Growing Lemons and other citrus fruitsPosted By: Hugh Forbia Category: Plant Care
Growing Citrus Fruit
Growing citrus is not as difficult as you may think. Just follow these simple instructions to bring a feeling of the sun-baked Mediterranean to your home.
Where to site your plant
When grown in the UK, citrus plants need to spend summer out of doors - then bringing inside during the winter months to protect from frost. Once the danger of frost has passed, place your citrus plant outside in the sunniest spot available, but where it is protected from strong winds. A south-facing patio is ideal, but east and west-facing is also fine. A conservatory is also a good place provided it is well ventilated.
Before the onset of winter and the first frosts, you need to bring the citrus plant indoors. Correct siting of citrus plants over the winter is key to successful fruiting. The best position is in a conservatory or cool, frost-free greenhouse as these allow maximum light and protection from the wind and rain. Smaller citrus plants will do well on a sunny windowsill.
Correct watering is just as important as the site of your plant. As a general rule, water freely, and allow excess water to drain from the base of the pot, but do not allow your plant to stand in water. A water-logged citrus plant is likely to die.
During the summer when the plant is putting on growth, wait until the surface of the compost has dried out before watering. This ensures that the plant will take up the water that it requires. During the winter, your plant will need little watering - just enough to prevent wilting. You will do less damage by allowing the plant to dry out than you will by over-watering. If in doubt - don’t water. Misting the leaves with a fine spray of water will keep the foliage looking great at any time of the year.
Citrus plants need feeding during the growing season, using a proprietary citrus food.
Citrus need repotting approximately once every three years. Choose a new pot of a suitable size and use a correct compost - ideally one half multi-purpose, one quarter ericaceous and one quarter sand. This mix will provide the perfect mix of water retention, acidic content and sufficient drainage. Alternatively, purchase a bag of specialist citrus compost. In the years between repotting, it is a good idea to top dress your plant. Do this by removing the top few centimetres of compost and replacing it with fresh multi-purpose compost.
Main things to remember
· Good light all year round
· Keep out of draughts
· Avoid water logging
· Regular feeding in summer
· Summer outdoors
· Protect from winter frosts