Which Citrus Trees are Good for Growing in the UK?
Have you ever thought about growing your own citrus fruits? The idea might seem far-fetched for UK gardeners considering our climate, but it's very much possible. With the right choice of trees and techniques, you can successfully grow citrus trees both indoors and outdoors and harvest delicious fruits all year round. In this Mytree Information Guide, we'll share a step-by-step guide on the best citrus trees for UK growing, with examples for both indoor and outdoor cultivation. So, keep reading and get ready to add a taste of the Mediterranean to your garden!
Step 1: Choose the Right Citrus Tree
The first and most critical step is to choose the right citrus tree variety. Not all citrus trees are equal, and some are better adapted to the UK climate than others. Here are some of the best citrus trees for UK growing:
- Meyer Lemon: This is a hardy lemon tree that can tolerate temperatures down to -6°C. It's a popular indoor citrus tree, but it can also be grown in conservatories in mild regions.
- Orange: This is a popular, sweet, citrus fruit that produces orange blossom each year
- Kumquat: This is a small citrus fruit that's more like an orange than a lemon. It's an excellent indoor plant that can produce fruits all year round.
- Calamondin: This is a hybrid between a mandarin and a kumquat that produces small, sour oranges. It's a popular indoor citrus tree that can thrive in the UK climate.
Step 2: Provide the Right Environment
Citrus trees need a warm, sunny, and sheltered spot to grow successfully. For outdoor citrus trees, choose a south-facing wall or fence that can absorb and reflect heat. For indoor citrus trees, make sure they get plenty of sunlight, preferably in a conservatory or greenhouse. Keep the temperature between 10-25°C for optimal growth. Citrus trees also prefer a slightly acidic soil with good drainage, so add some compost or sand to improve the soil quality.
Step 3: Water and Feed Regularly
Citrus trees need regular watering and feeding, especially during the growing season. Water them once a week or more if the soil feels dry, but don't over-water as this can cause root rot. Fertilise them every two weeks with a citrus-specific fertiliser that contains the right balance of nutrients. Stop feeding them in late autumn to allow them to go dormant in winter.
Step 4: Prune and Protect
Prune your citrus trees in late winter or early spring to encourage new growth. Remove any dead, damaged, or crossing branches to improve airflow and sunlight accessibility. For outdoor citrus trees, protect them from frost by wrapping them in fleece or horticultural fleece during winter. Protect indoor citrus trees from pests by inspecting them regularly and spraying them with a mild insecticide if necessary.
Growing citrus trees in the UK might seem challenging, but it's not impossible. With the right choice of trees, techniques, and care, you can enjoy the sweet taste of homegrown citrus fruits all year round. Remember to choose the right citrus tree variety, provide the right environment, water and feed regularly, prune and protect when necessary. And most importantly, have fun and be patient! Happy gardening!