Citrus trees are heavy feeders and will produce healthy fruit if the fertilizer schedule is properly maintained. Citrus trees require a high ratio of nitrogen and potassium but low phosphorus. So, what is the best fertilizer for citrus trees including those growing in containers?
A good fertilizer for citrus trees should have a general 13-7-13 analysis, such as the Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed Continuous Release Fertilizer. It is rich in Nitrogen and potassium with a low amount of phosphorus.
Here are the top 5 fertilizers for growing citrus trees (comparison):
Best fertilizers for citrus trees (Reviews)
1. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed continuous release nitrogen fertilizer
- High nitrogen 13-7-13 fertilizer analysis
- Slow-release to prevent burning and overfeeding.
- 3 months of feeding in a single application.
- Rich in iron, magnesium, and sulfur.
Miracle-Gro fertilizers are some of the best in the market for a reason – they provide value for money. With this one, you can feed your citrus trees for up to 3 months with just a single application.
The analysis – 13-7-13 means that your plants get a big load of nitrogen (which they like and need in plenty) for faster foliage growth.
As you may already know, citrus fruits such as lime, tangelo, tangerines, orange, grapefruit, and lemon also need an adequate supply of potassium. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed provides this in plenty as well.
Other than that, your citrus trees will also benefit from the iron, magnesium, and sulfur nutrients included in this fertilizer.
Overall, Miracle-Gro Continuous Release fertilizer is great for feeding citrus trees from young shoots to full-grown trees, including those in containers or potted citrus.
2. Jobe’s Organics Fruit & Citrus fertilizer with biozome
- 3-5-5 NPK fertilizer analysis.
- Has Jobe’s Biozome improved soil conditions.
- 100% organic (no synthetic additives).
- Fast-acting feed for new and grown citrus trees.
Jobes Organics is the best organic fertilizer for citrus trees – both potted and those grown in outdoor fruit gardens. It feeds fast, meaning when you apply you’ll see fast growth, better fruit quality, and awesome blooms.
I used this organic fertilizer on my Meyer lemon tree and the growth was consistent and amazing. I also saw an improvement in the soil quality. My lemons are potted, so there’s always a challenge maintaining soil texture. This fertilizer helped with that.
The one advantage I noticed with this fertilizer is that you can never overfeed your lemon, orange, grapefruit, or other citrus trees because there’s not too much nitrogen in the analysis.
Although I treat my Meyer lemon trees to prevent pests, this fertilizer also comes in handy in preventing disease and pest attacks on citrus trees, which I found to be an added advantage.
3. EarthPods Premium Fruit & Citrus plant food
- Over 70 trace elements for healthy plants.
- Contains humic and fulvic acids.
- 100% chemical-free organic fertilizer.
- 0.2-0.2-0.4 NPK fertilizer analysis.
Earthpods fruit and Citrus Plant food come in a unique, pod-like shape that you insert in the pots of Meyers lemon, lime, orange, and kumquat trees. The application process is really fast and easy without the need to measure the amounts you need to insert into the soil.
While you may think the NPK content in this fertilizer is very low, you get an additional 70 plus trace elements that your citrus trees need as opposed to what you get in other fertilizers.
Each pod will break down gradually and slow-release nutrients to feed your citrus trees, making them grow steadily, blooming and fruiting at the right time.
The fertilizer is loaded with organic nutrients including fulvic acid, trace minerals, plant growth hormones, and humic acid. All these contribute to the feeding and development of potted citrus trees.
4. Dr. Earth 708P Organic 9 Fruit Tree Fertilizer
- 5-5-2 NPK formulation.
- 100% organic fertilizer for indoor and outdoor plants.
- Promotes steady growth (no spikes).
- 3+ months of feeding in one application.
Dr. Earth Organic Fruit Tree Fertilizer is one of the fertilizers I’ve relied on for feeding fruit trees in my organic garden. It is a reliable 5-5-2 NPK source that does not exaggerate anything, yet produces consistently good results.
If you want to get nicely-flavored fruits, this fertilizer is great because I particularly do not like feeds that produce growth spikes or spurts. This is usually replicated in fruits as well, leading to skewed taste.
What makes it the best fertilizer for citrus trees and fruits is the inclusion of 8 different strains of ecto and endo mycorrhizae. These help improve drought tolerance in plants to make them better survive the summer heat. They also contribute to enhanced nutrient availability and increased plant performance.
5. Espoma CT4 4-Pound Citrus-tone 5-2-6 Plant Food
- 5-2-6 NPK fertilizer analysis.
- Natural fertilizer with live microbes.
- Promotes flavorful citrus fruits.
- Great for root, foliage, bloom, and fruit development.
Having relied on the Espoma CT4 Citrus-tone plant food on my Persian lime and Meyers lemons, I’d recommend it as a good fertilizer for growing citrus and other indoor trees.
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Apart from the macronutrients that are obvious, you get a load of trace elements in this bag of fertilizer. Magnesium is also included in the formulation, making it a great choice for anyone trying to grow lemons in their garden.
I’ve used it on outdoor plants and I have a reason for that. Espoma uses chicken poop in most of its organic plant foods, which means a bit of smell can come out of them. That’s okay for my outdoor gardens, but for my indoor potted plants, I prefer odorless fertilizers.
Overall, the fertilizer does exactly what it promises, producing great results in growth, blooming, and adequate fruit yield.
6. J R Peters 52524 Jacks Classic 20-10-20 Citrus Feed
- 20-10-20 fertilizer NPK ratio.
