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Tips For Growing Citrus

Tips For Growing Citrus

Make the Most of Your Citrus Crop

There is sweet satisfaction in growing your own fruit, experimenting with new varieties, and sharing with family and friends. Citrus are a great choice for the Sacramento region—easy to grow with light maintenance—and Green Acres Nursery & Supply offers over 30 varieties including mandarins, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and more.

Read on for a few tips about growing citrus and stop by any of our nurseries to talk with one of our garden gurus to find the right variety for you.

Credit for much of the content in this blog goes to Four Winds Growers—our source for citrus because they've been growing fruit trees well since 1946.
Planting Tips For Ground Or Container
For container planting, make sure there are plenty of drainage holes and use a light, well-draining soil mix. Upper roots should be just beneath the top of the soil level. Firm the soil around the rootball and water. Repotting with fresh soil mix every 1-3 years will provide fresh nutrients to the roots.
In Zones 9 and above, citrus can be grown in the ground. A sunny, frost and wind-free, southern exposure is best. Avoid planting in lawns that get frequent shallow watering. When planting in the ground, combine planting mix and soil from the hole. Plant the rootball high to allow for settling.

Citrus don’t like “wet feet”. Light soil that drains well will maintain adequate moisture without being soggy. Watering frequency varies with location, tree size and climate. A wilted tree means too little water. A tree with yellow leaves or folded leaves can indicate too much water.

Since citrus trees are heavy nitrogen feeders, make sure there is more nitrogen than phosphorus or potassium. Also important are trace minerals like iron, zinc, manganese. Many all-purpose fertilizers include these and will work fine for this purpose. Yellowing leaves indicate lack of fertilizer or poor drainage.

Citrus may be pruned to any desired shape. Pruning is fine any time of year, except in the winter for trees that are outdoors. Citrus will look fuller with occasional pruning to shape leggy branches. Be sure to remove shoots that form below the graft to maintain the variety of fruit you've selected.

Frost Protection
If temperatures drop into the high 20s, Christmas lights and/or frost blankets can give some protection from freezing. Be sure the soil is moist before the cold snap hits. The additional water will fill plant cells for insulation and will help to keep the soil warm.

Citrus are self-pollinating, even indoors.

Pest Control
Lady beetles, lacewings, and praying mantids are some of the beneficial insects you may see around citrus trees outdoors. Be sure to keep your tree free of ants with the help of bait stations or stakes. For other harmful pests like scales, aphids, or mites, you can use organic soaps or oils. With any treatment that you use, spray the underside of the leaves as well, and follow manufacturer’s recommendations.
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