When I am out doing lectures on Citrus, one of the most asked questions is "What do you feed your Citrus"?
This gives me some hope because at least I know they are going to feed them. Some of the stories I have heard about people NOT feeding their trees. Wow! There was a woman that came to me one time when I was doing a Home and Garden show. She was all worried about her Meyer Lemon that was completely yellow. Here was her story. I have a Meyer Lemon that I have had for three years now. It is in a container. It had fruit on it the first year that I had it, nothing ever since. I asked her the normal preliminary questions, watering, sunlight, feeding schedule. Feeding? she asked. I am supposed to feed it?! Like I asked her, How would you feel after not eating for 3 years?
Citrus are heavy Nitrogen feeders. Everything you have ever heard about too much Nitrogen causing more growth, than flowers.....out the window when it comes to Citrus.
ESPECIALLY when grown in containers. Nitrogen leaches out the fastest of all the nutrients.
So, with that being said...my feeding regiment? I will warn you now, Mine is WAY out there and most definitely not in the mainstream.
I use Citrus-Tone made by Espoma, which you can find on AMAZON Espoma CT4 4-Pound Citrus-tone 5-2-6 Plant Food. The directions on the package read, For potted plants, use one teaspoon per 4" of pot diameter.
Double for pots over 12".
Feed every 60 days late winter to fall.
I will be the first to admit, I use a wee bit more than that. I probably use about half as much again as the recommended usage, about every 6-8 weeks.
I discovered this stuff about 3 years ago and swear by it now.
Let's say you can't find Citrus-Tone where you live.
The very next best thing is Holly-Tone, also put out by Espoma. If you can't find that, Miracle-Gro for Acid Loving Plants. Formally called Miracid for you long-time gardeners. Again, I use it every 4 weeks on my container grown Citrus Trees.
For those of you that do get to grow them in the ground. You can also use all of the above products about every 6-8 weeks or so. It depends a lot on your soil type. Sandy soil will need more fertilizing than clay. The leaching effect in action again.
Now, I told you my feeding schedule is not mainstream. You read the above and said to yourself, "That's not too far out there"........ I ain't done yet.
On top of the Citrus-Tone, Holly-Tone and/or Miracid every 6-8 weeks, I usually have some slow release on there. I am not sure it helps a lot, but I figure it doesn't hurt. I usually put the slow release on in Springtime, right after they come out of the greenhouse. Still not far enough out there for you?
I give them a nice shower of Fish Emulsion about once a month. Stinky, but effective.
This whole thing must work. I had the USDA from Florida and the Department of Plant Industries out to inspect my plants this past year after Citrus Greening was discovered in Charleston County. The gentleman from the USDA said that he sees LOTS of Citrus trees on a daily basis, but mine looked exceptionally good for being so far North and in containers. I took this as about as good an honor as I can get.
Here is a picture of one of my trees, you be the judge.
Moral: Feed the Citrus trees and they will feed you!