General information

Citrus Plant Care


It often happens that the citrus plant you bought, when you brought it home from the nursery, drops not only fruits and ovaries, but even leaves. When moving from a store or a greenhouse to an apartment, citrus fruits can shed their leaves, because the familiar climate is changing. But when the plant gets used to the house, it should start growing new leaves. If you don’t see the new leaves, you may be making one of the common mistakes.

Let's see what are the tricks of caring for citrus indoor plants.

Citrus fruits do not like permutations: it is not necessary to transfer the plant from place to place. The citrus pot does not need to be rotated 180 or 90 degrees at once. In this case, the leaves turn yellow and fall off, the plant may die. Every 10 days it is necessary to turn the pot by 10 degrees (not more).

Citrus fruits do not tolerate drafts.

The pot must be the right size! "For growth" plants are not planted, and this applies not only to citrus. If you plant a small plant at once in a big tub, its leaves will turn yellow and fall off. Moreover, a large pot increases the likelihood of the bay (which citrus do not like very much).

You can not put citrus near the microwave.

Plants may suffer from improper feeding and transplanting. Citrus fruits prefer not transfer, but transshipment!

In summer, the plants feel great on the balcony, in the garden.

Fruiting lemons, tangerines and other citrus fruits simultaneously usually also bloom profusely, which leads to a weakening of the tree. Flowers should be thinned, leaving larger ones, on which the ovary is better developed. From the ovaries, it is better to leave those that are located on short (rather than long) branches. On long fruits grow more slowly.

It takes several months to ripen the fruit. Ovaries can be very much, the plant will discard unnecessary. This is normal.

If you bought citrus in winter

If a plant with fruits was bought by you in the winter, it will certainly lose all the fruits, and then part of the leaves (or even all the leaves). When buying citrus in the winter it is better to immediately remove all the fruits, remove the flowers that appear.

If you excessively moisten the soil in the winter, it will sour, citrus leaves in this case turn yellow and fall off.

It is not recommended to buy citrus trees with fruits, it is better to choose a flowering tree. If you still bought a tree with fruits:

  • tear off all the fruits
  • the branches, which were fruits, shorten by half
  • spray more often
  • the soil should always be wet (but without the gulf)

Variegated Citrus

The variegated citrus fruits are more capricious and require more careful care than green leaves. But they are a great rarity (you are very lucky if you find such a plant on sale), they are preferred by those who love exotic houseplants.

They need more light, but they can suffer from burns in direct sunlight.

Fertilizers choose for variegated leaves with low nitrogen content.

Variety is more pronounced if the plant is grown in cool conditions.

High humidity required (spraying necessary).

Sometimes on variegated plants just green shoots (and even white ones) can grow, they need to be removed so that they do not drown out the variegated ones.

Citrus Care Guidelines

Fresh air

Citrus plants do not develop well in rooms where the air is dry with heating, where it is never ventilated, and there is no sun.

It is best to put a pot of citrus flower near the window, but not in a draft. In order for lemon or mandarin to feel well, air the room. In good weather, the flower can be taken out on the balcony or veranda.

If the house is dry, it is better to immediately consider how you will moisten the air. Otherwise, the flowers will fall off in the buds, you will not wait for the fruit, and the leaves will turn yellow and fly around.

Most citrus prefer the sunny side. Of course, direct rays to the plant are destructive (it can get burned on the leaves), but the diffused sunlight is exactly what citrus fruits are used to.

If you have no windows facing east or south in the apartment, do not despair too. Simply, choosing which kind of citrus to grow, stop at lemon or citron. They are the most shade-tolerant and will grow wonderfully even near a window facing north. I would even say that lemon and citron are generally better not to be placed on the south side.

Watering citrus

All types of citrus plants love abundant watering. But this does not mean that the plant should be poured. Just the land substrate should not dry out.

The water should be as soft as possible: separated, and possibly strained (if you have water with impurities in the water supply system). You need to defend the water for at least a day. Chlorinated and hard water from plants can turn yellow and fall leaves.

Citrus also requires frequent spraying. To do this, also use separated soft warm water.

Feeding citrus

Since citrus fruits are tropical inhabitants, they quickly deplete the earth, making minerals and trace elements. When the active growing season begins (from the end of winter - the beginning of spring) it is necessary to begin feeding the plant. You can use both organic and liquid mineral fertilizers. Feed need until autumn.

Of unusual organic fertilizers, flower growers often use beer to feed citrus fruits. They are even sprayed or lightly rub the leaves. They are said to shine. It seems to me that if this “fertilizer” is adopted, then beer is better to choose non-alcoholic.

