How Often Should You Water Citronella?

The citronella plant is notorious for being able to repel mosquitoes. What a lot of people don’t know is that the plant in its raw state doesn’t have this capacity. It’s citronella oil that repels mosquitoes. As a hybris between the Chinese citronella grass and the African geranium, the citronella plant is quite easy to grow and care for.

Citronella’s watering requirements depend on a variety of different factors, including the temperatures it’s exposed to. If you plant your citronella outdoors, the hot summer months could mean watering every day. The important thing to remember is that citronella needs well-drained soil.

How to Tell if Citronella Needs Water?

A great way to tell if the citronella needs water is to check the top inch of the soil for moisture. Even though mature geraniums have a reputation for resisting drought, it is recommended that you water your citronella plants regularly.

How Do You Know When Your Citronella is Sufficiently Watered? 

How Do You Know When Your Citronella is Sufficiently Watered

If you stick to a few common-sense rules, you will always make sure that the citronella has enough water to thrive. Most experts recommend watering citronellas at least once per day.

However, this also depends on certain external factors that might influence how thirsty the plant is. That includes humidity, temperature, and sunlight exposure.

Can You Overwater Citronella?

Yes, adding too much water to your citronella plant will eventually lead to a series of other problems that, when left untreated, will likely cause the plant to dry. One of the biggest issues with citronella overwatering is root rot.

What are the Signs of an Overwatered Citronella?

One of the most common ways to tell if your citronella has been given excess water is to monitor the leaves. If you’ve overwatered your citronella, the leaves will start turning brown or yellow, and will eventually wilt.

How Long Can a Citronella Go Without Water?

If your citronella plant is established and planted indoors, it can turn out to be quite a drought-tolerant specimen. However, try not to push your luck too often and always check the soil to see when this plant needs watering.

Should Citronella Soil Be Moist?

Should Citronella Soil Be Moist

If you want your citronella plant to thrive, you should aim for soil moisture. Try to keep the soil moisture levels consistent, even if the plant is pretty drought tolerant once it has solidified its root system.

Why is Citronella Turning Brown/Yellow?

The primary reason that causes citronella plants to turn brown or yellow is overwatering. Thankfully, there are ways to save a dying citronella plant even if you’ve overwatered it.

It’s important to get rid of dead leaves using a clean pair of shears. Cut back dead stems and also check to see if the roots have developed any rot. If so, you’ll have to cut the diseased part of the roots and repot your citronella.

Why is my Citronella Droopy?

Drooping is usually a sign that the plant is going to wilt but what causes a citronella plant to die? There are usually three reasons for this: overwatering, excessive sunlight exposure, and improper soil. We’ve talked about overwatering, so let’s discuss the other two.

When you expose your citronella plant to too much sunlight, the leaves of the plant might start to appear droopy. For the best results, you want to keep the plant in a natural shade with moderate sunlight penetration.

Also, look out for potential problems with the plant’s soil. You want to pick a well-drained soil that comes with rich organic matter. If not, compost might be needed for the topsoil.

Does Citronella Need Fertilizer?

Does Citronella Need Fertilizer

If you want your citronella to thrive, you are going to give to ensure it gets plenty of nitrogen. To meet this goal, look for 5-10-5 or 6-12-12 fertilizer before planting. During the growth season, switch to 10-10-10 or 8-8-8 slow-release fertilizer. This needs to be fed to the plant every four to six weeks.

How Much Sunlight Does Citronella Need?

Citronella plants are best kept in partially shaded areas. It can also thrive if it gets around six hours of full sun every day. Be mindful of prolonged sun exposure, as this can cause the plant to look droopy.

Will Temperatures and Humidity Effect Citronella?

One of the downsides of citronella plants is that they do not grow when they are placed in cold environments, particularly when there is frost present. The ideal temperature range for your Citronella plant is between 59- and 69-degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the variety.

A lot of people assume that a plant destined to repel insects should survive in a highly humid environment. The citronella plant necessitates a reasonably moderate percentage of humidity, even though it does not keep insects away.

This percentage should be somewhere between 40 and 70 percent of the total. This is a broad range, so be mindful of the role that other factors may play in this scenario (like the natural humidity levels inside the house).

Bathrooms tend to contain higher levels of moisture, which reduces the need to incorporate a misting schedule.

Will Citronella Survive in the Winter?

The cold is too much for these plants, and they will perish if they are exposed to frost. Citronella plants can be left outside all year in warm locations where frost does not occur. You can bring plants indoors during the winter in colder climates until the weather warms up again in the spring.

Can You Grow a Citronella Plant From a Cutting?

You can easily propagate more citronella plants from cuttings. Look for stems that are at least four to six inches long and that have at least two leaf nodes. This allows new stems to grow from them.

Final Thoughts

Citronella plant care is simple and requires little effort. When growing plants inside, let the soil dry completely before watering extensively. This is far more beneficial to the health of citronella plants than simply watering them once a day.

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