Citrus Q&A with Heather

Our Garden Center is stocked with citrus trees and bushes. One of our horticulturalists, Heather, answered some questions for us about citrus! Stop in to browse our selection and ask more questions!

In this area, when can you keep your citrus trees outside?

“With citrus in our area, it’s important to keep track of our frost dates. Since citrus plants aren’t hardy in our growing zone, it’s safe to move them outside after we pass our last frost of the spring. A safe bet is to wait and place your citrus plants outside around Mother’s Day. You’ll need to pay attention to temperatures and frost dates again in the fall. When October rolls around, it’s a good idea to start thinking about moving citrus indoors.”

Where is the best place to keep your citrus trees in the winter?

“Citrus plants kept indoors thrive when they are in a bright room with higher humidity levels. They don’t do well when kept below 55 degrees, and they are not big fans of drafts, cold or warm. If you have a bright kitchen, this is typically one of the best places in your home to have a citrus plant.”

What type of care do citrus trees require?

“Adequate sunlight and moisture are key to having success with citrus plants. When it comes to watering, having a pot that drains is necessary. You’ll know it’s time to water when the top two inches of soil in the pot is dry to the touch. You’ll then want to water thoroughly so that water drains out of the bottom of the pot, this ensures that all the roots are getting an adequate amount of water. Because they are big fans of humidity, citrus plants should not be kept close to heat sources in your home. Fertilizing is also very important to make sure your plant flowers and then sets fruit. We’re always happy to recommend a fertilizer that will work best for you and your plant!”

Do you have any advice for people who have never cared for a citrus tree before?

“I think the best piece of advice I could give to someone with a citrus tree is first and foremost to view them as a houseplant that, when given the right environment, will flower and set fruit. Don’t get too worried if your plant isn’t giving you a huge yield of fruit, just appreciate them as a plant you typically only get to see when you visit a place like Florida. Also, the scent from the flowers is absolutely divine, it’s worth having them as a houseplant for this reason alone!”