Summer Care for Your Citrus Trees
Proper summer care for your citrus trees is important for the life of your trees. Most citrus trees start to develop new fruit in the spring and the fruit is nurtured and grows throughout the summer and fall to prepare for winter harvesting. Here are some tips on how to keep your citrus trees happy and thriving during the hot summer months.
Sun: Citrus trees thrive in full sun, so make sure they receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. They prefer warm temperatures but can tolerate some heat. If extreme temperatures are forecasted, consider providing shade or moving potted citrus trees to a more sheltered location.
Watering: Citrus trees need regular and deep watering, especially in the summer. You will probably have to water more often than in the spring. Water the tree deeply, ensuring that the water reaches the root zone. Be cautious not to overwater, as citrus trees don't like soggy roots, or “wet feet”. Allow the top inch or so of the soil to dry out before watering again. (Click here to read about deep watering vs. overwatering your citrus tree)
Fertilizing: Citrus trees benefit from regular fertilization during the growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer such as Romeo Fertilizer and follow the instructions on the product label. Typically, fertilize every 4-6 weeks during the summer.
Pruning: Summer is not the ideal time for extensive pruning as citrus trees produce fruit during this season. It should be done sparingly to maintain the tree's shape and airflow or to remove any dead or diseased branches. (Click here to read about springtime citrus pruning)
Pests: Keep an eye out for common pests like aphids, scales, and citrus leaf miners. Regularly inspect your citrus tree for signs of infestation, such as curled leaves, sticky residue, or distorted growth. If you spot pests, use appropriate insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils to control the problem. For combined sunscald protection and pest repellent, try the easy to use spray IV Organics Plant Guard.
Thinning: In the first few years of your citrus tree’s life, it's beneficial to thin out the fruit. This helps the tree focus its energy on developing larger and healthier roots and branches. If you have a tree that is of fruit-bearing age, remove smaller, misshapen, or damaged fruits, leaving a few inches of space between the remaining ones for air flow.
Inspect your citrus tree regularly, checking for any signs of disease, nutrient deficiencies, or other problems. Early detection and treatment can prevent more significant issues down the line.