Citrus tree (lemon tree)
The citrus tree (lemon tree) is an extremely popular plant. It can be found all over the world and with good reason. The plant has a beautiful, vibrant appearance and it flowers from the spring until well into the summer months. Its blossom is wonderfully fragrant and its edible fruits are bursting with vitamins. Citrus trees can be planted in the ground in warm regions. However, it is generally recommended to plant them in a pot, tub, or container as they can be sensitive to frost.
Citrus trees do not require much maintenance. However, you do need to place the tree in a sheltered frost-free spot when there is severe frost. If you place it in a warm spot in winter, you’ll be able to pick fruits from it all year round. One thing you must certainly do is prune the lemon tree in September or October. This will help to keep its shape and ensure that it is ready for the next growing and flowering period.
Our range includes the following varieties of citrus tree:
Citrus Aurantifolia Lime Verde – a popular plant that is also known by the name of Citrus Aurantifolia or lime tree. The mandarin-sized limes that grow on this tree taste much nicer than the limes that you buy from the supermarket. They are tarter and have a more intense flavour. The flowers are wonderfully fragrant and add a tropical accent to your patio or balcony.
Citrus Clementine – this plant, also known as the clementine tree, is a great asset for your patio or balcony. Not only because of its beautiful, exotic appearance, but also because of its wonderfully fragrant flowers and its edible fruits that are juicy and slightly sour. The fruits are a bit larger than a mandarin but smaller than an orange. Most people leave the fruits hanging as decoration.
Citrus Fortunella Kumquat – a beautiful exotic plant that is a real asset for your patio or balcony. The plant also goes by three other names, dwarf orange tree, Citrus Kumquat, or Citrus Fortunella Margarita, and produces beautiful white flowers. These flowers are followed by oblong-shaped, orange-like fruits that can be eaten in their entirety. Together, their sweet peel and tart flesh produce a spectacular taste sensation.
Citrus Hystrix – with its greenish-yellow fruits and shiny green double leaves, this stunning plant also goes by the name of kaffir lime. The papedas – as the fruits are called – are packed with vitamin C and have a tart and slightly bitter, yet fruity flavour. You can use them just like limes. The leaves, too, are edible. If you dry them and then pound them, they can be used as herbs.
Citrus Limon – thanks to its yellow fruits – which we also call lemons – and its attractive appearance, this plant (which has the Latin name Citrus Limonia) is incredibly popular around the world. One great advantage is that you can actually eat the lemons which are very healthy to boot.
Citrus Mitis Calamondin – also called a calamondin tree, is a cross between the Citrus Fortunella Kumquat and the Citrus Mandarino (mandarin tree). It produces orange fruits which are quite similar to mandarins. They are edible though rather sour. You could compare their flavour to a mixture of lemon and orange.
Citrus Reticulata – this tree – also known as Citrus Mandarino or mandarin tree – can be found in all corners of the world. And for good reason, as it looks stunning and adds a burst of colour to your garden, patio, or balcony. Its white flowers are wonderfully fragrant and the mandarins are edible but are usually left hanging for decoration.
Citrus Sinensis – this widely popular orange tree, as it is also called, produces deliciously fragrant white flowers in the spring, followed by brightly coloured oranges. The fruits are edible but are likely to be slightly sour or bitter. They are more for decoration.
Where does the citrus tree originate from?
Citrus trees are originally from South-East Asia and belong to the Citrus plant genus. The trees have been cultivated for more than 4,000 years, making it the oldest cultivated crop in the world. It was not until around the sixteenth century that Europeans discovered the beauty of lemon trees.
Why choose a citrus tree?
- Citrus trees are beautiful plants. They are a real asset for your garden.
- Their blossom smells wonderfully fragrant and the fruits that follow are edible and very good for you.
- This plant adds a touch of the exotic to your garden, patio, or balcony. You’ll feel as though you’re on a faraway holiday somewhere nice and warm.
- You don’t have to pay it much attention as it does not need much care or maintenance.
When is the best time to plant a citrus tree?
You can plant the citrus tree at any time of the year. This is because it cannot stay outdoors in the winter anyway and it needs to be placed in a heated and sheltered spot.
How should I plant a citrus tree?
In a pot, tub, or container
- Find a lovely spot in your garden, or on your patio or balcony.
- Choose a large pot, tub, or container so that the plant and its roots have enough space to grow. You could place bubble wrap around the inside for insulation. And make a few holes in the bottom of the pot or container.
- Place a layer of hydrograins in the ornamental pot. Then fill up with special Mediterranean potting compost.
- Remove the lemon tree from its plastic pot and submerge the root ball in water and then place it in the soil.
- The top of the root ball should be level with the ground.
- Fill up with Mediterranean potting soil and press this down firmly.
- Give the tree plenty of water for the initial period, especially if there is not much rainfall. This will ensure that the roots take hold in the soil. Make sure that the excess water can drain away.
In frosty weather, place the citrus tree in a light, sheltered spot that is also heated up a bit.
When moving the plant, watch out for temperature changes. Allow the plant to slowly get used to a warmer or colder location.
- In the summer months, the citrus tree will look beautiful on your patio or balcony. In the winter, place it in a sheltered and heated spot that receives plenty of light.
- Do not move it outdoors again too early as it does not like cold nights. Wait until mid-May to transfer it outside.
- Place it on your patio or balcony in partial shade. It does not have to be in full sun all the time although you may well think this is what a tropical plant needs.
- Place the plant in moist soil that is rich in nutrients.
- It is also possible to keep a citrus tree as a houseplant. In that case, make sure that the excess water can drain through the soil and place a dish or saucer underneath the pot.
Advice & Care
The citrus tree is traditionally used to wet weather that is alternated with dry weather. The earth in which it stands must not become too moist. Insert your finger in the soil to a depth of around 5 cm. If it feels dry, give the plant some water.
Make sure that the excess water can drain away. Make holes in the bottom of the pot, tub, or container. The tree does not like having wet feet for long. This increases the chance of root decay.
The plant does not like icy cold water so make sure it is lukewarm.
It is essential to prune the citrus tree to ensure it grows neatly and to keep it under control. It is recommended to prune the tree after flowering, in September or October.
Give the tree a good dose of nitrogen-rich, lime-free fertilizer in the summer. It will thank you.
Common problems with citrus trees
Citrus trees can be affected by spider mites, mealybugs, soft scales, scale insects, and aphids. You could combat these pests with special products that are available from garden centres or DIY stores.
Leaves can turn yellow if the plant is given too much water. It can also be caused by too much lime in the soil or too much limescale in the water. We also call it chlorosis. It is therefore advisable to use rainwater.
Advantages and disadvantages of citrus trees
- The plant is easy to look after.
- It produces wonderfully fragrant flowers in the spring.
- After blossoming, it produces delicious fruits that are good for you.
- The plant is not very tolerant of frost. It is best to plant the tree in a pot, tub, or container.
- The citrus tree does not like standing in soil that is too wet.
- You will need to move the plant to a warm, sheltered spot in winter.
- It may suffer from spider mites, mealybugs, soft scales, scale insects, or aphids.
If you like exotic-looking flowering plants that are easy to look after and also produce edible fruits, then a citrus tree or lemon tree is the right choice for you.
Order this stunning plant today. It will delight you with its appearance and its fabulous flowers. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask us. We can speak to you in your own language.