Citrus limon and sinensis

Citrus species

Bonsai care and maintenance

The different Citrus species are subtropical trees native to China. They produce fragrant white flowers and decorative yellow or orange fruit. The size of the fruit depends on the cultivar. Citrus trees must be protected from temperatures below 10° C / 50° F.

Citrus Bonsai video
SELECTING TREE SPECIES

Citrus Bonsai Care guidelines

Placement

Citrus trees love heat and sun. In a warm climate, Citrus plants can be kept outside all the year round. In temperate climates, it should be placed in full sun from May to September. From autumn until spring the tree must be placed in the house or in a greenhouse. If it is kept in a warm room in winter, extra grow lights might be necessary.

Watering

The Citrus needs regular watering in summer, but tolerates temporary dryness. It does not tolerate constantly wet soil. If the soil is well-draining, the Citrus tree must be watered thoroughly as soon as the soil surface becomes dry. In winter it needs less water. Citrus plants (Orange bonsai as well as Lemon bonsai) prefer lime-free water. Continue reading about watering Bonsai trees.

Watering

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Fertilizing

Use a special liquid fertilizer for Citrus plants every weeks from spring to autumn and once a month in winter, regarding the dosing instruction.

Pruning and wiring

New shoots are cut back leaving two leaves after four leaves have developed. Regular pruning is important in order to achieve some ramification. Wiring is possible throughout the year. Take good care that the wires don't cut into the bark. Guy-wires may be a better choice in some cases for shaping the trees. Continue reading about pruning Bonsai trees.

Repotting

Repot every two or three years in spring with root-pruning. The Citrus prefers a slightly acid soil mix, so add some peat for example. Continue reading about repotting Bonsai trees.

Propagation

The Citrus tree can be propagated from seeds and cuttings and air-layering is also possible.

Pests and diseases

Citrus trees are often attacked by spider mites, scale, mealy bugs, leaf-miner fly and vine weevils, especially if they are placed in a warm place with insufficient light. Use a specific pesticide and try to improve your tree's growing conditions. For more detailed information on these techniques, check out our Bonsai tree care section.

Citrus Bonsai
Citrus Bonsai by Peter Tea (Citrus limon / Citrus sinensis, Orange Bonsai)

General information about the Lemon and Orange Bonsai tree

The different Citrus species are subtropical trees native to China but they are planted in many countries with warm climates for their delicious fruits and as ornamental plants. Citrus trees are evergreen and have dark green, shiny leaves with little wing-like appendages on the leave stalks. Some species have thorns. Citrus plants produce fragrant white flowers and decorative yellow or orange fruit. The size of the fruit depends on the cultivar. The species and cultivars with small fruit and small leaves are preferred for bonsai. Especially popular are the Bonsai orange tree and the Bonsai lemon tree. Citrus trees must be protected from temperatures below 10° C / 50° F. If you need help identifying your tree, take a look at our Bonsai tree identification guide.

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Fertilizing

Fertilizing

Learn how to fertilize your tree

Fertilizing Bonsai
Tree species

Tree species

Find species-specific information on your tree

Popular tree species
Repotting

Repotting

How to repot your tree

Repotting Bonsai