How to grow Citrus
Citrus trees are handsome evergreen plants that produce gloriously scented white flowers, usually in spring but also sporadically throughout the year. They look attractive in containers and can be grown singly; being self-fertile, they don’t need a partner for pollination. Consistence warmth is the secret to success.
The Right Climate
These exotic plants have been grown in temperate regions for centuries, although most always sheltered under glass during winter. To successfully produce fruit, citrus trees need period of several months where the temperature doesn’t fall below 15’c. Where frosts are mild and summers hot, citrus trees can be a permanent outdoor feature. However most gardener prefer to grow them in containers in a cool, bright indoor room, conservatory or heated greenhouse during winter months and move them outside to a sunny patio in summer.
Although most citrus plant can survive temperatures at freezing for short periods of time it is best not to test them severally and move them inside for winter. Make sure you don’t place them near radiators or in a cold draught. Water the tree sparingly during winter months and watch out for pests. Indoor citrus plants are prone to attached by spiders and other bugs seeking shelter in winter. In early spring pot into a slightly large container using soil basked compost. Spring is also a good time for pruning to remove any dead branches.
Once the frosts have passed move your citrus tree outside to a warm sheltered spot for summer. Do this gradually hardening them off over a few weeks and be prepared to protect them with flees if temperatures drop. Plants in containers need feeding every 2 weeks during growing season with special citrus fertiliser. Citrus trees are also sensitive to water logging to make sure your pots drain well.