How to Grow Grapefruit? Growing a grapefruit tree may be difficult for the typical gardener, but it is not impossible. Providing plants with appropriate growing conditions is usually the key to successful gardening.
Grapefruit requires relatively warm conditions both day and night in order to grow effectively. This means growing them in full sun in temperate or tropical-like climates — preferably in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 and up, though some success can be had in zones 7 and 8 with proper care. Grapefruit trees like well-draining, loamy soil as well.
How to Grow Grapefruit?
1. Planting Grapefruit Tree
Always have the planting place ready beforehand, enriching the soil if necessary. It is also critical to select an appropriate place. For example, when planting a grapefruit tree, the southernmost side of the house not only receives the most sun but also gives the best winter protection. Keep the tree at least 12 feet (4 meters) away from buildings, walks, driveways, and other structures. This will allow for suitable expansion.
Grapefruit trees can be planted in either spring or fall, depending on where you live and what works best for you, and the weather in your location. Keep in mind that spring-planted trees must deal with the heat of summer, whereas fall-planted trees must deal with the challenges of very cold winters.
Make the planting hole large enough to accommodate the roots. Backfill halfway with soil after inserting the tree in the hole, firmly pressing down to squeeze out any air bubbles. The soil should then be watered and allowed to settle before being backfilled with the remaining soil. Keep the dirt level with the surrounding area or mound it slightly. Any lower setting will result in standing water and rotting. Also, make sure the bud union is above the earth.
2. Care for Grapefruit Trees to Grow Grapefruit
Grapefruit tree care, while basic, is necessary to preserve the tree’s general health and productivity. For the first few weeks after planting, water every few days. Then, once a week, begin watering deeply, unless during dry months when additional water may be required. Light fertilizer can also be used during irrigation every four to six weeks. Pruning your tree should only be done to remove old, weakened, or dead limbs.
In places prone to frost or freezing, winter protection may be required. Although many people love to mulch around the tree, it is best to allow at least a foot (31 cm.) of space between the trunk and the mulch to avoid root rot. In most cases, blankets, tarps, or burlap are sufficient winter protection.
3. Harvesting Grapefruit
Harvesting is often done in the fall. The fruits are ready to pick when they have turned golden or gold in hue. However, the longer the fruit remains on the tree, the larger and sweeter it becomes. Overripe fruit that appears lumpy should be thrown.
Keep in mind that it will take at least three years for newly planted grapefruit trees to produce quality fruit. Any fruit set in the first or second years should be destroyed so that all of its energy can be directed toward growth.
Also Read: How to Grow Orange Trees in Pots?