What Are The Best Fertilizers For Citrus Trees? – A Quick Guide

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a lemon tree in your yard? It may sound fancy but it’s entirely possible. 

Citrus trees are subtropical trees that thrive in warm areas in the US. However, some species of citrus are also cold-hardy.

As much as they need the ideal temperature and irrigation, citrus trees also need a little boost to help them produce juicy fruits. 

They must be in tip-top shape to withstand the hurdles in tree development like drought tolerance, nutrient deficiencies, and pest resistance. 

In this post, we picked out the 10 best fertilizers for citrus to save you from choice paralysis or the struggle of choosing something from a ton of options. 

We will provide you with a sneak peek of what’s in store for you from our top picks in the market. 

Let’s start!

(You could use the table of contents below to jump to the sections that are most important to you.)

Table Of Contents


10 Best Fertilizers For Citrus Trees – Reviews & Top Picks (2021)

1. Jobe’s Organics Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes

Jobe's Organics Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes Review

If you have a lemon tree or any citrus trees in containers, Jobe’s Organics Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes is one of the best options for you. Citrus trees grown in pots require more nutrients from the soil, unlike inground citrus trees. 

Jobe’s fertilizer spikes are specially formulated with a pre-measured nutrient formula ensuring a consistent release of nutrients for container-grown fruit trees.

It also contains BIozome technology that contains mycorrhizae and archaea that helps improve the soil condition and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.

This fertilizer has a 3-5-5 NPK ratio which stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium respectively. It contains more phosphorus and potassium to boost the bloom and fruit production of your citrus trees, resulting in a good and bountiful harvest.

Aside from citrus trees, you can also use this fertilizer for the following plants:

  • Avocado 
  • Apples
  • Pear
  • Cheery
  • Plum
  • Peach
  • All nut trees

Jobe’s fertilizers are one of the popular organic fertilizers in the market. They take pride in not using any synthetic materials in their products. They are safe for use around kids and pets and environment-friendly. 

The only downside of this fertilizer is its organic smell that may attract your pets to dig out the spikes and eat them. You may also want to consider its smell if you want to apply it to your indoor plants.

Some gardeners find the smell annoying but some are used to it. It’s mostly based on your preferences since your citrus plants will love them otherwise.

Pros

  • Organic fertilizer
  • Best for container-grown citrus trees
  • OMRI-listed
  • Environment-friendly
  • Safe for use around kids and pets
  • Contains BIOzome to boost soil health
  • Easy-to-use and no mixing required
  • Resealable packaging
  • Ensures consistent release of nutrients without runoff or fertilizer burns

Cons

  • Organic odor(manure)
  • The smell can attract pets into your garden
  • Only applicable to potted citrus and fruits trees

2. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Citrus, Avocado, Mango Plant Food

Miracle-Gro Shake 'n Feed® Citrus, Avocado, Mango Plant Food Review

`Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed® Citrus, Avocado, Mango Plant Food is another gardener’s favorite as their easy-to-use formula for citrus trees. It contains extra nutrients such as magnesium, sulfur, and iron to improve the overall health of your citrus plants. 

It is a slow-release fertilizer that can feed your citrus trees for up to three months. This fertilizer helps the microbes in the soil break down the organic matter and make them easily available for the roots to absorb.

Another good thing about the slow-release formula is it prevents fertilizer runoffs and the plant becomes more self-sustaining for 90 days. 

Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed for Citrus trees is a synthetic fertilizer with an 8-2-10 NPK ratio. It also contains compost and is derived from the following ingredients:

  • Polymer-coated ammonium nitrate
  • Ammonium phosphate
  • Potassium sulfate
  • Calcium phosphate
  • Urea
  • Dolomitic limestone
  • Zinc oxide
  • Zinc sulfate
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Manganese oxide
  • Manganese sulfate
  • Iron oxide
  • Ferrous sulfate
  • Copper oxide
  • Copper sulfate

Most gardeners like this fertilizer since it has no smell that is usually found in most organic fertilizers. It also comes with resealable packaging which makes it convenient to store. 

However, since this fertilizer is synthetic, it may not be safe to use around kids and pets.

