Growing Buddha’s hand citron is not very difficult. It rewards you with large citrus fruits that look very unusual and finger-like.
Citrons (whose variety is Hand of Buddha) are large and true citruses, which produces less acidic fruit covered in thick peels and fragrant flowers that are appreciated by perfumers.
USDA Zones: 9-11
Propagation Method: Seeds, cuttings
Height: 3-5 m
Exposure: Full to partial sun
Soil pH: Slightly acidic (pH level around 5.5 to 6)
Soil Type: Well-drained, loamy
Other Names: Citrus medica, bushukan, fingered citron, fragrant citron, five finger mandarin, goblin fingers
Buddha’s hand citron is an evergreen, large thorny shrub or small tree that grows up to 3 to 5 meters tall. Native to North East India and China, Buddha’s Hand is a member of the citrus family and also called as Buddha’s Finger because of its unusual and fragmented finger like fruits. These fingers form a cluster like a hand and can be between 5 to 20 in numbers.
Also Read: How to Grow Clementine Oranges
Growing Buddha’s Hand
Buddha’s hand plant can be grown from cuttings and seeds. But it’s best to find a plant from the nursery.
Note: Lot of misinformation on the web that Buddha’s hand cannot be grown from seed, but it is false. You can grow Buddha’s hand from fresh seeds. However, it is true that its seeds are rare.
Planting Buddha’s hand properly is an initial but most important step because it determines the proper growth of the tree, flowering and the production of citrons.
If you’re about to grow it in a cold climate, planting should be done in spring to early summer when the temperature starts to warm up in containers.
In tropical climates planting can be done in any season except summer, right after the end of summer is best planting time.
Requirements for Growing Buddha’s Hand Citron
- Buddha’s hand citron needs a well-drained, rich acidic soil to grow well.
- If you’re about to grow Buddha’s Hand in a colder zone below 10, remember it is not resistant to frost and begin to suffer when the temperature falls down below 5 °C.
- Choose a sunny and sheltered position from the wind to grow it. Water citron tree regularly for the first 2 years after planting.
Buddha’s Hand citron is quite easy to maintain. If the plantation is done well and plant assimilates the climate, it’s a tree that brings great satisfaction with its heavenly scented flowers and prolific fruits.
It does not require special watering, except in warm climates and those suffering from severe droughts in summer. It grows best when watered only at the time when the top surface of soil begins to dry.
- Never do excess watering because it doesn’t like wet feet.
- Fertilize it with citrus fertilizer according to the product’s instruction.
- Buddha’s hand is not a houseplant, and you can’t grow it indoors, although growing this in a container is possible. If you want a citrus tree that can be grown indoors, grow lemon or calamondin.
Pests and Diseases
Buddha’s Hand has similar pests and diseases problems you see in other citrus varieties. Fruit rot, Brown rot, leaf miner, spider mites, cochineal, aphids, and scales can attack the plant.
Also Read: Best Citrus Varieties for Containers