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How to take care of your citrus plants

Lemons, oranges, mandarins, limes and grapefruit are fruits of the citrus family. Citrus plants generally have dark green, shiny, oval-shaped leaves. Due to their brightly coloured fruits, citrus plants are very popular as attractive pot plants.

Citrus plants are native to warm and sunny regions. Therefore, they are generally not resistant to frost. Nevertheless, they can also be grown relatively easily outside of Mediterranean climatic conditions as tub plants on terraces or balconies or indoors.

Citrus plants like bright areas so that they receive a lot of light. However, direct, permanent sunlight, for example at a south-facing window, is to be avoided. A bright west or south-west window is preferable. If possible, the plant should be placed outdoors in summer. Direct sunlight in the morning and evening hours and a little wind promote growth and flower formation. The citrus plant should be regularly turned slightly to allow each side of the plant to enjoy sunlight and also to avoid one-sided growth. However, do not turn too much at once, as otherwise the plant has to use too much energy to turn its leaves towards the light again.

The best temperature for citrus plants is room temperature. In the winter rest period, the plant should stand in a cool place. They withstand temperatures down to 4° Celsius. The ideal temperature for citrus plants during winter is between 9 and 12° Celsius.

If a few basic needs are considered, care is relatively simple. Whereas various other plants die without prior warning in the event of dryness, the situation with citrus plants is different. Here the leaves react by curling up slightly if they have too little water. If they are then quickly supplied with water, no permanent damage is normally caused. However, as with all plants, they should not be over-watered, as permanent waterlogging is not good for any potted plant. The water should be at room temperature. Citrus plants should be regularly fertilised during the vegetation period. Generally, a conventional green plant fertiliser is sufficient. It need not be a special citrus fertiliser.

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