Pros

  • No stinky smell
  • No mixing required
  • Feeds your citrus trees consistently for 3 months
  • Contains added nutrients like magnesium, sulfur, and compost
  • Resealable packaging
  • Easy-to-use
  • Good for both inground and container citrus tree

Cons

  • Synthetic fertilizer
  • It may not be safe for use around kids and pets

3. Down to Earth Organic Citrus Fertilizer Mix

Down to Earth Organic Citrus Fertilizer Mix Review

Down to Earth Organic Citrus Fertilizer Mix is one of the organic gardener’s choices for citrus trees. It is an affordable alternative to mainstream fertilizers like Miracle-Gro. Its formula is enhanced with additional nutrients like calcium, sulfur, zinc, and iron. 

This fertilizer has a 6-3-3 NPK ratio and has been known as the best fertilizer for most varieties of lemon. Aside from citrus trees, it can also be applicable for fruit trees, vines, and ornamentals.

It is derived from organic materials such as:

  • Feather meal
  • Fishbone meal
  • Alfalfa meal
  • Greensand
  • Langbeinite
  • Basalt
  • Sulfate of potash
  • Zinc sulfate
  • Kelp meal

This fertilizer is OMRI-listed and can be used in home gardens and indoor and outdoor containers. However, it’s not in resealable packaging and is only placed in a box.

If you have pets and curious kids at home, it’s best to store them in a location out of their reach. 

Since it’s organic, you can safely use it around kids and pets. It is also environment-friendly and doesn’t pose any risk to the environment.

However, you should have the common smell that you can find in most organic fertilizers. Its organic smell may also attract other animals in your garden and may not be suitable for indoor citrus trees.

Pros

  • Organic fertilizer
  • OMRI-listed
  • Safe for use around kids and pets
  • Affordable
  • Environment-friendly
  • Works best with lemons

Cons

  • Organic odor
  • The smell may attract animals into your garden
  • Non-resealable packaging

4. Espoma Citrus-tone Plant Food

 Espoma Citrus-tone Plant Food Review

Espoma Citrus-tone Plant Food is an organic fertilizer formulated for feeding citrus and avocado trees. It aids trees in producing abundant blooms and quality fruits. It is enhanced with a Bio-tone formula that contains living microbes to speed up the breakdown of nutrients in the soil. 

This fertilizer has a 5-2-6 NPK ratio that is suitable not only for citrus trees but also for other fruit and nut trees. It is also packed with other essential nutrients that help with a healthy tree development, such as:

  • Calcium (5.0%)
  • Magnesium (0.5%)
  • Sulfur (1.0%)
  • Humic acid from Leonardite (1.0%)

If you are a vegan gardener, this fertilizer might not be suitable for you as it contains animal manure. The manufacturer claims that this fertilizer doesn’t contain any fillers or sludges and is fully made with organic materials. It is derived from:

  • Feather meal
  • Poultry manure
  • Bone meal
  • Alfalfa meal
  • Greensand
  • Sulfate of potash
  • Sulfate of potash magnesia

Many organic gardeners swear by the immediate results they experienced from Espoma Citrus-Tone. Some even see new fruits and blooms after two to three days. 

It is also safe for use around kids and pets. However, if you have a sensitive sense of smell, it may not be suitable for indoor use. Your pets may also try to eat it due to its strong organic odor.

Pros

  • Organic fertilizer
  • Kid and pet-friendly
  • Provides immediate results in terms of fruits and blooms
  • Contains extra nutrients such as magnesium, sulfur, and calcium
  • No fillers, sludges, and other synthetic materials
  • Has a resealable packaging

Cons

  • Has an organic odor
  • Not suitable for use in indoor gardening and may attract pets due to its smell

5. JR Peters Inc. Jacks Classics Citrus Food Fertilizer

Jacks Classics Citrus Food Fertilizer Review

Jacks Classics Citrus Food Fertilizer is a water-soluble fertilizer that is starting to be at par with the mainstream fertilizers like Jobe’s. Though it’s a synthetic fertilizer, it is packed with micronutrients that are often not found in other fertilizers. 

It is a 20-10-20 NPK fertilizer that is formulated to provide the needs of tropical fruiting plants. Its higher nutrient ratio makes it a go-to solution for gardeners when it comes to nutrient deficiency in citrus trees. 

This fertilizer helps the plants recover from extreme stress or shock due to pest infestation and other environmental factors. Thanks to the extra nutrients below many lemon trees were revived and became healthy again:

  • Magnesium (1.0%)
  • Sulfur (4.9%)
  • Boron (0.02%)
  • Copper (0.05%)
  • Iron (0.15%)
  • Manganese (0.075%)
  • Molybdenum (0.0009%)
  • Zinc (0.05%)

It contains boron that is essential in the production of new plant cells. It is also a nutrient that aids in pollination and fruit and seed formation of citrus trees. It also contains molybdenum which is a trace mineral that converts toxic and inorganic soil components into organic food for your plants. 