- Contains essential micronutrients.
- Specifically formulated for citrus fruits.
- Root and leaf feed for optimum uptake.
Jack’s Classic is a highly effective fertilizer for tropical fruits because it provides a high load of nitrogen and potassium that’s needed in growing healthy citrus fruits including orange, lemon, Meyer lemons, kumquats, limes, and grapefruits.
Apart from the NPK balance, there’s also a dose of micronutrients that will make a difference in the growth and development of your lemons, grapes, and limes.
On the trees I’ve used this fertilizer, I saw improved foliage (more greens), bigger fruits, increased fruit yield, and stronger branches, especially in dwarf plants.
What I liked the most with Jack’s Classic Feed is that I was able to see quick, visible results within a week. I believe that owes to the soluble nature of the fertilizer, which makes it easy to absorb.
7. Miracle-Gro Fruit & Citrus Plant Food Spikes
- 15-5-10 NPK fertilizer analysis.
- Feeds the root zone directly with nutrients.
- Season-long feeding.
- Lush growth with more fruit when used.
When granular fertilizers go out of favor, spikes come in as an innovative replacement. This Miracle-gro Fruit and Citrus Plant Food Spikes are great for feeding plants directly around the root zone, which makes them perform just like foliar fertilizers.
The 15-5-10 NPK ratio is good enough for feeding citrus plants with adequate nitrogen as well as potassium. You can, therefore use it for newly potted citrus trees as well as grown ones – both indoors and outdoors.
As is my preference for my fruit-tree gardens, the fertilizer is 100% organic, made with natural ingredients to help produce healthy and safe fruits for healthy lives.
The beauty of this fertilizer is that it feeds the plant all season long. You can use the Miracle-Gro spikes to feed large outdoor citrus trees as well as indoor dwarf citrus trees that are potted.
8. Down To Earth Organic Citrus Fertilizer Mix 6-3-3
- 6-3-3 NPK fertilizer formula.
- OMRI certified 100% organic.
- Added calcium, sulfur, zinc, and iron.
- Contains micronutrients suitable for citrus fruit production.
- Promotes lush foliage, great blooms, and bountiful fruit.
This 6-3-3 NPK organic fertilizer for citrus fruits is one of my favorites because it supplies adequate nitrogen in my orange and lemon gardens.
It scores highly for being an organic fertilizer, yet it also produces quick visible results that last long, thanks to its slow-release nature.
Apart from the NPK nutrients, this Down To Earth Organic Citrus Fertilizer also contains important nutrients such as iron, zinc, sulfur, calcium, and micronutrients that are needed for the production of healthy, flavorful citrus fruits (grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, etc.)
You can use it for both outdoor large citrus trees as well as dwarf potted citrus varieties that you plant indoors.
Meyers lemons love this fertilizer, but be careful not to overfertilize them. You can easily create mold in the pots over the soil, burns, and possibly yellowing of leaves.
Liquid fertilizer for citrus plants
What is the best liquid fertilizer for citrus trees? Southern Ag – 01902 – Citrus Nutritional Spray is a good fertilizer to use. It will help prevent the yellowing of citrus foliage. It contains zinc and other nutrients that help prevent deficiencies that cause weakness and discoloration in plants like lemons, oranges, lime, and tangerines.
Southern Ag Citrus Nutritional Spray Composition:
- Zinc 1.7%
- Magnesium 1.0%
- Iron 1.2%
- Manganese 1.2%
- Sulfur 4.1%.
Organic fertilizer for citrus trees
If you’re growing citrus fruits, you want to use organic fertilizer on your trees. One of the best organic fertilizers for citrus is the 3-5-5 Jobe’s Organics 09226 FBA_B0030EK5JE Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer with Biozome. You can use it on new citrus trees or even on those that are blooming and fruiting.
You can also make your organic fertilizer at home. One option is using organic coffee grounds, which are high in nitrogen content and provide the slightly acidic pH that citrus fruits like.
Simply apply some coffee grounds to the citrus tree pot or container and let it slow-release the nitrogen and feed the citrus tree.
You can make another great organic fertilizer for your citrus tree using the leaves of a comfrey tree. Chop the leaves, flowers, and stems of a comfrey tree and soak them in a jar of water. Put the jar in the sun for a full day for the organic material to ferment and release the nutrients. Strain and pour the water around your citrus tree to feed it.
This recipe produces an organic fertilizer rich in magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which is great mostly for new citrus and lemon trees.
When should citrus trees be fertilized?
To grow healthy citrus trees that produce good fruit, fertilize the trees once every two months when they’re growing actively – usually during spring and summer. During dormancy (fall and winter) spread out the fertilizer application to about once every 3 months because the plant does not need a lot of nutrients at this time.
Try to maintain a regular fertilizer schedule for the citrus trees even when they look healthy and grow just fine to produce fruit of the best quality.
Citrus trees are some of the plants that love coffee grounds and high nitrogen fertilizer. You may want to apply a little number of coffee grounds to potted citrus trees to supplement the high nitrogen demand.
Can I maintain a citrus tree fertilizer schedule when blooming?
Your citrus trees will require adequate fertilizer when blooming and fruiting. At this time, they’re heavy feeders and it is important to fertilize them regularly without increasing the amount of fertilizer when they start blooming.
- Fertilize citrus trees early in spring before they bloom and bear fruit.
- In case you fail to fertilize early in spring, wait until the fruit is fairly big (pea-sized) to apply fertilizer.
Following this schedule will help the trees produce fruit of good quality.