Citrus tree care from A-Z for healthy citrus trees - Instructions


The Content Of The Article:

lemon Tree


So far, it was considered that citrus plants should be poured exclusively with low-calcium or lime-free water. In the meantime, scientific research has found that this is not fundamentally correct, because citrus plants also need calcium. Therefore, they should preferably be poured with tap water, but this should not be administered directly from the line, but should be stale. It is not because the water, when it comes out of the tap, is too cold and the plants could react very sensitively.
Tip: On planters or coasters should be avoided as possible and put the bucket on feet, so that excess water can run off immediately. If you are in the room, you should empty the coasters and planters shortly after watering.

Fertilize

To be able to thrive, blossom and produce fruit, the lemon tree needs not only water but also sufficient nutrients. If it was repotted at the beginning of the year, additional fertilizer may be dispensed with in the first few weeks. Otherwise, starting with budding until September every 1-2 weeks a high-quality citrus fertilizer should be administered, if possible via the irrigation water. Tap water supplies the plants with calcium, so that the plants are optimally supplied with all important nutrients and trace elements. Kalkhaltiges tap water has the additional advantage that a frequently occurring iron deficiency and so-called chlorosis can be prevented.

overwinter

The right winter quarters

Basically, a citrus tree should move as late as possible to winter quarters and as early as possible back to the outdoors. Depending on the region and weather conditions, it is about time from October to bring them into the house, but in any case before the first frost.
  • Classic winter quarters are unheated but frost-free greenhouses or conservatories
  • Also suitable are cool side rooms with sufficient brightness
  • With limited light supply, plant lamps can help
  • Heated living rooms are unsuitable for the winter
  • Reasons for this are lack of light, too high temperatures and too dry air
  • At best, the hibernation is bright and cool
  • Temperatures between 5 and 10 degrees are optimal
  • The winter quarters should be the brighter the warmer it is
  • On cold floors put the plants on polystyrene or coconut mat
  • This prevents the root ball from overcooling
  • Also ensure good ventilation without drafts
Tip: If the space available in winter quarters is limited, it may be helpful to cut off damaged and diseased plant parts on the citrus tree before moving. This has u.a. the advantage that evaporation is minimized and a pest infestation is counteracted.

Care in winter

At hibernation temperatures of 5 - 10 degrees Citrus trees enter a resting phase. Their metabolism is reduced, so that the roots almost cease their activity. As a result, the need for water is significantly reduced. On the other hand, if the temperature rises above 10 degrees, the metabolism is activated, the plant's vegetation is set in motion. Since the citrus tree needs light for the photosynthesis, which is only limited in winter, it responds by dropping the leaves.

lemon Tree


This sheet shedding is often mistakenly associated with a lack of water. More water is being poured, which aggravates the problem, because the less leaves on the plant, the less water it can evaporate. The result is a permanently wet substrate, which can lead to root rot and in the worst case complete death of the plant.
Therefore, attention should be paid to low temperatures and moderate casting. Normally it is enough to water the citrus tree every 4-6 weeks. In addition, occasional spraying with lukewarm water is recommended. Fertilizers can be dispensed with completely, because at these low temperatures, the roots can not absorb these nutrients, they would have no use for the plants and would be flushed out with the irrigation water for the most part.
Tip: If citrus trees are too dark, so-called Geiltriebe often form, which should be removed better. Geiltriebe are long, thin and powerless shoots that deprive the plant of power.

Cutting measures before Auswintern

Basically, the cutting of citrus trees is less. It is best to cut as little as possible and as much as necessary. A distinction is made between conservation and parenting. The best time for both types of cuts is the late winter or the early spring, so the citrus tree has time throughout the season to compensate for the lost substance and to form new shoots.
While the conservation cut, as the name implies, serves to conserve the plant and go all the way to the green wood, the educational cut has the goal of building a strong and stable framework and building the crown early. For older specimens that have not been blended for a long time and are already heavily blunted, a rejuvenation cut can also be offered.

preservation section

  • The conservation cut is u.a. to round out the crown
  • To do this, cut out too tight, damaged and diseased shoots
  • From intersecting shoots always remove the weaker ones
  • Always cut shoots completely and directly at the neck
  • If only shortened, they branch again and condense the crown
  • From two equally strong shoots from an astring let only one
  • Shorten the outer branches by one third over a side branch or bud
  • Cut fruit-bearing branches by half after harvesting
  • This way, new fruit wood can form again
Especially with a citrus tree damaged by frost or pests, pruning into the new wood may be advisable. On the one hand, the interfaces can better encapsulate and on the other hand, the growth force is then concentrated on the new, unloaded wood.

education section

In the case of an educational cut, always cut over the bud of a branch or, in the case of lateral branches, always at the base to the next strongest branch. The so-called Seitenleittriebe be shortened by about a quarter of its total length. In addition, all competing drives, intersecting, inwardly growing and steeply growing shoots are removed. Of course, dead and sick wood is always cut out to ensure good ventilation of the inside of the crown. Finally, shorten the main drive so far that it projects beyond the other side shoots by about 10-15 cm.
Rejuvenation cut of older citrus trees
Citrus trees which are not or hardly cut over a longer period of time are so far shallow that they bear leaves only at the shoot tips and barely any new growth is recorded. Then it's time for a rejuvenation cut to revitalize the citrus tree. To do this, cut back all the thicker branches so far that they leave stumps about 10-15 cm long, from which the lemon tree then sprouts again. The stronger the pruning, the stronger the plants will be.
Torn bark at the interfaces should then be straightened with a sharp knife, as otherwise germs and bacteria quickly infiltrate and can damage the plant. After such a rejuvenation cut, no fruit yield is expected for at least one year. To counteract re-balding of the plant, the newly formed, still krautigen young shoots are again reduced to 30-40 cm, that they branch better.

