For a grower, Citrus is always the right choice. Citrus belongs to the family Rutaceae.
Citrus trees include lemon, orange, grapefruit, pomelos, lime, and citron.
Citrus are further divided into different species as oranges have different varieties like navel orange, blood oranges, and mandarin oranges.
Juicy, sweet and vibrant citrus fruits are rich in vitamins and flavor.
Citrus fruit contains fibers to help digestion and lower cholesterol levels.
They are low in calories and make them diet-friendly.
Citrus flavonoids are antioxidants that provide a guard against cancer by giving a hand in eliminating carcinogens.
Citrus fruit has plant compounds that boost heart health.
Citrus trees are warm-weather plants, therefore, they are advised to be planted in sunny and wind-protected areas.
As they are sensitive to cooler temperatures so the best time to plant them in spring.
Well-drained yet uniformly moist, sandy loam soils are given preference in planting citrus.
Buying guide: What Kind of Fertilizer for Citrus Trees?
The citrus family includes the vast no. of varieties. These include oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes.
All of these varieties bloom and bear fruits at different times of the year.
To decide any best fertilizer for a citrus plant you need to learn the growing and fruiting season of that plant.
Some citrus trees are small in size like kaffir lime that can be grown inside your house while some are large in size which can only be planted outdoors.
These large-sized trees can be kept for some years inside the house while it is small.
There are also vast types of species among the variety of citrus trees. As the orange trees have many species that produce blood oranges, mandarin oranges, and navel oranges.
So you should consider the species of the citrus tree while deciding the fertilizer.
As the lemon tree fertilizer is too dependent on the size of the plant.
There are many types of fertilizers are available in the market nowadays but you should choose the best one wisely that shows the indications to apply them on the citrus trees.
While deciding a fertilizer for citrus trees there are many options as you can use spikes that can hold all the nutrients needed by the plant.
You also have the option to choose the sprays and mixtures as well as the organic and traditional fertilizers.
After you have decided on the formulation to use, the first step is to make sure that the fertilizer is made for the citrus trees.
After knowing the variety of fertilizer it will be much easy for you to choose the best one for your plants.
You should consider using the spikes if you have less time to fertilize the citrus regularly and you don’t want to move to each tree for fertilizing them.
If you want longevity and speed of results by the fertilizer then you should move to the sprays. But make sure to read the instruction before use.
Products Reviews: Best Citrus Fertilizers
Citrus needs a large amount of nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium and several micronutrients like magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, sulfur and boron.
Here are some of the best fertilizers available in the market to serve your needs
1. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed Citrus, Avocado, Mango Feed
Miracle-Gro Plant food is available in a 4.5-pound container and 8-2-10 (N-P-K) formulation.
Nutrients like Nitrogen, Potassium aids in increasing the quality and quantity of yield.
These nutrients with added micronutrients like sulfur, magnesium, and iron ensure the movement of nutrients from roots to leaves for plants to flower and produce fruit and to prevent mineral deficiency.
It is easier to feed as you don’t have to mix it with water.
Good for new, existing, indoor and outdoor plants, flower and vegetable beds.
Approximately 1 tablespoon per square foot and you are done for 3 months. Feed every three months.
2. JR Peter Inc Jack’s Classic Food Fertilizers
Jack’s classic citrus fertilizers come in 20-10-20 formulation and a one-pound bucket. It is a perfect fit for mangoes, limes, kumquats, lemons, grapefruits, and oranges.
Enhanced micronutrients level helps in producing vibrant green leaves, stronger branches and prevent nutrient deficiencies.
You get a pre-measured scoop with the product. One scoop per gallon of water and you are ready to go.
Feed 1 tsp. per gallon of water every 7-10 days.
3. Jobe’s organics fruit and citrus Fertilizer Spikes (For Container Pots)
Jobe’s organics fruit and citrus fertilizer spikes are the best options available for the one looking for organic fertilizers.
Spikes version ensures easy application. One package contains six spikes.
Each spike is rich in minerals and nutrients that fit the plant’s needs.
One just has to insert the spike as per the instruction manual and get done. This pre-measured fertilizer is easy to use; you only have to feed the tree based on size.
To get the best results to plant the spike at the time of potting and then the application of spikes once every 4-6 weeks is recommended.
Each package contains 6 spikes. Good for the container plants.
