Wake up, spring is on its way!
Since lemons, oranges, kumquats and the like get plenty of sun in their subtropical home in Asia, it comes as no surprise that they don't like the cold, wet and dark weather in these parts. That's why citrus plants should be moved to a winter home as soon as possible at the end of the gardening season. The sensitive Rutaceae plants can be put outside again when temperatures go up in the spring. But beware: Just like us humans, citrus plants only get used to the change of season very slowly. These five tips will help you wake them from their winter slumber and get them ready for the spring.
Citrus plants love the sun, but they need to slowly regain their strength after their winter slumber. It's not just us humans that can get sunburnt, the leaves of plants can also get burned if they are put in the sun too soon and for too long. With that in mind, citrus trees should initially be positioned outside for a few hours at a time on the first few warm days of the year. The time can be gradually increased with the right weather. When you are absolutely sure that there will be no more frost (this is generally the case after the Ice Saints period in May), you can put plants outside properly again.
Once your citrus plants have got used to the rising temperatures, they prefer to be in sunny and warm places. Temperatures should be between 20 and 25 °C in the summer for healthy development. The following generally applies: The brighter the location, the higher the temperatures the sun worshippers can withstand. But they are not a fan of wind and rain – a protected spot is a must.
If you want to make some adjustments to the crown, it is best to do so in the spring before the trees go back outside. It is important that troublesome branches are cut off completely, otherwise shortened shoots can branch out again and the crown would become even thicker.
The Asian beauties should be repotted every two to three years so that they can grow optimally. A special soil tailored to their needs is suitable for this. The right time is at the beginning of the spring, e.g. in March. If the soil is fully rooted, it is a good idea to use a tub that is no more than five centimetres larger with good water drainage for repotting to prevent waterlogging.
Citrus plants are sensitive things: They like to be kept moist but can't tolerate dryness or wet conditions. If the root ball dries out, the plant sheds leaves, flowers and fruits. Waterlogging causes the leaves to drop off and the shoot tips to die. During the growth stage, citrus plants should also be fertilised on a weekly basis so that they get all the necessary nutrients and develop optimally.