First Aid for Your Trees, Servicing the Greater Tampa Bay Area

How to Plant a Citrus Tree in Tampa

Planting and caring for citrus trees can be challenging and if issues arise, a tree service in Tampa may be needed. Here’s what you need to know about planting citrus trees.

Soil Requirements

Pick a sunny spot to plant the citrus tree – ensure the soil has proper drainage and good runoff to prevent standing water around the tree. Check for proper drainage by digging a 3 feet deep hole and filling it with water which should drain in 24 hours. Citrus trees need soil that is about 6 pH and not over 8 pH, acidic to a little over neutral. Avoid calcareous soil, with calcium carbohydrate, because it causes lime-induced chlorosis.


Clear a 3-foot diameter which should remain free of weeds and grass after the tree is planted. Do not use mulch because the ground will remain moist and the tree needs air circulation at the base to prevent fungal diseases. There are some differences when planting from a citrus pot compared to a container; for example, rolling a citrus pot on the ground will damage the roots.

Planting process

• Dig a 4-6 inch wide and 4 feet deep hole
• Fill hole halfway with water
• Remove the tree from the container (see below for instructions)
• Position in the center of the hole
• Add more soil and water to remove air pockets
• The base should be 1 inch above the ground
• Pack soil slightly and make circular basin about 9 inches from the base

Remove from container

• Roll container gently on the ground and squeeze out the root ball
• Do not let the root ball fall apart
• Slightly spread the circular roots as you’re placing it in the hole

Remove from citrus pot

• Cut container carefully away from the tree
• Shake soil loose gently into the hole
• Move up and down to loosen roots and taproot
• The long taproot should go straight down in the hole


Water young trees three times a week for two weeks and twice a week afterward; however, less watering is required during the rainy season. Spread citrus fertilizer around the drip line once a month in spring and summer. Use a water-soluble foliar spray every six weeks in spring and summer. Trees over three years need less nitrogen and strength is determined by the tree’s age.

Foliar spray application

• Under three years old: 0-20-20
• Over three years old: 10-15-10


• Citrus Canker
• Melanoses
• Greasy spot
• Sooty Mold
• Root rot


• Asian citrus psyllid
• Citrus leafminer
• Orange dog caterpillars
• Citrus Thrips
• Citrus bud mite
• Citrus red mites
• Snails

Call Tree Medics 813-407-9974 today for eco-friendly solutions for tree health care and planting assistance if needed.


Merritt Island by Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos licensed under Creative commons 4

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