Also fed with used brewing. But the main thing here is not to overdo it so that insects do not start in the soil.


I have already mentioned above that for citrus plants it is necessary to make a mixture of garden soil and river sand. Also suitable substrate of humus (1 part), sod land (3 parts) and sand (1 part). But if you do not have these components, just use light nutrient soil, which allows air and water to pass through well. The shops sell soil for citrus. I repeat once again - be sure to use good drainage.

Types of citrus, suitable for growing at home

  1. Lemon (Citron) - the most common of the kind, found in pot culture. Varietal lemon is ripening, has compact dimensions (about 120-150 cm) and is not capricious in the course.
    The largest fruit (weighing up to 1 kg) has lemon ponderosis. The variety can bloom more than twice a year, on one bush several large lemons ripen, with a bumpy, spongy peel. Enters fructification for the 6th year.
    A bountiful harvest can be harvested from Meyer’s lemon bush. The harvest begins to form in the fourth year of life, the fruits have a light pleasant bitterness.
    Pavlovsky lemon is an old Russian early variety, the crop from which can be harvested 3 years after sowing.
    The fruit of lemon looks very unusual. The hand of the Buddha, it looks like a human hand with long fingers, although some see a golden octopus in the shape of a fruit.

Lemon Mandarin room (unshiu) is inferior in size to the fruit of lemon, but surpasses it in yield. A small tree (up to 130 - 140 cm) is densely covered with round orange tangerines, which have no seeds at all. They are juicy, odorous and very sweet.

Mandarin Orange. Expect the ripening of its fruits will have almost 9 months. A long wait is rewarded by a wonderful fresh taste.

Orange Kumquat or fortunella. The plant looks like a dwarf orange, but its fruits have a cylindrical shape. There is a variegated variety of kumquat "Variegata" with white or yellowish stripes on the leaves.

Kumquat Calamondin (citrofortunella) is a decorative hybrid of mandarin and Fortunella, reaching a height of 100 cm. The bush is covered with dark green shiny small greens and a large number of bitter and small (3-4 cm in diameter) orange "balls".



All room citrus are demanding in bright light. In the shade, they lose their foliage and do not bloom. It is optimal to place tubs indoor plants near the southeast windows. Additional springtime may be required in early spring.

In the summer of plants it is useful to take out to fresh air. Citruses are located in quiet, sheltered from the wind places, but always well-lit.

Land for citrus plants should show a neutral or slightly acid reaction, be breathable and nutritious. In the store you can buy ready-made soil "Lemon" that meets all requirements.

For personal preparation of the substrate, high-quality peat, turfy oak or field clover ground, sand, well-rotted manure, with the addition of wood ash are mixed in equal parts. The land must be disinfected from weed seeds and larvae of pests by roasting on a fire or in an oven, steaming in a water bath.

Pot for citrus choose a wide, medium height. It is better to take a ceramic, heavy pot, so that it is stable and does not turn over. The presence in the bottom of the holes for the flow of excess water is necessary.

Citrus Pot

The main difficulty in caring for all citrus plants is ensuring they have a rest period in winter with low air temperatures. Only an orange needs heat (13 - 16 degrees), other species contain at + 5 +9 degrees. The lighting should be still bright, so the flower cannot be removed from the cool pantry. Watering in winter is reduced to once per decade, keeping the substrate only barely wet.

Important! Excessive moisture, in combination with low temperature will lead to rotting of the roots of the plant.

Watering room citrus, during the active growing season requires regular, but not excessive. Stagnation of water in the pan can not be allowed. Water should be at room temperature, not chlorinated and not hard. Well suited rain or snow moisture.

Citrones need 70% air humidity. This level is achieved by regular (summer daily) spraying in the evening. Around the plants you can put wide bowls of water, in which the expanded clay is poured. Evaporating moisture will soften the dry air of the apartment.

Lemons, oranges and other members of the genus need regular feeding from February to October. Liquid solutions of mineral fertilizers for citrus alternate with infusions of mullein or bird guano in low concentrations (1 to 10 and 1 to 20, respectively). Regular fertilization - once every 15 days.

Important! Feeding is carried out only on wet soil, in order to avoid burn roots.
Citruses respond well to watering the soil with Baikal, whose composition enriches the soil with beneficial bacteria.

Pruning a plant is not only a decorative function, but also affects the yield. Citrus crowns are trimmed in February, before awakening the plants from sleep, and in summer, shortening the fattening shoots. Different species have small trim features:

  • the orange needs pinching of the main stem, as it tends to grow upwards,
  • Mandarin forms a lot of lateral shoots that are cut out to thin the crown,
  • kumquat and calamondin almost do not require shaping,
  • Lemon is difficult to form, cut it neatly, shortening only the sprouting shoots.

