With their vitamin-enriched fruits, fragrant flowers, and evergreen foliage, citrus fruits (Citrus family) have it all! Discover some golden rules for best potting soil for citrus trees for growing your citrus fruits in the garden or in pots.
How to properly grow a citrus fruit? Where to plant a citrus fruit?
Citrus grows just as well in pots as in soil. Note that in the ground, it will be more popular in coastal areas, whether on the Atlantic or Mediterranean coast. Plant your fruit tree in front of a wall of the house, so that it is better sheltered from the wind, or in full sun in the garden. In all cases, avoid an area that is too windy. If planted further inland or north of the Loire, favor the pot in the open ground and place it against a wall, facing south or south-east. In terms of soil, choose a light, rich, and non-calcareous substrate. Remember, citrus fruit can live its entire life in a pot without a problem!
When and how to plant citrus?
Instead, citrus fruits are planted in spring to ensure good root recovery before winter arrives. However, in mild climates or in pots, it is possible to plant in the fall.
Planting a citrus fruit in the ground
- Soak the root ball in a basin of water
- Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball
- If your soil is heavy, cut it with sand; if it is sandy, enrich it with a little compost and potting soil
- Place your citrus in the hole, so that the collar is level with the ground and is not buried
- Recap, tamp, and water.
Planting a citrus fruit in a pot
- Line the bottom of your pot with a layer of clay balls or gravel
- Cover with a layer of special citrus soil
- Position your subject so that the collar reaches the top of the pot
- Fill in the voids with the potting soil, tamp down, and water copiously
How to repot a citrus fruit?
In the first three years, it is possible to report a citrus fruit, gradually increasing the size of its welcome pot. Do not go directly from a 3 or 5-liter pot to a 20 or 30-liter pot, at the risk of your citrus fruit not blooming and therefore not giving fruit because it will take the opportunity to make roots. This is because a plant does not produce roots, foliage, and fruit at the same time. If you want a beautiful tree and support it in its growth, report it in a container only 1 or 2 cm in diameter.
How to prune a citrus fruit?
The size of citrus fruit is done after the last frosts. Avoid pruning it beforehand as the cold can penetrate through cut branches and damage or even kill the tree. After this pruning, in general, the first flowering takes place in spring, then fruit sets (very small fruits) appear in June which will turn into fruit around September, grow until November, then color between December and February. March. It is the temperature difference between day and night (and therefore the cold) that makes the color of citrus. If the temperature difference does not exceed 2 ° C-3 ° C, the fruit does not color and remains green, while being ripe inside.
How to maintain and water to maintain the best potting soil for citrus trees?
Be sure to give your citrus fruit a little water stress so that it blooms more easily. However, do not dry it out! Conversely, this type of fruit tree should never be drowned. Avoid placing a saucer under the pot so that the roots do not soak in the water: the plant will not appreciate and risk losing its leaves.
If your citrus fruit is indoors, you will still need a saucer so as not to stain your soil: in this case, place a briquette between the pot and the saucer to prevent the roots from soaking. In spring and summer, reduce watering by moistening only the top of the pot, without filling it completely.
If possible, place clay balls, pozzolana, or pieces of broken clay pot at the bottom of the pot. Opt for a well-draining or special citrus soil – generally rich in peat – and repot in this mixture. In spring, when the sap is restarted, enrich the soil of your citrus fruit with a little organic fertilizer special for citrus or tomatoes, rich in potash. Respect the doses written on the package.
What to do with your citrus fruit in winter to keep the best potting soil for citrus trees?
In winter, protect your citrus fruit from the cold with a wintering veil and mulch the root ball, if it is planted in the garden in the ground. Note that the majority of citrus fruits hardly tolerate frost.
In the case of a potted fruit tree, bring it into a veranda or garage- type room with a window and place it in the light. He will appreciate a temperature around 13 ° C and watering every 10-15 days. Be careful, above 18 ° C indoors, the citrus will be much too hot.
Citrus diseases and pests
It is a common disease that causes peeling of the bark and a sifted, grainy trunk. The fruits remain small, are sometimes deformed, and fall. This disease only affects transplanted subjects and does not affect lemon trees. The only way to combat this is to buy citrus fruits that are free from this disease.
The diameter of the rootstock shrinks, the sap is no longer transmitted to the roots. These are the symptoms of this disease leading to tree dieback. Carried by aphids, the way to fight against Tristeza is still to fight these sucking stinging insects. To do this, dilute 10% liquid black soap in 90% water. Add a tablespoon of oil and spray this mixture over the entire plant, the undersides of the leaves included.
This fungal disease occurs when pests such as aphids or scale insects secrete honeydew. The citrus fruit is then covered with a black powder which prevents photosynthesis. The easiest way is to fight against the insects responsible for the arrival of the fungus. Use the biological remedy described above to overcome it. Repeat the operation a week apart, as many times as necessary. If sooty mold is already present, treat with Bordeaux mixture.