A Taste of the Tropics: Citrus Trees

Fresh citruses. Oranges, lemons and limes. Top view

Growing your own citrus trees right here in the UK is surprisingly easy. With just a little protection from frost over winter, they’ll add a tropical feel to gardens with fruit and fragrance.

Oranges, Lemons & Limes

A hand holding two ripening lemons on a lemon tree

Orange and lemon trees are hardier than many people think, capable of withstanding short periods down to -5 degrees celsius! With a little protection from frost, Limes will too flourish in the garden. With their Mediterranean appeal, they make an attractive addition to gardens, conservatories, summer houses and the like. Their sweetly scented flowers fill the air with a heavenly fragrance, followed by large swelling fruits.

Packed full of vitamin C, they’re deliciously juicy and good for you too!  They smell simply divine and the sweetly perfumed white flowers that appear all-year-round contrast beautifully against the deep-green fragrant foliage.


Delicious and juicy mandarins on a tree with beautiful green foliage.

A wonderful all-rounder, Mandarin’s are traditionally stashed away in the bottom of stocking at Christmas time. However, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t enjoy them all year round! Slightly smaller and somewhat ‘squashed’ in shape compared to a normal orange, Mandarins typically have a think and loose peel. This is what makes them the top choice for ‘easy peel’ varieties in the supermarkets. The bright orange peel houses juicy, fleshy segments of fruit, packed full of vitamin C.

Tasty eaten straight from the tree, or whipped up in summer fruit salads, flans and desserts, or even juiced. Growing your own will save you those pennies that would usually be spent in the supermarket. Not only that, this superb tree will produce highly fragrant white blossom in late spring through to early summer. Preceding the fruits that are ready to pick from October each year. Plant in a pot and keep in a sunny, sheltered position, protected from frost in the winter.

Blood Orange

A juicy blood orange cut in half and into wedges on a wooden board.

A colourful twist on your average orange. The ‘Blood Orange’ is not only one of THE tastiest oranges around, with its tangy, juicy sweetness. The deep-red streaked flesh is packed absolutely full of anti-oxidants. Though the name sounds slightly gruesome, it simply refers to the vivid, crimson flesh that contains anthocyanin pigment. Similar to blueberries and raspberries with their richly coloured flesh.

Blood Oranges are not only jam-packed full of nutritional value, with high vitamin C and fibre content in particular. They are also really not as difficult to grow as you may think. As long as you keep your plant grown in a pot in a warm and sunny position and protect it from the cooler weather in the winter. You will be able to pick your very own fruits from October each year.


three grapefruits hanging from a tree below the green foliage.

A firm favourite whizzed into a juice, grapefruits make a delightfully refreshing drink or snack but just as much of a beautiful ornamental tree. With stunning, fragrant white flowers and glossy evergreen foliage. In fact, even the foliage of the grapefruit exudes a pleasant scent!

Growing to almost 2m tall, this tree will grow into an exotic centrepiece on your patio. They should be contained to a pot, as this ensures it doesn’t take over any space. Perfect for placing on a sunny patio and enjoying as that citrus fragrance wafts in the warm summer breeze. The yellow globe-shaped fruits are guaranteed to be much juicier and sweeter than any bought in supermarket stores and there really is nothing like enjoying the fruits of your own labour!

Growing Citrus…

An example of frost protection on a tree that is planted in the ground so that it cam stay outdoors in the winter.

Position your citrus in a sheltered sunny spot that receives plenty of direct sunlight if growing outside. Alternatively, grow within a pot indoors in a light airy room. Outdoors your citrus will benefit from a cosy fleece cover during winter to protect it from the freezing temperatures. Our favoured method is to plant in a 30-litre pot allowing you to enjoy your citrus outdoors over the summer and bring it indoors in winter when the fruits develop.

Citrus like acidic soil, so on planting it is worthwhile adding ericaceous compost to increase acidity. Also, mix a handful of Blood Fish and Bone to the soil when returning. Citrus trees are hungry plants and over the winter period will benefit from a balanced liquid feed. This will help to encourage flower and fruit development. We recommend our Blooming Fast Citrus Feed that comes in a 150g resealable tub and with a scoop to ensure the correct measurement.

For more information on caring for your citrus trees, Click Here.