Though this fertilizer has been the helpline of many gardeners in reviving their citrus trees, it is still a synthetic fertilizer. It is derived from:

  • Urea
  • Potassium nitrate
  • Potassium sulfate
  • Monoammonium phosphate
  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Iron EDTA, EDDHA, DTPA
  • Zinc EDTA
  • Copper EDTA
  • Manganese EDTA
  • Boric acid
  • Ammonium molybdate

This has no strong odor compared to organic fertilizers which makes it a suitable fertilizer for indoor citrus trees. However, it might not be safe for use around kids and pets.

Pros

  • Contains a lot of added nutrients compared to other fertilizers
  • Has a higher NPK ratio that helps treat and revive severe nutrient-deficient citrus trees
  • Its water-soluble formulation helps citrus trees absorb nutrients faster
  • Resealable tub
  • No strong organic odor

Cons

  • Synthetic fertilizer
  • Not safe for use around kids and pets

6. Happy Frog Citrus and Avocado Organic Plant Fertilizer

Happy Frog Citrus and Avocado Organic Plant Fertilizer Review

Foxfarm is one of the least known fertilizers for citrus trees. Though it doesn’t share the limelight, it’s probably one of the leading organic fertilizers in the market. The family-owned manufacturer takes a unique approach by adding marine-based nutrients to their fertilizers. 

Happy Frog Citrus and Avocado Organic Plant Fertilizer is an organic fertilizer specially formulated for feeding citrus and avocado trees, It is fortified with active soil microbes to help break down the organic nutrients in the soil.

This fertilizer is derived from:

  • Feather meal
  • Alfalfa meal
  • Fishbone meal
  • Sulfate of potash magnesia
  • Fish meal
  • Rock phosphate
  • Basalt
  • Kelp meal

This fertilizer’s formula is fortified with sulfur(3.0%), calcium (3.5%), and magnesium (0.50%). It also contains mycorrhizal fungi that help increase your plant’s root efficiency in absorbing water and nutrients from the soil. 

It is a 7-3-3 NPK fertilizer that also contains sulfur. Sulfur aids in the production of plant proteins. It is among the secondary nutrients needed by plants along with magnesium and calcium. The formula is intended to slowly release the nutrients into the soil to prevent runoff and ensure consistent plant feeding. 

Many gardeners praise FoxFarm’s Citrus Fertilizer since they see immediate improvement on their citrus trees in less than a week.

Though it’s an organic fertilizer, some gardeners like its subtle organic odor more than other organic fertilizers.

However, some sensitive citrus tree growers notice the fishy smell since it is derived from fishbone and fish meal.

Since this is an organic fertilizer, it is safe for use around kids and pets. Plus, it’s also environmentally-friendly.

Pros

  • A slow-release organic fertilizer
  • OMRI-listed
  • Contains essential secondary nutrients
  • Fortified with mycorrhizal fungi

Cons

  • Has a bit of organic odor due to its fish contents

7. EarthPods Premium Fruit & Citrus Plant Food

EarthPods Premium Fruit & Citrus Plant Food Review

EarthPods Premium Fruit & Citrus Plant Food is a slow-release fertilizer that is perfect for gardeners who are looking for an organic fertilizer with a tolerable smell. It contains 70 trace elements, minerals, and humates that can boost the leaf, flower, and root growth of your citrus trees, 

It is a 0.2-0.2-0.4 NPK fertilizer that is formulated to replicate the rich soil that is commonly found in forests. It is fortified with humic and fulvic acid and beneficial soil microbes to build your plant’s resistance against transplant shock, pest infestation, plant diseases, and drought. You can use this fertilizer for the following plants:

  • Kumquat
  • Dwarf Meyer lemon tree
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Avocado
  • Banana 
  • Tomato
  • Pepper
  • Eggplant
  • Potted raspberry
  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Strawberry

Aside from its no-smell formula, you can also use it to nourish plants that are grown in hydroponic coir. It is also vegan-friendly since it has no urea added. It is one of the premium quality organic fertilizers for citrus trees that lives up to its claims in the market. 

The only downside of this fertilizer is it is more expensive than other fertilizers. However, many gardeners have proven that it’s worth the price. Since it has no smell, you can freely use it in any part of your house. It is also safe for use around kids and pets. 

