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A Fertile Start: A Beginner's Guide to Fertilizing Citrus Trees

Fertilizing Citrus Trees

So you're thinking about growing a citrus tree, but how do you ensure your tree has a healthy start? Here's your guide to properly fertilizing citrus trees.

Research shows that gardening boosts your wellness and can help you live longer. Citrus trees make a great addition to your gardening practice because they are easy to care for and add a fun visual element to your space. 

If you've ever thought about growing a dwarf tangerine tree or wondered, "How fast do orange trees grow?" then this guide will help you.

Your first step is understanding the technique behind fertilizing citrus trees. Follow this guide to ensure that your citrus tree has a healthy start. 

Know When to Fertilize

Fertilization is very important for the first few years of your tree's life. Before you begin, speak with a nursery professional about the types of fertilizer they supply. You can also read our citrus care guide to learn more about caring for your tree.  

The perfect time to fertilize your citrus tree is just before bud break. This is because your trees will be starting their yearly growth cycle and eating the most food. 

Remember, not all citrus trees will need fertilizer every year. How do you know what your tree needs?

Measure your tree's growth in winter or early spring while it's still dormant. Depending on the measurements, you'll know which trees need fertilizer and how much they need.

Know How to Fertilize

When you're ready to start fertilizing, the first step is to choose the right kind of fertilizer. No two fertilizers are made alike. For example, lemon tree fertilizer will be different from peach tree fertilizer. 

First: Choose the Right Fertilizerlem

Fruit trees will grow better with an organic, high-nitrogen fertilizer. This is because nitrogen is an essential nutrient for your tree's health. 

Make sure you don't burn your tree with too much nitrogen, though. Using organic fertilizer instead of a synthetic option will be the safer option. 

Second: Measure the Right Amount of Fertilizer

Now that you know the importance of using too much and too little fertilizer, you'll need to measure out the perfect amount. This is the most important step.

The amount of fertilizer you should use is calculated based on the nitrogen-value on the package and the age or size of the tree. Follow these steps to do your calculation:

1. Measure the trunk diameter in inches and write down that number. You can also write down how old the tree is. 

2. Multiply that number by 0.10. This is because your tree needs 0.10 pounds of "actual nitrogen" per year of age or per trunk diameter. 

3. Look at the packaging of your fertilizer to find the NPK numbers. The "N" number listed is the amount of "actual nitrogen" per pound of fertilizer. 

4. Divide the amount of actual nitrogen your tree needs by the amount of actual nitrogen per pound in your fertilizer.

This is the number you need to measure out how much fertilizer to apply. 

Third: Apply the Fertilizer

Finally, evenly apply the fertilizer starting a foot away from the trunk and ending at the "drip line." You can spread out the fertilizer and rake it in or dig small holes around the trunk. After that, spread a layer of compost around the tree and water it well. 

The Rewards of Fertilizing Citrus Trees

Fertilizing citrus trees is easy to do and helps your tree stay healthy. Be diligent every year and soon you'll be enjoying the many health benefits of citrus fruits

Ready to start growing your own citrus tree? Choose your favorite from our citrus tree selection and get planting this season!

Understanding the Water Requirements for a Lemon Citrus Tree

Water Requirements for a Lemon Citrus Tree

Your lemon citrus tree needs enough water to grow healthily. In this post, we cover the essential water requirements for healthy lemon citrus tree growth.

Looking for a way to ensure that your yard is truly breathtaking?

There's nothing quite as lovely as a lemon tree. 

However, to keep your trees beautiful, and to help them grow fresh lemons you can enjoy, you need to get to know the basics of lemon citrus tree care. 

In this post, we'll tell you everything you need to know about watering your lemon citrus tree the right way.

The Basics of Watering a Lemon Citrus Tree

First, understand that rainwater alone isn't enough to keep your lemon citrus tree happy. 

Though you certainly don't want to drown your lemon tree, as this can make is susceptible to all kinds lemon tree diseases, you need to be sure it's getting the same amount of moisture it would in its natural habitat. 

Whether you plant your tree in a pot or place it directly in the soil, you need to completely saturate the root ball. 

If possible, make it a point to water your lemon tree first thing in the morning. 

Remember that, to avoid overwatering the tree, you should make sure to check the area around the roots. If it feels soggy already, hold off on watering. 

Tree Age and Watering

Proper citrus tree watering schedules vary with age. 

If you have a tree that's young enough to still have a trunk under an inch in diameter, you should water it three times a week in the summer, and once a week when it's fall.

When you first get an outdoor lemon tree, you should give it about two gallons of water daily at the trunk for four weeks. 

If you're keeping the tree indoors, remember that it needs 12-18 hours of sunlight every day to thrive. You should give it a cup of water every day for the first month.

