 4 to 6 feet, but it will still produce an abundant harvest.

    Step 1: Container for Pineapple orange trees

    The keys to an appropriate container are having sufficient drainage through the material either being some sort of mesh cloth (SmartPots) or having a few holes on the bottom of your planter.

    Secondly, the size of the pot should be at least 5 gallons, with our favorite size recommend being 15 gallons. We find that anything above 25 gallons is quite difficult to physically move with only one person. so we recommend 15 gallons as the sweet spot.

    Step 2: Soil for Pineapple orange trees

    Choosing soil for your Pineapple orange trees is simple. All you need is any sort of potting soil. We do not recommend gardening soil or topsoil to use for container gardening. This is advantageous because even if you lived in a citrus growing region, you would have to take into consideration the type of soil.

    For example, US Citrus is based in the Rio Grande Valley, and we have a wonderful sandy loam type soil which drains very well. Other types of soil such as different types of clay soils especially with limestone mixed in will have a very difficult time draining and this will adversely affect the root health of your tree.

    With a standard potting soil for your container gardening, you do not need to worry about any of these factors. You also don't have to worry about the pH balance of the soil. We have just removed a large part of the headache of growing citrus by having all customers grow their citrus in containers and using any standard potting soil which is available at your local nursery garden center supply store.

    Step 3: Watering for Pineapple orange trees

    Watering is crucial, typically when citrus is planted into the ground there is a worry of proper drainage and overwatering your tree. Citrus trees planted in the ground prefer to have their roots a bit on the dry side. We have found that if there is proper drainage in container gardening it is difficult to overwater citrus trees.

    See our watering schedule for our citrus trees based on their size and the outside conditions.

    The best way to figure out how much water your citrus tree needs is to actually look at the tree. If the leaves are wilted and dry, your tree needs more water. After watering, the tree’s leaves should perk up.

    Overwatering Your Potted Citrus Tree

    Overwatering is a possibility and we find that this especially happens when the trees are indoor and there's a garden saucer used underneath the pot. When there's a garden saucer there is impeded drainage, which is helpful while you're on vacation and cannot water your tree for a week, or when you have your trees indoors to prevent water seeping onto the floors and causing damage.

    However, if trees are over-watered, the plant leaves will wilt and may turn a bit yellow and look sad. Watering more will not improve the condition of the tree obviously, and you will likely notice that the soil is waterlogged at this point.

    Giving your tree a break by taking it outside if possible or letting the soil drain without a garden saucer in the bathtub for a day is a good solution. Afterward, you can adjust your watering schedule appropriately. Our watering schedule also has a section for indoor planting.

    Step 4: Fertilizer for Pineapple orange trees

    Your Pineapple orange  tree will need both macro and micronutrients, just like a human. The macronutrients that all plants need are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. You have likely seen fertilizers and soil which state three numbers together, this is the N – P – K system which shows the concentration and relative amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium respectively.

    These machinations are very important for the development of the root system, the color of the leaves, appropriate photosynthesis, the growth of the trunk of the tree, proper flowering, fruiting, and taste of the fruit. See our blog article on nutrition for more information.

    Micronutrients are also very important - think of these as vitamins for humans. They are needed much in smaller quantities and plants can have characteristic symptoms if they have a micronutrient deficiency. We will detail out micronutrients and symptoms of deficiencies in later articles.

    However, our promise to you is that we make this simple. Between regular potting soil and the fertilizer we recommend, you will have all the macronutrients and micronutrients that your tree needs and a simple fertilizing schedule for easy and effective fertilizing when you get your tree and for every February, May, and August. See our fertilizer schedule below for amounts that we recommend.

    Fertilizer Schedule

    Ounces to use every Feb, May, and Aug

    Year 1

    Year 2

    Year 3+

     

     

     

    Miracle-Gro for Citrus, Avocado and Mango (13-7-13)

    5

    7

    9

     Espoma Citrus (5-2-6)

    10

    14

    18

    Step 5: Sunlight for Pineapple orange trees 

    Sunlight is crucial to citrus trees, especially citrus being a tropical plant. In most areas of the United States, you want to maximize sunlight with full sun exposure. If you are planting indoors, make sure that it has full sun next to the window, but we would also recommend having a grow light.

