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UF/IFAS Home Citrus

UF/IFAS Home Citrus


Planting a citrus tree properly is the first step in establishing good growth structure for the plant. The best time to plant a citrus tree in Florida is July through October.

Prepping the space

Select a site that has partial to full sun. If possible, give the tree some wind protection via fence or wall. Clear the site of any weeds or other plant material.  Make sure that you have sufficient space to plant a tree. Citrus trees need about six feet between it and another tree or plant.

Gathering materials

Gather all of your needed materials before you start to plant. You will need:

  • Shovel
  • Clippers
  • Gloves
  • Water hose
  • Measuring tape
  • Fertilizer

Dig a Hole

  • Dig hole 1.5 to 2 times larger than root ball of citrus tree.
  • Measure distance between trees and from buildings.
  • Minimum distance should be 6 feet.

Loosen root ball/Insert tree

  • Keep the top of the root ball even with the existing soil line.
  • May need to clip large, matted roots or circling roots to promote outward growth.

Fill in soil around roots

  • Using fingers, not palm or foot, to gently pack soil around root ball to compress air pockets.
  • Using hands, create berm around trunk
  • Wet at least the first 3 inches of soil.
  • If air holes form, fill in with more soil.
  • Water 2-3 times per week for approximately 4 weeks.

 Create berm and water


  • Follow label instructions for amount.
  • Spread evenly around trunk.
  • Do not place directly next to tree trunk.

Add mulch (optional)

  • Add 3-4 inches thick outside of berm.
  • Once tree is established, mulch can be placed in the berm.
  • Do not pack or mound around base of the tree

How to Plant a Citrus Tree  (PDF)