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Wisconsin's Tropical Gardens

Plant Profile Series




alt A welcome addition to any avid houseplant lover, Citrus trees do more than just look nice. They produce real fruit that is edible, just like the ones at the store. There are many varieties available and there may be multiple types available of some varieties. 

The following care is for Lemons, Grapefruit, Limes, Oranges and Tangerines.

LIGHT: Citrus need plenty of direct sunlight. They do very well outdoors during the summer months. In the winter they need a sunny room or a southern-exposed window.

WATER: In general summertime watering should be almost daily, but note the fruiting time for each variety. When they start to flower, increase watering and feeding and upon the setting of fruit, daily nourishment will have to be supplied.

As to the height and placement of these plants, they can be somewhat "top-heavy" so you may want to anchor the pot a bit by placing it in a heavy, solid container such a a cement or redwood pot. Staking may also be necessary, especially for fruit laden, overweight branches. Plan for wind and protect your plant accordingly. When bringing indoors after being outside for the summer don't forget to spray for pests a couple times first, using a product recommended for food crops. And place the tree in a south facing window so that maybe you can enjoy fruit year round!

The term "ever-bearing" means the tree can bear fruit at any time of the year as opposed to those that have a particular "fruiting season". Check the plant tag regarding the fruiting season for your particular tree. Be patient and with good light and consistent watering and feeding, you'll get fruit.

There is a relatively short season in the spring when these are available in 11" pots. Bear in mind these trees are grown with the orchard in mind. This means they will not be nice and symmetrical, but rather they will have a wilder character to their look.