It’s officially springtime, and that means citrus bloom is coming!

Citrus bloom, of course, is the period when at least 10 percent of a citrus trees’ flowers are blooming. This time is the most critical part of the citrus life cycle. Lasting as short as 10 days or as long as a month, citrus bloom lasts until petal fall — that is, the point where 75 percent of the blossoms have fallen.

There’s much work to be done in the years, months, and weeks leading up to bloom. Before the success of a fruit crop can be ensured, growers need to be strategic about the care and protection of flowers in order to encourage a profitable season. FGS is here to help — not only during the 2023 season, but throughout future seasons, as well.

Our FGS supply centers offer all the major plant nutrients that growers will need during citrus bloom. Although nitrogen is always helpful for a plant’s growth stage, the success of the flowering stage leans more heavily on micronutrients like phosphorus, zinc, boron, potassium, and calcium. As blossoms get closer and closer to the fruiting stage, calcium becomes the most impactful. Applying these micronutrients in the right manner, such as foliar applications that dependably reach their target, will help cut down on misshapen flowers, fruiting issues, and crop loss.

When it comes to watering those crops during citrus bloom, FGS recommends drip irrigation. Not only is it an efficient use of water, but it also cuts down on the potential problems posed by overhead irrigation systems. Citrus flowers need water to grow, but excess moisture during citrus bloom can create a host of issues, including diseases, fungal infections, and pathogens like Colletotrichum acutatum. Besides, overhead irrigation can disturb bee activity, and nothing else is more crucial to the success of citrus bloom than healthy bee pollination.

From citrus bloom and to petal fall, specific requirements — like the use of bee-safe materials and the restriction of pesticide applications — are in place to protect honeybees. Even organic pesticides and chemical sprays should be applied before sunrise or after sunset, when bees are least active and most likely to be in their hives. Negatively affecting bees will interfere with their pollination activity, and pollination couldn’t be important during citrus bloom. Without a healthy presence of bees, citrus bloom is a bust.

Do you have questions about citrus bloom or the bee regulations in your area? Contact your local Department of Agriculture. For questions about how to maximize citrus growth, ensure fruit health, and nudge up your profits, head to an FGS supply center to talk with a professional. Click here to contact us via email.

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