Most of us have some Citrus Trees in our garden for their foliage, flowers and fruit of course.
Citrus Trees are a nice option as evergreen plant, which like most plants is ideal for the spring and autumn planting season. If you are thinking about putting one in your garden or balcony, now is a good time. Citrus Trees thrive in a consistently sunny, humid environment with fertile soil and adequate rainfall or irrigation. The trees flower in the spring and fruit is set shortly afterwards. Fruit begins to ripen in autumn or early winter months, depending on the cultivar and it develops increasing sweetness afterwards. Some cultivars of tangerines ripen in the winter. Some, such as the grapefruit, may take up to eighteen months to ripen.
Grapefruit and Lemon trees fruit almost all year. Grapefruit become more hardy as they mature. Oranges, depending on the variety usually fruit from October to May. Tangerines, Mandarins etc, with new varieties of Limes and Lemons are all loaded with Vitamin C, so are important fruit to face the winter. In addition, many people use orange blossom as infusions and the leaves for rich desserts.
It is very important to feed Citrus Trees monthly, with soluble fertilizer and iron. In addition, once a year especially in winter, add manure, either liquid or natural to enrich the soil.
Beware of excess water, since it is usually this that will crack oranges and why the leaves fall off the tip of the Citrus Tree.
Citrus Trees require only minimal pruning. In February, re-shape plants by thinning out overcrowded branches. ‘Leggy’ plants can be pruned back by up to two-thirds and the tallest branch can be cut back to encourage bushy growth. Throughout the summer, pinch back the tips of the most vigorous growth, using the thumb and forefinger.
Mature Citrus Trees may produce unwanted, fast-growing shoots called ‘water shoots’. Remove these when they appear from the main branches at the bottom or middle of the plant and shorten those arising near the branch tips. Be especially watchful for shoots from below the graft on the main stem and remove such shoots immediately.
There are many pests that attack Citrus Trees. To prevent this, you can use contaminants or chemicals to fumigate typical products, but don’t apply 15 days before you eat the fruit!!
By Jardineria El Milagro