It is an environment-friendly fertilizer that even its packaging is made of biodegradable materials. Talk about ultimate nature care!

Pros

  • Top-tier organic fertilizer
  • No mixing required
  • Environment-friendly
  • Easy-to-use
  • Good for vegan gardening(no urea)
  • Safe for use around kids and pets
  • No organic odor
  • Can be used for hydroponic coir gardening

Cons

  • A bit pricey

8. Nelson Citrus Fruit and Avocado Tree Plant Food

Nelson Citrus Fruit and Avocado Tree Plant Food Review

If you want to discover a new fertilizer brand, you might be impressed with Nelson’s Citrus and Avocado Plant Food. It’s a slow-release fertilizer built with a combination of organic and non-organic materials to provide the optimal nourishment for your plants. It contains:

  • Potassium nitrate
  • Ureaform mono ammonium phosphate
  • Bone meal
  • Blood meal
  • Sulfur
  • Potassium of sulfate
  • Magnesium
  • Ferrous sulfate
  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Calcium sulfate
  • Zinc sulfate
  • Manganese sulfate
  • Copper sulfate
  • Iron oxysulfate

This fertilizer contains a 12-10-10 NPK ratio. It is also formulated with added nutrients such as calcium, potassium, zinc, and iron. Calcium helps the trunks and limbs of fruit and nut trees grow bigger. 

Potassium, on the other hand, helps strengthen fruit trees to withstand colder weather. Zinc and iron improve the overall plant health contributing to lush foliage and healthy fruit formation.

This fertilizer is applicable for the following plants:

  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Avocado
  • Lime
  • Kumquat
  • Grapefruit
  • Persimmon
  • Kiwi
  • Papaya
  • Fig
  • Peach
  • Plum
  • Pear
  • Apple
  • Pecans
  • grapes

Gardeners love this fertilizer since it doesn’t have a strong smell. Therefore, it makes a suitable fertilizer for both indoor and outdoor citrus trees. 

If you are sensitive to the smell of organic fertilizers, Nelson’s Citrus Plant Food is a good choice for you. Plus, your pets won’t go crazy by its smell too. So, you don’t have to put up fences for your plants. 

It also comes in a ready-to-use form so you no longer need to mix the fertilizer and since it is a synthetic fertilizer, you will need to keep an eye on your curious pets and kids.

Pros

  • Formulated with the combination of synthetic and organic materials
  • No strong odor
  • Good for indoor and outdoor citrus trees
  • Loaded with extra nutrients like zinc, copper, magnesium, calcium, and iron.

Cons

  • Synthetic fertilizer
  • Not safe for use around kids and pets

9. Dr. Earth Organic 9 Fruit Tree Fertilizer 

Dr. Earth Organic 9 Fruit Tree Fertilizer Review

Our list will never be complete without the purest organic fertilizer in the market. Dr. Earth is one of the organic gardener’s holy grails when it comes to feeding their citrus trees and other plants. It is formulated with premium food-grade ingredients to promote sustainability and environment-friendly ways to grow your plants and trees. 

It has a 5-5-2 NPK ratio and is formulated with TruBiotic that contains beneficial microbes such as ecto and endo mycorrhizae.

These microbes help improve drought tolerance and enhance nutrient absorption of your plants. Therefore, it contributes to healthy root and fruit development. Of the following plants:

  • Citrus trees
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • All nut trees
  • All fruit trees
  • All berries
  • Grapes
  • All vines

Dr. Earth is proud of its fertilizer for being free from GMO infestation and doesn’t contain any unclean organic material like chicken manure or sewage sludge.

This fertilizer is formulated with the following premium ingredients:

  • Feather meal
  • Alaskan fish bone meal
  • Clean cottonseed meal
  • Norwegian coldwater kelp meal
  • Valley-grown alfalfa meal
  • Colloidal soft rock phosphate
  • Potassium sulfate
  • Concentrated seaweed extract

One of the common mistakes of beginner gardeners about the mixing instruction of this fertilizer. It should be mixed first with soil before applying it to your plants.

Since it is free from any harsh chemicals, It is safe to use around kids and pets. It is also one of the most environment-friendly fertilizers on the market. 

However, it has a strong organic odor that some gardeners find annoying. Dogs are also attracted to its smell due to the food-grade materials used for the fertilizer. The smell also discourages some gardeners from using this fertilizer for their indoor plants.

