Growing Citrus on Vancouver Island

Submitted by will.ballantyne on Sat, 01/19/2019 - 09:12

Citrus are wonderful plants to grow.  They are beautiful, refresh the air we breathe, produce nice flowers with a clean citrus scent, and produce delicious fruit that can be used for many purposes and are healthy to consume as they contain many essential vitamins and minerals.  Their unique aromas and flavours when fresh are the stuff fond memories are made of.

Citrus are generally easy to grow, and will do well under a variety of conditions.  However, keep in mind they may be a bit scary at first as they adjust to your conditions. In particular, when conditions change citrus tend to drop many (or sometimes most) of their leaves while adjusting. If you have changed their conditions, such as having purchased them from a greenhouse and moved them to your very dry (in terms of relative humidity) warm and dim (less light than a greenhouse!) home, then be prepared for heavy leaf drop.  This is normal and should be expected.  After the initial shock they should come back strong within a few weeks (or a couple of months depending on time of year) with fresh growth that will be adjusted to the new conditions and will thrive.

Citrus prefer plenty of light, should generally be brought indoors or protected during winter (with two exceptions, see this link for details), and be provided fertilizer at least occasionally to do well. The fertilizer can be organic or otherwise, but should be high in nitrogen and have some micronutrients like iron, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.

Like all living things they can run into problems under some circumstances, such as when they are kept too wet or when pests and diseases are introduced and allowed to overwhelm the plant's natural defenses.  Usually these can be treated with some simple treatments such as a light oil spray, or even physically by spraying the leaves with water.  Citrus love showers once or twice a year, if you are so inclined.  When I was growing tangelos in my small condominium many years ago I would give them a cool shower every few months and they always responded well and looked refreshed and vigorous soon afterward.  The big beautiful plants were quite an accent piece to my decor!

If you are the kind of person that likes more detail, I have put together detailed information in the pages below based on my very successful experience growing citrus on Vancouver Island, BC.  We have over 50 kinds of citrus in our collection and have started reproducing some of them to sell.  If you would like to see which ones we have currently for sale then check out this link

See the pages below for additional detail on various aspects of growing citrus.

growing citrus on Vancouver Island
Brandon holding a Buddha's Hand in our little greenhouse