    Citrus does best when it has six hours of sunlight a day. If the temperature is consistently above 90° especially for younger trees, there may be some wilting of the leaves. This wilting will reverse however and at this point, it would be advantageous to keep your tree by elementary and partial shade. 

    Step 6: Winter Protection for Pineapple orange trees

    We recommend that under freezing temperatures, you move your citrus tree into a warmer area such as a garage or indoors for the entire winter. This point you can utilize a grow lights for continued growth.

    There is nothing more frustrating than losing years of work and future decades of fruit than losing your citrus tree to a freak cold-snap which occurred while you were vacationing out of town! Citrus can die with exposure to temperatures in the teens for even up to 12 hours. 

    Step 7: Where do I buy my Pineapple orange tree?

    First of all, if you live in the states of California, Arizona, Louisiana, or Florida, you will need to purchase your citrus tree locally as citrus cannot be imported into your state because of USDA regulations.

    Otherwise go to uscitrus.com to buy your tree today!

    Step 8: Harvesting your Pineapple oranges

    This harvest season is late winter to spring, with the ripening season being October to April.  

    Eight Steps to Growing Rio Red Grapefruit Trees in Containers

    Eight Steps to Growing Rio Red Grapefruit Trees in Containers

    The Rio Red grapefruit is the official state fruit of Texas. Introduced to the general public in 1984, the Rio Red grapefruit hails from the breeding program of the citrus legend Dr. R.A. Hensz from the Texas A&M Citrus Center. At the time, the grapefruit was discovered growing on the branch of a Ruby Red budwood. One of the most aromatic smells you will experience will be the incredible scents of your Rio Red's flower buds! If you haven’t tried a Rio Red yet, they might just be the best grapefruits you will ever eat!

    Rio Red Grapefruit:

    • Rio Red grapefruits are some of the tastiest and juiciest grapefruits in the world
    • Large fruit with yellow rind with a red blush
    • The classic Rio Red grapefruit variety is widely known for its delicious pink-red fleshed fruit
    • Juicy with fine sweet and tart flavor, fairly easy to peel
    • Fruit holds very well on the tree

    Rio Red Grapefruit Tree:

    • The grapefruits from the Rio Red grapefruit tree ripen between November to May
    • The tree will start bearing sweet, tasty red-fleshed grapefruit in its second year
    • Grapefruit has the highest heat requirement of any citrus
    • Vigorous growing, large tree, with a spreading canopy, large dark green leaves

    Where Will Citrus Grow? 

    With proper care, having a citrus tree such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, rio red grapefruit, rio red grapefruit or orange tree will produce decades of delicious fruit. However, the growing regions in the United States where citrus can be planted into the ground are California, Arizona, South Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

    If you do not live in those regions, we do not recommend planting citrus in the ground. However, we consider this a good thing, because it's going to make your citrus growing a lot easier.

    Growing Citrus Outside of Growing Zones

    So how do you grow citrus outside of these growing zones? You do so by planting your tree in a container. You can use a plastic barrel, a wooden planter, a nice decorative pot, or really any sort of container that has adequate holes on the bottom for drainage.

    Another option, which we enjoy, are fabric smart pots which do not have holes, however, the entire container is made of a fabric mesh which allows proper drainage and aeration of the soil.

    The Planting Process for Growing Citrus Trees in Pots

    The actual planting process of our trees in pots is very straightforward, with standardized use of potting soil and watering and fertilizing schedules.

    You can keep any citrus tree pruned back, but the Rio red grapefruit is naturally a smaller dwarf type variety which gets to be about 4 to 6 feet, but it will still produce an abundant harvest.

    Step 1: Container for Rio red grapefruit trees

    The keys to an appropriate container are having sufficient drainage through the material either being some sort of mesh cloth (SmartPots) or having a few holes on the bottom of your planter.