4. Jobe’s organics fruit and citrus fertilizer spikes (For in-ground plants)
This organic fertilizer with continuous release formula has a formulation of 4-6-6.
Spikes systems release nutrients in the root zone where it is needed the most.
Other ingredients include Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, and sulfur provides a continuous supply of nutrients for healthier roots, stronger branches, vibrant colour, and taste.
Each package contains 8 spikes. For optimum results, apply in early spring and late fall. water well before inserting spikes.
Plant spiked more than 30 inches from the tree trunk. For 1 to 3 inches of trunk 3 spikes, 3 inches of trunk 5 spikes, for 4 inches of trunk 6 spikes, for 5 inches 7 spikes are normally sufficient.
5. Miracle-Gro Fruit and Citrus Plant Food Spikes
This fertilizer comes with pre-measured spikes, just insert the spike and you are ready to go.
There are 12 spikes in each package. It increases yield and offers lusher foliage.
The optimum combination of nutrients helps to root well and has stronger healthier plants.
These Spike release nutrients into the roots for the development of fruitful plants
For the best outcome, feed once per season in spring and early.
It is recommended to feed when the trees are blooming during the active season for a Supreme growth throughout the year.
6. Southern Citrus Nutritional Spray
Southern Citrus Nutritional Spray is available in a 16-ounce bottle.
Advanced in the formulation helps in preventing the yellowing of the plant leaves.
It contains five essential nutrients like magnesium, manganese, iron, sulfur, and zinc to prevent deficiencies.
The product must be diluted first and then used with a sprayer or watering can.
Use around one tablespoon of product per gallon of water to prevent deficiencies from happening.
Applying once or twice is sufficient. If there is a known deficiency, using 2 tablespoons per gallon of water and 2 applications of it at 2 weeks intervals would do the trick.
7. Espoma Citrus Tone Plant Food
This fertilizer contains microbes good for the plant’s health. It is an all-purpose fertilizer to be used for citrus as well as other fruit trees.
It has a formulation of 5-2-6 and ensures plants are balanced and well-fed. It aids in fruit growth and taste development. It doesn’t smell good therefore I am advised to not use it for indoor plants.
Few applications would be sufficient as this is a slow-release formula. 3 applications a year will provide all the nourishment plant needs.
Pre-bloom and Post-bloom applications in late winter and spring respectively and one in early fall to keep the nutrients running.
For Potted plants, applications are required more frequently. Apply every 60 days in late winter and fall for the best results.
8. Jobe’s organic fruit and Citrus Fertilizer with Biozome
It is an organic and granular fertilizer formulated to serve plant needs. It comes in a 3-5-5 formulation.
Though it does not contain a high level of nitrogen as a plant needs more nitrogen than potassium and phosphate.
It has biozone which improves soil quality and boosts a plant’s ability to resist diseases.
It is available in bag form in various sizes. It is a certified organic fertilizer as listed in OMRI by USDA for organic gardens.
This fertilizer is equally suitable for Citrus, nut and fruit trees like apple, avocado, pear, cherry, plum, lemon, and lime.
When planting a new tree, put this in the planting hole and mix. One and a half cups are enough for a ten-foot square area and per sixteen-inch for container plants.
For the established tree, 3 cups per inch of trunk diameter and larger than 3 inches use 9 cups per inch of a tree trunk.
9. Down to Earth organic citrus fertilizer mix
This fertilizer is available in a 1 or 5-pound box and has a formulation of 6-3-3. It is OMRI listed to be used for organic gardening. There is no need to mix it with water.
This mix should be used 4 times a year for optimum results.
Added micronutrients like Sulfur, Calcium, iron, and zinc promote growth and lush foliage.
It is designed to be used on fruit as well as ornamental trees. According to some growers, this fertilizer is not good for the potted plant.
For the new plantation, prepare a planting hole and mix one and a half cups with the backfill soil.
For established Tree, Application of 1 cup per one inch of a tree trunk. For containers, one and a half tbsp. per gallon of soil for new plants. For existing ones, 1-2 tbsp per gallon of water every 2-3 times a year.
10. Urban Farm Fertilizers Apples and Oranges Fruits and Citrus Fertilizers
Urban farm fertilizer is a hand made fertilizer made from organic components like worm casts, Mycorrhizae, Humic acid, enzymes, kelp, and other minerals.
Super concentrated liquid formula rich in calcium aids in getting juicier and healthier fruits with vibrant color.
One should mix one quart of fertilizer per 64 gallons of water.
11. Dr. Earth Organic and Fruit Tree Fertilizers
This Dr. Earth organic fertilizer has a 4-pound bag and a formulation of 5-5-2 It contains ecto and endo Mycorrhizae for the development of tee roots.
It is formulated to feed the plants for many months and promises increased plant performance.
The smell is not good. As per some cultivators, they work well for the newly planted plants in comparison with the existing ones.
Application is required every 3 months of March through October. 1 cup for every inch of trunk diameter would do the job.
12. Lilly Miller Citrus and Avocado Food
Lilly Miller Citrus Food is a must-have for plants to grow and have delicious fruits.
Loaded with essential nutrients this feed helps the plant get them off to a good start.
It provides extra nutrients and minerals for nutrients hungry plants. It has a formulation of 10-6-4.
High levels of nitrogen works wonder for the Plant’s health-giving lusher appearance and maximum yield.
Start feeding the plants in February and March and every 6 weeks after that. application 4 times a year is recommended.
In-ground plants are fed based on heights for 1-2 feet 3 tbsp., 2-3 feet 1-¼ cups, 3-6 feet 1-½ cups, 6-8 cups 2 cups, 8-10 cups 3-½ cups, over 10 feet 6-½ to 10 cups of fertilizer is enough.
For the container plants, the process is similar to in-ground trees. sprinkle the feed over the soil surface and you are done. For pots in first year 2 tbsp., for up to 4 feet tall 4tbsp., and for plants over 4 feet tall ½ cups of this fertilizer is sufficient.
Requirements of a good Citrus Fertilizer
As Citrus plants are heavy feeders and NPK (Nitrogen – Phosphorus – Potassium) fertilizer is an answer to all the plant essentials.
The addition of micronutrients promises plant health and optimum yield. A good fertilizer has the ability to bring the life back in a plant that is at death’s door.
NPK helps in boosting the health and appearance of plants. Macronutrients mainly include Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.
Nitrogen is the key nutrient in citrus growth. It shoulders the responsibility in producing healthier leaves, vibrant flowers, and delicious fruit.
Phosphorus helps in storing energy and ensuring uniform and timely maturity. it improves fruit and flower production and development of tree roots.
Potassium is involved in overall plant health. It plays an important role in the absorption of nutrients and strengthens stalks. It boosts the resistance of plants against disease and pests.
Micronutrients are nutrients required in small amounts by plants. These include iron, zinc, boron, copper, manganese, molybdenum, nickel and chlorine. Iron contributes to the formation of chlorophyll.
Zinc is a key component of many enzymes. Boron encourages uniform nutrient distribution. Copper activates many enzymes systems in plants also required in the process of photosynthesis, respiration, and metabolism.
Manganese is the ninth nutrient involved in plant growth. It aids in photosynthesis, respiration and nitrogen assimilation.
Molybdenum helps in potassium absorption and nitrogen assimilation. Seventeenth important nutrients for plant growth is Nickel, an important component of enzymes urease.
Chlorine is essential in the process of photosynthesis.
When is the best time to fertilize citrus trees?
Citrus trees are considered among the plants that need a lot of food to thrive properly so they need to get fertilize timely. By this proper feeding, you will get a healthy plant that will bear tons of fruit.
Young trees are fertilized at the start of the growing season in February when buds start to grow.
Citrus should be fertilized more during the active season once every one or two months.
During the active growing season of spring and summer, it is much need time for fertilizing citrus trees.
Experts also recommend feeding the citrus trees during the dormant season that comes during the months of fall and winter.
During the dormant period, fertilization once every two or three months would be sufficient from the growth.
If you want your plants to start fruiting as soon as possible then the fertilization is the most critical stage for the citrus trees.
The timely applied fertilizers at the winter and fall months will cause to ensure the healthy fruiting of trees in the same year.
If you will remain to wait for the spring and summer months for fertilization then your plant will go behind and the plant will face hidden hunger and will not grow. due to this late application, it will bear fewer blossoms and ultimately less fruit.
When fertilizing the citrus trees first of all you need to consider the age of the citrus trees. if the plants are older in age then you should skip the dormant season fertilization and also you have to fertilize less during the regular growing season.
For timely fertilization, you can also consider the color of the leaves. if the leaves are dark green and lush green then it is a sign that it does not need fertilizer and if the leaves do not look healthy or yellowing then you need to fertilize them.
How Often to Fertilize Citrus Trees?
After knowing that when to fertilize the citrus trees the important thing is to know how often citrus trees fertilize.
If your trees are younger the fertilize them regularly but make sure to not over-fertilize your plants which will cause the plants to burn and ultimately kill them. Therefore, always read the directions provided on the pack of fertilizer.
How often and when to fertilize both of these factors are totally based on the type of fertilizer you are using. Some fertilizers have longer time results while some last for just weeks. If the fertilizer has the longevity of results then fertilize every three months.
Some people think that they will get more fruits by applying more fertilizer but the results are opposite, you will get low or no fruit this way. In case you overdose your plants to get quick results, the leaves will start turning yellow and due to nutrients overdose, the plant will start dying.
How to Fertilize Citrus Trees?
It is the most important part of fertilization. As you can fertilize your citrus plants in many ways but every way you adopt has different results and benefits.
You can fertilize them through roots or leaves. There are many products available in the market that can do both works.
Before applying any fertilizer try to read the directions carefully so that you know what the fertilizer will do on entering the plant.
The information about the drip line of your trees is also necessary before application. The drip line is from the ground to the edge of leaves. To insert or spray the fertilizer around the drip line is the best practice to follow.
Well, mixing or dilution of the sprays is the next key point to follow carefully. The sprays should be diluted after reading the directions from the package. There are some sprays available in the market that can be sprayed as it is.
The other fertilizers for citrus trees are in the form of granules that do not need mixing or dilution. The amount needed per plant is well printed on the package. In every package, the company provides the scoop usually. You can use that scoop to apply the recommended dose to the trees.
The fertilizer in the form of spikes performs differently. Everything is pre-measured so all you need to do is to put the cap on the spike and drive it into the ground.
During the application by spikes, make sure to establish the drip line before application. Insert the spikes at least two to three feet away from the center of the tree or mostly near the drip line.
What kind of fertilizer do you use on a lemon tree?
The lemon tree needs nitrogen the most than other nutrients during its growing period until it achieves its full growth. You need to feed your 1-year-old lemon tree with 1 pound of 6-6-6 fertilizer with 3 applications. Then add 1 pound of fertilizer each year per plant until the trees mature about 8 years old.
Are coffee grounds good for citrus trees?
Citrus plants are well known heavy feeders and grow well in the acidic soils which means that they use Nitrogen as well as the P most from the NPK formulations.
Application of Coffee grounds is good for citrus if applied every 1-2 months during normal seasons and every 2-3 months during the winter season. Dried Coffee grounds can serve as a good mulch placed near the truck of trees.
Is Epsom salt good for citrus trees?
Epsom salts are a well known and convenient source for soil amendments for treating magnesium deficiency which shows that Epsom salt application will be well enough for the lemon trees.
The magnesium will help your plants to thrive well and produce the fruiting for years.
How do you apply citrus fertilizer?
According to the University of California, for citrus trees of 2-3 years old the fertilizer should be applied three to four times per year at the rate of 2 tablespoons of nitrogen spread over the root area.
The application should be done 2-3 feet outside the drip line. After fertilization adds the water to sink the fertilizer.
Double the dose fertilizer during the third year.
Good Fertilizers are the soul of plant growth providing all the essential nutrients and minerals to thrive. The plant needs a boost of nutrients and minerals for proper functioning and growth. When Plant health withers with the lack of nutrients, Fertilizers come to the rescue.
After reading this article we hope that you have found enough knowledge to decide the fertilizer for your citrus plants. Trees can not thrive and fruit without fertilizer application.
Weak plants without food will be more susceptible to the disease and pest attacks. So the fertilizer application is a necessary thing to produce healthier and greener leaves and ultimately healthier fruits.
If you have decided to add the organic food to your plants then the Jobe’s Organics Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes is the best choice. The spikes is a good source of fertilizer and easy to use.
If your plants are of larger size or older then Espoma Citrus-tone Plant Food is a perfect choice. It is suitable for all types of trees. It has all the necessary ingredients.
We hope that your plants thrive after applying these fertilizers. We will try to keep updating our list if any new product comes to the market.