If you think your garden is too small for citrus trees, think again! Here's how to grow dwarf citrus trees and get all the benefits of fresh citrus fruit.
Tiny gardens can often feel like a disappointment. How can you possibly grow anything with such a limited amount of space?
However, it's totally possible to grow your own citrus trees even if you don't have acres of land for full-size trees. How exactly do you go about doing that though?
Dwarf citrus trees are an alternative to full-scale citrus trees, and they produce a lot of fruit without needing a lot of space!
If you're interested in growing your own mini citrus fruit trees, read our guide below to get started on your own citrus growing adventure!
What Are Dwarf Citrus Trees?
Dwarf citrus trees are just regular citrus trees that are grafted onto a smaller rootstock. Mini citrus fruit trees tend to range from a mature size of 2 to 10 feet tall, so they are a perfect fit if you want to harvest tropical produce without taking up too much space in your garden.
Potting and Pruning:
When potting a young dwarf citrus tree, consider a wide pot as citrus plants produce rather shallow roots. Once the tree begins to mature, you can move it into a larger pot. Pots with about a 20-inch diameter and a 12-15 inch height are ideal, and it's best to find a pot with holes in the bottom for easy water drainage.
The size of the rootstock will determine how large your citrus tree is. After harvesting your tree's fruits, tip the tree enough to be able to take about an inch or two off the roots.
Pot the tree back up with some fresh soil and take about a third of the tree's branches off. When pruning, make sure to take off branches that cross over each other or cause shade.
How to Maintain Dwarf Citrus Trees:
Maintenance for dwarf citrus trees isn't that much different than that for their full-size counterparts.
You can grow your dwarf fruit trees indoors as well as outdoors. If you live in a non-tropical climate, be mindful of the change in temperatures each season. Dwarf citrus trees are frost sensitive, so it's best to bring your trees inside when the temperature drops below 50°F.
It's important to regularly water your trees. Once they've become established you can cut back slightly on watering. Water your miniature trees when the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry, but make sure good drainage is available because dwarf citrus trees do not like being over-watered and having to sit in soggy soil.
Most dwarf citrus trees require full sun. If you're keeping your citrus trees in an indoor environment that gets little natural light, consider investing in a sun lamp so your trees can get at least 8 hours of light a day.
Dwarf citrus trees prefer humid climates. If you're keeping your trees indoors, make sure to mist the leaves regularly or set up a humidifier nearby.
Make Your Mini Garden a Reality!
Now that you know some of the basics when it comes to growing dwarf citrus trees, it's time to figure out which trees you want to grow.
There are a ton of different dwarf citrus trees to choose from. Dwarf lemon trees are perhaps the most popular. They are a cross between lemons and tangerines and produce sweet, juicy fruit!
If you're looking for a tarter option, grapefruits come in a variety of dwarf options, such as "Star Ruby" or "Rio Red".
Kumquats are also a good option as they are hardy and naturally smaller citrus that will be easier to maintain.
No matter which fruit you decide to grow, it's entirely possible to have dwarf citrus trees flourish in your garden!
Growing trees is fun, but if you want to have delicious, seasonal citrus fruit right away, join the Craft Citrus Club!
Get a curated box of fresh-harvested citrus fruit from South Texas sent to your door every month!