    Secondly, the size of the pot should be at least 5 gallons, with our favorite size recommend being 15 gallons. We find that anything above 25 gallons is quite difficult to physically move with only one person. so we recommend 15 gallons as the sweet spot.

    Step 2: Soil for Rio red grapefruit trees

    Choosing soil for your Rio red grapefruit trees is simple. All you need is any sort of potting soil. We do not recommend gardening soil or topsoil to use for container gardening. This is advantageous because even if you lived in a citrus growing region, you would have to take into consideration the type of soil.

    For example, US Citrus is based in the Rio Grande Valley, and we have a wonderful sandy loam type soil which drains very well. Other types of soil such as different types of clay soils especially with limestone mixed in will have a very difficult time draining and this will adversely affect the root health of your tree.

    With a standard potting soil for your container gardening, you do not need to worry about any of these factors. You also don't have to worry about the pH balance of the soil. We have just removed a large part of the headache of growing citrus by having all customers grow their citrus in containers and using any standard potting soil which is available at your local nursery garden center supply store.

    Step 3: Watering for Rio red grapefruit trees

    Watering is crucial, typically when citrus is planted into the ground there is a worry of proper drainage and overwatering your tree. Citrus trees planted in the ground prefer to have their roots a bit on the dry side. We have found that if there is proper drainage in container gardening it is difficult to overwater citrus trees.

    See our watering schedule for our citrus trees based on their size and the outside conditions.

    The best way to figure out how much water your citrus tree needs is to actually look at the tree. If the leaves are wilted and dry, your tree needs more water. After watering, the tree’s leaves should perk up.

    Overwatering Your Potted Citrus Tree

    Overwatering is a possibility and we find that this especially happens when the trees are indoor and there's a garden saucer used underneath the pot. When there's a garden saucer there is impeded drainage, which is helpful while you're on vacation and cannot water your tree for a week, or when you have your trees indoors to prevent water seeping onto the floors and causing damage.

    However, if trees are over-watered, the plant leaves will wilt and may turn a bit yellow and look sad. Watering more will not improve the condition of the tree obviously, and you will likely notice that the soil is waterlogged at this point.

    Giving your tree a break by taking it outside if possible or letting the soil drain without a garden saucer in the bathtub for a day is a good solution. Afterward, you can adjust your watering schedule appropriately. Our watering schedule also has a section for indoor planting.

    Step 4: Fertilizer for Rio red grapefruit trees

    Your Rio red grapefruit  tree will need both macro and micronutrients, just like a human. The macronutrients that all plants need are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. You have likely seen fertilizers and soil which state three numbers together, this is the N – P – K system which shows the concentration and relative amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium respectively.

    These machinations are very important for the development of the root system, the color of the leaves, appropriate photosynthesis, the growth of the trunk of the tree, proper flowering, fruiting, and taste of the fruit. See our blog article on nutrition for more information.

    Micronutrients are also very important - think of these as vitamins for humans. They are needed much in smaller quantities and plants can have characteristic symptoms if they have a micronutrient deficiency. We will detail out micronutrients and symptoms of deficiencies in later articles.

    However, our promise to you is that we make this simple. Between regular potting soil and the fertilizer we recommend, you will have all the macronutrients and micronutrients that your tree needs and a simple fertilizing schedule for easy and effective fertilizing when you get your tree and for every February, May, and August. See our fertilizer schedule below for amounts that we recommend.

    Fertilizer Schedule

    Ounces to use every Feb, May, and Aug

    Year 1

    Year 2

    Year 3+

     

     

     

    Miracle-Gro for Citrus, Avocado and Mango (13-7-13)

    5

    7

    9

     Espoma Citrus (5-2-6)

    10

    14

    18

    Step 5: Sunlight for Rio red grapefruit trees 

    Sunlight is crucial to citrus trees, especially citrus being a tropical plant. In most areas of the United States, you want to maximize sunlight with full sun exposure. If you are planting indoors, make sure that it has full sun next to the window, but we would also recommend having a grow light.