The formation of young citrus begin as early as possible, avoiding the thickening of the crown.

Pests, diseases

Citrus fruits are affected by a number of harmful insects, they are parasitized on them: aphid, mealybug, spider mite, scythe. Avoiding quarantine for newly acquired plants and careful regular inspection of bushes will help protect you from infection. They cope with the invasion of pests by spraying the crown and the surface of the earth in a pot with Aktara or Aktellik (1 ml per liter of water), Inta-Vir. Treatment with drugs should be carried out, carrying the plant outside or covering the crown with polyethylene.

Plants can suffer from powdery mildew, rot, chlorosis. Most often, the disease manifests itself in weak plants, in violation of agricultural practices. Citrus helps to cure the treatment with fungicides (Fitosporin, Bordeaux mixture), transplanting the bush into a fresh disinfected substrate.


Citrus fruits grown from seeds will start fruiting only 10 or more years after planting. They can form beautiful ornamental trees. Experienced growers inoculate seedlings inoculate varietal cuttings, the resulting plant has the simplicity of seedling and precociousness and yield, inherent to the selected variety.

Fresh seeds germinate quickly, sown in loose peat-sand-humus substrate, at a temperature of +25 degrees. Caring for seedlings is not difficult and differs little from caring for adult plants.

Reproduction citrus

The most popular method of reproduction of citrus - grafting. Green sprigs of citrus are cut from plants in the winter when they sleep. At least 3 internodes are left on the handle, the lower cut is made oblique, the bark is scratched with a clean knife to stimulate root formation. The tip of the branch is powdered with root or heteroauxin. One bottom is removed, the upper leaves are cut to half the leaf plate.

The cutting is planted in a steamed wet substrate from a mixture of sand and peat. On top of the landings construct a greenhouse. Rooting occurs in bright ambient light and a temperature of +25 degrees. The cuttings are aired every day and sprayed with warm water. After 50 - 60 days a good beard of roots is formed on the seedlings, they can be transplanted into ordinary soil and looked after as an adult plant.

In home floriculture, it is not practiced to plant indoor citrus plants with other flowers in one container. But, with the device of a green corner of a tropical forest, lemons, oranges, tangerines will perfectly fit into the composition. They harmoniously look next to ficus, ivy, hibiscus, roses and jasmine.

See also a video on the topic:

Description and characteristics of citron

In nature, citron is a small shrub or tree up to three meters high. The branches have spines of 4-6 cm each. The leaves are oval in shape, oblong, with petioles.

It blooms with white single flowers with a reddish tinge. Its fruits are one of the largest among citrus fruits, their length reaches 15-45 cm. In diameter - up to 30 cm. Fruits are oblong, yellow, less often - orange.

What is the difference between citron and lemon?

Lemon does not grow in the wild state. It is a cultivated hybrid of citron. The lemon tree differs from the citron tree in height - it can reach eight meters. The leaves are brighter and their smell is richer than that of citron.

Citron fruits are much larger than lemon. Citron fruit has a thick peel, in lemon it is thinner and smoother. Most citron fruits have a pronounced ribbed surface.

Necessary conditions for growing citron

Before you start growing citron, you need to know that this is the most heat-loving plant of all citrus fruits. In room conditions, it grows to 1-1.5 meters. Therefore, you need to choose a bright and warm place where the citron will grow and, possibly, will give fruit.

Where is the best place to put citron in the room?

It should be a spacious, well-lit and warm place. The citron in the room can be placed on the windowsill, avoiding the north side. In summer, the sun shines.

In autumn and winter, on the contrary, additional lighting will be needed so that the duration of daylight hours for citron is at least 10 hours per day.

Ordinary fluorescent lamps or phytolamps, which can be purchased at garden stores, are suitable for additional lighting.

Temperature and humidity for growing

Since citron is a heat-loving plant, the temperature during its cultivation must be maintained within 25-35 degrees in spring and summer, in autumn and winter - no more than 10-15 degrees.

Such temperature conditions are necessary for growing any citrus plant, such as lemon or citron. They provide normal flowering and fruiting.

Once a season, the crown should be washed with warm water. Before washing the ground is covered with polyethylene or other moisture-resistant material to protect it from washing out the soil.

How to plant citron at home

Citron can only be grown with the help of a cutting, there are few seeds in its fruits, and they are in an immature state, whereas lemon has no such problems. Lemon is easier to be seeded with seeds than citron, but knowing how to plant citron correctly, you will have no difficulty in breeding it.

