Top tips for growing citrus in Perth

Lemons are the easiest citrus to grow.
Lemons are the easiest citrus to grow.

MOST citrus are well suited to the Perth climate and fairly easy to grow, according to the Backyards to Barnyards Wangara team.

Lemons are the easiest, while thin-skinned mandarins are the trickiest.

But while our weather is favourable, our sandy soil is not. Improving soil condition and ensuring trees get the correct amount of water and fertiliser makes a big difference in how successful your trees will be.

The team shared some fun facts for green thumbs and fruit lovers.

Best Varieties to Try

Lemons: Eureka produces a lot of fruit over many months with fewer thorns. Lisbon also yields heavily but has more thorns and only fruits in winter and spring. Meyer is less acidic although does not have a summer crop in Perth.

Oranges: Navelina and Newhall are early varieties cropping in winter. Washington and Atwood are mid season and Late Lane and Chislett are late varieties. Valencia provides sweet fruit through summer.

Mandarins: Imperial and Daisy Bear fruit from May to July, Hickson from July to August, Afourer from August to September and Mystique and Murcott from September to October. Thin skinned varieties such as Imperial, Hickson and Afourer are easier to peel but more susceptible to fruit fly.

Grapefruit: Marsh (white flesh), and Rio Red and Star Ruby (red flesh). Red fleshed varieties are sweeter and have better colour in the north of the state and if grown in Perth need to be left on the tree until at least September to develop.

Lime: The Persian or Tahitian lime is seedless and more cold tolerant then the West Indian.

Top tips for growing citrus

– Look for trees with healthy green growth, no leaf yellowing

– Choose a site protected from strong winds with a sunny aspect

– Fertilise well

– Beware of Mediterranean fruit fly

– Avoid strong sunlight, which can burn fruit