    Citrus does best when it has six hours of sunlight a day. If the temperature is consistently above 90° especially for younger trees, there may be some wilting of the leaves. This wilting will reverse however and at this point, it would be advantageous to keep your tree by elementary and partial shade. 

    Step 6: Winter Protection for Rio red grapefruit trees

    We recommend that under freezing temperatures, you move your citrus tree into a warmer area such as a garage or indoors for the entire winter. This point you can utilize a grow lights for continued growth.

    There is nothing more frustrating than losing years of work and future decades of fruit than losing your citrus tree to a freak cold-snap which occurred while you were vacationing out of town! Citrus can die with exposure to temperatures in the teens for even up to 12 hours. 

    Step 7: Where do I buy my Rio red grapefruit tree?

    First of all, if you live in the states of California, Arizona, Louisiana, or Florida, you will need to purchase your citrus tree locally as citrus cannot be imported into your state because of USDA regulations.

    Otherwise go to uscitrus.com to buy your tree today!

    Step 8: Harvesting your Rio red grapefruits

    The ripening season is Nov to Aug with main harvest being winter to spring time.

     

     

     

    Eight Steps to Growing Valencia Oranges in Containers

    Eight Steps to Growing Valencia Oranges in Containers

    The Valencia orange tree produces the smoothest and finest orange juice and its orange blossoms create a refreshing aroma. The Valencia orange is the most commonly grown citrus fruits due to its flavorful qualities and the ability to hold up well in many climates.

    Valencia Orange Fruit :

    • The Valencia orange contains few to no seeds, has a tough peel, and are medium in size
    • Very sweet and very juicy
    • medium to large size and the rind is somewhat hard to peel

    Valencia Orange Tree:

    • The orange tree will give you a refreshing, sweet orange blossom scent for your patio or indoors
    • The Valencia orange tree is a very productive citrus tree, especially in alternate years
    • Large tree, taller than the navel orange
    • Harvest time is spring to fall
    • Harvesting can be done over a long period of time, from spring to summer, as the fruit holds very well on the trees, for up to six months after becoming edible and 18 months after bloom!

    Where Will Citrus Grow? 

    With proper care, having a citrus tree such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, valencia orange tree will produce decades of delicious fruit. However, the growing regions in the United States where citrus can be planted into the ground are California, Arizona, South Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

    If you live outside these areas, citrus plants can be grown in container. Growing container citrus may be beneficial in your area in order to because plant may be moved around to obtain more sun light and protect them from frost in the winter. 

    Growing Citrus Outside of Growing Zones

    So how do you grow citrus outside of these growing zones? You do so by planting your tree in a container. You can use a plastic barrel, a wooden planter, a nice decorative pot, or really any sort of container that has adequate holes on the bottom for drainage.

    Another option, which we enjoy, are fabric smart pots which do not have holes, however, the entire container is made of a fabric mesh which allows proper drainage and aeration of the soil.

    The Planting Process for Growing Citrus Trees in Pots

    The actual planting process of our trees in pots is very straightforward, with standardized use of potting soil and watering and fertilizing schedules.

    You can keep any citrus tree pruned back, but the Valencia orange is naturally a smaller dwarf type variety which gets to be about 4 to 6 feet, but it will still produce an abundant harvest.

    Step 1: Container for Valencia orange trees

    The keys to an appropriate container are having sufficient drainage through the material either being some sort of mesh cloth (SmartPots) or having a few holes on the bottom of your planter.

    Secondly, the size of the pot should be at least 5 gallons, with our favorite size recommend being 15 gallons. We find that anything above 25 gallons is quite difficult to physically move with only one person. so we recommend 15 gallons as the sweet spot.

    Step 2: Soil for Valencia orange trees

    Choosing soil for your Valencia orange trees is simple. All you need is any sort of potting soil. We do not recommend gardening soil or topsoil to use for container gardening. This is advantageous because even if you lived in a citrus growing region, you would have to take into consideration the type of soil.

