Home & Garden

Learn how to grow and maintain citrus, avocado

Citrus trees, such as this lemon, benefit from fertilization. The major nutrient requirement for citrus trees is nitrogen.
Citrus trees, such as this lemon, benefit from fertilization. The major nutrient requirement for citrus trees is nitrogen. Getty Images

Q. Is it hard to grow avocado and citrus trees in San Luis Obispo County? — Mark A., Templeton

A. Citrus and avocado trees can be finicky plants. The right temperatures, soil conditions, and fertilizers are very important for both. Throw in the drought and all may seem lost.

But do not be afraid. Master Gardeners are here to help! First, San Luis Obispo County has many microclimates. What grows in the South County or in San Luis Obispo may not fare well in the North County. You need to know your hardiness or climate zone — and there are several in our county. Check the plant hardiness map at http://www.planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/  to learn about climate zone. Second, you will need to know which varieties work best in your area. A little bit of research will pay off in the overall success of your tree and minimize later frustrations!

To learn how to grow and maintain your citrus and avocado trees, join the UCCE Master Gardeners at their monthly Advice to Grow by Workshop on Saturday. The workshop will include an in-depth discussion on citrus and avocado trees.

The discussion will also include information about the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and the disease it vectors, Huanglongbing (HLB). A member of the San Luis Obispo County ACP trapping program will explain what the county is doing to ensure that this pest does not become established in our county. You’ll learn what you can do to help, including offering to have a trap placed in your citrus tree. Home gardeners are on the front line of defense to stop the spread of ACP. Find more information about ACP and HLB on the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources website at http://ucanr.edu/sites/ACP/ .

The workshop will begin promptly at 10 a.m. and run until noon at the Garden of the Seven Sisters, 2156 Sierra Way in San Luis Obispo. Seating is available but does fill up fast. Attendees are welcome to bring their own folding chair. As a courtesy to our speakers and other guests, please arrive on time.

Don’t forget your hat, sunscreen and water!


Contact the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners: at 781-5939 from 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday and Thursday; at 473-7190 from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday in Arroyo Grande; and at 434-4105 from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday in Templeton. Visit the UCCE Master Gardeners Web site at http://ucanr.org/sites/mgslo/ or e-mail mgsanluisobispo@ucdavis.edu