The Best Time to Plant Citrus Trees

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Citrus trees are both attractive and practical.
Citrus trees are both attractive and practical. (Image: orange tree in the garden image by Daria Miroshnikova from Fotolia.com)

A backyard citrus tree provides a heavenly scent, whether when in bloom or through its aromatic, glossy leaves. Most citrus trees provide gradually ripening fruit over a long season. However, citrus trees are frost-tender; plant them at the right time for the best results.

Planting Time

The Texas Cooperative Extension states that the best time to plant citrus trees is in January or February. This allows the tree to begin rooting before higher temperatures arrive. Be sure to offer winter protection when the forecast warns of frosts.

Some cultivars are hardier than others; research varieties carefully.
Some cultivars are hardier than others; research varieties carefully. (Image: lemon tree image by Dennis Carrigan from Fotolia.com)

Seeds

Plant seeds in the springtime, after the average last frost date. Be aware that many seeds are hybrids and will not sprout true to the parent tree, if at all. Fruit from seed-grown trees is often small and seedy. Nurseries usually graft trees, as seedlings take years to produce fruit.

Citrus trees grown from seed are often hardier than their parent tree.
Citrus trees grown from seed are often hardier than their parent tree. (Image: Seeds image by Beth Porter from Fotolia.com)

Seasonal Changes

Consider the location's exposure throughout the year. A low, sunny area of the yard may be ideal in summer, but cold air pools in low pockets of the landscape and may damage the tree in winter. Choose southern exposures or plant trees near heat-retaining walls in borderline zones.

Frost damages citrus trees, while a freeze may kill them.
Frost damages citrus trees, while a freeze may kill them. (Image: Frost image by Adrian Coppinger from Fotolia.com)

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