Growing Guide

Where to plant

Full sun

Sow depth


Space between seeds / seedlings


Row space


Size of pot needed (width / depth)


Seedling Sow Depth


Best practice


Germination (days)


Maturity (days)


How to Grow

From seed

While any viable citrus seeds you sow can become beautiful, productive plants, hybrid plants—if they produce fruit—the fruit will not be the same in taste or appearance as the one it came from.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just different.

Satsuma tangerines are one of the few citrus plants that bears fruit similar to the parent when grown from seed.

Taking cuttings from parent trees is another great way to speed up this process and ensure you will enjoy the fruit.

Plant your citrus seeds 1cm deep in nutrient rich soil or sprout them right on a moist paper towel.

Start the seeds indoors in a warm, sunny area.

Moisten the soil a bit and cover the top of the planting container with plastic wrap to aid in heat and moisture retention.

Continue to keep the soil moist, not sodden.

Be sure the container has drainage holes to let excess water drain away

From seedling

Plant when seedling is 10cm high or more.

Plant in fertile soil and follow 'how to grow from plant' instructions.

In a pot

When planting in a pot, choose a dwar citrus variety.

Choose a pot at least 50cm wide and deep.

Position pot in full sun, and fill with quality potting mix.

Consider placing the pot on wheels if you live in a cold area, so it can be moved to a protected spot during winter.

Dig a hole in the pot twice the size of the root ball.

Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.

Position in hole in the pot and gently backfill, firming down.

Water in well.

Water deeply 2-3 times a week, depending on the weather conditions.

When the tree starts producing (usually it's 3rd year) feed weekly with Citrus Plant Food.

From Plant

Choose a sunny spot.

Enrich the soil with fertilizer/compost.

Dig the planting hole twice as wide and same depth as root ball.

Gently tease roots and position in hole.


Form a raised ring of soil around base of tree an water in well.

Mulch around base but away from the trunk.

Water in deeply.

When the tree starts producing (usually it's 3rd year) feed weekly with Citrus Plant Food.

Ready to harvest

Citrus fruits will not ripen off the tree, so refrain from picking them too early.

The best indicator of ripeness is taste.

Harvest the fruit by cutting them off with pruning shears or by pulling the fruit stalk from the tree.

Collect seed

Carefully remove the seeds from the citrus fruit, taking care not to damage the seeds and squeezing them out gently.

Rinse the seeds in water to separate them from the pulp and remove the sugar that clings to them; sugar encourages fungal growth and will jeopardize potential seedlings.

Place them on a paper towel.

Sort out the largest seeds; those which are more white than tan with a shriveled outer skin are the most viable.

You may now plant the seeds or prepare them for citrus seed storage, store the citrus seeds, place them on a moist paper towel.

Keep about three times the amount of seeds that you want to plant in case some of them are not viable.

Wrap the seeds in the damp towel and place them inside a plastic ziploc type bag.

Place the bag in the refrigerator.

Citrus seed storage in the fridge will last for several days to several months.

Unlike other seeds, citrus seeds need to stay moist.

If they dry out, it is very likely they will not germinate.

When to Grow


Zone 1 - Cool

July , August , September , October


Zone 2 - Temperate

June , July , August , September , October


Zone 3 - Subtropical

May , June , July , August , September

Companion Planting

Tips for Care

If you are short of sunny spots, grow citrus in pots that can be moved to chase the sun, or moved inside to protect from winds
In heavy clay soils, it is best to put time into soil prep.

To check if your soil needs work, dig a hole and pour a bucket of water into the hole.

If it takes more than 30 minutes to disappear, then you will need to improve your drainage.

Consider raising the level of the bed as much as possible with free-draining garden soil, dig in gypsum to help break up the clay and add plenty of compost or fertilizer.
Remove any small fruit that develops in the first two years - thinning excess fruit when they're small will encourage good early branch, stem and foliage growth, and promote better sized and better tasting fruit in the coming years.
Although any citrus tree can grow in a container, full sized grapefruit or orange trees may be hard pressed to survive many years even in a large container.

Select the right size pot with adequate drainage holes.

Use a soil mix that is lightweight and drains well.

Develop a watering schedule so the tree stays on the dry side of moist.

Provide 8 or more hours of direct sunlight per day.
Feed your citrus in spring and summer to encourage maximum fruiting and flowering.

Citrus require higher levels of potassium and magnesium

Pests & Problems