Repot after the cut

The repotting is next to the cut one of the first measures in the spring. This ensures permanently vital plants, beautiful flowers and fruit yield. Young lemon trees should be transplanted into fresh soil every year and older, about every 2-3 years, at the latest when the roots grow out of the drainage holes. Above all, the plant substrate and the choice of the right planter play an important role.
  • Substrate should be water-permeable, structurally stable and nutrient-rich
  • Ideally use special citrus soil
  • Or a mixture of good garden soil, quartz sand and broken gravel
  • In the choice of the planter prefer pots of clay
  • Clay pots are more stable than plastic pots
  • The fine pores in the clay ensure minimal ventilation of the root area
  • Pot should be one third larger than the root ball
  • Or about 2 cm in diameter larger than the old pot
  • As the lowest layer several centimeters thick drainage layer
  • Then fill in some substrate
  • Then put citrus tree in the same height in the middle of the new pot
  • Fill with fresh substrate, press tightly and pour vigorously

When to go outside?

Even if the lemon tree should be released as early as possible, you can not get around a short period of getting used to it. When that is exactly, again depends on region and weather conditions. In any case, the nights should be frost-free. Initially, the plant is only placed on a shady spot for a few hours during the day. Direct sunlight is to be avoided, it would burn the still relatively sensitive leaves of the citrus tree. The duration of the outdoor stay is gradually extended and the location is always a little sunnier, until the plant can finally be placed permanently in the full sun again.

multiply

Seedlings / cuttings

For a propagation of cuttings you should only use healthy and strong mother plants. One cuts, if necessary with the annual pruning in the early spring 10-15 cm long, half-woody cuttings from shoots from the previous year.You should have several buds and 1-2 small leaves at the top of the cuttings. To minimize evaporation, the remaining leaves are shortened by about half.

lemon Tree


The best way to cut the cuttings at an angle, which makes it easier for them to absorb water. Now you put them with the interface in a rooting powder and then about 4 cm deep in small pots with Anzendemde. The cuttings are pressed into the substrate and the substrate is moistened.
Then you put a translucent plastic bag over the cutting or the pot and puts the whole thing in a warm and bright place without direct sunlight. The plastic bag should be removed daily for a short time to prevent mold and rot on the citrus tree. The soil should not dry out at any time but should not be too wet either. As soon as the new shoot appears, the foil is removed. If the pot ball is well rooted, is repotted.

sowing

For sowing, use only seeds of fresh and fully ripe fruits, which can be purchased in almost every supermarket. It is best to use small plant pots with appropriate extraction holes.
  • On the bottom of the pot first a layer of smaller pebbles as drainage
  • Then comes commercial cultivation soil
  • Put one or more lemon kernels about one centimeter deep into the ground
  • Then moisten the substrate and put translucent foil over the pots
  • Then put in a warm and bright location without direct sunlight
  • Until germination takes about 4-6 weeks
  • Substrate must be kept evenly moist without being permanently wet
  • If the seedlings are about 10-15 cm tall, separate into small pots
  • At least five years pass before the first flowering and the first fruits

Diseases and pests

root rot

Too much and permanent wetness can lead to root rot, as a result the plants lose leaves and fruits. If it is detected early, repotting may save the plant. Preventive should always be paid attention to an airy substrate and needs-based casting behavior.
leaf discoloration
Yellowed leaves on the citrus tree can be the result of too much or too little water. Accordingly, one should adjust the casting quantities. Scattered yellow leaves are not a disease but completely normal. If necessary, the citrus tree has to be lighted so that more light can reach the interior of the crown.

Scale insects

Pest infestation occurs especially in dark and warm hibernation. Scale insects can be easily wiped off with a cotton bud soaked in alcohol. In advanced infestations, chemical agents may e.g. be used in the form of chopsticks to combat.

Wool and lice

Also, lice on the citrus tree can be eliminated with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. In addition, natural predators such as lacewings, ladybirds or parasitic wasps can be used or in case of heavy infestation corresponding chemical agents from specialist retailers.

spider mites

Spider mite infestation with a more powerful jet of water can already remove most of the pests. In particular, the leaf undersides of the citrus tree should not be spared. In addition, spraying with plant sebum or Niemölpraparaten is recommended. Lacewings, ladybirds, predatory mites and gallmucks also serve well.
Conclusion
Citrus trees impressive visually with attractive foliage, fragrant, white flowers and under optimal conditions even with ripe fruit. So they conjure Mediterranean flair on terraces and balconies. Despite all these plants are quite demanding in terms of site conditions and care, which should be considered before making a purchase to avoid disappointment. Basically, they are worth every effort.

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