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How to Grow Citrus Trees

Citrus trees are fun to grow! They are also easy to grow organically because they are naturally pest and disease resistant. Even though they don't tolerate freezing temperatures you can grow dwarf citrus trees in containers indoors or as patio plants and move them inside during winter. They tolerate heavy pruning and still produce fragrant flowers and fruit. All of our citrus plants for sale are grafted so you can enjoy fruit in the very first year even in the smallest sizes! Citrus trees are surprisingly easy to grow. They just need light, fertilizer, water, and a little bit of love!

How to Care for Citrus Trees

Plant your citrus tree in full sun and well drained soil. These trees prefer humid environments, but like their roots like to dry out between waterings. Whether in a container or the ground, water when the soil has dried out down to about 2 inches and be sure your plant is not sitting in water. Fertilize with our balanced slow release fertilizer when planting and in early spring and late summer. Prune anytime for shape and size maintenance. Our citrus plants grow in zones 8b to 11 in the ground. Otherwise they must be grown in containers and protected during the winter. Citrus plants are naturally pest and disease resistant so enjoy organic fruit with ease!

When to Prune Citrus Trees

Citrus trees can be pruned at any time, but pruning after the fall or winter harvest is ideal. However, it is easy to see emerging flower buds so you are unlikely to accidentally prune any off if you choose to prune at another time. Dead, broken or diseased branches should be pruned back when you notice them. 

How to Prune Citrus Trees

Use sterilized pruners to prune your citrus tree. Remove any unhealthy or broken branches. If the canopy is very dense or there are crowded branches, open up the canopy with a few choice cuts. Avoid pruning back more than ⅓ of your citrus tree at a time. 

How to Plant Citrus Trees

Water your potted citrus tree thoroughly before planting. Dig a hole about twice as wide and almost as deep as the root ball of your new plant. Place your citrus tree in the hole, ensuring that it is straight. The top of the root ball should be slightly higher than the existing soil line. Backfill with soil. Water deeply until the water begins to pool. Apply 1 to 2 inches of mulch in a mound around your citrus tree to reduce watering needs, retain soil moisture, and reduce weeds. Water deeply daily for the first week, 3 times per week for the following couple weeks, and 1 to 2 times per week for the next 2 months or so until your citrus tree is established.

How to Grow Citrus Indoors

Pick the brightest spot in your house and supplement with a plant light if needed. Choose a pot and potting medium that drains well. Water your citrus tree when the soil dries out down at least 2 inches. Provide humidity, especially in winter.  Mist the leaves of your citrus tree daily or add a humidifier. You can also fill a saucer with rocks and water and place the plant’s container on top. Be sure the rocks are sticking out of the water so your citrus plant is not sitting in water. Fertilize your potted citrus tree about 3 times per year with slow release fertilizer or use Espoma Citrus-Tone and follow the directions for potted plants. 

How to Overwinter Patio Citrus Plants

When temperatures begin to hover around 40 degrees it is time to move your citrus tree inside or at least in a protected area. See “how to grow citrus indoors” above. Avoid placing your tree near any drafts. Be sure you provide humidity. Move your tree back outside when temperatures are getting close to 50 degrees. Slowly move it from part shade to full sun. The leaves will be tender to full sun after being inside, but transitioning your tree over a week or so will help avoid any sunscald. Fertilizing shortly before moving your tree outside is a great option to get your tree ready for spring growth. 

Where to Buy Citrus Trees

For the best selection and quality, buy citrus trees online at PlantingTree. We ship them directly to your home from our North Carolina plant nursery. PlantingTree is a family owned and operated online garden center that offers healthy, high quality plants and trees for sale online. Scroll up to view our in stock inventory of citrus trees for sale. 

Our Best Citrus Trees

Eureka Lemon

Growing Zones 9-10 or Patio

Key Lime Tree

Growing Zones 9-10 or Patio

Meyer Lemon Tree

Growing Zones 8-10 or Patio

Navel Orange Tree

Growing Zones 8-10 or Patio

Owari Satsuma Mandarin Tree

Growing Zones 8-10 or Patio

Ruby Red Grapefruit Tree

Growing Zones 8-10 or Patio


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