Pros

  • Organic fertilizer
  • No GMO, chicken manure, and sewage sludge
  • OMRI-listed
  • Safe for use around kids and pets
  • Environment-friendly
  • Uses premium organic ingredients

Cons

  • Has strong organic odor
  • The odor attracts dogs and makes it not suitable for indoor citrus trees
  • A bit pricey

10. Southern Ag Citrus Nutritional Spray

Southern Ag Citrus Nutritional Spray Review

If you are looking for a fertilizer that can save your citrus trees from the verge of dying, Southern Ag Citrus Nutritional Spray can help bring them back to life.

Though Southern Ag is known in the field of insecticides, their nutritional sprays are also one for the books. It is a highly concentrated fertilizer and a few tablespoons can go a long way.  

Unlike other fertilizers, it doesn’t contain the traditional NPK ratio. Instead, it contains trace minerals and the secondary nutrients needed by plants to grow healthy leaves and fruits in citrus trees. It is formulated with:

  • Zinc (1.7%)
  • Iron (1.2%)
  • Manganese (1.2%)
  • Magnesium (1.0%)
  • Sulfur (4.1%)

Most gardeners love this fertilizer since it helps their citrus trees survive from extreme nutritional deficiency, transplant shock, and heavy pest infestations recovery. It is also a preventive spray to prevent your plants from having yellowing leaves. 

The manufacturer recommends mixing 1 tablespoon of this nutritional concentrate with 1 gallon of water for usual feeding. On the other hand, you’ll need two tablespoons of this concentrate for treating nutritional deficiencies in your citrus trees. 

This nutritional spray has a synthetic formulation and can heavily stain masonry, concrete, and painted surfaces. You also need to use safety equipment as it can cause skin irritation and is also highly toxic when inhaled. For these reasons, it is also not good for nourishing indoor citrus trees. 

You should also not use this nutritional spray simultaneously with other fertilizers, insecticides, and fungicides. Due to the nature of this fertilizer, it is not safe to use it around kids and pets.

Pros

  • Best for sick citrus trees
  • Can help revive dying citrus trees
  • Highly-concentrated a little goes a long way

Cons

  • Synthetic fertilizer
  • Not safe for use around kids and pets
  • Can stain masonry, concrete, and painted surfaces
  • Requires safety equipment upon application

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

When is the best time to fertilize citrus trees?

There are different fertilizing schedules for young citrus trees and mature or fruit-bearing citrus trees. However, the idea is to fertilize them during the dormancy period so they can have the energy and nutrients they need for the spring season. 

You should start fertilizing young citrus trees from January to June or July. If your citrus trees are in their second year, you can fertilize them from January until September. As the trees start to mature and bear fruits, you can now lessen the application times and feed them in January, mid-April, and September.

Are coffee grounds good for citrus trees?

Coffee grounds are good for citrus trees as they provide nitrogen and the acidity that wants from the soil. The ideal soil PH level for citrus trees is between 6.0 to 7.0. Check the soil PH of your citrus trees using a soil PH meter to avoid going overboard in using coffee grounds.

Can you over-fertilize citrus trees?

Yes. Citrus can die from too much nitrogen in the soil due to over-fertilization. Excessive nutrients in the soil can burn the roots and eventually burn the leaves of your citrus trees.

Final Thoughts

Every gardener has specific preferences in fertilizers based on their formulation, toxicity, and effectiveness in nourishing plants. 

Our best pick for the best organic citrus tree fertilizers from our list is EarthPods Premium Fruit & Citrus Plant Food. It contains premium organic materials and doesn’t have the usual strong odor that comes from organic fertilizers.

For vegan gardeners, we recommend Espoma Citrus-Tone as it doesn’t contain any animal contents. 

For treating severely nutrient deficient citrus trees, you can count on the help of Southern Ag Citrus Nutritional Spray. Though it doesn’t contain the usual NPK its main focus is to help plants recover from any plant stresses. 

We hope that you can finally find the best fertilizers for your citrus trees from this list. Let us know in the comments what fertilizer helped your citrus trees perk up and gave you the most bountiful harvest ever. 

Also, please don’t forget to share this post with your friends and let them enjoy the fun of having healthy and citrus trees full of fruits. 

About Jeanne Keith F.

Jeanne Felipe is a content creator of anything that can make this world a better place. She is a self-improvement junkie and a nature lover at heart. She loves to help people through her writing, either finding the right tools or doing the right thing to accomplish their goals. Quotes, sprouting plants, and cute dogs make her feel ecstatic. In her free time, she loves tending her garden and cooking Chinese and Mexican dishes. Connect her on Linkedin.

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