The stalk is harvested in spring, cutting off a one-year branch with a knife. Length - 10-15 cm. Stalk is freed from leaves, leaving 2-4 shoots at the top.

Requirements for growing soil

For normal growth of citron planting cutting should be carried out in a special soil for citrus, purchased in the store. Можно приготовить смесь, самостоятельно смешав две части песка, одну часть перегноя и одну часть чернозёма. На дно горшка поместить дренаж для предотвращения застоя воды. Перед посадкой черенка грунт промыть кипятком для обеззараживания. После того как грунт остынет, нужно сделать отверстие глубиной 2 см и высадить в него черенок. Поставить росток в светлое место с температурой 20-25 градусов. To create greenhouse conditions, at the edges, attach a cone to the pot and wrap it in polyethylene, leaving a small hole at the top to moisten and air the germ.

Features care citron at home

When growing citron, it is worth knowing that it needs care and proper care. It is necessary to follow the plant all the time. Regularly and timely water, pick up top dressing of the soil and cut it in time.

In summer, citron needs to be watered regularly, twice a day. In the fall and spring water as the topsoil dries. If the upper lumps of soil do not stick to hands and crumble, then citron needs to be watered. In winter, watering should be reduced, since citron is at rest, its growth and development are slowed down during this period. Water should be distilled water at room temperature. If possible, use rainwater or water from natural reservoirs, also settled at room temperature. This water does not contain in its composition chlorine and heavy metals that are harmful to any citrus plants.

Citron, like any citrus, needs regular fertilizer.

Citrus fruits are fertilized at least once a week during the plant growth period - from the beginning of March to the end of October. During the winter period it does not need top dressing. Fertilizers must contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, they can be bought at garden stores. Well suited superphosphate or double superphosphate. At home, you can make fertilizer from horse or cow manure. To do this, dilute one part of the manure with ten parts of water.

Cut the citron is optional. Pruning room citrus, such as lemon, citron or orange, is carried out to give the tree a certain shape and size.

On each branch of the first plan leave 2-3 branches of the second plan. On the branches of the second plan - 2-6 branches of the third plan, on which the branches of the fourth plan begin to grow. This can be considered the end of the formation of the tree, on these branches and flowering and fruiting citrus begins. The main goal of pruning is to grow the plant in bulk, and not just pulled up.

Major diseases and pests of citron

The main diseases of citron associated with the problems of caring for him. Yellowed and fallen leaves - insufficient watering or the amount of fertilizer. The leaves withered and twisted - an excess of water in the soil or extra fertilizers that spoiled the root system.

Citron pests rarely attack, but can be brought in from other plants.

  • Fungal infections spoil the leaves and fruits, forming warts on them. To combat them, it is necessary to spray the plant Bordeaux mixture or fungicides.
  • Viruses infect the bark of the trunk, it begins to flake off. In this case, you should immediately remove the dead bark and treat the infected place with garden pitch.
  • Pests for citron are scale, mite and mealybug. At the very beginning of the lesion, they form a white sticky plaque on the leaves. In the future, these leaves dry up and fall off. If plaque is detected, citron should immediately be separated from other plants. Rinse all leaves with insecticides, such as "Aktellik".
With proper cultivation and regular care for citron, it is a grown-up plant that will delight you with its appearance. And its fruits will serve as a reward for the enclosed works.

Growing plants at home

Compliance with the requirements for care - a guarantee of growing an exotic citron fruit in a city apartment.

The composition of the soil for planting: turf, leaf soil, humus and sand in a ratio of 2: 2: 1: 1. It does not hurt the mixing of wood ash. The drainage layer of 2 cm keeps within a pot.

The plant is light-requiring, but in the south window at noon you need to pritenyat. In autumn and winter, the light day should be lengthened with the help of illumination

The plant of southern origin prefers a temperature of +20. +25 ° C. Winter content at +10. +15 ° C guarantees flowering.

The plant needs spraying. Once every three months you can plant a shower.

Abundant watering, but do not allow stagnant water in the pot. Use rain or melt water. In winter, watering cut.

In the period of growth from March to September, the plant is fed fertilizer for citrus.

As the tree grows, transplant it into a larger pot along with an earthy clod so as not to injure the roots.

Pruning makes the tree decorative.

Fruit plant begins in the 3rd year. Blossom 2-3 times per year. At home, a citrus plant can be grown from cuttings, because the seeds in the fruit are underdeveloped. Propagated in the spring. Cut cuttings of 10–15 cm are planted in the soil, leaving 2-3 leaves on top. To create greenhouse conditions, the top is covered with a polyethylene cap, leaving a hole for ventilation.

It is difficult to create conditions for comfortable growth and fruiting of citron. Proper care is the key to getting exotic decorations in the apartment and original fruits with lemon scent.

