Citrus Tree Care

The Nature Hills experts show you how to care for Citrus Trees planted in the ground. You'll also get advice on Citrus Trees grown in containers and moved indoors for winter in cold weather zones.
  1. Care Tips for Citrus Trees in Pots

    Citrus Tree in Pot

    Just getting started? Read our Selection Guide for the best Citrus varieties for container culture.

    Already ordered your new Improved Dwarf Meyer Lemons, Bearss Limes or Calamondin Oranges? Congrats!

    Let's get started early to prepare for the arrival of your new tree.

    Finding a Suitable Pot or Fabric Grow Bag

    Making good choices about containers doesn't have to be expensive. People are getting really creative in their Victory Garden designs. Go fancy if you can, or "cheap out" if you need to.

    Either way, the fruit will still taste great!

    Trees grow happily in plastic or terra cotta, but you need to look for a tall, skinny design. The deeper, the better,

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  2. Grow Lemons in Pots: Victory Garden Selection Guide

    Lemon Tree In Pot

    Join the Victory Garden movement! It seems like everyone is adding fruiting trees and plants to their landscape, no matter how large or small. After all, one of the best things in life to enjoy the taste, fragrance and health benefits of homegrown fruit.

    There is also something very satisfying about the feeling of being prepared. People all across the country are realizing how fulfilling it is to grow food for themselves, family and friends.

    Beyond sowing the seeds of a vegetable garden, why not add Citrus trees in your Victory Garden design? Growing your own lemons, limes, oranges and other Citrus varieties save you a lot of money over the long haul.

    You will get your Vitamin C, and a lovely plant to enjoy year-round. It doesn’t take much room to grow super-fresh fruit in your living space. Gain access to these “nutrient powerhouses” by gr

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  3. Solutions for the Top 6 Diseases and Pests of Home Grown Citrus

    Rat Damaged Pixie Mandarin

    Growing Citrus trees at home is such a rewarding experience. Your family and friends will delight in the fragrance and taste of healthy, home grown fruit.

    However, to be successful requires that you monitor your plants for signs of pests or disease. The best time to deal with a problem is before it becomes a problem.

    There are a number of different pests and diseases that can affect Citrus in different areas. When not sure always check with your local Ag Extension Service.   

    With all product recommendations, follow label directions for dosage and application instructions for safest, most effective results.

    The Nature Hills Horticultural team recommends the following solutions:

    Top 6 Most Common Citrus Disease and Pest Problems

    1. Phytophthora Root Rot - Can result from poor draining soils or from

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  4. Caring for Cara Cara Navel Oranges

    Cara Cara Oranges

    Late November and early December is the peak time for one of the finest oranges available. The Cara Cara orange possesses the most unique flavor of any orange. Imagine cherry, berry and orange flavors, all in one incredibly convenient fruit. That’s the flavor of a Cara Cara orange.

    The Cara Cara orange is also a nutritional powerhouse, with plenty of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, folate, and lycopene. These antioxidants give your heart a boost, and protect your cells from free radicals.

    The Cara Cara is an easy tree to grow, so you can enjoy this healthy fruit from your own yard. Not only is it adapted to any landscape wherever citrus grows well, the Cara Cara can also grow up to 15 to 20 feet without pruning. For ideal picking and pest control, the Cara Cara Orange is best when kept pruned at 6 to 8 feet.

    Pick them when they are firm, shiny, heavy and have a great smell. 

    Grow Cara Cara Indoors as a Patio Plant in Containers

    The Cara Cara orange is

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  5. Bringing Citrus Trees Indoors

    Watch our "Fruit Whisperer", as Ed Laivo, one of America's top fruit tree experts, answers Jill Winger's question on how to best care for her new Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree during the winter.

    Planting, Managing Pests, Making the Move, Fertilizing & Watering

    Ed has some really helpful hints for the home gardener in cold climates, like Wyoming (and let's not forget all the other hardy souls living in places like New York, Colorado, Minnesota, and our friends in Illinois!). If you want to grow Citrus Trees, but must bring them inside for the long winter - here's a video overview of what you need to know.