    For example, US Citrus is based in the Rio Grande Valley, and we have a wonderful sandy loam type soil which drains very well. Other types of soil such as different types of clay soils especially with limestone mixed in will have a very difficult time draining and this will adversely affect the root health of your tree.

    With a standard potting soil for your container gardening, you do not need to worry about any of these factors. You also don't have to worry about the pH balance of the soil. We have just removed a large part of the headache of growing citrus by having all customers grow their citrus in containers and using any standard potting soil which is available at your local nursery garden center supply store.

    Step 3: Watering for Valencia orange trees

    Watering is crucial, typically when citrus is planted into the ground there is a worry of proper drainage and overwatering your tree. Citrus trees planted in the ground prefer to have their roots a bit on the dry side. We have found that if there is proper drainage in container gardening it is difficult to overwater citrus trees.

    See our watering schedule for our citrus trees based on their size and the outside conditions.

    The best way to figure out how much water your citrus tree needs is to actually look at the tree. If the leaves are wilted and dry, your tree needs more water. After watering, the tree’s leaves should perk up.

    Overwatering Your Potted Citrus Tree

    Overwatering is a possibility and we find that this especially happens when the trees are indoor and there's a garden saucer used underneath the pot. When there's a garden saucer there is impeded drainage, which is helpful while you're on vacation and cannot water your tree for a week, or when you have your trees indoors to prevent water seeping onto the floors and causing damage.

    However, if trees are over-watered, the plant leaves will wilt and may turn a bit yellow and look sad. Watering more will not improve the condition of the tree obviously, and you will likely notice that the soil is waterlogged at this point.

    Giving your tree a break by taking it outside if possible or letting the soil drain without a garden saucer in the bathtub for a day is a good solution. Afterward, you can adjust your watering schedule appropriately. Our watering schedule also has a section for indoor planting.

    Step 4: Fertilizer for Valencia orange trees

    Your Valencia orange  tree will need both macro and micronutrients, just like a human. The macronutrients that all plants need are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. You have likely seen fertilizers and soil which state three numbers together, this is the N – P – K system which shows the concentration and relative amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium respectively.

    These macronutrients are very important for the development of the root system, the color of the leaves, appropriate photosynthesis, the growth of the trunk of the tree, proper flowering, fruiting, and taste of the fruit. See our blog article on nutrition for more information.

    Micronutrients are also very important - think of these as vitamins for humans. They are needed much in smaller quantities and plants can have characteristic symptoms if they have a micronutrient deficiency. We will detail out micronutrients and symptoms of deficiencies in later articles.

    However, our promise to you is that we make this simple. Between regular potting soil and the fertilizer we recommend, you will have all the macronutrients and micronutrients that your tree needs and a simple fertilizing schedule for easy and effective fertilizing when you get your tree and for every February, May, and August. See our fertilizer schedule below for amounts that we recommend.

    Fertilizer Schedule

    Ounces to use every Feb, May, and Aug

    Year 1

    Year 2

    Year 3+

     

     

     

    Miracle-Gro for Citrus, Avocado and Mango (13-7-13)

    5

    7

    9

     Espoma Citrus (5-2-6)

    10

    14

    18

    Step 5: Sunlight for Valencia orange trees 

    Valencia oranges have the highest heat requirements of any citrus tree! Be sure to get your grapefruit tree maximum light and heat exposure!

    Sunlight is crucial to citrus trees, especially citrus being a tropical plant. In most areas of the United States, you want to maximize sunlight with full sun exposure. If you are planting indoors, make sure that it has full sun next to the window, but we would also recommend having a grow light.

    Citrus does best when it has six hours of sunlight a day. If the temperature is consistently above 90° especially for younger trees, there may be some wilting of the leaves. This wilting will reverse however and at this point, it would be advantageous to keep your tree by elementary and partial shade. 

