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Lawn & Garden

Fertilizing Citrus

The citrus feeding guidelines from today's email state:


After they have been in the ground for three years, fertilize only 3 times a year in February, May and October. Feed at a rate of 1 pound of fertilizer for each year of the tree’s age. For instance, a citrus tree that is 7 years old would get 7 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer in 3 separate applications for a total of 21 pounds per year.

Well, I live in downtown Riverside, CA in a 100-year old house with VERY mature citrus trees which are likely 50-100 years old. (7 year old citrus trees are just babies in this neighborhood!) I'm assuming I'm not supposed to use 50-100 pounds of fertilizer per each tree and then twice more each year! Please revise your guidelines to include healthy trees which are truly mature. Thank you.

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Posted 2015-03-26T03:25:56+0000  by ihamplau ihamplau

Hi ihamplau.


Thank you for your question and comments.  Welcome to our community.


I think the basic information you have is correct but to just blatantly add fertilizer without considering the size of the tree would be a mistake.  Where did you see that type of instruction?  

Riverside is actually an excellent area to grow citrus trees due to the great drainage in the sandy and rocky soil as well as some warm weather most of the year.  Since SoCal can support the growth of citrus almost year round, you would be better off scheduling your fertilizer applications based on the flowering and fruiting cycle of your trees. 

I have a 40 year old Tangelo tree that reaches its max fruiting output in December, January and February.  The tree will then continue to produce new fruit throughout the spring and summer.  As a result, I find it necessary to apply fertilizer about once every 2 months.  The correct fertilizer application should be based on the size of the tree, i.e. the drip line.  The larger the drip line the more fertilizer you can add.  You can always add less.  The instructions given for this type of application are based on maximum application for each size of fruit tree.    

When you are buying the large bulk bags of fertilizer, they are generally used in a larger orchard application where bulk fertilizer is applied to a large growing area where the feeder root system actually overlaps.



I have been using the Vigoro Avocado Citrus Fertilizer for several years now with great results.



PRODUCT OVERVIEW Model # 160327 Internet # 203091325 Store SKU # 735217

The Product instructions from Vigoro are as Follows:

Everyone has their favorite and some want the optimum for each of their plants. VIGORO has a broad range of all-purpose and specialty plant foods to give plants the nutrients they need to develop lush foliage, abundant blooms, and high yields.

Promotes vigorous growth and high yields

Improves stress tolerance and disease resistance

Contains time-released nitrogen for extended feeding

Best for: citrus, avocado and other fruiting/nutting trees, as well as grape, blackberry and raspberry plants

Where to use: use for indoor or outdoor plants, in ground or in pots

Application tips: avoid applying fertilizer to leaves or piling fertilizer around base of plant

When to apply: apply every 4-6 weeks during the growing season for in ground plants and every 3 months for potted plants

Activate: water in or use rain to activate

Reapplication: apply every 4-6 weeks during the growing season for in ground plants and every 3 months for potted plants

Use around other plants: safe to use around other plants

Note: Product may vary by store


Please share what type of fertilizer you have been using, your application methods and what your results have been.


Posted 2015-03-27T18:03:48+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
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