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How To Care For Your Citrus Tree In Winter

How To Care For Your Citrus Tree On The West Coast

While citrus trees love the west coast, depending on where you live you’ll want to take some necessary steps to keep your trees happy and thriving. In most warmer areas of the west coast, a light frost occurs late at night and during the early morning hours. While Citrus trees can withstand these close to freezing temperatures, it helps to water your tree deeply before each frost. Moist soil is less likely to freeze. If your area isn’t getting much rainfall, give your citrus tree between 1 -2 gallons a week from November to February.

If you tree is in a pot, you may want to bring it inside at the end of each day to protect it from colder temperatures.

How To Care For Your Citrus Tree In The Mid West And East Coast

Growing citrus trees in the Midwest and East Coast can be a bit of a challenge. The further you live north, special care needs to be taken to ensure your trees survive the winter.

Ideally, you’ll want to keep your tree in a pot so that it can be moved easily.

Make sure your tree gets lots of light

Place your tree in a spot that gets plenty of sunlight. When indoors, place it near a south or southwest facing window. Do not put your tree near a drafty vent our fireplace. Citrus tree require a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight a day. If this isn’t possible, supplement sunlight by using grow-lights made specially for plants.

Watering Needs

You won’t need to water your tree as much during the winter months. It will only need water when the soil is dry to the touch. Give your tree about at 1/2 gallon per week.

Temperature Needs

Place your tree in a room that stays between 55 – 58 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range is ideal as it mimics early-spring temperatures and will encourage flowering.

Watch for Leaf Dropping

Your citrus tree will start to drop its leaves if it feels stress. Don’t panic! This doesn’t mean your tree is dead or dying. But it’s trying to tell you something isn’t right with its environment. If you see leaves drop from your tree, try these steps:

  1. Adjust your watering – make sure you aren’t overwatering your tree. Remember, citrus tree don’t need as much water in the winter time
  2. Try moving your tree – move your tree to a different spot in your room in order to give it more sunlight.
  3. Make sure your tree isn’t near a heat source – Keep your tree away from fireplaces, space heaters, or heat vents.

Citrus Tree Hardiness

some citrus tree varieties have different levels of hardiness and can tolerate different temperatures. While some are more hardy than others, you still want to make sure to bring your tree indoors when temperatures get to freezing

Calamondin, kumquat, and grapefruit trees are among the most sensitive and least cold hardy. If you live in the Midwest or East Coast, you’ll want to keep these trees indoors for most of the year.

Kieffer Lime and Lemon trees are fairly hardy and fall right in the middle.

Mandarin trees are among the most cold hardy, but care should be taken to protect them from frigid temperatures in the winter.

If you were on the fence about buying a citrus tree, we hope this guide will give you the confidence to tackle the winter cold and enjoy the delicious fruits of your labor! There is nothing more satisfying than enjoying fresh citrus picked from your own garden!