In summer, you should use about 5 gallons of water each week for potted lemon trees. Larger trees will need much more than that, as will younger trees

If it's freezing in the winter, you should likely only water the tree a few times every week.

If it's been an especially rainy week in any season, make sure to check your plant's root systems to avoid overwatering. 

If the tree is old enough to have a trunk greater than an inch in diameter, you won't need to water it as often. 

Usually, once or twice a week is fine. Because the root system is thoroughly in the ground, make sure you water the older trees deeply. 

Need More Citrus Tree Care Advice?

Now that you better understand how to water your lemon citrus tree, we know you're likely curious about what else you should do to keep it healthy and happy. 

For more detailed advice, be sure to check out our care guide

Interested in growing other citrus trees

Be sure to check out the different options we have to offer, from lime trees to blood orange trees and beyond. Make this the year you finally give your home, patio, yard or even the exterior of your business the upgrade it deserves.

What's the Right Grow Light for Citrus Trees?

Grow Light for Citrus Trees

Placing your citrus trees where they will receive enough light ensures healthy growth. Read on to learn the ideal grow light for citrus trees in your home.

Lemons are nature's delicious gift to humans.

They're crucial ingredients in so many recipes, and they're great for your health. They help to prevent obesity and other diseases and keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

There are two kinds of lemons - the Meyer lemon, and the Eureka (aka Lisbon) lemon.

The Meyer lemon is sweeter than the Eureka lemon, thought to be cross-bred with a type of orange (mandarin).

The Eureka/Lisbon lemon is the most common type, often found in grocery stores as a simple "lemon." They're tart and mouth-wateringly sour, often used to make lemonade or desserts.

Lemons only grow naturally in year-round warm or subtropical climates. However, if you live in a colder place you can still grow your very own lemon tree.

Read on to find out about lemon tree care, and the best grow light for citrus trees! 

Sour, but with a Sensitive Side

Lemon trees can be fragile. The branches aren't very thick so they might sway and break if the wind is too strong.

They're also very responsive to weather. Frost and cold will kill the lemon tree quickly. Temperatures above 100 degrees F may cause the flowers and leaves to burn.

Our fruity friends need 6-8 hours of full sunlight, preferably in a windless climate. The best temperature for lemon trees is between 60 and 100 degrees F year-round.

Indoor lemon tree care is easy since you have control over temperature, sunlight, and humidity. You can grow a lemon tree on your own whether you live in Florida or Maine.

I Vitamin-C the Light!

Full sunlight and warmth may be two of the most important variables in growing your own lemons. If they get enough sunlight, your lemons will be bright yellow, juicy, and bursting with flavor.

If you live anywhere north of the southernmost US, you won't have enough sunlight - even in the summer.

That doesn't mean you have to abandon your tarty treats. You can still grow your citrus indoors with proper lighting and environmental control. 

The best light for indoor lemon trees will be LED, which can supplement the sun's rays when there isn't enough natural light.

LED (Lemons Every Day)

LED lights give off plenty of warmth and replicate sunshine, so they're perfect as grow lights. 

When figuring out how to look after a lemon tree indoors, it's best to map out where the plant will go. Give the light fixture enough room, but pay attention to how powerful it is. A poorly-placed light could cook your baby lemon tree.

The Greatest Grow Light for Citrus Trees

With an LED light and some research, you can start growing your very own lemon trees. 

Growing lemons in your home allows you to have fresh, organic citrus whenever you want. You'll also notice how much you save. Lemons are relatively expensive, and a few dollars per lemon adds up quickly.

Your home-grown lemons will be delicious thanks to LED, the best grow light for citrus trees.

Help your indoor lemon tree and other citrus trees thrive with more helpful information from our Citrus Simplified blog. Now get out there, and good luck!

Top Tips for Repotting Indoor Citrus Trees

Repotting Indoor Citrus Trees

Are you looking to repot your indoor citrus trees? Read on to learn about the top tips for repotting your indoor trees for healthy growth and fruit-bearing.

Do you have indoor citrus trees that need to be re-potted? 

If you're growing citrus plants at home, odds are they will need to be re-potted at some point during their life span. Either your trees will outgrow their pots, or you'll want to change up your decor.

Re-potting might seem like a difficult process, but if you know what you're doing it will go smoothly. Keep reading to learn more about the re-potting process, so your trees stay happy and healthy for as long as possible. 

How to Re-Pot Indoor Trees and Plants 

When you're ready to re-pot your trees, make sure you pick the correct pot size. You don't want to choose something that's too big, as it can cause your tree to die. The best rule of thumb is to choose a pot with a diameter that is no more than one third or one half the height of the tree. 

