If you have citrus in your backyard or anywhere and you want it to fruits, it’s time to get them fertilized. Yes, it’s time. February is the month to do it.
Citrus is your lemon tree, orange tree, lime tree, and kaffir lime tree or anything citrusy. It’s still a citrus tree although we do not eat the kaffir fruit, only it’s leaves. I used the kaffir fruit as a zest, yummy. Let’s get to it, it’s citrus fertilizing time!
You must fertilize your citrus trees if you want to harvest the fruits. It should be fertilized during the growing seasons like spring and summer. You may fertilize during the dormant season like fall and winter but less frequently. Most likely once every two months.
There’s one thing to remember, inspect your trees. If it looks like it might need to be fertilize put some on. If it looks lush and green hold on, on the fertilizer. You don’t want to harm your trees if it is already producing every year.
What the citrus trees need to thrive
Citrus trees need magnesium; it’s for photosynthesis it gives the tree their green leaves. Manganese is for growth. You want them strong and big. Boron powder for fruiting. Boron helps with flowering, blooming, and fruiting without it, it will grow green and lush but no fruits. Not to mention iron, copper, and zinc. They also love acid soil. Not so much but somewhat.
Follow the directions on the package. Some may require you to spray onto the trees directly on the leaves. Some would have you sprinkle them around the outer edge of the root. Not directly on the tree trunk itself but the perimeter of the trees. Look at how wide the tree at high noon where you can use the shadow of the branches to sprinkle the fertilizer.
There are some fertilizer sticks made for citrus trees. Follow the directions on the package. It’s great for when you are out of town.
February is the first time. Remember that you must love your tree remember it on Valentine’s Day. Then in May if you don’t it will die and will be remembered on Memorial Day in May. Finally in September because then after you harvest the fruit, it will be a labor on Labor Day! That’s how I remember it. Corny? Yes!
Depending on how big your trees are it depends on how much fertilizer you’re going to use. Here are some steps to take.
When transplanting wait three weeks. After that, you would want to use 1/2 cup or .25 lbs. of fertilizer of maybe 8-8-8 in February and gradually up to 3 cups or 1.5 lbs. by September. Water thoroughly to protect the tender or young roots.
The 2nd year you want to fertilize every 8 weeks.
Start with .8 lbs. in Feb. and gradually up to 1.5 lbs. in Sept.
The 3rd year start with 1.4 lbs. in Feb. and in Sept. 2.8 lbs.
The 4th year, start with 3.3 lbs. in Feb. and in Sept. 4.2 lbs.
The 5th year and older start with 4.6 lbs. in Feb. and in Sept. 5.8 lbs.
For the Yuma, Arizona area this is where you’ll find a schedule for when and how much to fertilized in your area.
For nitrogen fertilization depends on the size of the tree instead of age. Small citrus at 2ft to 3ft bush use .25lbs. to .50lbs. per year.
4ft to 8ft citrus bush use .75 lbs. to 1 lbs. per year. Over 9ft to 10ft bush use 1.25 lbs. to 1.5 lbs. per year. Also, something to considered is if your soil is sandy or gravel like soil you would need to add more often.
Grapefruit is 50% less. Why? They don’t seem to like being fertilized that often. They will dry out from the inside. Lemons like 10% more than oranges.
Container citrus fertilizing schedule
For those of you who have container citrus tree, you must keep it moist but not waterlog. The soil should be dry about 3″ (inches) to 6″ (inches), water it until the water drains through the bottom. It’s an indicator that it is watered completely through.
Use a trowel or hand tool to scratch the surface of the soil. Add 1 tablespoon for every 4″ inches of the container. Follow directions on the package because every container is different. Some people use 2-1-1 or all-purpose fertilizer.
Don’t forget to move your citrus tree into a shaded area or indoor in the higher zone like zone 9 – 11. Move your citrus tree indoor for cold seasons.
Which fertilizer to use
You can use any with the number 8-8-8 as a minimum, the brand to use is up to you. I find it very challenging for me because, yep, I live in the desert and my soil is not the greatest I use 16-16-16. I have to baby my trees. However, my kaffir lime tree does very well as far as leaves go.
It is huge and beautiful. I use them a lot for my cooking. Especially for my soup, kho pong. I think that’s how you say it. I also use them in my sausages when I make them. I love the smell, the aroma.
Use the fertilizer that is recommended for citrus, and you should do just fine. I hope you’ll be right out there giving your trees some love. It’s citrus fertilizing time! Go now!
I hope that this will help you with your citrus needs. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate it. If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave them on my comment section and I’ll get back to you. Now go take on the day, challenge the unknown!