GROWING CITRUS

          Citrus are amazing plants with some of the most fragrant flowers and fruit found in nature.  The citrus has a rich history and can be traced back over 4000 years to Southeast Asia.  Once thought to remedy poison, the citrus is now a major economic crop producing over 105 million tons of fruit annually worldwide.  Many dwarf varieties of this subtropical plant can be successfully grown in a container with just a few key requirements.

LIGHT:  Full Sun!  Citrus need a lot of light in order to produce flowers and fruit.  For this reason it is recommended to bring your citrus outside during the summer months.  Make sure to wait until the weather has warmed and all danger of frost has passed.  Slowly transition your citrus from indoors to part sun to full sun to prevent leaf scorch.  This acclimation should take a couple weeks.  If you are unable to bring your citrus outside you may need to supplement the natural light with artificial light.  Citrus require at least 6 hours of direct sun to produce flowers and fruit.

FERTILIZER:  NEPTUNES FISH & SEAWEED is a great all purpose organic fertilizer which will provide the micronutrients that synthetic fertilizers lack.  Citrus need iron to keep their leaves green.  Citrus also require a slightly acidic pH.  You can use Miracid or Aluminum Sulfate alternatively to supplement your organic fertilization.  Fertilize spring through summer on a regular basis.  Give your plant a rest during the winter months.

WATER:  Citrus are drought tolerant, especially during the winter months.  Although you do not want to let your plant completely dry out, over-watering is sure death.  You will need to water less often during the winter months when growth is slow due to lack of light.  During active spring and summer growth let the soil dry slightly between watering.

HUMIDITY:  50% required.  Create a dry well or be sure to mist your citrus often when growing indoors.  Misting will keep the leaves clean and free of dust and will also repel those pesky spider mites which are notorious lovers of citrus.

          Citrus do not require much pruning but it is beneficial to pinch back new growth to encourage a bushy form.  Repot annually into a fairly tight pot, never over-pot.  If you are at the maximum pot size that you wish to grow in root pruning may be required to maintain a healthy plant.

Enjoy your home grown fruit!