Did you know Arizona ranks as one of the leading citrus-growing states, producing some of the world’s best-tasting citrus fruit? Citrus is among the state’s iconic 5 Cs—citrus, climate, cattle, cotton, and copper.
The sun and soil in Arizona form the perfect conditions for growing tangerines, oranges, grapefruit, and lemons. Moreover, citrus fruits provide an excellent way to beautify your property.
In this blog post, a certified arborist in Phoenix shares everything you need to know about growing citrus fruits in Arizona.
When Should You Plant Citrus Trees in Arizona?
Generally, you can plant citrus trees any time of the year. However, experienced arborists recommend March through June to ensure the tree has adequate time to establish itself before the temperatures rise.
September and October are other ideal times to plant citrus fruits in Arizona. Some of the easiest citrus tree varieties to grow in the state include:
Citrus Tree Watering Requirements
Watering plays an integral role in citrus care, as these trees require a lot of water to thrive. However, the frequency of watering will depend on your tree’s age and the season. Younger trees often require more water, meaning higher watering frequency.
You should water your newly planted citrus trees every few days. For trees aged at least one year, you can water them every 10-14 days during winter, every two weeks in spring, and every 7-10 days during summer.
Arborists advise monitoring your tree’s health and growth and adjusting watering as needed. It’s worth noting that citrus plants have a sensitivity to salt, and deep watering can help push the salt in the soil away from your tree’s roots.
Fertilizing Your Citrus Trees
For healthy trees, you must fertilize your citrus three times a year. However, the best time to fertilize includes late February or early March. Experts recommend choosing a fertilizer specifically formulated for fruit and nut trees.
Nonetheless, you should evaluate your soil type before choosing the most suitable fertilizer. Ensure you read the instructions on the fertilizer packaging before application.
Citrus Fruits Harvesting Time
Citrus fruit production occurs between November and January, depending on the citrus tree variety. You can expect to harvest your citrus fruits in the following months, depending on the variety:
- Lemons are ready for harvesting between November and March
- Oranges and grapefruit are ready from November to April
- Tangelos and tangerines are ready to harvest from December to March
How Long Can Citrus Trees Live
With proper care, citrus trees can live up to 25 years. However, grapefruit trees often outlive other citrus varieties and can become gigantic bush-like plants producing fruit throughout the year.
Contact Your Local Tree Experts for Assistance
If you need professional help growing citrus fruits in Arizona, Tree Workers of Phoenix aims to help. With nearly three decades of industry experience, we can handle all your tree care needs.