citrus trees how to grow and care for your citrus

Choosing a Citrus Tree and How to care for it

 

Citrus trees would have to be the most commonly grown fruit tree and I know why. They fit the perfect plant category for me. They have lush dark green foliage all year, scented flowers that attract beneficial insects, they have useable fruit and they are easy to grow.

Citrus Trees - How To Choose And How To Care For Your Tree

Citrus can be grown in a pot or the ground and love a good trim.  I use an organic slow release fertiliser called Organic Link at least four times a year - I do it at the change of season so I remember.  I also try to liquid fertilise my fruit trees with an organic liquid fertiliser, I use Triple Boost.  I know it's hard to liquid fertilise fortnightly all the time but try to do it  at least fortnightly while they are in flower, you'll get a better fruit set.

If your citrus is healthy but not flowering or the fruit drops off, try giving it Sulphate of Potash.

Citrus trees like regular water. They don't need a lot of water just good regular waterings. Mulching is really important and I use organic mulches like sugar cane.

Citrus trees are prone to leaf curl and leaf miner. Both these problems are mainly caused by insects.  I find its best just trim off the affected leaves and fertilise to promote new growth. If you wanted to spray BFA certified organic sprays like Eco-oil or Eco-fend would work. I find if I mix a little neem oil with my liquid fertiliser and use it fortnightly it also reduces the harmful insect population.

Drought stress can also lead to leaf curl in citrus and is the easiest to remedy. If leaves begin to curl inward while retaining their green colour and the soil around your tree feels dry to the touch, you’re not watering enough. Step up your watering efforts and applying an organic mulch if you haven't already.

Nutrient deficiencies can also lead to leaf curl. I find that if I give my trees a liquid fertilise with a complete trace element mix (I use Bio-Trace) twice a year as part of my normal fertilising regime this really isn't a problem.

While fruit fly doesn't seem to bother citrus as much as other fruit trees I always use a fruit fly trap and replace the wick every three months.

Citrus Tree - how to choose and how to care for your citrus tree

 

Which citrus to choose?

Firstly do you want a dwarf or normal fruit tree? Dwarf only means a smaller root ball and tree not smaller fruit. The dwarf citrus are perfect for pots or small gardens. Citrus trees are available from your local gardening centre all year and can be planted anytime.

Now what fruit do you eat?

I use limes quite a bit - they go perfectly with my vodka and soda!! I would plant a Tahitian lime as these are the fruiting lime. Kaffir limes are grown for their leaves and are regularly used in cooking.

Finger limes are a native lime tree and their fruit is promoted as being far superior to any other fruiting lime.

Mandarins are my favourite. I like emperor and imperial mandarins as these are the easy to peel varieties. Afourer mandarins aren't the easy to peel variety but they taste sensational.

I couldn't choose anything but the navel orange varieties. To add an interesting colour mix to your fruit salads you could try Cara Cara oranges. They are similar to the navels in taste but have red flesh.

Everyone says you must have a lemon tree but I've always been a bit hesitant as I don't use many lemons and I would hate the fruit going to waste! A Lemonade tree might be a better choice for me as the Lemonade fruit looks like a lemon, but can be eaten straight from the tree, just like a mandarin or orange. It's a lot sweeter than a lemon with a refreshing tang.

Citrus trees are not just a pretty fruit tree, they provide us with amazingly nutrient dense fruit. We all know about them being packed with vitamin C but they are also have the highest antioxidant activity of all fruits, are high in folic acid and high in dietary fibre, oh and they taste delicious!

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0 # Sheridan Anne 2015-04-09 20:56
Love this! I'm a vodka and soda girl too so I may need to sort out a lime tree ASAP
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