Citrus Fertilizer: What, When, And How To Use It

Are you rising potted citrus bushes or are you rising citrus fruits in your at-home backyard? Are you contemplating beginning your individual citrus orchard? Properly, then one of the vital necessary instruments you’ll have to have at your disposal is citrus fertilizer!

Citrus bushes are persistent on their very own, however they want love and care like another fruit bushes. That’s why it’s necessary to make sure every citrus tree has not solely glorious base soil however a superb fertilizer too. And there are a lot to select from. 

So, at this time, we’re tackling citrus fertilizer. We’ll discuss in regards to the primary diet for citrus bushes. We’ll additionally talk about the kinds of fertilizer available on the market at this time. We’ll end it up with some data on how one can apply the citrus fertilizer you select. That means you may develop scrumptious fruits that develop from a robust, wholesome, plentiful citrus tree.  

What Vitamins do Citrus Bushes Want?

Citrus fertilizer retains your bushes at their healthiest. Supply: HarlanH

Like all vegetation, citrus bushes require the three primary constructing blocks of vitamins: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Do you know there are additionally three different macronutrients? These are calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). With out all 6 vitamins, vegetation have a tough time finishing their life cycle. Most residential soil normally accommodates the latter three however usually fluctuates in N, P, and Ok relying on what else has been grown in it and different components.

Fruit bushes additionally profit drastically from the addition of micronutrients. These are present in hint quantities in wholesome soil. In addition they are available in lots of the high-quality natural citrus tree fertilizer manufacturers on the market. A steadiness between the macro-nutrients (N, P, Ok, Ca, S, and Mg) and micronutrients ensures a wholesome tree and luscious citrus fruits too. 

The micronutrients in query are manganese, zinc, iron, copper, boron, molybdenum, chlorine, and nickel. Deficiencies in any of those could cause completely different points which may be exhausting to diagnose except you realize precisely what to search for. That’s why natural citrus fertilizer coupled with good base soil circumstances are nice methods to cowl your nutrient bases. 

A citrus tree consumes quite a lot of nitrogen to supply new progress leaves that help in nutrient absorption for flower and fruit manufacturing. Citrus bushes additionally devour excessive quantities of calcium and potassium. These enhance the flowering and fruiting of the tree and likewise suggestions supporting different nutrient features. Extra particularly, Ca is required to develop robust root methods, and reinforce cell partitions. Potassium feeds immediately into fruit manufacturing and the event of viable seeds inside that fruit. 

Citrus Fertilizer Formulation for Completely different Bushes?

When you would possibly see fertilizers particular to a sort of citrus tree, the identical fertilizer can doubtless be utilized to a different citrus tree with equal success. Most fertilizers available on the market are extra generalized and fertilize every citrus fruit tree equally. Changes in nutrient content material don’t usually happen in quantities that may matter a lot to lemon bushes and lime bushes. To lemon and lime, so long as they’ve the meals they should thrive, it’s all good!

So in case you discover a fertilizer that’s generalized for citrus, realize it most definitely will work in your Meyer lemon tree simply in addition to it will in your navel orange tree. Nonetheless, some formulations will work greatest with sure citrus, and supply primary diet for others. 

Varieties of Citrus Fertilizer

Pomelo on a tree
Massive fruit akin to this pomelo wants quite a lot of phosphorous to develop. Supply: John and Anni

There are such a lot of several types of fertilizer, with a lot made particularly for citrus bushes. Let’s run down an inventory of the kinds of citrus plant fertilizer available on the market at this time. Whereas there are formulation which might be designed for prime efficiency, one of the best citrus fertilizer might be one suited to your wants and your schedule. 

Citrus Fertilizer Spikes

Spikes are greatest for potted citrus bushes, somewhat than these within the floor. Completely different firms promote these. Fertilizer spikes make the most of the vitamins potassium and phosphorus to feed citrus bushes for producing fruit and flowers. Some go the additional step and embrace Mycorrhizal fungi and single-celled Archaea that work collectively to extend the productiveness of the tree’s root mass. They’re used twice per yr within the soil round bushes. You’ll find spikes in most house enchancment shops. 

Citrus Fertilizer Sprays

Sprays to your citrus fruit tree are supposed to be utilized to soil or the foliage of the tree. They embrace the fundamental macronutrients your citrus tree wants after which a number of different vitamins, together with zinc, iron, sulfur, manganese, and magnesium. Not solely do these citrus fertilizers provide help to produce lush foliage, however additionally they present elevated plant efficiency of their capability to spice up tree tolerance to chilly, and warmth, and even present drought tolerance. These are utilized through the dormant season. 