After you've selected your pot, you're ready to re-pot your indoor trees. Here are a few helpful tips to make the process easier on both of you: 

1. Water Your Trees 

Indoor citrus trees need to be watered regularly, but you should give them an extra drink for a couple days leading up to re-potting. This will make it easier to get the tree out of its current pot and keep it hydrated during the transfer process. A hydrated tree is less likely to die once it's moved. 

2. Loosen Up The Root Ball 

Once you're ready to move, pull the tree out of its pot and loosen up the root ball. If you see any black or dead roots, remove those with a pair of gardening sheers. Loosening the roots will help the tree absorb nutrients from its new soil. 

3. Re-Pot and Clean 

Once you've moved your trees to a new pot, give them a fresh helping of nutrient-dense soil and fertilizer. Clean up any mess around the base of the pot and give your indoor trees a fresh drink of water. The soil should just be lightly damp but not soaking. Too much water in a new pot can kill your trees. 

What To Do After You Re-Pot 

After you change the size of the pot that your indoor trees have called home, they might enter a shock stage. Although it sounds scary, it's normal for a tree that's just been re-potted. 

To make sure they survive this period, give your trees a break from watering for about a week. You should also relocate them to a cooler and shadier spot. This process will help them relax, adjust to the new pot and start to grow again.  

Learn More About Caring for Citrus Trees 

Caring for indoor trees can be time-consuming, but it's well worth the work. There are tons of different types of indoor trees, particularly citrus trees, that can thrive indoors with proper citrus tree care

Check out the rest of our citrus tree and fruit blog for more helpful tips on caring for your indoor trees. If you're looking to get into growing indoor citrus trees, we can help with that as well.

Looking to grow your own citrus trees? Check out our citrus tree selection for fast-growing, micro-budded trees that bear fruit as early as within the second year!

Top 5 Tips for Growing a Kaffir Lime Tree Indoors

Top 5 Tips for Growing a Kaffir Lime Tree Indoors

Are you thinking about growing a kaffir lime tree indoors? If so, read on to learn the top 5 tips for optimal indoor growing.

Kaffir lime leaves are the epitome of many Asian cuisines!

While this dwarf citrus tree can grow outdoors up to 5 feet tall, it's actually best suited for indoors. When confined to a container with adequate drainage, the tree can reach a maximum height of about 3 feet.

Apart from providing a constant supply of Kaffir lime leaves for your dishes, the tree will also complement your interior design.

Use these five effective tips to grow your Kaffir tree indoors.

1. Use a Large Potka

Choose a pot that is at least 18 inches wide and that can hold at least 5 gallons of soil. The tree will need to be re-potted after every three years. You can upgrade the container at this point if need be.

There are several container options for growing kaffir limes in a container. You can use a wooden planter, a plastic barrel, a decorative pot, or just about any container with good drainage holes. Fabric pots are another great option. While they don't have holes, their fabric mesh allows proper soil aeration and drainage.

2. Choose the Right Potting Soil

For all citrus trees, it's recommended to go for moist, well-drained potting soil with neutral pH. During its growing stage, the tree will require a somewhat humid soil condition. Since the air indoors is mostly too dry for citrus plants, it's advisable to increase the moisture by misting your Kaffir tree with a small humidifier.

However, keep in mind that the tree's roots can easily rot if constantly kept on wet soil. For best results, allow the potting soil to dry out after the daily waterings.

3. Provide Adequate Sunlight

Kaffir lime trees require six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily for best results. For maximum sunlight exposure, place the tree next to the window. Also, turn the tree every week to ensure all sides get equal sunlight for proper growth.

You can also supplement the natural sunlight with artificial lighting. These specialized light fixtures mimic the attributes of natural sunlight to stimulate the growth process of your citrus tree. They also regulate the temperature conditions of the plant. Lime trees enjoy indoor temperatures of about 16°C (60 F), especially during the cold season.

4. Choose the Right Fertilizer

Kaffir trees require both macronutrients and micronutrients to grow properly. Macronutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, while micronutrients include iron, zinc, and manganese.

A citrus fertilizer will typically contain all these minerals. Make sure you follow the directions on the package to know when and how much fertilizer you should apply.

5. Prune Your Lime Tree

Kaffir trees should be pruned while still young. This encourages proper branching and the growth of healthier leaves.

When it's fully grown, you can prune the tree at any time to keep it in shape. It's okay to remove the thorns on the tree because they don't serve any purpose indoors. What's more, they can be dangerous to your kids and pets.

Where to Buy a Kaffir Lime Tree

Want to grow your own lime tree at home?

At US Citrus, we offer healthy high-quality Kaffir lime trees. We'll get your tree shipped to your home in the shortest time possible.