    Step 6: Winter Protection for Valencia orange trees

    We recommend that under freezing temperatures, you move your citrus tree into a warmer area such as a garage or indoors for the entire winter. This point you can utilize a grow lights for continued growth.

    There is nothing more frustrating than losing years of work and future decades of fruit than losing your citrus tree to a freak cold-snap which occurred while you were vacationing out of town! Citrus can die with exposure to temperatures in the teens for even up to 12 hours. 

    Step 7: Where do I buy my Valencia orange tree?

    First of all, if you live in the states of California, Arizona, Louisiana, or Florida, you will need to purchase your citrus tree locally as citrus cannot be imported into your state because of USDA regulations.

    Otherwise go to uscitrus.com to buy your tree today!

    Step 8: Harvesting your Valencia oranges

    The ripening season is November to August, with the harvest being from late spring to summer.

    Eight Steps to Growing Eureka Lemons in Containers

    Eight Steps to Growing Eureka Lemons in Containers

    This classic lemon is what you most often see in the grocery store and is known for producing large, juicy lemons of high quality. The flowers produced by this tree are extremely fragrant, making it a prime choice for scented gardens.

     Eureka Lemon Fruit

    Features of the Eureka lemon:

    • The rind is medium-thick, and the flesh color is greenish-yellow and it is fine-grained and tender.
    • Very juicy with a highly sour flavor, excellent for cooking, especially seafood.
    • The fruit can be used as a salt substitute.
    • The crop is well distributed throughout the year, but mainly in late winter, spring, and early summer.

    Eureka Lemon Tree

    Features of the Eureka lemon tree:

    • Vigorously growing, with purple-tinged flowers.
    • This tree requires pruning to keep appropriate size, and it not recommended in very humid areas.
    • This variety is moderately hardy to cold temperatures and capable of withstanding brief periods of freezing temperatures.

    Where Will Citrus Grow? 

    With proper care, having a citrus tree such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat, eureka lemon or orange tree will produce decades of delicious fruit. However, the growing regions in the United States where citrus can be planted into the ground are California, Arizona, South Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

    If you do not live in those regions, we do not recommend planting citrus in the ground. However, we consider this a good thing, because it's going to make your citrus growing a lot easier.

    Growing Citrus Outside of Growing Zones

    So how do you grow citrus outside of these growing zones? You do so by planting your tree in a container. You can use a plastic barrel, a wooden planter, a nice decorative pot, or really any sort of container that has adequate holes on the bottom for drainage.

    Another option, which we enjoy, are fabric smart pots which do not have holes, however, the entire container is made of a fabric mesh which allows proper drainage and aeration of the soil.

    The Planting Process for Growing Citrus Trees in Pots

    The actual planting process of our trees in pots is very straightforward, with standardized use of potting soil and watering and fertilizing schedules.

    You can keep any citrus tree pruned back, but the Eureka lemon is naturally a smaller dwarf type variety which gets to be about 4 to 6 feet, but it will still produce an abundant harvest.

    Step 1: Container for Eureka lemon trees

    The keys to an appropriate container are having sufficient drainage through the material either being some sort of mesh cloth (SmartPots) or having a few holes on the bottom of your planter.

    Secondly, the size of the pot should be at least 5 gallons, with our favorite size recommend being 15 gallons. We find that anything above 25 gallons is quite difficult to physically move with only one person. so we recommend 15 gallons as the sweet spot.

    Step 2: Soil for Eureka lemon trees

    Choosing soil for your Eureka lemon trees is simple. All you need is any sort of potting soil. We do not recommend gardening soil or topsoil to use for container gardening. This is advantageous because even if you lived in a citrus growing region, you would have to take into consideration the type of soil.

    For example, US Citrus is based in the Rio Grande Valley, and we have a wonderful sandy loam type soil which drains very well. Other types of soil such as different types of clay soils especially with limestone mixed in will have a very difficult time draining and this will adversely affect the root health of your tree.

