Our Citrus plants have finally arrived from our friends in sunny Florida and we are SO excited!
Can you picture it? Walking out into your backyard, breathing in the summer air, and picking a ripe lemon from your very own citrus tree. It might be hard to believe, but growing your own mouth-watering lemons, limes or oranges is possible, even in Manitoba! Although growing citrus comes with its own set of challenges, the rewards are totally worth it.
Are you ready to challenge your green thumb?
Keep reading for our best tips on how to grow your Citrus outdoors in the summer, and help it to thrive indoors during the winter.
First comes flowers, then comes fruit. The fresh fragrance of citrus flowers beats anything you can imagine! In order for a citrus plant to bear fruit, it first needs to bloom. This is a natural process that takes time, be patient and have faith! When the fruit finally appears, you’ll be glowing with gardeners pride.
Fun Fact: the average lifespan of a citrus plant is 50 years when properly cared for. When you take home a citrus plant, consider it to be a friend for life!
GROWING CITRUS AT HOME
What citrus most require is bright, direct light. When indoors, a south-facing window is ideal, but a well-lit west window can also work. When you bring your citrus outdoors in the summer, place it in a sunny location where you can watch it thrive! In order to grow a citrus that is covered with blooms and fruit, abundant sunshine is essential.
We don’t reccommend investing in a citrus plant if you don’t have enough light in your home.
Citrus like to be slightly root-bound in their pots. If the plant becomes overly rootbound or starts to crack its pot, repot the plant in the springtime only. Transplant into a grower pot that is 2″ larger than the pervious pot. If you repot a citrus into a pot that is too big, you may risk the roots becoming overcome with too much soil.
Citrus thrive in the same temperatures as we humans do! If temperatures drop below 10°C , your citrus plant will fail to absorb the nutrients that it needs in order to set flowers. Coming from a nursery in Florida, citrus are used to a warm and sunny environment, so it’s key to try and replicate that.
Citrus are hungry plants, and will quickly let you know when they aren’t recieving enough food. Yellowing leaves are the biggest sign of a hungry citrus. Unlike most houseplants, citrus will need to be fertilized continually throughout the year. We recommend once every 2-3 weeks with an organic fish bloom fertilizer or citrus fertilizer throughout the growing season (April – August). During winter, dilute the fertilizer but still feed the plant at least once a month.
Water, water, water! In order to produce fresh and juicy fruit, citrus require alot of water. As a general rule of thumb, water your citrus when the soil is slightly dry, but not bone dry. If a citrus is left too long without water, it will start to lose it’s blooms before it has a chance to produce fruit!
If your plant is indoors by a bright window with an air conditioner or furnace running, it might need water daily. In a dry home, a citrus can become unhappy and will start to drop leaves. Prevent this by running a humidifier or misting the citrus daily.
When your citrus is outdoors during summer, it will likely need water almost daily, depending on the weather.
High temperatures + sunshine = more water
Cloudy + cool = less water
To make your life a little easier when growing a citrus, we recommend using a moisture meter to take the guesswork out of the watering!