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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!

5 Common Types of Citrus Trees You Need to Grow

Types of Citrus Trees to Grow

Do you want to know the different types of citrus trees you can grow in your home? Keep on reading this post and you'll understand the trees you need.

Need a little environmental pick me up? Tired of looking out your window into an empty and boring yard? If so, then you need to plant a citrus tree!

But before you head out the door to make a purchase, you need to know the types of citrus trees best for growing at home. Citrus trees offer beauty, pleasant aromas, and healthy snacks. Continue reading to get in the know!

1. Blood Orange

When discussing types of citrus trees, we have to start off with an orange!

The blood orange tree produces unique oranges that have a deep red tint to them on the inside. This tree is considered a small or medium tree. They normally don't grow more than 25ft. 

And it grows with a visually pleasing rounded top after blooming in the spring. The tree itself cast off beautiful aromas. These aromas attract birds and butterflies. 

Once the oranges do bloom, the branches on the tree tend to lean closer to the ground. This makes for optimal orange picking!

2. Improved Meyer Lemon

This new version of the Meyer lemon tree is virus free. The original Meyer lemons were prone to carrying citrus viruses. But the improved Meyer lemon is back and better!

This citrus tree is a hybrid. It's a mix between citrus and meyeri. This version of lemon is less acidic and a bit sweeter. 

Its skin is a deep yellow color. And because it's so thin, it's edible! It has a strong floral scent that'll freshen up any back or front yard. 

It reaches about 10ft and can be grown inside as well!

3. Mexican Lime

Also known as the key lime or bartender's lime, the Mexican lime tree is full of foliage. And they resemble shrubs. The blossoms on the tree are a pretty shade of white and very fragrant. 

Take its leaves and crush them to bask in the fine aromas. These limes are ready to eat during autumn or winter. And with the limes' attractive green skin, this tree is sure to bring vibrancy to any home. 

4. Oroblanco Grapefruit

Another hybrid takes the stage! The oroblanco grapefruit is a cross between a diploid acidless pomelo and a tetraploid grapefruit. This combination creates a seedless and less bitter grapefruit. 

The skin is thicker than a normal grapefruit and is a pale yellow color. This citrus is high in Vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. And they're ready to be picked in the spring!

5. Fremont Tangerine 

A mix between a clementine and a Ponkan mandarin, the Fremont tangerine is the perfect balance between sweet and tangy. These trees are quite thin and grow straight up.

They're incredibly easy to peel. And are great for juicing! How would you like a fresh cup of juice every morning?

And once the tangerines grow ripe, they'll last on the tree for another 3 months!

Types Of Citrus Trees

So when debating on what kind of tree to plant at your home, remember these types of citrus trees! No matter which one you choose, you're sure to have a visibly pleasing and aroma filled tree. 

Need to know which citrus trees are best for growing indoors during the winter? Check out the post in our blog to find out more!

How Do You Grow and Care for Citrus Trees Indoors? (Easy!)

Grow and Care for Indoor Citrus Trees

Do you want to know how to grow citrus trees indoors? In this post, we'll share some exciting tips you can use to grow citrus trees in your home. Read on!

Have you ever woken up on a hot summer morning and all you could think about was a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice? Or you realized that the only thing missing from your iced tea after a long day of work was a little lemon?

Do you need to treat scurvy? Is life not giving you lemons?

Growing your own citrus trees is the answer!

Citrus trees normally thrive in hot, sunny, humid regions, but growing citrus trees indoors is easier than you think!

Planting Citrus Trees

It's possible to grow a citrus tree from a seed, but it's easier to grow one from a seedling or grafted plant. After purchasing a tree, you'll want to plant it right away.

Choose a 15-gallon pot with a wide diameter and drainage holes. Fill the pot with soil that has an acidic pH. The pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5. Check out the best soil for an indoor lemon tree.

Make sure to only bury the roots of the plant because planting it too deeply can damage the roots and stalk.

Caring for Your Tree

Choose a room that will receive plenty of sunlight. Most citrus trees require at least 8 hours of sunlight daily. If getting the recommended amount of sunlight isn't an option, grow lights for citrus trees can supplement your plant with the sunlight it needs.

The temperature in the chosen room should be about 65 degrees Fahrenheit, with a 5 to 10-degree drop at night.

Citrus trees require a humid environment. If you live in a dry area, it's best to run a humidifier. Citrus trees may also require a humidifier during colder months.

Water your tree regularly like you would any houseplant. When the top 2 inches of soil is dry, water your plant. If water pools under your plant, drain it.

