Garden Center Blog

Fertilizer is Crucial for Growing Citrus Trees

August 23rd, 2011

Most everyone who buys a citrus tree for thier yard is hoping to pick some off to eat every year as they fruit.  One customer that came in to the nursery was very typical of those that have trouble growing citrus trees.  He had a Sunkist tangerine tree, a younger four year old tree with a trunk of about three inches in diameter.    This fruit is a kid’s fruit, easy to peel, and great to eat.  He said the tree was not growing quickly and the fruit production was lacking, about three to seven tangerines per year that were turning yellow as soon after picked.   The tree was still green and growing even though the tips of the leaves were turning brown and breaking off.

The most important thing to do as a citrus tree owner is to fertilize properly.  You need about 5 pounds of a good quality fertilizer every few months.  Find a 10-10-10 fertilizer, it might be hard to find these days.  The most important element to have is phosphorous and micro elements including boron, copper, and zinc for citrus trees.   You can purchase the minor elements separately if you fertilizer does not contain them. 

Use the liquid form if possible to enhance the ability of the fertilizer to make it up the root system.  If you use the liquid from, you can spray the underside and the top of the leaves so you can bypass a possibly poor root system and “force feed” the trees.   If you use the pellets, you need to put it on the ground and hope the root system is efficient enough to carry it.

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