Citrus Fertilizer Powders

The Natural Supplies Evaluation Institute has put its stamp of approval on sure manufacturers of powdered natural fertilizer. The fertilizers with OMRI endorsement haven’t any artificial chemical substances and are usually formulated to be heavy on the potassium and phosphorus facet of macronutrient content material. Usually these powders are specifically created for large-scale citrus growers or those that produce quite a lot of citrus within the rising season. They’re used each couple of months.

Citrus Fertilizer Liquids

Liquid fertilizer is often used through the fruiting part of a fruit tree. They’re heavier on the nitrogen facet of NPK than the others we’ve talked about thus far. With an NPK of 4.5-2.0-4.2, these fertilizers help within the manufacturing of lush progress and include giant quantities of Ca which we all know helps reinforce cell partitions. Subsequently the citrus fruit is way more healthy and extra supple on account of utilizing liquid citrus tree fertilizer. And generally you’ll discover extremely efficient formulations which might be artificial, somewhat than natural. 

Gradual-Launch Citrus Fertilizer

Kumquat tree laden with fruit
For those who apply citrus fertilizer yearly, you’ll see giant harvests of kumquats. Supply: locomomo

One good thing about utilizing a slow-release natural citrus fertilizer is that extra vitamins get packed into these little granules that dissolve over time. Meaning there’s enhanced nutrient availability in granular fertilizers and there are sometimes helpful microbes included. Many of those fertilizers work on a number of kinds of fruit bushes, so if in case you have a tropical tree backyard with orange, kumquat, and avocado, know there’s in all probability a slow-release formulation on the market that may go well with all of them. One other good thing about utilizing slow-release fertilizer granules is you don’t have to use them quite a lot of occasions a yr. You will have even purposes of water through the rising season to adequately launch the vitamins, although.

Miscellaneous Citrus Fertilizer

You may fertilize your bushes with one of many above sorts, or you may apply extra particular fertilizers that may break down and feed your bushes over time. Annual purposes of well-rotted compost present higher drainage and water retention, in addition to a superb profile of vitamins for every tree in your backyard. 

Fishbone meal with additions of sulfur, potash, and manganese supplies bushes with good sources of phosphorous, and nitrogen. These, sulfur, and manganese are vitamins wanted for these heavy feeders. Add a bit of little bit of kelp meal to the combo, and also you’ve offered iron and different hint components that assist your bushes thrive. Curiously, producers of natural powders supply from these supplies, however you may apply them your self in case you select. Rooster manure is one other excessive nitrogen additive that may profit your citrus bushes.

Different pure components you may add embrace feather meal and alfalfa meal. These each present bushes with giant quantities of nitrogen wanted for foliage manufacturing. Feather meal usually supplies fertilization at a charge of 12-0-0 and is a good supply of meals for helpful fungi within the soil. Alfalfa does the identical at a charge of two.5-1-1. For those who use pellets of alfalfa, they’ll slowly deteriorate including aeration to the soil, and so they’ll present meals for fungus and helpful microbial content material. 

Extra sprays can come within the type of humic and fulvic acid, which enhance soil and help different fertilizers and plant meals by selling the uptake of natural and artificial components alike. They in flip enhance the standard of fruit as nicely. 

When to Fertilize Citrus Bushes

Orange tree loaded with fruit
For heavy-yielding varieties, it’s possible you’ll have to fertilize barely extra usually. Supply: romaryka

We’ve mentioned this to some extent within the final part. However let’s discuss when to use miscellaneous fertilizer. Compost and mulches, like alfalfa, could be utilized at any time of yr, however are greatest used upon planting and in dormancy, in winter and late fall. Soil components like kelp, fishbone, and feather meal could be added yearly earlier than spring progress, and upon planting. The identical goes for hen compost.

Fulvic and humic acid sprays or soil soaks are greatest utilized 1 to 2 occasions per yr together with annual fertilizer. 

Find out how to Fertilize Citrus Bushes

Now let’s discuss particular purposes to plug into your citrus fertilizer schedule. When you get a superb system going, you’ll have scrumptious fruits aplenty! Once more, bear in mind one of the best citrus fertilizer is at all times one that’s particularly formulated with natural vitamins AND suits your schedule. Use these two sides to find out which is the proper fertilizer for you. 


