The 5 Best Fertilizers for Citrus Trees

Not all fertilizers are created equal. The difference between the best fertilizers out there and average fertilizers is drastic. It can mean the difference between healthy sweet fruit and small flavorless fruit

Keep reading below to find the best products that we recommend for you to use to fertilize citrus stress. Below our reviews, we also have a short citrus tree care guide to make sure you are successful!

At A Glance

Here are our most recommended citrus tree fertilizers. Make sure to keep reading below to find individual descriptions of each of them.

Our Top Choices

J R Peters Inc 52524 Jacks Classic No.1.5 20-10-20 Citrus Food Fertilizer
N-P-K: 20-10-20
487 Reviews
Prime Eligible
GreenPinky's Top Pick
Down to Earth Organic Citrus Fertilizer Mix 6-3-3, 5 lb
N-P-K: 6-3-3
983 Reviews
Prime Eligible

What’s So Important About Proper Fertilizer?

Raising a citrus tree is not difficult, but it does take a lot of time. It takes time, patience, and the right gardening tools. 

Citrus trees generally do not bear citrus fruit until they are at least 3 years old. You will want to properly water and fertilize your citrus tree so that it is healthy and has the maximal chance of bearing fruit during the growing season. 

Citrus trees include a whole range of different trees including lemon trees, orange trees, lime grees, and even grapefruit trees.

Without the right type of fertilizer for your tree, your tree may not bear fruit. Furthermore, if it does bear fruit, the fruit may not be as sweet as it could be. 

Choosing the right fertilizer can be difficult because there is so much marketing hype on product labelling these days. Some fertilizers make false claims, which are hard to verify because you will not notice the downstream effects of the fertilizer you choose until months later. 

Different fertilizers are composed of different ingredients and also contain different N-P-K ratios. The fertilizers below are the ones we like the most.

Product Reviews

Down to Earth Organic Citrus Fertilizer Mix

Down to Earth Organic Citrus Fertilizer Mix features a well-crafted blend of nutrients essential to fruit trees. This fertilizer is completely natural and organic and does not include any harmful chemicals, growth stimulants, or synthetic materials. This makes the plant food not only an excellent choice for promoting growth in citrus trees, but it is also environmentally friendly. Gardeners who use Down to Earth fertilizer will discover that their citrus trees are healthier, produce more fruit, and have lusher, greener foliage.

J R Peters Fertilizer

This water soluble fertilizer is designed to help citrus trees flourish. It contains a balanced mix of the nutrients that fruit and citrus trees need the most. In addition, when the fertilizer is watered over the plant, the citrus tree will absorb nutrients through both the leaves and the roots. The micronutrients within the plant food help to create stronger limbs and greener, fuller foliage. Citrus trees treated with J R Peters Citrus Food Fertilizer also tend to produce more flowers and larger, more abundant fruit.

Epsoma Citrus-tone Plant Food

Gardeners can feel great about using Epsoma Citrus-tone Plant Food because it is organic and made from natural ingredients. This formula is designed specifically for fruit, citrus, and nut trees. The plant food contains a balance of essential nutrients as well as living microbes, which help keep the soil nourished and make it easier for trees to receive those nutrients. Epsoma plant food also features a slow-release formula, so citrus trees are fed a continuous supply of nutrients for an extended period of time. Trees treated with Epsoma Citrus-tone Plant Food are healthier all around, which means they can produce larger, more abundant, and more flavorful fruit.

Healthy Citrus Tree

EcoScraps Organic Gardening Plant Food

EcoScraps Organic Gardening Citrus & Avocado Plant Food is specifically designed to suit the nutritional needs of fruit trees. This fertilizer is all natural and organic, and the nutrient mix is crafted to deliver continuous, balanced nutrition. Because it is made from scraps, this fertilizer reduces waste and does not contain any harmful products such as chicken waste. The fertilizer is granulated, so it can be sprinkled on in a single layer for even feeding. Gardeners who use this fertilizer will find that their citrus trees are healthier and stronger. Not only that, but trees will produce larger, healthier fruit that tastes amazing. 

Jobe’s Fruit Fertilizer Spikes

Jobe’s Fruit & Citrus Fertilizer Spikes are designed to deliver high quality nutrients directly to a plant’s roots. These spikes are pre-measured and formulated to enrich fruit trees, so gardeners can insert them near the dripline and rest assured that their plants are being fed. In addition, the spikes are low in odor, aren’t messy, and create much less runoff during rain or watering than other fertilizer types. Fruit trees that have been fed with this fertilizer will have stronger root systems and stronger overall health, which means they will be able to produce larger, juicier fruit in more abundance.

How to Raise Healthy and Fruitful Trees​

Love the idea of growing your own produce and raising your own citrus tree? A squeeze of lime in a soda or a freshly peeled orange truly kickstart the morning and help to make life more interesting.

With the right climate, planning, and fertilization, you will be able to raise your own citrus tree and create your own zesty fresh fruits.

Citrus trees are some of the easiest fruit trees to grow in your own backyard.

Plant in an Area with Plenty of Sun

Citrus trees are subtropical trees, and as such, they love sunshine. At least six hours of direct sun (preferably 8 hours) is recommended for maximum fruiting.

They also grow better in warm areas, so if you are growing it in a slightly cooler climate, plant it near a wall that receives plenty of sun can be helpful as the heat that radiates off the wall will help to keep the plant warm. If you are raising your citrus tree in a very cold climate then you will want to make to raise it in a pot so you can bring it indoors during the winter – make sure that your tree does not sit in freezing conditions.

Well-Draining Soil

Make sure that the soil that you plant your citrus tree in is well-draining. If water is left to pool in the root zone, your citrus tree will quickly develop root-level diseases that will greatly set you back.

One way you can check this is to dig a hole as if you were going to plant your citrus tree and fill it with water. If the water does not drain in half an hour, then you will want to find a new place to plant your tree as this soil does not drain fast enough.

Watering Schedule

When you first plant your tree, you will want to regularly water your plant. Wait to make sure the soil is dried before watering again. As your tree ages, you will want less frequent watering, but make sure when you do water, it is deep watering so it penetrates into all the deeper root levels.

Be careful not to overwater as this tends to be the most common mistake of new owners. If your trees’ leaves are yellowing it may indicate either lack of fertilizer OR overwater (amongst other issues such as pest infestation).

Fertilization and N-P-K Ratio

Fertilize roughly every 3-4 months. Apply the fertilizer around the tree and not simply next to the trunk as most of the roots will grow farther away from the trunk. Slow release fertilizers work well.

Ideally a fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of about 2-1-1 or 3-1-1 is preferred. Citrus trees rely on nitrogen to flourish.


Citrus trees do not rely on pruning to fruit well. That being said, you will want to prune the tree when it is immature to open up the center of the tree (to encourage air flow and more sunlight to hit all areas of the tree) and also to create a sort of bushiness so that it grow wide rather than tall. If possible, try to prune your tree so that there are about four main branches.

Additional Tips

Check out this Youtube video (not created by GreenPinky) for some additional tips in regards to how to raise a citrus tree

Bottom Line

Again, I recommend buying Down to Earth’s Citrus Mix, as it demonstrates the best results. The other fertilizers listed above also work well though. Use the reviews above along with the price and reviews on Amazon to figure out the fertilizer that best suits your needs. 

Please help share our content!

Happy Planting!

About the author: Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at TheGreenPinky. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.

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