Citrus, Horticulture

Major Citrus Growing Areas & Varieties in Pakistan

All the improved varieties are propagated by means of budding on rough lemons or sour orange. Rootstocks are generally grown through seed, T budding/T grafting are the usual method of citrus cultivars propagation. Budding may be done during spring (Feb-March) and autumn (August-October) when bark slip freely from both scion and stock. Bud should be selected from mature wood of productive and healthy trees. In sweet lime propagation through cutting is a common method.

Soil and Climate:
Citrus trees can be grown on a wide range of soils, including deep sandy loam, loam and clay loam. However, they do not grow well in very heavy, clayey, sandy, and alkaline or water logged soils. Citrus fruits trees are grown in tropical and sub-tropical climate. Temperature is the main factor affecting, time of blooming, maturity, producing and fruit quality of citrus.

At the time of transplanting the top portion should be balanced with the roots by removing some of the leaves, if necessary. Annual pruning is done to remove dried, diseased and those branches overcrowding the top of the tree. For a young citrus tree to have good frame work, no branches should be allowed on the main stem and two to four evenly spaced main limbs should be selected to provide balanced frame work. In Pakistan however, no systematic pruning is followed except for removal of dried, diseased and unwanted twigs.

Water Management:
The preferred method of irrigation is a basin round each tree the size of. There should be channels connecting basins so that irrigation of fruits trees can be independent of the intercropped area between the tree lines which have different water requirements. Growth sensitive periods to water shortage are flowering time (Feb/Mar), fruit setting (Apr/May).

Fertilizers and Manures :

  • Apply FYMs at the rate of 40 to 80 kg per tree during the winter season in Dec/Jan before flowering
  • Apply 3-4 kg SSP and 1.5 to 2 kg of Urea 15-20 days (Jan/Feb) febore flowering
  • Supply a further amount of Urea of 1.5 kg per tree after fruit setting (Mar/Apr)
  • If necessary 1.5 kg of Potassium Sulphate may be applied at the time of applying FYM
  • Watering is essential after each application of fertilizer