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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pruning Citrus Trees

Pruning Citrus Trees

There is a right and a wrong way when it comes to pruning citrus trees. Read on to get all the tips you need to know before pruning your citrus plant.

Like all fruit-bearing trees, citrus trees require regular pruning. Removing branches and growth improves the health of your tree, and ensures that they continue to grow fruit. Understanding the benefits and basics of pruning citrus trees can help you maintain your crop. 

Benefits of Pruning Citrus Trees

Keeping your citrus trees pruned can help their overall health. By maintaining a smaller size, you can keep rows of trees from interfering with each other. 

Additionally, removing branches and leaves improves air circulation and sunlight penetration, which encourages growth and fruit production. Getting rid of plant matter also means that the buds and branches that remain will receive more nutrients, growing larger fruits. 

By preventing branches from rubbing against one another, you also prevent fruit from being damaged or falling off the tree. 

How Much Should I Prune?

The exact amount you should remove when pruning a citrus tree will depend on the tree itself. You should consider removing specific parts depending on the age of the tree.

For example, older trees should have their new shoots removed, allowing more nutrients to flow to existing branches. You can remove these by hand, or with hand pruners, depending on their size.

Newer trees should have thinner branches removed so that the stronger and thicker ones can continue to grow. Hand pruners are the best and quickest way to make a clean cut, but you may need larger trimmers for thicker branches. 

You should also pay attention to where the fruit is growing on your citrus tree. If fruit only appears around the edges of your tree, you need to thin the interior branches to allow more air and sunlight in. 

If part of your citrus tree is no longer shaded, you may want to consider covering it with tree paint, available at most hardware stores. This will prevent burning and sun damage until the tree can adjust. 

Removing Diseased Branches

Another common reason to consider pruning your citrus tree is if you have spotted signs of disease. Black spots on your leaves or fruit, yellow scabs on the branches, and peeling bark can be symptoms of health issues.

Have a tree professional diagnose the disease before taking drastic measures. Sometimes, discoloration is nothing more than an aesthetic change. 

However, if your citrus tree has become diseased, you will have to remove the affected branches and leaves. Trim entire branches off of the tree to prevent the disease from spreading. For mature branches, you'll need to make three separate cuts - twice on the branch to remove it and leave a stub, and on the stub itself - to prevent the bark from peeling. 

You'll also need to dispose of any and all diseased plant matter. Leaving it in your yard can allow the disease to spread to other trees.

Learn More About Citrus Tree Care

Check out our citrus blog for more information about pruning citrus trees, citrus disease, citrus tree care, and more! We provide all sorts of insightful guides and articles about citrus trees, fruit, and related topics.

Everything You Need to Know About Caring for an Indoor Orange Tree

Caring for an Indoor Orange Tree

Searching for tips on how to care for your indoor orange tree? Continue reading below to get all of the facts you need to help your orange tree thrive!

Fun fact: Oranges don't grow in the wild. They've been around for literal ages. But they're a domesticated hybrid between the pomelo and mandarin.

So when you think about it, growing an indoor orange tree is your duty to humanity. 

Of course, now you're probably asking yourself, "But how on earth do I even grow an orange tree indoors? There's not enough light for a citrus tree indoors! Isn't that why they're grown in Florida and South Texas?"

We hear you. But not only is growing oranges indoors possible, but your tree can also thrive — you just need to know a few tips about how to grow an orange tree indoors.

Keep the Temperature in Check

As a rule of thumb, your indoor citrus tree will die if the temperature gets below 10 degrees F for 10 hours or 20 degrees F for 20 hours. It's OK to place your tree outside for some light, but when the winter weather starts getting rough, it's time to pull it in. 

Just note the exact temperature citrus houseplants thrive in might vary from variety to variety. So check with your citrus seller. 

Let There Be Light

The light for a citrus tree is very important. Your indoor orange tree needs at least five or six hours of direct sunlight a day. A south-facing window is a sweet spot when growing citrus indoors. 

But note that your window has to be physically hot to the touch to provide enough light. For times when it's not, you can buy a special grow light for citrus trees. 

It's Not a Dry Heat

Orange trees also like humidity. It keeps them cool and encourages orange blossom growth.

Naturally humid rooms like the kitchen or bathroom are great places if you can swing it. If not, put your indoor orange tree on a pebble tray and mist the leaves with cool water to raise the humidity. 

Speaking of Water

Believe it or not, indoor orange trees' water needs aren't too different from another more boring houseplant. 

In the summer, they'll need regular watering. Once or twice a week should do. During the winter, however, do make sure you let the soil dry out between waterings.

