Why buy fruit cocktail when you can grow your own? If you don’t have enough room for multiple citrus fruit trees, a cocktail tree may be the answer! Thanks to the miracle of grafting, fruit cocktail trees come in four different types and bear up to eight different fruits of the same family on the one tree, so you can grow more fruit a smaller space. And if you don’t live in a compatible growing zone, you can even get a dwarf fruit cocktail tree and keep it indoors!
The temptation posed by the bright colors, fragrant blooms and assorted fresh edibles for cocktails, salads and snacks of a citrus cocktail tree have been tempting you for a long time, and you’ve finally taken the plunge and found your own fruit cocktail tree for sale. But while you’re happily envisioning cutting limes for cocktails during checkout, it may occur to you that you need to know what to do to ensure your new cocktail plant (whether it lives indoors or out) thrives.
A tree with cocktail citrus fruit is still a tree.
All citrus trees prefer well-drained soil and deep, regular watering. How much and how often to water, however, depends on the age of the tree, the size, geographic location and whether it’s a potted tree or one planted in the ground.
Watering new-planted citrus cocktail trees.
A young cocktail lemon tree needs deep, regular watering until it’s well established (this can take up to two years or even longer). Whether you’re growing varieties of oranges on your cocktail tree, lemon lime or a variety of grapefruit, you should dig a basin around about eight inches from the trunk of a newly planted tree and fill it with water several times to settle the soil. Afterwards, water every other day for about two weeks, than twice weekly for the first three or four months (adjusting your watering schedule when it rains). Additional watering might be necessary if there’s no rainfall for more than five days during the first two years.
The good news is that citrus trees of all kinds that have been planted directly planted directly in the ground can access water even during dry spells once they’ve reached maturity, thanks to their expansive root systems. Mature trees generally thrive with regular rainfall and usually only need help during drought conditions.
“What can I do with fruit cocktail trees grown in pots?”
If you’re worried that, for growing a citrus fruit cocktail tree, Florida or California residence is required, think again – the cocktail process can take place indoors just as well as outdoors with a large pot and enough sunshine! Test the soil in your potted dwarf cocktail tree for dryness regularly by inserting your finger 2 inches into the growing soil. If the soil is completely dry, it’s time to water the tree.
If you keep your potted fruit salad tree outdoors some or all of the time, be sure to use good watering techniques. Turn a hose to the low-flow setting at the base of a potted cocktail tree several inches away from the trunk and let it run until water flows out of the bottom of the pot. Never spray your fruit cocktail trees with water because water droplets can catch sunlight and burn the leaves or encourage diseases on stems, blossoms and fruit.
Make sure you don’t over water your cocktail tree!
Remember – all citrus trees can die from overwatering just as easily as from insufficient watering. Potted cocktail trees are at particular risk for being overwatered. Never water a standard or dwarf citrus cocktail tree when its soil is soaking wet, and don’t let your potted citrus tree remain in a saucer filled with water for longer than a few hours. Too much water can hurt the roots and prevent the tree from getting adequate nutrients.