Create the perfect summer patio with a citrus tree

Brighten up your patio, balcony or garden with a popular citrus tree. Not a full-grown one, but a dwarf citrus tree – the perfect Mediterranean addition to everyone’s summer garden. Read on and learn more about these trendy little trees and how to care for them.

citrus tree

Tiny fruits and florals

The popular dwarf citrus tree as we know it often goes by the common name Citrus Mitis. Other possible names for the miniature trees are Citrus Microcarpa, Calamondin or Citrofortunella Mitis. The Citrus Mitis will reach a height of approximately 1 to 1,5 metres. It is capable of growing taller, but as long as the dwarf tree is growing in a pot, it will stick to a height of 1-1,5 metres. Did you know that the citrus tree not only produces little fruits that look like tiny mandarins (±4cm), but that they can also produce clusters of white scented flowers? It’s a nice bonus we would say!

Find the right spot

During the spring and summer months, citrus trees are perfectly happy outside. Because of their Mediterranean roots, citrus trees prefer a sunny spot. However, when the sun is getting brighter and hotter towards the summer, it’s advisable to move the tree to a location with partial shade.

Once we move into autumn/winter, you will have 2 options regarding the location of your citrus tree. You could either place them inside the house (in a cool, non-heated spot) or you could leave them outside, wrapped in tempex or bubble film when temperatures start to drop below freezing.
Make sure the temperature inside the house is not too warm for the citrus tree, otherwise the tree may lose its leaves. A cool winter (between 0 – 15 degrees) encourages a rich growth during the spring and summer months.

Citrus reticulata
citrus tree

Caring for the citrus tree

During their growing season (April – September), citrus trees need a lot of water. 2 or 3 times a week a proper splash of water will do the trick. As a rule of thumb: do not water them again, before the root ball feels dry again. During the winter months, 1 watering a month is sufficient to make sure the root ball doesn’t dry out completely. Additionally, you could spoil your citrus tree with special citrus plant food during the growing season. This will give them an energy boost which will help them grow. For the right dosage, please check the citrus plant food’s packaging.

Repotting and pruning

If you decide that repotting is necessary for the tree’s growth then do it in spring (when the plant starts to grow again). Older plants need repotting approximately once every 3 years. Younger plants can be put in larger pots once a year, but as long as it’s not necessary try to avoid doing it. Why you might ask? Because the Citrus Mitis has sensitive roots that don’t like to be disturbed.

Pruning fruit trees isn’t necessary. However, if you believe the tree has gotten too big or out of shape, you could prune some branches. Keep in mind, though, that shortened branches most likely won’t produce any fruits that year. So it’s better to remove certain branches entirely and leave the rest untouched than to shorten all the branches at once.

 

Looking for ways to add that summery, Mediterranean touch to your garden, patio or balcony? Opt for a  dwarf citrus tree – their shiny foliage, bright fruits, and fragrant blossoms provide year-round enjoyment. Your independent local florist might be able to source one for you – click here to find a florist near you.

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