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What Are Dwarf Citrus Trees? This Is What You Need to Know

Dwarf Citrus Trees

As a gardener, how much do you know about dwarf citrus trees? These smaller citrus trees provide tasty fruit just like regular citrus trees. Keep on reading to learn more!

Did you know that the average citrus tree will live as long as 50 years?

While it varies between type, a citrus tree can yield a significant amount of fruit in that lifetime. A full grown lemon tree, for example, can bear about 100 pounds of fruit per year once it reaches maturity. But what about a dwarf citrus tree?

Whether you're a lover of citrus fruits, a lover of gardening, or both, dwarf citrus trees are easy to manage and add color and fragrance to your home or garden. If you're looking for your next gardening project, look no further than these fruit-bearing bushes.

Learn more about what they are and how you care for them here.

What Is a Dwarf Citrus Tree?

A dwarf citrus tree, like any dwarf tree, is a regular tree that's been trained to grow smaller than it naturally would. It's grafted onto smaller plant rootstock so that it grows to a fraction of the size of a full-sized, regular tree.

The result of this process is a tree that produces the same citrus fruit as a full-sized tree but is far more accessible. It can be accommodated by even the smallest parcels of land. Typically, a dwarf citrus tree doesn't grow any larger than 8-10 feet in height.

The most common types of citrus trees are orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, tangelo, and kumquat. But you can find dwarf citrus trees in almost any types and variety.

Types of Dwarf Trees

When looking for dwarf trees, you'll notice that they're called by 3 different names:

  1. Genetic dwarf trees are also called miniature trees. They're available in almond, apricot, cherry, peach, nectarine, and apple.
  2. Dwarf interstem trees can be found in apple and pear.
  3. Dwarf trees are the only variety of grafted tree that includes citrus options as well as apple, cherry, fig, nectarine, olive, pear, plum, peach, and apricot.

If you're looking for a dwarf citrus tree, you'll have to look specifically for the third variety of grafted tree. Unlike the first two varieties, dwarf trees won't tolerate weed competition and will require staking.

Benefits of Dwarf Citrus Trees

Dwarf citrus trees offer aesthetic and tangible benefits, including:

  • Beautiful and fragrant flowers
  • Evergreen foliage
  • A manageable gardening project for small spaces or people with limited time
  • Full-size fruit that's accessible and easy to harvest from the ground
  • A well-behaved root system
  • Easy pest control
  • More fruit than a full sized tree

Not only will your dwarf citrus tree give you just as much fruit if not more than your standard citrus tree, but it will also start producing that fruit at least 1-3 years earlier than a regular tree.

Caring for a Dwarf Citrus Tree

The most important consideration for taking care of your tree is drainage. The roots of a dwarf tree can't function properly if they're waterlogged or standing in water for too long. They require a constant supply of moisture that's able to drain without obstruction.

In order to flower, your tree will require lots of warmth and sunshine. You'll also want to plant it in a planting mix that's made specifically for citrus or fruit trees.

More Citrus Simplified

Dwarf citrus trees are an excellent option when you don't have room for a full-size tree. They often produce more fruit than a standard tree and are easier to access. And with almost variety of fruit plant available, you can have your choice of fruits almost all-year long.

For more information on properly caring for your citrus trees, dwarfs or not, check out more on our blog.