What are your citrus plants doing right now?
The good news for May is that flowers are waking up and growth is everywhere! The not-so-good-news? So are pests. May calls for preparedness as your plants continue to grow and flower, but don’t fret over battling bugs—as long as you arm yourself with these tips and tricks, you’ll be growing with success all month long! Here’s what to expect from your citrus trees in May:
- Don't panic if you see fruit drop prematurely. This is very common in trees that are younger or new to an area. On average, it takes around three years for a tree to become fully established. Your tree is simply saying it can’t support all of the fruit, so it will drop a few to maintain enough energy to grow the rest. Just clear the fallen fruit away—less fruit should drop with time.
- Producing tasty fruit takes a lot of energy, so it's not uncommon to see a few of your leaves start to fall or turn yellow. To fix this, focus on supplying the proper amount of water to your plants, and supplement with fertilizer.
- Citrus plants are evergreen, which means they show signs of stress differently than other fruits like apples or peaches. The best way to avoid issues is to reduce stress and stay consistent with your care. This means checking soil moisture levels to make sure you’re watering at the appropriate times and sticking to a fertilizing schedule.
Fruit prematurely dropping
Patience is Key
- All of your small, fragrant flowers should be showing signs of starting to fruit. After pollination takes place, your citrus will drop its petals and stamens (the part of the flower that contains the pollen) since they’re no longer needed. So, if you’re growing your citrus indoors, prepare for clean-up duty, or set something underneath your tree to catch the falling flowers.
- Citrus fruits take time (we’re talking months!) to fully develop their fruit. Resist the temptation to pick fruit early, as citrus will not continue to ripen once off the tree. Trust us - your fresh, flavorful fruit will be worth the wait!
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