Not only do citrus provide us with essential vitamins and nutrients, they also make lovely additions to our home gardens. Consider exploiting citrus’ versatility and grow specimens in hedges, espalier form or in containers, as well as bountiful trees in your garden. With a vast selection and numerous options, the only difficulty lies in choosing a variety you love.
A lot of times, citrus get lumped in with regular fruit trees. It makes sense, right? Citrus produce a fruit, just like an apple, peach or plum. However, they in fact have different care requirements. Citrus, compared to stone fruits, are relatively low maintenance.
When selecting the planting site, remember that citrus prefer a warm location, possibly southern or western facing. They like well draining soil and a well prepared bed. Do not place citrus in a low or soggy spot or in a lawn. Citrus will also need protection from cold winter temperatures; some trees more than others. An easy way to protect your citrus from excessive cold is a spraying of Bonide Wilt Stop, which acts like insulation for your plants.
Citrus should be maintained and treated like a shrub, rather than like a tree. Prune in late winter or early spring, after all danger of frost has passed, usually March – June. If you put off pruning, however, the new growth in spring will have flowers that will set fruit; trimming them back could result in a sacrificed crop. Any growth from below the bud union on grafted varieties should be removed.
You may encounter several pests that will try to seek refuge in your citrus. Snails, aphids and earwigs are fond of the fleshy new growth. Spider mites, scale and thrip are all sucking insects that love citrus. Ants may also be present to feed off the sweet secretion of the aphids and scale. Control slugs and snails by using Sluggo, and fend off bad insect populations with beneficial insects like Praying Mantis or Ladybugs (available for sale at Evergreen), or use less toxic sprays like Bonide All Seasons Spray Oil .
We currently have several varieties of citrus in stock, including Kumquat (Nagami), Lemon (Lisbon, Meyer), Lime (Mexican), Mandarin (Dancy), and Orange (Washington Navel, Lane Late, Bergamot Sour). More varieties are on order and will be in stock later this month.