    Dwarf Meyer Lemons are so much fun to grow, and they'll do well for you inside. Just follow along with Ed for the best practices.

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  6. The Era of the Mandarin

    Marketing has played a huge role in bringing to the forefront one of the most wonderful categories of fruit, the Mandarin. With the introduction of bagged Clementine Mandarins under various brands beginning in the mid-2000's, the Mandarin has quickly become recognized for what it is: the world’s finest fruit.

    The Mandarin has been recognized for its superior qualities in China since the 3rd century AD. Its introduction into the United States would not occur until the 1840's when the Italian consul brought one to New Orleans, La. from Italy. From this point, it was introduced to the southern coastal states, Florida and finally to California.

     The Mandarin, sometimes mistakenly called a Tangerine (which is a marketing name for one Mandarin variety), represents a category of mostly small, seedless, easy-to-peel, wonderfully flavored fruit. Mandarins have a distinct flavor all their own; it is a Mandarin flavor, wh

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  7. Understanding Container Citrus Tree Fertilization

    Understanding fertilizing your container Citrus should begin with some words of caution. Fertilizing should never be administered as a medicine to cure a poorly performing plant. This means that a properly fertilize plant should never need fertilizing to cure poor performance.

    For example, plants grown in the nursery receive consistent care, which includes proper feeding. When one receives a new plant, typical symptoms that might arise from the adjustment to a new location - such as yellowing leaf, leaf wilt and leaf drop - rarely have anything to do with the plant’s nutrition. Most often these symptoms are the result of changes in the plants environment such as lower light, exposure to an excessively dry environment or over watering. All care should be given to providing the best location for your citrus plant and developing watering habits with attention to keeping your Citrus plant on the dry side.

    Only after you have found a spot with consistent light and understand h

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  8. Indoor Winter Citrus Care

    This is the time of the year when all citrus grown in cold climates is brought indoors for winter protection. There are a few critical considerations that will allow your citrus plant to adapt to being indoors and stay healthy until it is put back outside in the spring.

    The optimal place to over winter a citrus is in a greenhouse that is climate controlled. This is rarely available to the average homeowner. The process of bringing plants indoors should begin about 3 weeks before expected night-time temperatures reach 35 degrees or less. Citrus plants should be brought to a protected location that is well lit but not necessarily full sun. A location up against the house is ideal. A covered patio works well or just a wall that has good radiant heat coming from the house. The idea is to get the plant used to less light while offering some protection from the fluctuating fall temperatures.

    A permanent location inside the house should be selected with some important considerations.

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  9. Move Citrus Indoors for the Winter

    As temperatures begin to get cooler and the days get shorter, all citrus grown in cold climates need to be prepared to be brought in for the winter. This routine needs to be gradual to ensure that the plant does not get shocked by too quick a climate change.

    The most important consideration in transitioning to indoors is watering. As the days get shorter, the plant's growth rate slows considerably. This results in water needs that are quite a bit less than in the spring and summer. Start to pay close attention to how wet the soil is. Do this by checking with your finger pressed into the soil up to the second knuckle. This is the most accurate way to become familiar with soil on the dry side. You want to check the soil just before watering. The soil's moisture content will differ with the conditions that your plant is exposed to and requires your attention and understanding of how it is reacting to watering. Water only when the soil is on

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  10. Dwarf Citrus Tree: A Perfect Accent for Your Baby's Room

    Indoor Citrus Tree

    Gearing up the nursery involves a lot of tough choices. After all, you and your baby will be spending a lot of time in there. You want it to be as healthy as possible for your little one, but also comfortable and decorative. There's no better way to achieve all of that than houseplants. Houseplants are nice decorative accents, and are well known for improving air quality, as they produce clean oxygen from their leaves.

    Choosing the right plant for your child's room is important. You want something that will be safe, non-toxic, and thrive in the nursery environment. Dwarf citrus trees are a good fit for the job. They actually require a lot of the same environmental conditions as babies! Like infants, citrus trees prefer a room that's 65-70 degrees F, without sudden fluctuations in temperature. They like a lot of sunlight (around 8-12 hours a day if possible), and grow best

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