    With a standard potting soil for your container gardening, you do not need to worry about any of these factors. You also don't have to worry about the pH balance of the soil. We have just removed a large part of the headache of growing citrus by having all customers grow their citrus in containers and using any standard potting soil which is available at your local nursery garden center supply store.

    Step 3: Watering for Eureka lemon trees

    Watering is crucial, typically when citrus is planted into the ground there is a worry of proper drainage and overwatering your tree. Citrus trees planted in the ground prefer to have their roots a bit on the dry side. We have found that if there is proper drainage in container gardening it is difficult to overwater citrus trees.

    See our watering schedule for our citrus trees based on their size and the outside conditions.

    The best way to figure out how much water your citrus tree needs is to actually look at the tree. If the leaves are wilted and dry, your tree needs more water. After watering, the tree’s leaves should perk up.

    Overwatering Your Potted Citrus Tree

    Overwatering is a possibility and we find that this especially happens when the trees are indoor and there's a garden saucer used underneath the pot. When there's a garden saucer there is impeded drainage, which is helpful while you're on vacation and cannot water your tree for a week, or when you have your trees indoors to prevent water seeping onto the floors and causing damage.

    However, if trees are over-watered, the plant leaves will wilt and may turn a bit yellow and look sad. Watering more will not improve the condition of the tree obviously, and you will likely notice that the soil is waterlogged at this point.

    Giving your tree a break by taking it outside if possible or letting the soil drain without a garden saucer in the bathtub for a day is a good solution. Afterward, you can adjust your watering schedule appropriately. Our watering schedule also has a section for indoor planting.

    Step 4: Fertilizer for Eureka lemon trees

    Your Eureka lemon  tree will need both macro and micronutrients, just like a human. The macronutrients that all plants need are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. You have likely seen fertilizers and soil which state three numbers together, this is the N – P – K system which shows the concentration and relative amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium respectively.

    These machinations are very important for the development of the root system, the color of the leaves, appropriate photosynthesis, the growth of the trunk of the tree, proper flowering, fruiting, and taste of the fruit. See our blog article on nutrition for more information.

    Micronutrients are also very important - think of these as vitamins for humans. They are needed much in smaller quantities and plants can have characteristic symptoms if they have a micronutrient deficiency. We will detail out micronutrients and symptoms of deficiencies in later articles.

    However, our promise to you is that we make this simple. Between regular potting soil and the fertilizer we recommend, you will have all the macronutrients and micronutrients that your tree needs and a simple fertilizing schedule for easy and effective fertilizing when you get your tree and for every February, May, and August. See our fertilizer schedule below for amounts that we recommend.

    Fertilizer Schedule

    Ounces to use every Feb, May, and Aug

    Year 1

    Year 2

    Year 3+

     

     

     

    Miracle-Gro for Citrus, Avocado and Mango (13-7-13)

    5

    7

    9

     Espoma Citrus (5-2-6)

    10

    14

    18

    Step 5: Sunlight for Eureka lemon trees 

    Sunlight is crucial to citrus trees, especially citrus being a tropical plant. In most areas of the United States, you want to maximize sunlight with full sun exposure. If you are planting indoors, make sure that it has full sun next to the window, but we would also recommend having a grow light.

    Citrus does best when it has six hours of sunlight a day. If the temperature is consistently above 90° especially for younger trees, there may be some wilting of the leaves. This wilting will reverse however and at this point, it would be advantageous to keep your tree by elementary and partial shade. 

    Step 6: Winter Protection for Eureka lemon trees

    We recommend that under freezing temperatures, you move your citrus tree into a warmer area such as a garage or indoors for the entire winter. This point you can utilize a grow lights for continued growth.

    There is nothing more frustrating than losing years of work and future decades of fruit than losing your citrus tree to a freak cold-snap which occurred while you were vacationing out of town! Citrus can die with exposure to temperatures in the teens for even up to 12 hours. 

    Step 7: Where do I buy my Eureka lemon tree?

    First of all, if you live in the states of California, Arizona, Louisiana, or Florida, you will need to purchase your citrus tree locally as citrus cannot be imported into your state because of USDA regulations.

