Does Citrus Keep Bugs Away?

Citrus is a genus of flowering trees and shrubs that belong to the Rutaceae family. Fruits in this genus include orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangelo, pomelo, and more.


D-limonene is a compound found in oranges and lemons that can be found in its peel and zest.  It is an effective insect repellent. D-limonene is found in many commercial eco-friendly insect repellants as well as a component in many citrus essential oils.    

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Nootkatone is a naturally occurring organic compound found in grapefruit peels. This compound like D-limonene is also quite against insects specifically mosquitoes and ticks.

D-Limonene and Nootkatone oil extracts

Unfortunately, you need to extract these compounds from the fruit for it to be effective. Simply rubbing these fruits or their juices on your skin won’t do. Extraction is often done through hydrodistillation, a process in which fruit peels are soaked in water and heated until the volatile molecules are released via steam, condensed, and separated.

If you wish to produce your own oil extract, search online for tutorials to follow. And if you want to go a step further, why not grow your own citrus tree!

The Citrus tree

As stated earlier citrus Citrus is a genus of flowering trees and shrubs that belong to the Rutaceae family. The fruits are characterized by a leathery rind and white pith that encases juicy segments.

Planting citrus trees

If you are patient enough you can grow your citrus tree from seed. Depending on your method, citrus seeds germination may take up to three to six weeks.        

How Long Before Citrus Trees Bear Fruit

Depending on the citrus variety, trees may take three years or more before they start to grow fruit.

If you can’t wait that long, you can opt to look for citrus trees for sale which are being sold from seedlings up to established citrus trees in pots.

Citrus generally has 3 sizes at maturity. If you have enough ground space to work with standard citrus trees can grow up to 25 feet planted on the ground. But if you are a little bit conservative with garden space, Semi-dwarf citrus trees grow about two thirds (18 feet) the size of standard citrus trees. Dwarf citrus trees are perfect for little to no garden space and can be grown in containers; they can reach up to 6 feet upon maturity.

What are the Citrus growing zones/Citrus Hardiness zones

Most citrus trees are hardy to USD Agriculture Zones 9 citrus trees. However, some citrus varieties are more sensitive to cold than others. The least cold-hardy of all citrus trees is the Mexican lime which can only tolerate temperatures down to 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

Are Citrus Trees Self-Pollinating?

Yes, and because of this fact, citrus trees are an ideal choice for people with limited garden space because you will only need one to bear fruit.

Dwarf Citrus Trees

In case you missed it earlier and you are wondering how tall do dwarf citrus trees grow, they get to about 4 to 6 feet tall on maturity which makes them ideal for growing citrus trees in containers. Dwarf citrus trees for sale come in many varieties and are often the choice among many home growers with limited space.

Dwarf Citrus Varieties

You can find these dwarf citrus trees in pots for sale in different varieties. Among the most common varieties are citrus Navel orange and Valencias for the oranges. For lemon varieties, there are citrus Eureka lemon and Improved Meyer. Interestingly, you can also find a citrus cocktail tree or citrus cocktail lime tree for sale – the perfect combination of the popular Meyer Lemon and the fragrant Key Lime grown together side-by-side in the same container.