How to Care for your Indoor Citrus Plant and Winter Pollination Tips Video

Expert tips on keeping your indoor citrus trees healthy and ensure they produce bountiful great tasting fruit. Our expert sheds light on signs of some common citrus tree problems, offering advice on fertilization and promoting pollination.


Hi everyone, Scott from Spring Hill Nurseries here. You couldn't tell, but it's the dead of winter and we're nice and warm here at the green house at Spring Hill Nurseries because we're talking about citrus trees. The most important thing about citrus trees, of course, is the fruit. You want great tasting oranges, lemons, lime, tangerines, all those great fruits that you love and you can have them indoors at your house as long as you take just a few steps to get a great fruit set. That's the goal, getting the fruit. All you have to do is keep your plant healthy. And today, we'll take a look at some of these plants, how to keep them healthy, and how you can help your plant produce fruit. When you think about your citrus trees, you have to think about them a little bit differently than you would a deciduous tree. The key here is the foliage. For a deciduous tree, you're used to feeding the roots, feeding the medium, but for a citrus tree, you can actually feed the foliage for a quick fix for your plant's health. For a deciduous tree, the roots store all the energy during the dormant months, but for a citrus tree, during the cooler times, they are going to store it right here in the leaves and you can treat those leaves. This tree here is a great example. Here, we've got some fruit set, looking great. We've got new growth, looking great. But we've also got some discoloration. The fancy term here is chlorosis. What does it really mean? It means discoloration on the leaves. So, right here, the plant is telling you, on its old growth, I need some help. How do we help it? Let's go take a look. The key to your citrus tree's health is getting a balanced fertilizer with micronutrients. Now most gardeners are familiar with the NPK number on a fertilizer. N, of course, is nitrogen, P is phosphate and K is potassium. You want your nitrogen for growth, your phosphate for fruit set and your potassium for the roots. Now the micronutrients are manganese for the fruit color, calcium for the overall growth and zinc which is very important for fruit set. Applying your balanced fertilizer with micronutrients is very easy. All you have to do is consult the container that it comes in and when you're applying it as a foliar mist, which we're going to do, you're going to mix it at half the rate. You can just put it in these nice, handy little bottles, spray bottles which you can get anywhere, and then apply. You can't do it too much. Don't forget to do your application in the morning, coz that's the best time. You don't want to do it during the height of the sun in the middle of the day. Now here we have a close up of a citrus tree flower and we're looking at some of the reproductive parts. These here, are called the anthers and this is where the pollen is. In fact, I can get it right here on my finger. You want to get this pollen on to the stigma which is part of the female reproductive system. And you want to get that pollen on there in order to get your fruit set. Now here's a close up of a citrus tree that's not as willing, would you say, to want to have some babies for you, so you got to give it a little help. If you see, the anthers here don't have nearly as much pollen as the others. And so, you got to give it some help to get onto that stigma. You can use your fingers, as I'm doing here. Some people prefer eraser of a pencil, others, maybe a cotton swab, but you can still get it on. And you should do it every day, for as long as you can. You just want to help get it on. So, as your flowers die off, fruit starting begins. And you can see that here. You take some of these old flowers away, you can see them starting, okay? And, if your pollination was successful, the fruit will just get bigger and bigger and it'll start to look like that one we saw a little bit earlier in this video. So, let's talk a little bit about taking care of citrus trees one more time. You want to keep your plants healthy and you can see that through the leaves and you can do a quick fix through the leaves of your citrus trees. And you want to help pollination. Do that by everyday getting the pollen onto the stigma of the flower. And that's it. In those few steps, you could have great tasting and easy to grow citrus trees in your own home. For step-by-step gardening with Spring Hill Nurseries, I'm Scott.