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Citrus Trees

Citrus trees offer a bounty of homegrown delights and are usually grown in containers so they can be moved under cover through the winter. Orange and lemon trees provide zesty fruits for a wide variety of culinary creations and cocktail accompaniments. You can even give exotic limes, mandarins and grapefruits a go alongside your other patio fruit plants and juicy berries.

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Citrus trees - more info

Citrus trees including lime, orange and lemon trees grow remarkably well here in the UK, with some varieties surviving outside. If you'd like to have a go at growing citrus plants but aren’t sure how to care for them, here's a brief guide to help.

How to look after citrus trees

It's best to plant oranges, lemons and lime trees in pots so you can easily move them inside whenever conditions dictate. Fill terracotta pots with a mixture of soil-based compost and grit to ensure good drainage. Make sure your pot allows room for the plant to grow, and repot every two to three years to a slightly bigger container. Position your trees in the sunniest area of the garden for the summer months, moving them into an unheated greenhouse or potting shed for the winter – somewhere cool and frost-free.

Do citrus trees lose their leaves?

If your citrus trees begin dropping more than a few leaves, it's a sign something is wrong. Double check you're not over-watering, that the minimum nighttime temperature isn’t dropping below 10C, and that it's not too windy or draughty. If your plant is over-wintering inside the house, make sure it's not getting too hot.

How to prune citrus trees in pots

Citrus trees require little in the way of pruning – simply tidy up any congested branches and shorten any spindly new growth. During the growing season, pinch out the growing tips of faster-growing branches to encourage a nice bushy shape. Older trees can send out ‘water shoots’ from the main stem, mainly from the middle of the plant downwards – remove these as they appear, especially any that develop below the graft.

When to water citrus trees

Water citrus trees weekly during the warmer months and apply a summer citrus feed, switching to monthly watering and a winter feed during the winter.

For more grow-your-own fruit ideas, head over to our soft fruit selection and explore our full range of fruit trees.