Producing Fruit

You can grow a citrus tree that doesn't bear fruit, but where's the fun in that?

Fertilizer is necessary for encouraging the growth of citrus fruit. Fertilize your citrus plant once every one to two months in spring and summer and every two to three months in fall and winter.

Pollination of the plants' flowers won't occur naturally indoors, so it's necessary to pollinate your plant yourself. Lightly brushing a cotton swab from bloom to bloom will encourage fruit growth.

Citrus trees can adapt to growing in lower light, but if you want your citrus tree to produce fruit, it will need direct sunlight for a minimum of 5 hours every day.

Moving the plant outside to a protected, sunny area for a few hours will encourage fruit production. You can even keep the plant outside during warmer months.

Benefits of Growing Citrus Trees Indoors

Not only will your indoor lime tree bear the possibility of fruit, but it will liven up any space and smell fantastic! Growing lemon trees in pots will be a fun experiment while looking nice in your kitchen.

For additional instruction on how to care for your citrus trees indoors, feel free to contact us!

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.

How to Care for a Kaffir Lime Tree

How to Care for a Kaffir Lime Tree

Are you growing a Kaffir lime tree at your home? Learn how to care for a Kaffir lime tree below!

Are you fond of Asian cuisine? If so, then you'll love the Kaffir lime tree.

The leaves are a key ingredient in Thai cooking such as curry and coconut-based dishes. It's also used in other Southeast-Asian cuisines because of their intense citrus aroma.

Because of the pleasant smell, you can dry the leaves and turn it into potpourri. The leaves are also rich in essential oils which you can extract by DIY methods.

Just having the plant present will fill any room with an enjoyable scent. Added to the fact that these plants have a unique look and are resilient, they're one of the best houseplants to own and care for.

While the Kaffir lime can survive in less-than-ideal conditions, you still need to do specific things for optimal growth. Read on.

The Kaffir Lime Tree Loves Sunlight

Like other citrus trees, the Kaffir grows best in a subtropical climate. This means warm weather and plenty of sunlight.

Ideally, you want them to be exposed to sunlight for eight to twelve hours. You'll rarely find a spot in your home with that much natural light so just put them near a sunny window. If needed, you can supplement with fluorescent plant lights.

During the summer, you can move the Kaffir outside if you wish. However, make the transition gradual. Expose the plant to more sun bit by bit each day.

When the weather starts getting cold, carry the Kaffir tree back inside your home. Freezing temperatures are fatal for the warm-loving citrus trees.

Don't Go Loco with H2O

The Kaffir tree prefers moist but well-drained soil. You can water thoroughly if you notice that the surface of the soil has become dry. But you should allow the compost to dry out some between watering sessions, especially during winter.

You don't want the soil to become too wet and soggy. Kaffirs are prone to root rot.

During dry weather, you should mist the leaves to increase the humidity around them. Another method to increase the humidity is to put a garden saucer under the pot which holds the tree.

Groom for the Best Look

Pruning is an important part in the care of this citrus tree. Pruning encourages branching and also helps you maintain its small stature.

The method used is to cut at a 45-degree angle above the leaf node. Try to remove damaged branches to maintain a healthy plant.

Pollination Isn't a Priority

Unlike the leaves, the fruit of the Kaffir lime has limited use because of its minuscule juice production. The fruit is not the focus of growing a Kaffir lime tree.

The fruit does have some use in cleaning and hair conditioning. If you want to stimulate fruit production, pollination has to be done by hand if you're growing a Kaffir tree indoors. You can do this by using a dry paintbrush that you can dab on each flower.

Keep Pests Away

Kaffir trees are usually tough vs common pests but can become susceptible to mites or scales. This usually happens when the plant is exposed to other plants with infestation when you bring them outside.

As always, vigilance is key. You want to do regular inspections for insects and remove affected parts as necessary. If the damage is extensive, you can try a DIY organic insect spray or resort to using a commercial insecticide.

Care for Some Kaffir?

The Kaffir lime tree is a very interesting plant and it's well worth it to know how to take care of it properly. With this knowledge, you'll have plenty of leaves to use on your favorite Asian dishes.

Learn more about the Kaffir lime and tree in our previous article about Kaffir lime and tree history, drinks, and characteristics.

If you think the Kaffir is cool, we have articles on other amazing members of the citrus family, like the Meyer lemon and the Persian lime, that you're gonna love.

Keep visiting our blog for everything citrus!