Cool wintering

The second condition for good growth of bright exotic plants is a decrease in temperature in winter to 12–16 C. In the absence of a cold wintering, citrus fruits usually do not live longer than 3–4 years, gradually deplete and die. Rest southerners lasts from November to February. At the beginning - mid-February, when the day begins to increase, the majority of citrus crops wake up and grow.

A winter garden or a greenhouse heated to 3–12 ° C are ideal places for wintering Calamondin:

Fruits hang on branches all winter and begin to ripen only by spring.

Impossible to harvest, and the life of plants in general, without the correct mode of watering. It is impossible to allow too big breaks between watering, during which “pets” suffer from an overabundance of moisture, then from a deficiency. Citrus representatives of the flora should be “drunk” so that the potted substrate never dries out and is moderately moistened to the very bottom.

During the period of active growth in spring and summer, especially in dry and hot weather, this means that you should take a watering can every day! In winter, every 2-3 days it is necessary to check how wet the substrate is, and, if necessary, water the exotic.

Pest control

If you water the plants correctly, they are not under stress. And this is very important, because this negative factor reduces the resistance of your pets to attacks of pests, such as spider mites and scale insects. Fight them with the help of special protective equipment for residential use. Later, you can safely use the fruit for food, since the active substances usually disintegrate within a few weeks. But a healthy plant that is watered properly and from March to October weekly (at the rest of the time 2 times a month) is fed with citrus fertilizers, it is able to withstand the enemies.

Black plaque - a consequence of the vital functions of the scutes. Pests emit a sticky secret, which settles soot fungus. To get rid of the misfortune, spray the plant with this solution: dilute 20 ml of vodka and liquid soap with 1 l of water. Wipe the leaves with a soft cloth.

And one more good news: care of all citrus plants, regardless of the type and variety in the long run not much different. Once you understand, you can literally reap even the most exotic fruits, such as citron.

These different citrus fruits

Have citron, or cedrate (Citrus medica)The fruits are the largest among citrus fruits. Essential oil is obtained from the peel, which is used to flavor drinks, confectionery and culinary products.

Poncirus three-leaf (Poncirus trifoliata) is one of the most cold-resistant representatives of citrus fruits: it can withstand temperatures as low as –20 ° C. Harvest his beautiful, but unfriendly fruits can be from September.

Citrus limon ‘Variegata’ - a real delight for both eyes and stomach. The flesh of its striped fruit is very juicy and pleasantly sour to taste.

Lemons ripen all year round. Therefore, you can pick organic fruits, whenever you please, and use them in food along with the peel.

Buddha hand - This is the name of citron (Citrus medica) ‘Digitata’, the fruits of which are characterized by a bizarre shape and a very fragrant peel.

Oranges (Citrus sinensis), such as ‘Ovale Calabrese’, tastes sweet, even if they grow in our latitudes.

In oranges (Citrus sinensis)Vainiglia’Especially tender taste.

Fortunella oval, or kumquat, or golden orange (Fortunella margarita), does not leave anyone indifferent: some just adore him, others are truly disgusted.

After all, its small fruits are eaten whole, that is, they do not remove the zest. Their rind is sweet, and their flesh is sour - together they form an incomparable combination with nothing.

Not everyone can afford

From the 17th century, well-to-do aristocrats had been cultivating southern citrus plants for their own needs, and also wishing to surprise their guests with rare fruits. For bright thermophilic exotic plants, greenhouses were built: rooms with large windows, and later - whole buildings of glass that were heated with firewood, which was very expensive.

Especially popular with collectors enjoyed orange (Citrus aurantium), or a bitter orange (still citrus fans and gourmets especially appreciate the ‘Fasciata’ orange with bright yellow-orange striped fruits). By the way, classic English orange jam is made from the pulp and strips of orange peel.

Tips and secrets

    • When to prune citrus?

For pruners can be taken from March to August, shortening too long shoots. Pruning the tops of the shoots makes the crown thicker and stimulates the formation of fruits.

  • Why do citruses often shed a lot of ovaries?
Young plants are not able to “feed” all the fruits until full maturity. That is why they shed those extra ovaries. This is a completely natural process, since then the remaining fruits grow to normal sizes and become the most fragrant.

  • By what signs can we determine that the fruits are ripe?
If the fruit is lightly rotated, fully matured will easily separate from the branch. It is necessary to make efforts to tear it off.

  • What if the citrus plant does not want to bloom?
To form flowers, a tub with a “pet” for the summer must be brought into the garden and placed in a sunny place. By the way, citrus blooms and bears fruit from 4 years of age.