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Citrus fact sheet

from David’s Exotic Plants


Citrus should be watered thoroughly but then allowed to dry out almost completely before re-watering.  Note – they don’t like to be over-watered, and in the rest period (winter) they should only be watered when the soil is almost dust dry.   When growing begins in the Spring they should be given Summer citrus feed once a week, to encourage new growth.  They should also be fed (but not so frequently) in the Winter with Winter citrus feed.  

Over-wintering in the UK

Citrus trees hate temperature change, and if there is a sudden change in their temperature they will panic and drop their leaves. If this does happen, don’t add to the plant’s distress by changing the surroundings too drastically again.  Simply ensure it has enough light, ventilation and food, and do not over-water.

Citrus should be kept on a south-facing window indoors or in a conservatory or greenhouse not below 5C.  The majority of citrus will be damaged or killed by frost.


Summer months

Citrus require as much sunlight and ventilation as possible.  If you keep your citrus trees in a greenhouse, water the floor on hot days to increase the humidity.  



Like other plants, citrus may be attacked by pests.  Red spider mite, scale insect, white fly and greenfly are the main culprits and the best solution is to wash your tree with soapy water every few days to cut down the insect numbers, or simply give it a good hose down.


Citrus trees require a loam-based compost with either grit or bark chippings to aid drainage.  The optimum pH is 6.5.  Citrus should be re-potted once a year if/when the plant becomes pot-bound.

Similar factsheets on bougainvilla trees, bauhinia, exotic plumeria, mango plants, acmena, exotic punica, pomegranate, exotic lychee trees, gloriosa and many more exotic plants which can be found via our Garden Index.




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