In the world of home gardening a thriving citrus tree is one of the most prized treasures. Canopies of glossy green leaves decorated with glowing oranges, sunny Meyer lemons, or juicy key limes provide both landscape focus and delicious citrus fruit. Selecting the right citrus tree to grow is the first step along the rewarding adventure of growing citrus at home.
Citrus Tree Size
Before you buy your first orange tree or search for a kaffir lime tree for sale, carefully consider the placement of your new citrus tree. Choose a space with good sunlight and room for growth. To do so, it is important to know how big the tree you select will become. Dwarf citrus trees can grow to 12 feet tall, and usually have a spread of about 11 feet wide. The larger standard citrus trees can grow as tall as 25 feet, and reach widths of 18 feet. First note the sizes listed for the species of citrus tree for which you are shopping, then be sure you have a spot that will accommodate the mature tree.
When selecting a citrus tree to grow in your garden, be ready to prepare the soil to give it the best home you can. Citrus trees do best in medium density, well-drained soil. If your soil has a high percentage of clay, add sand to increase drainage. If your soil is loose sand, add peat to retain some moisture. Citrus trees do not like wet feet, and proper drainage is essential for healthy trees to produce delicious fruit.
It is important that the surface of the soil under and around any tree you choose is free of weeds or grass. A very light mulch to control weeds can be used, but avoid thick, heavy mulches or deep, saturated compost under your citrus tree (especially upon or around the tree’s trunk). Growing citrus in pots is a good way to reduce weeds and weeding. Many smaller varieties of citrus trees do well in containers. Kumquats, tangerines, and key limes are good choices for container citrus gardens. If you are limited on space, or if the sunniest spot in your yard is on a deck, then growing a citrus tree in a pot may be the solution.
Selecting the right citrus tree takes some thought but the rewards of growing your own fresh, nutritious, yummy citrus fruit is well worth it. Learn about the size of the trees you are thinking about growing, then find a sunny location for them to call home. Choose a citrus tree that will do well in your native soil, or amend the soil to be welcoming, well drained, and weed free for your new fruit tree. If space is an issue, consider a variety that does well in a pot. Choose the best tree for you, and enjoy growing your own delicious citrus at home.