In case your chosen fertilizer is in spike type, put these within the floor through the dormant season, shortly earlier than spring. Discover the drip line of your tree (or the world 2 to three ft outdoors the circumference of the cover), and water the world completely. Place the protecting cap on the spike, and hammer it in so it’s flush with the bottom. You need to use a number of spikes for one tree, and as much as 4 at one time. Youthful bushes ought to have spikes nearer to the 2-foot vary outdoors the trunk diameter, and older bushes ought to have fertilizer spikes within the 3-foot vary. In containers, place one as removed from the trunk as attainable.


Indoor-grown mandarin tree
Container-grown bushes like this mandarin may have extra common fertilization. Supply: crouz1

Apply fertilizer sprays in dormancy as nicely. One factor to notice about these is they have an inclination to stain surfaces, so forestall contact together with your arms, garments, containers, and close by surfaces. Dilute the answer in a twig bottle or hose spray mechanism at a charge of 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. Then spray your entire tree, calmly misting it with fertilizer. Do that 1 to 2 occasions between December and February. You can too use this fertilizer to right any nutrient deficiencies through the rising season too. On this case, use 2 tablespoons per gallon of water, utilized at 2-week intervals. Mature bushes will want a gallon of resolution, whereas youthful bushes will want much less.  


Most citrus growers fertilize with powdered natural fertilizer. Right here, feed your orange, lime, or lemon tree in dormancy. Totally water the world, then evenly unfold the powder. For established vegetation and shrubs, apply the powder on the drip line at 1 cup per 1.5 ft of unfold, or 2 cups per 3 ft of unfold. For a fully-grown tree, use 3 cups per inch for trunks which might be 3 inches in diameter or much less. Use 9 cups for a bigger tree. Two manufacturers that use pure sources for his or her powders are Espoma and Bumper Crop. 

For those who’re utilizing a shake and apply fruit fertilizer, shake the jug, and apply the powder on the drip line. How a lot you’ll want relies on the trunk diameter and the tree’s age. It’s necessary to recollect to keep away from contact between the trunk and the fertilizer. This powdered fertilizer is helpful in container-grown citrus in addition to outside vegetation. 


Since citrus bushes are heavy feeders, it’s possible you’ll profit from plant meals that may be utilized all through the season. Enter liquid fertilzers! To assist your tree produce extra fruit, and promote energetic progress, use these each 3 to 4 weeks. Merely water the drip line, after which apply the fertilizer from the bottle connected to a hose. Strive to not moist different areas of the backyard, and focus the fertilizer in your orange or grapefruit tree. As a result of these are formulated to feed in another way, seek the advice of the label to find out how a lot to make use of. 


A slow-release fertilizer for orange tree growers is a wonderful strategy to scale back the variety of occasions you need to fertilize. This lessens the workload and simplifies your citrus fertilization schedule. So in case you’re questioning when to fertilize lemon bushes with slow-release plant meals or granular fertilizer, know it is going to solely should be a number of occasions per yr. One of the best citrus tree fertilizer of this sort is adaptable to an indoor or outside tree. Within the case of slow-release natural fertilizer for indoor bushes, you may fertilize all yr spherical for energetic progress. An out of doors tree ought to obtain fertilizer in dormancy. Simply sprinkle the granules across the space to be fertilized at a charge of three tablespoons for each 2 by 2-foot space. Then work them calmly into the soil, and water them in.   

Steadily Requested Questions

Lemon tree with nutrient deficiency
Yellowed leaf edges generally is a signal of nutrient deficiency. Supply: Keith Williamson

Q: What’s the greatest fertilizer for citrus bushes?

A: It relies on the way you’re rising the fruit tree and the way usually you have got time to feed it. See above!

Q: When must you fertilize citrus bushes?

A: In an outside backyard, fruit tree fertilizers must be utilized in dormancy, whereas an indoor tree could be fertilized year-round. It additionally relies on the way you backyard citrus fruit. Learn by to see how differing types have completely different timings.

Q: What’s a pure fertilizer for citrus bushes?

A: Many citrus fertilizers are additionally natural fertilizers. One of the best citrus fertilizers are those who supply from pure components like kelp, bone, and alfalfa. Bumper Crop and Espoma are two manufacturers that use pure sources of their formulations. 

Q: Are you able to over-fertilize citrus bushes?

A: You may. An excessive amount of fertilizer can weaken the tree total. Plan out a schedule to use fertilizer and keep on with it. 

Q: Are you able to fertilize citrus when flowering?

A: Sure! Particularly granular and powder fertilizers could be utilized through the rising season. 

The Inexperienced Thumbs Behind This Article:

Leave a Reply

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings