All you garden lovers out there – can anyone tell me what a struggle is it to grow something in your indoor garden?
First, you are irritated by the lack of space; then you get disheartened by your plants not growing properly.
And, has anyone tried growing citrus trees indoors on your own?
Well, I have, and I can tell you it’s a tough job.
So, if you are among us silly people growing citrus trees inside, let me try and relieve you of your toils by giving you a solution on how to boost the growth of your citrus tree.
Citrus Tree in a Nutshell
I’m sure you know all about these lovely shrubs and that is why you want to grow them in your home.
You know that there is a variety of citrus trees. Among these, you’ll find oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes. Some of these produce tasty fruit and are a welcome addition to your diet. Oranges, lemons, limes, all of these in your home.
Additionally, these plants also give a lush bloom and are an excellent addition to your home decor, besides the fact of bearing fruit I mentioned previously.
But, with these fruits, once ripe, how often do you reach the point where they are actually good enough?
Something seems to be missing.
The reason – well, dear darlings, citrus trees are meant to grow outside.
I know you like the looks of them in your room, so you simply can’t give up on them.
How to fix this?
There are a few tricks on how to keep your citrus tree prosper.
To name a few, just water your plant sufficiently and provide enough humidity. Remember, your citrus tree originates from places where these are in abundance.
Next, make sure the space where you keep your little shrub is well-aired and filled with sunlight.
And, most importantly, feed it properly. How so, you ask me. Well, fertilizers.
As for your next question, here comes my answer.
Top Ten Fertilizers for Citrus Trees
Selecting fertilizer(s) for your citrus trees is not as simple as you might think. You can’t just choose any.
You must be very careful when selecting your fertilizer. Why? Well, the market is big and you will find many products that supposedly meet your purpose, and yet the plant is still not progressing.
This is where you pay attention to choosing a fertilizer that clearly indicates it’s meant for citrus trees. If this is not properly indicated on the product specification, then you are just wasting your time.
The fertilizers for citrus trees come in multiple shapes and forms, such as in sprays, organic mixtures or spikes. They have the same function more or less, and you can choose what you find convenient.
As a tip, know that sprays are good if you want a long life for your plant, while spikes are great when you do not want to spend too much time spraying your plant from each side.
Again, the most important thing is to see a clear sign that the product you bought is truly meant for your citrus trees. You won’t buy fertilizer for tomatoes and add it to your citrus plants.
Such kinds of plants require different ratios of nutrients which is why you must stick to the fertilizers specifically prepared for citrus trees.
And, if you are now thinking about the best choice would be since every time you want to pick one up from the shelf, you see the one next to it looking all the same.
To help you out, these are the ones you can safely choose as your favourites.
Check on Amazon!
✓Package: 6 spikes
✓When to use: early spring & late autumn
✓Good for: Citrus trees and various other kinds of fruit
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✓Formulation: Fe 1.2%, Zn 1.7%, Mn 1.2%, Mg 1.0% & S 4.1%
✓Package: 1 lb
✓When to use: wintertime
✓Good for: Avocado, mango, citrus, and tropical fruit in general.
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✓Package: Bags 1.5 lbs/4 lbs/6 lbs/16 lbs
✓When to use: Every two-three months
✓Good for: All kinds of citrus fruits and nut trees
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✓Package: ½ gallon, 1 gallon, 4 packs
✓When to use: Fruiting phase
✓Good for: apples and oranges
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✓Package: 25 lbs, multipacks
✓When to use: twice a year, ideally March & October
✓Good for: citrus trees, potted plants, fruit trees
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✓When to use: every three months
✓Good for: citrus trees, mango and avocado
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|Down To Earth|
✓Package: 1 lb or 5 lb
✓When to use: four times a year
✓Good for: citrus trees primarily, ornamentals and fruit trees
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✓Package: 1.5 lb bucket
✓Usage: every 7 to 10 days
✓Good for: Meyer and dwarf lemons, mangos, limes, grapefruits, kumquats, and oranges
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✓Package: 12 spikes per package
✓When to use: spring and autumn
✓Good for: citrus trees, fruit and palm trees
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✓Package: bag 4 lb (or two-pack, three-pack, four-pack)
✓When to use: late winter, late spring, autumn
✓Good for: citrus trees, fruit trees, avocado, and nuts
1. Jobe’s Organics Citrus Spikes
- Formulation: 3-5-5
- Package: 6 spikes
- When to use: early spring & late autumn
- Good for: Citrus trees and various other kinds of fruit
The first great thing to mention when talking about this product is its primary application, and that is for plants in pots.
Next, the product is very simple to use – no mixing required. This is a fertilizer that is ready to be added to soils immediately.
All the nutrition is already there so you only get the best food for your lovely citrus. As a hint, due to the Biozome formula, this fertilizer improves the quality of the primary soil.
This formula includes both the healthy bacteria and fungi (Mycorrhizal ones, to be more precise) and Archaea, so all of these together lead to creating a root with an increased mass. Besides, such ingredients are highly useful when you want to save your plant from numerous diseases.
And to go back to the application, I will just say again how it is – just push the spike into the pot and your work is more or less done. Still, if you want to get the best from this product, read and follow the guidance that you will find imprinted on the package. This is how you will get the optimum advantage for your shrub.
In this aspect, Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes are also great since their measures are such that they fit the pot properly.
Finally, in terms of money, you will get six spikes in the regular package, as indicated in the specs. However, heed my counsel and buy their sets of packages (available in three or four). In this way, you do not have to worry if you will have enough spikes and you will also save some money.
2. Southern Citrus Spray
- Formulation: 1.2% of Fe, 1.7% of Zinc, 1.2% of Mn, 1.0% of Mg & 4.1% of S
- Package: 1 lb
- When to use: wintertime
- Good for: Avocado, mango, citrus, and tropical fruit in general.
This spray is great since it provides all the essential nutrition to your plant. To name a few, this is where you will find well-balanced quantities of sulphur, iron, and zinc. Moreover, manganese and magnesium are there too.
Besides citrus trees, this product is great for tropical trees that bear fruit or any other tree, for that matter. But, since our primary focus today is on citrus trees such as lemons, oranges, etc. I also have to tell you how excellent this spray is in preventing new and fighting off the existing yellowing of the plant leaves.
As for the application itself, the spray is diluted in water. So while applying the fertilizer you are watering your plant at the same time. For the optimum ratio, as suggested by the manufacturer, you must use 1 tbs of the spray per gallon of water.
Having mixed the fertilizer, you can spray it over all your plant and its leaves (to prevent yellowing) and you can also spray the roots with it and boost the intake of minerals.
The good stuff about this spray is that you can also purchase larger quantities at a special price. And for the exact price, you will have to consult the distributors.
3. Jobe’s Organics Citrus Fertilizer
- Formulation: 3-5-5
- Package: Bags 1.5 lbs/4 lbs/6 lbs/16 lbs
- When to use: Every two-three months
- Good for: All kinds of citrus fruits and nut trees
The fertilizing product in granules we are now dealing with is a fancy fertilizer with USDA OMRI listing relevant for organic gardening. This means that the product does not contain any synthetic chemicals in its formulations.
Though it originally seems that the product lacks a sufficient amount of nitrogen and potassium, rest assured, since this is a product with a specially designed mixture of Jobe Biozome that isn’t present in their other products and brands.
This specific Biozome comes with a special formulation that disintegrates undesired matter and helps you achieve better results, whether on new or the already formed plants and trees.
The application is quite simple – just pour it down from the bag that’s packed in.
Once you apply it to your plants, it will significantly enhance the soil conditions and it will also prevent and fight diseases or repel insects.
4. Urban Farm Citrus Fertilizer
- Formulation: 4.5-2.0-4.2
- Package: ½ gallon, 1 gallon, 4 packs
- When to use: Fruiting phase
- Good for: apples and oranges
This is another product that guarantees the best outcome with each use. It is a hand-crafted fertilizer that comes as a liquid.
Under its proprietary formula, the manufacturer lists numerous minerals. The listed ingredients are organic and can safely be used.
Still, as a whole, the product itself isn’t quite considered as organic. Nevertheless, it includes a substantial amount of calcium and we know how helpful calcium is in the growth of citrus plants.
So, what would be the advantage of this fertilizer?
Well, the fruits, once they are ripe, are larger than usual. Not to mention how juicier and tastier they are.
When we talk about the actual use of the product, despite being liquid, the formula of this product is highly concentrated. So, you must be extra careful with mixing. The relevant ratio is 256 to 1 which means that one quart of fertilizer is mixed with 64 gallons of water.
For the actual application, you can try hose end, watering by hand, drip watering, hydroponics, or in soil.
And, if you are worried about the pricing, know that the smallest package is the most expensive one. So, buy more to spend less.
5. Dr. Earth Citrus Fertilizer
- Formulation: 7-4-2
- Package: 25 lbs, multipacks
- When to use: twice a year, ideally March & October
- Good for: citrus trees, potted plants, fruit trees, all berries, avocados, persimmons, all nut trees, all fruit vines, apples, peaches, plums, apricots, almonds, grapes, and all vines.
The main idea behind the Dr. Earth is to promote and enhance the healthy growth of the roots and the overall plant.
This is a fertilizer that contains pro-biotic in the formula and includes seven different microbes that all together bring multiple benefits to the soil.
And when I mentioned the growth of the roots, that’s what endo- and ectomycorrhizae are in charge of.
The use this Fertilizer enhances your tree’s performance and yields more vigorous fruit growth. As a consequence, you will obtain a higher number of fruits greater in size than usual. And they will also be tastier than usual.
This is the kind of fertilizer that you mix with the soil and it releases quickly. Once you add it, you don’t have to worry about adding it again any time soon.
Another good thing is that it does not require adding chemical nutrients so long you utilize it as prescribed by the manufacturer.
What I particularly liked about it is that it’s pet-friendly and we all know why this is important, don’t we?
As for cost, the situation is similar to the other products listed here. You will pay the highest price for the smallest package, so, optimize and buy a larger quantity.
Don’t worry, I know you add it twice a year, but it won’t go to waste since you can use it on the other potted plants indoors, not just citrus.
6. Miracle-Gro Citrus Plant Food
- Formulation: 8-2-10
- Package: 4.5lb
- When to use: every three months
- Good for: citrus trees, mango and avocado
The formulation of this set of nutrients is based on nitrogen-phosphate-potash. Besides these, it also contains potassium, sulphur, iron and magnesium, and all of these are relevant for the healthy growth of your citrus.
This is why Miracle-Gro is excellent for citrus trees since its formulation impedes the deficiency of nutrients.
The use is simplified since the feeding process is constant. The reason for this is that the fertilizer grants continuous release of the required nutrients. After the first use, you can rest some three months even since the previous feeding process secures that you do not overfeed or eventually burn the plant.
The application is no pain. Miracle-Gro comes in such a package that you simply measure the required quantity and sprinkle it over the soil around your plant.
There’s no mixing required or fear from overfeeding the plant.
7. Down To Earth Citrus Fertilizer
- Formulation: 6-3-3
- Package: 1 lb or 5 lb
- When to use: four times a year
- Good for: citrus trees primarily, ornamentals and fruit trees
This is another organic fertilizer under OMRI listing that’s worth mentioning.
The formulation took into consideration all the relevant nutrients required by a citrus tree.
To begin with, it’s packed with zinc, sulphur, calcium and iron, though it’s a bit short of potassium.
Nevertheless, it also includes a micronutrients array that also comes in handy in growing a citrus tree yourself. Besides, it also gives a sufficient amount of nitrogen and phosphorous.
Some of the ingredients are zinc sulphate, feather meal, alfalfa meal, fishbone meal, basalt, greensand, langbeinite, sulphate of potash, and kelp meal.
This one is an excellent choice if you want to boost the growth, get greener leaves and more fruit overall. Additionally, the blossoms and flowers are all the more so fragrant.
As for the frequency of application, four times per year is just enough for optimum nutrition of trees that are already established.
When it comes to new plants, the application might be more frequent than this.
Finally, it’s easy to use and you don’t have to mix it with water.
8. JR Peters Citrus Fertilizer
- Formulation: 20-10-20
- Package: 1.5 lb bucket
- Usage: every 7 to 10 days
- Good for: Meyer and dwarf lemons, mangos, limes, grapefruits, kumquats, and oranges
Another product designed to provide the optimum combination of required nutrients for your tree, this fertilizer benefits your plants in multiple ways.
Its primary goal is to enable the best combination of required nutrients and to increase the level of micronutrients at the same time. This is how it regulates (i.e. enhances) the quality of the citrus plant by aiding it in growing a greater number of fruit, stronger branches and greener leaves.
If used properly, the fertilizer makes it possible for the plant to consume the nutrients simultaneously via the leaves and the root.
As for usage, this fertilizer is meant for diluting with water and the optimum ratio is a tablespoon per gallon of water.
The good thing is you can apply the fertilizer when watering the plants, so you are doing two things at once.
What is good about the product is that the package comes with a lid that you can re-seal and thus safely close the bucket after taking the pre-described quantity.
It’s great that the product comes with a scoop for measuring within the package so this makes your life a lot easier. For optimum watering, make a groove around the plant and water along it so the tree can take in the nutrients properly.
And the best thing of all – your tree will look all so professional with this amazing fertilizer.
9. Miracle-Gro Citrus Spikes
- Formulation: 10-15-15
- Package: 12 spikes per package
- When to use: spring and autumn
- Good for: citrus trees, fruit and palm trees
Although not exclusively perceived as an organic product, Miracle-Gro spikes have all the natural food that your plant is in need of.
The effects that are achieved with this product are similar to the effects that you achieve with all other fertilizers I listed here. Basically, the roots grow stronger and consequentially fight off disease. Also, the fruits are greater in size and the plant generally stronger.
What I liked about it is its simple use and easy.
You will find all the needed nutrients in just one spike so just put it in the potting soil and you’re good to go. In this way, the nutrients go directly into the root and are accordingly distributed throughout the tree.
Just be careful – before you place the spike inside, put the lid on as described by the manufacturer.
Note that the package includes 12 spikes and the number that you’ll use place depends on the size of your tree
10. Espoma Citrus-tone Plant Food
- Formulation: 5-2-6
- Package: bag 4 lb (or two-pack, three-pack, four-pack)
- When to use: late winter, late spring, autumn
- Good for: citrus trees, fruit trees, avocado, and nuts
This is another fertilizer with all the natural ingredients that is very useful in organic gardening.
Among other substances in the formulation, it also includes microbes and we are all aware of how important these are if you want to keep your tree nice and shiny. That is if you want to keep it healthy.
This fertilizer will enable a prolonged feeding time and it will give well-balanced nutrition to your plants. As a direct consequence of this, your lovely citrus plants will develop properly and be very lush.
Moreover, the fruit, once ripe, shall have an enhanced flavour and shall also be larger.
However, please, be warned about the following when dealing with this addition to soils.
First of all, the instructions that you can check for at the back of the package refer to the outdoor plants. So, for the in-house plants, you can disregard these and reduce the quantity of fertilizer.
And second of all, damn, it stinks!
Espoma guys, pardon me for saying this, but if I wanted manure to smell all over my house, I’d buy some chicken.
Otherwise, your product is great!
With these, I believe I shared all you need to know about the ten bestest fertilizers for your citrus trees.
Although they come in different shapes and formulations, whichever you choose you will not make a mistake.
Whether granular, liquid or in spikes, I included them on my list just because they give your plants all they need to take in from the soil. And, when the soil is short of all the required nutrients, the above-listed fertilizers shall be your best friend.
Having said this and relieved you of any doubt on what to use from now on, I still have a few tips and tricks to show to you.
Fertilizing Citrus Trees – Hmm, When? And, How Often, by the Way?
Now that we all know what to use from the multiple products available out there, we can shift our focus to the actual guidance on when and how often to fertilize your lovely citrus trees for optimum results.
All the trees and plants that bear fruit or lush flowers demand plenty of food that is frequently not found in the original soil. Citrus trees are nothing different from these plants.
They also need proper nutrition to grow and bear healthy root and stem and also yield bountiful fruit.
If you think you can fertilize your citrus tree whenever comes to your mind, hmm, think again!
Assuming you want to achieve optimum results since this is the point, the best time to fertilize your citrus trees is while they are in the period of active growth. For those of you who aren’t sure what this actually means, this is during spring and summer.
Now, depending on the fertilizer you opt for, you get the instructions on how frequently you should use it. Still, generally speaking, fertilizing your tree once a month or two is just fine.
But this does not mean your job is done in August. No.
Fertilization during the inactivity period is also important so your plant would not lose all the nutritive substances. In case you skip fertilizing in this period and wait until spring, your citrus tree will have plenty of catching up to do.
During springtime it should already be growing, so skipping the fertilization during autumn and winter will cause delayed blossoming and the fruit might not be ripe on time.
In the worst-case scenario, there is also the danger that your citrus tree might wither and die.
Anyhow, during the dormant period, fertilization once in two or three months is always a good idea.
With this regime combined with the regular nutrition during spring and summer, at proper intervals, of course, you will achieve the best possible result.
Fertilizing is of crucial importance for young plants. As the tree grows older, nutrition with fertilizers during the autumn and winter period can be skipped.
The most important thing here is to observe your citrus shrub regularly and check its general well-being. If it looks healthy, then it really is healthy.
Rely on your judgement and common sense. If the leaves of your citrus tree are green and lush and formidable, then you can skip the fertilization just as well. But, if the leaves seem to be yellow, then you can’t be wrong by adding some fertilizer to boost its recuperation.
As for the frequency of fertilization, things are a bit different with new and already established plants.
Just like I said for the seasons when to fertilize, the actual repetition and addition of fertilizers also depends on which one you chose and what kind of instructions the product itself gives you.
Before anything else, know that here less is more. It’s not about the quantity, but the quality. Accordingly, read the instructions with the utmost attention since over-fertilizing shall lead to burning your tree and eventually killing it.
The next factor that defines the frequency of fertilization is the type of fertilizer you are planning to use (spikes, sprays…). Some of them are already pre-set to provide nutrition for many months to come so you do not need to repeat the process.
This means that if the specification says that a certain quantity is enough for constant feeding for 2 months, let’s say then there is no need to add anything sooner than this.
The only exception might be if your tree shows signs of yellowing or some disease. Still be careful, since something else might be the cause.
The most important thing is to prevent over-feeding at all cost since too many nutrients could kill the plant or you might end up with a lower number of fruits that rather teeny-tiny
How to Fertilize the Citrus Trees?
The process of fertilizing citrus trees is accomplished in multiple forms. You can feed them through the leaves, or the roots, or both at the same time.
Which one is better? you ask me. Well, as long as they do the magic, it’s all the same.
No matter what fertilizer is your little helper (sprays, mixtures, spikes, granules), you must always pay attention to the directions given on the package.
These will be helpful when it comes to the method of applying it to the soil.
The most important thing of all is to know all about the drip line of your tree. Hint: this is the line that goes from the edge of the leaves to the ground.
This is the line that will help you orient when feeding. Accordingly, you will insert, sprinkle or spray the fertilizer around this line to achieve optimum feeding.
Now, based on the type of fertilizer you chose, the methods of applying it are different.
So, let’s see how each of these works.
The good thing about spikes, as we can see from some of the suggestions I gave here, is that they came as prepared in advance and packed with all the good stuff your plant needs.
What you gotta do with a spike is put a cap on it and shove it into the soil.
Of course, you place the spikes around the drip line, assuming you have defined it. Make sure to insert the spikes some 2 ft from the tree centre or somewhere near the drip line.
Then, for optimum results, it is recommended to place the next spike some 3 ft apart from the first one, around the circumference.
And your work with spikes is here done.
Granules also contain all the nutritious ingredients but in a form different from spikes. They are easy to handle since they are not mixed with anything else and you sprinkle them directly over the soil.
As for the quantity that needs to be sprayed, you just have to refer to the directions on the use given on the package.
These vary from manufacturer to a manufacturer, so the packages usually include a scoop that guarantees the use of the right amount.
Sprays aren’t ready-made as the previous two types of fertilizers.
They mostly need to be diluted with water, but there are also sprays that can be used without the need to dilute.
As for the mixing ratio, you have to consult the instructions that are given on the package.
Once you have diluted it, you can spray the fertilizer over the leaves.
And, that’s about it.
I know that growing your citrus trees indoors isn’t quite an easy task. You have to find the best place, make sure there is enough and take care to water properly.
More often than not, you have to do much more than this since most citrus trees are meant to grow outside.
To help it grow, you will have to reach for fertilizers and with so many of them present, you are often scared what to use and if it’s going to give the best results.
With this article, I believe I relieved you of your fears by giving you the ten best fertilizers available.
So, go get either of these now and use it on your tropical shrub.
And, of course, let us know about your experience.Follow us on: