Growing Buddha’s Hand Citron is not difficult, and you can have it in your garden! Let’s have a look at How to Grow Buddha’s Hand!
If you want to try growing a new citrus variety, then Growing Buddha’s Hand Citron is the best choice! Here are all the details on How to Grow Buddha’s Hand!
USDA Zones: 9-11
Other Names: Citrus medica, bushukan, fingered citron, fragrant citron, five-finger mandarin, goblin fingers
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Buddha’s Hand Information
Buddha’s hand citron is an evergreen, large thorny shrub or small tree that grows up to 3 to 5 meters tall (10-18 feet)
Native to North East India and China, Buddha’s Hand is a member of the citrus family and is also called 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 number.
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Growing Buddha’s Hand
Buddha’s hand plant can be grown from cuttings and seeds. However, as it can be a time-consuming process, it’s best to find a well-grafted plant from the garden center.
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 and in containers. This way, the plant gets established before the onset of winter as well.
In tropical climates, planting can be done in any season except summer; right after the end of summer is the best planting time.
Note: You can grow Buddha’s hand from fresh seeds. However, it is true that its seeds are rare.
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Requirements for Growing Buddha’s Hand Citron
Like all citrus, Buddha’s Hand Citron needs plenty of sunlight to grow well and produce ample fruits. Choose a location that gets a minimum of 5-6 hours of direct and intense sunlight every day.
Remember the simple rule – the more sunlight the plant is going to get, the better it will be for its growth and fruiting. Avoid keeping it in a shaded location.
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Use a well-draining potting mix with a lot of organic matter and aged manure. For best growth and fruits, the pH of the soil should be 5.5-7.
You can also use an equal mix of garden soil, perlite or vermiculite, and any organic matter.
Check topsoil by poking your finger before watering. On hot days, the plant requires more watering and slightly moist soil. In any case, do not water the plant on a daily basis, and also ensure that the growing medium is never going completely dry.
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The ideal temperature for growing Buddha’s Hand Citron is around 65 F (18 C). They do well in the temperature range of 50-100 F (10-38 C).
Buddha’s Hand Care
An 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer, diluted to 1/2 of its strength (you can also use full strength), once in 4-5 weeks will provide all the boost the plant needs to grow plenty of fruits. The best time to fertilize is during spring and summer.
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Prune regularly to keep the growth of the plant in check and also to keep it in shape. Eliminate dead wood and prune the inside of the plant to make it less cluttered so that the sunlight reaches the center of the plant.
If you live in warmer regions, prune the plant in spring, between Feb and April. For colder areas, prune between Feb and March.
Pests and Diseases
Buddha’s Hand has similar pests and disease problems as you see in other citrus varieties. Fruit rot, Brown rot, leaf miner, spider mites, cochineal, aphids, and scales can affect the plant.
Keep them at bay using insecticidal soap. Also, avoid overwatering and wetting the foliage to keep most of the potential diseases at bay.
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How Buddha’s Hand Citron Tastes Like?
This quirky-looking fruit has a taste that’s a mix of sweet and sour. Take it as a mixture of a taste of orange and lemon with the notes of orange on the stronger side.