    Otherwise go to uscitrus.com to buy your tree today!

    Step 8: Harvesting your Eureka lemons

    The crop is well distributed throughout the year, but mainly in late winter, spring, and early summer.

     

     

    The Importance of Nitrogen for the Best Mandarins, Calamondins, Kumquats, Australian Finger Limes, Oranges and Lemons

    The Importance of Nitrogen for the Best Mandarins, Calamondins, Kumquats, Australian Finger Limes, Oranges and Lemons

    Mani Skaria, Ph.D.

     

    Introduction.

     

    Nitrogen is a vital element required for life, whether it is plants, or animals, including the human being. Nitrogen is the most abundant element on earth as it occupies about 78% of the atmosphere. The figure at the right is the symbol of Nitrogen as per the periodic table. N = nitrogen, 7 is the atomic number, and 14.007 is the relative atomic mass. At room temperature, it is a gas. The presence of nitrogen was discovered in 1772 by a Scottish physician, chemist and botanist – almost 2½ centuries ago.

     

    For human beings, nitrogen is required to make proteins in our muscles, skin, blood, hair, nails and our genetic material, the DNA. And in nature, human beings obtain nitrogen from animal products such as meat, mild, eggs, fish and plant products such as legumes, and nuts.  products, mild, egg, and fish, foods such as meat, fish, legumes and nuts.

    A basic difference between plants and animals

    Animals can move. Plants are sedentary.

    When a physician advises on protein deficiency, the patient takes the information and make corrective measures for themselves and even for their dependents, including the pets. People and animals can move around Whereas, most plant owners are not plant doctors; they have no clue that that plant needs food and water. As a plant doctor, I consider it an unforgivable sin.

    Why Citrus plants need nitrogen?

    1. Nitrogen is the key components of the following six functions identified for a citrus plant
    2. When the entire leaf becomes light green to yellow
    3. When leaf drop leaves prematuraley.
    • Enzymes
    • Vitamins
    • Chlorophyll
    • Protein
    • Many other plant cell constituents
    • An essential component for fruit growth & development

    How much nitrogen is needed?

    This generic question comes with a qualifier question – a baby or a mature tree?

    A baby tree or a mature adult heavy-fruiting tree?

    A baby tree is one to two years-old and a heavy-fruiting tree is over 7-years-old. 

    A mature tree would benefit from getting about one-kilogram nitrogen per tree per year (= slightly over two pounds).  This can be spread over 12-montgh period. However, the best time to apply nitrogen has the following consideration.

    What’s the best time to apply nitrogen?

    There must be enough nitrogen in the plant before the flowering season. The flowering season in Texas, Florida and California is a Spring-season phenomenon; however, it can start as early as February.

    I remember a word of wisdom given to Texas citrus growers by Dr. Richard A. Hensz, developer of the red grapefruits, Rio Red and Star Ruby. His answer to the question, “what’s the best time to apply nitrogen” was, between December 31st and January 1st.  What Dr. Hensz meant was that nitrogen must be readily available to the plant a long before the onset of flowering.

    Translate this into having enough money in your bank account before you pour the concrete foundation for your new home.

     

    Just like people eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the nitrogen application can be spread over 12 months. But remember, just like a good breakfast, enough nitrogen before the flower set in the month of February is important.

    How do I know my citrus plant is suffering from nitrogen deficiency?

    • By doing a leaf tissue analysis and when the Nitrogen content is below 2% from the laboratory report
    • When the entire leaf becomes light green to yellow in color
    • When leaves drop premature - normally, a citrus leaf is to last 18 to 24 months.
    • When nitrogen deficiency is severe, plants show stunted growth.

    Specific positive roles of adequate Nitrogen

    1. Increase yield
    2. Increase number of fruits per tree

    Specific negative roles of too much Nitrogen

    1. Reduce fruit color break from green to orange/red
    2. Increase peel thickness which is considered negative
    • Increase fruit acidity which can be considered negative