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Citrus in home conditions

Citrus are shrubby plants with refreshing and delicious fruits that come from the genus Citrus and are popular for their high nutritional value and rich vitamin content. In this article, we will look at the history and origin of citrus plants, the care of these plants, their interaction with pets, the difficulty of cultivation, proper watering and suitable conditions for growing at home. We will also focus on the manifestations of pests and poor care that can affect the health and yield of citrus plants.

History and origin of citrus

Citrus fruits are native to Southeast Asia, specifically from areas such as northern India, Myanmar, and China. The history of citrus cultivation dates back to ancient Egypt and Greece, where they were valued for their exceptional properties and nutritional value. During the period of discovery, citrus fruits spread throughout the world and today they are grown in many tropical and subtropical regions.

Caring for citrus plants

Citrus plants are generally considered moderately demanding to grow. They require a sufficient amount of light, proper watering and temperature, as well as regular fertilization. It is also important to give plants enough space to grow their root systems.

Citrus plants require proper care and suitable conditions in order to grow and bear fruit at their best. The most important factor for the proper growth of citrus plants is to find the right location in combination with sufficient sunlight and not to move the plant further if you do not have a greenhouse.

  1. Light and temperature : Citrus plants need a lot of light and prefer sunny locations. The ideal temperature for their growth is around 21-29 °C. It is important to place them in a place where they will have enough sunlight and at the same time protection from direct hot sun.

  2. Watering : Citrus plants require regular watering. It is important to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. It is recommended to water the plants when the top layer of soil starts to dry out slightly. More frequent watering may be needed in summer than in winter.

  3. Fertilization : Citrus plants need regular fertilization, especially during the growth and flowering periods. Use a fertilizer specifically formulated for citrus plants and follow package directions. Keep in mind that over-fertilizing can damage the plant, so follow the recommended doses.

  4. Humidity : Citrus plants like higher humidity. In dry conditions, you can spray the plants with water or place containers of water next to them to increase the humidity.

  5. Suitable substrate: For citrus plants, it is recommended to use a special substrate that is adapted to their needs. The ideal substrate for citrus should be well permeable to water and air, and at the same time contain enough nutrients for their healthy growth and development. It is ideal to purchase already prepared substrate directly for citrus plants

What is the difference between growing in a greenhouse and at home? It is necessary to think that if we own a greenhouse , it will provide the most optimal conditions for the citrus to produce fruit and at the same time have enough moisture, light and heat. So there is a very high chance that your citrus will bear fruit every year and the bush will thrive. On the other hand, in normal home conditions, the chances of citrus fruiting decrease significantly if we choose the wrong location, if we have too much winter in the apartment and if we do not give the plant enough sunlight. At the same time, winter is also a critical period, when citrus fruits may fall off, overflow may occur, or the plant may die due to cold drafts or lack of light.

Photo: In tropical regions, citrus trees like apple or pear trees are common here.

Citrus plants and pets

Citrus plants are generally not considered toxic to pets. However, some pets, especially cats, may show an interest in plants and chew their leaves. In this case, it is advisable to place the plants in a safe place where they will not be accessible to animals.

Manifestations of pests and poor care

Improper care and unsuitable conditions can cause problems with citrus plants. Some common signs of poor care include yellowing and dropping leaves, weak growth, loss of flowers and fruit, and susceptibility to pests such as aphids or whiteflies. It is important to regularly check plants, provide them with proper care and respond to signs of problems.

In case of pest infestation, it is possible to use natural or chemical means that are designed to eliminate a specific type of pest. When using chemical sprays, make sure they are designed for citrus plants and follow package directions. Attention should also be paid to the sharp midday sun, which we should avoid when growing these plants, because it can burn the leaves in a single day and the plant will then reproduce more slowly.

Photo: Citrus Kumquat fruits

Common citrus species suitable for home use

The most common citrus plants undoubtedly include the lemon tree ( Citrus Lemon ) and the tangerine ( Citrus Calamondin ). But there are also other types such as lime, red lime, etc. An interesting species includes, for example, Citrus Kmquat, which is popular especially in Asia. Citrus Kumquat produces small orange fruits (2-4 cm). Both the peel and the flesh are orange and edible . The plant is also decorated with fresh green elongated small leaves. The plant usually has many flowers and fruits that need to be reduced. In our conditions, we grow the plant as a houseplant, but it will welcome summering on the balcony or terrace.

Author: Martin Seidl

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