Overwatering is no better than under-watering

Pro tip: Put a bucket outside to catch rainwater. That's their favorite treat. 

Feed Me, Seymour

Citrus trees are hungry little buggers. Feed them regularly — every second watering should do — with a high-potassium feed during spring and summer. If you take care of them, they'll return the favor with better fruit.

We recommend Nelson Plant Food

Don't Forget to Prune

Indoor orange trees do need a lot of pruning. You don't want the branches to get overcrowded. If they do, make sure you get them pruned by February. And it may seem counterintuitive, but cutting back the tallest branches actually encourages better growth. 

Buying an Indoor Orange Tree

From Valencia to blood orange, mandarin and more, there is a wide variety of indoor orange trees to choose from. They all have different uses. So think of how you'll likely eat them when making your decision.

Or get more than one! It's OK to be greedy. Now, let's go pick out your indoor orange tree!

Citrus Tree Lifespan: What's the Average Life Expectancy of a Citrus Tree

Citrus Tree

How long will your citrus tree live for? Check out this guide to learn about the average life expectancy of a citrus tree and related tree care advice.

Are you thinking about growing your own personal lemon tree? Have you wondered what kind of care a citrus tree may need to grow strong and produce delicious oranges in the future? How long do most citrus trees live for anyway?

These are all really important questions to consider before going out and purchasing a citrus tree. There are a lot of different factors that go into maintaining healthy trees. 

Read on to find out more and to find out which tree might be the right fit for you.

Lifespan vs. Productivity Lifespan

For most citrus trees, the average lifespan of a growing tree is 50 years. This applies to lemon, orange, and even dwarf citrus trees. Fruit production generally begins between ages 2 and 5

Most trees will produce throughout their entire life once they reach maturity. If your tree has healthy foliage, this is the biggest indicator of its health. 

Can Citrus Trees Thrive in Cooler Climates?

There are many different types of citrus. The ones that thrive the best in North America are lemon, orange, and dwarf citrus trees. These trees can be put in planters or planted in the ground. 

For those in cooler climes throughout the country, it's important to keep an eye on the weather and your tree. Just because you live in Michigan doesn't mean you can't have fresh orange juice all year around! 

Taking care of your tree and keeping it in warm, sunfilled rooms during the winter will ensure its production and health.

How to Keep Them Healthy 

When you plant a citrus tree, especially in a place it may not naturally grow, it's very important to make sure you're keeping it healthy. 

Using citrus fertilizers will ensure the soil is kept nutrient rich for your plant. It's also important to prune it regularly. But only prune it during off seasons. Usually when the tree loses its leaves. 

Do not over water any of your citrus trees. This can lead to detrimental rot. Rot will eventually kill your plant. If you plant your tree in the ground, make sure the soil drains well. 

Containers vs. Ground 

Citrus trees do great either in planters or in the ground. For those of us lucky enough to live in warmer states, having a small grove of citrus trees may be the best dream. 

Citrus can do very well in planters. Making sure you keep the soil fertilized and move the trees in when it's getting cooler will help maintain their lives. 

Need More Advice on Citrus Tree Care?

Still thinking about picking up a couple of citrus trees? Great! 

Citrus trees are great investments, and as long as you take care of them, they'll take care of you. Keeping them healthy will one day lead to you having fresh citrus that you can then turn into delicious citrus recipes

Check out the US Citrus tree collection today if you'd like to start growing your own citrus trees!

Keeping it Contained: The Top Tips for Growing Citrus Trees in Containers

Top Tips for Growing Citrus Trees in Containers

Are you looking to grow your citrus tree in a container? Continue reading below to learn the top tips for growing healthy citrus trees in containers or pots.

Around 90 percent of Americans don't get enough fruit and vegetables. 

But, you don't have any excuses for not getting your five-a-day of fruit and vegetables.

You can even start growing citrus trees by yourself.

You may think you don't have the right soil conditions. Wondering how you could possibly grow an indoor citrus tree inside your tiny apartment?

The answer is that you can grow your own citrus tree inside a container. It's simple. Just check out our tips below!

1. Plenty of Sunlight and Warmth

Your citrus tree requires up to 8 hours of sun per day. 

You can prop your tree near natural light without any blowing wind for optimal conditions. 

During the winter months, this can be especially difficult to get enough sunlight. You've also got to consider the colder temperatures could damage your tree.

If you live in a colder climate, you should opt for mandarin trees, since they can withstand the cold better than lime or lemon trees.

2. A Container to Allow Growth

You can grow any citrus tree inside a container in principle.

However, some trees will quickly outgrow the size of the container. You could select a container which has plenty of room for growth.

It's recommended to select a large container which is up to 28 inches or more. Remember, you may need to move the container around your home, so make sure you can lift it.

You'll also need to include drainage holes. Ideally, the container should also be on feet rather than on the ground.

Use a large (28 inches or larger) durable pot.

You may also pick a citrus tree, such as a Meyer lemon tree, which doesn't grow as large as other choices.

3. Soil Stuff 

You need to make sure you create the right soil conditions. If you're new to gardening and plant growing, this could be a steep learning curve. 

You need to add some inorganic ingredients to your soil mix. This includes vermiculite, peat moss or perlite. 

If you only have organic matter in your soil, it will decompose and compact fast. This blocks the roots from growing.

4. Not Too Much or Too Little Water

The common mistake of citrus tree owners is that they either water too much or too little.

Your citrus tree requires moist conditions. But, you don't want the soil to become soggy either.

You could purchase a moisture meter to ensure you're watering correctly. This will inform you when you need to water it.

Be especially vigilant during summer months, since the container can dry out quickly under high temperatures.

5. Fertilize Regularly

Citrus trees are especially hungry plants.

Since it's in a container, the citrus tree is dependent on you for nutrients. Due to the frequent watering, the fertilizer often washes through. 

Therefore, you need to regularly apply fertilizer for your tree. The amount of fertilizer depends on the size, type, and age of the plant.

But, if you spot yellow leaves developing, this is a warning sign that your tree needs more nutrients. 

Enjoy Growing Citrus Trees

If you're thinking of growing citrus trees in your home, it's important to know the above tips for keeping your trees healthy.

You can keep citrus trees under most climates and conditions so long as you know how to care for your citrus tree.

Do you want ideas for what to do with your citrus fruits? Check out our blog for delicious citrus recipes to try!

Bloody Brilliant: The Top Benefits of Blood Oranges

The Top Benefits of Blood Oranges

Blood oranges are extremely good for your health. How so? Read on to learn about the incredible unique benefits that blood oranges provide for your health!

Would you eat fruit with blood in the name? If not, you will miss out.

Though blood oranges have a mildly gruesome name, the fruit is anything but. If you've never tried one, try imagining what an orange crossed with a raspberry would taste like. 

Does that pique your interest?

It should...because this is a bloody brilliant fruit. Let's take a look at the health benefits of eating blood oranges.

Vitamin C

As a citrus fruit, you can expect that blood oranges have a healthy dose of vitamin C. Just 100 grams of the fruit (less than a typical sized blood orange) provides nearly 90% of the recommended daily intake.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is crucial for good health. The body can't manufacture it on its own, therefore you must get it from the food you eat. It's important for maintaining good gums, teeth, cartilage, and skin.

Vitamin C helps clear free radical damage from the body and reduces inflammation. The antioxidant is linked to a lower risk of several types of cancer. Additionally, it helps facilitate wound healing and much more. 

Anthocyanins

It's not likely that you woke up this morning and thought "I'd better start getting some more anthocyanins in my diet!" Regardless, this antioxidant that you probably know nothing about can do a lot for you.

Anthocyanins show up in various foods and are responsible for their color. They are what make blueberries that dark, luscious purple and give black plums their hue. They also give blood oranges that rich red color that makes them so bloody brilliant.

As an antioxidant, it packs a lot of health benefits for you. Anthocyanins have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. They also lower cholesterol and help reduce oxidative damage in the blood vessels.

Folic Acid

Here's some more cancer-fighting power for you. Folic acid can help reduce the risk of some types of cancer as well as heart disease.

The body uses this vitamin to build new blood cells (that's apt!). Therefore many doctors recommend a higher dose for pregnant women as this can help prevent birth defects.

Calcium 

Calcium is extremely important for strong bones and teeth. If you think you may be at risk for osteoporosis as you age, start looking for more calcium as soon as possible. This will help prevent your bones from becoming brittle.

Blood oranges have far less calcium per fruit than they do Vitamin C. So don't count on them as your primary source of calcium. You'd have to eat quite a few per day to reach the recommended daily intake.

Benefits of Blood Oranges

In this article, we've outlined the basic health benefits of eating blood oranges. If you've never tried one, now is the time. Here are some delicious blood orange recipes to get you started!

Interested in growing your own tasty blood oranges? Check out our popular blood orange trees for sale right here at US Citrus!

Be sure to check out our citrus tree store for more exotic varieties. Receive fast-growing citrus trees delivered straight to your doorstep!