Citrus trees are a popular choice for homeowners in Central Florida, as they not only add beauty to your landscape, but they also provide delicious fruits such as oranges, lemons, and limes. Plus- nothing says ‘Florida’ like citrus! Growing citrus trees in Central Florida can be a rewarding experience, but it does require some knowledge and care. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for growing citrus trees in Central Florida.
It is important to choose the right type of citrus tree for your yard. The most common citrus trees grown in Central Florida are oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. Each of these trees has different growing requirements and mature size, so it is important to research which one will be the best fit for your yard. Some citrus trees can grow quite large, so if you have a small yard, a dwarf variety may be a better choice.
Next, it is important to prepare the soil before planting your citrus tree. Citrus trees prefer well-drained, sandy soil with a pH between 6 and 7. If your soil is heavy clay or has poor drainage, you may need to amend it with organic matter such as compost. It is also important to make sure your tree is planted in the right location. Citrus trees need full sun to thrive, so make sure to plant it in an area that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
After planting, it is important to keep your citrus tree well-watered, but not over-watered. Citrus trees need to be watered deeply and infrequently, so it is best to water them every 5-7 days, depending on the weather, rainfall, and soil conditions. It is also important to fertilize your tree regularly. Citrus trees need a balanced fertilizer that contains certain micronutrients. It is best to fertilize your tree every 6-8 weeks during the growing season with a quality citrus fertilizer.
Pruning is also an important aspect of growing citrus trees. Pruning helps to keep the tree healthy, promotes fruit production and allows for better air circulation. It is best to prune your tree in the late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. All you need to do is remove any dead or diseased branches and thin out the canopy of the tree if it is too dense to allow for better air circulation.
Lastly, it is important to protect your citrus tree from pests and diseases. Citrus trees are susceptible to pests such as citrus aphids and citrus scale, as well as diseases such as citrus greening and citrus canker. It is important to keep an eye out for any signs of pests or disease and to take action quickly if you notice any problems. Using organic methods such as insecticidal soap or horticultural oil can be effective in controlling pests. If you have any specific insect or disease problems, contact us for proper identification before treating.
Join us and Dr. Mongi Zekri, a multi-county citrus agent, for a recorded online class from Hernando County Extension on Zoom about how to successfully grow dooryard citrus in your own Central Florida yard, originally given on February 8, 2023. This class contains many valuable tips and techniques for growing healthy citrus trees in your own yard. Just click on the link below: