Buddha’s Hand Citron




Here’s Why You Should: It’s a distinctive tree with incredible-looking fruit, flavor-enhancing abilities and wonderful fragrance that freshens the air indoors.

A sturdy, upright citrus tree with deep green leaves, the Buddha’s Hand will add a sense of mystery, intrigue and oriental flair to your garden. The fruit is almost beyond description. At first glance, it may remind you of a lemon that was consumed by an octopus. But that probably doesn’t do it justice. Let’s just say this is about the coolest looking citrus fruit you’ve ever seen. Long, fingerlike structures curl outward from each fruit, forming what looks like bright yellow hands throughout your tree. Neighbors and admirers are sure to ask, “what kind of fruit is that?” We can guarantee they’ve never seen anything quite like the fruit hanging in great supply from your Buddha’s Hand.

Nectar of the Gods

Although the Buddha’s Hand fruit contains no pulp or juice, there are still plenty of wonderful uses for it. Unlike most citrus, the Buddha’s Hand is not bitter, which means the zest is perfect for shaving into salads, used to create candied citrus peel or accompany baked goods for extra flavor. Perhaps the most popular use of this fruit is in creating the most delectable cocktails imaginable. Many enthusiasts create simple syrups for amazing drinks. You can even infuse vodka to create your own ‘Buddhacellos.’ Aside from the flavor enhancing qualities, the Buddha’s Hand fruit can be used indoors as an air freshener because of its fragrant aroma.

Planting & Care

The Buddha’s Hand Citron (Citrus medica) also known as the Fingered Citron is not like your average citrus tree. It gets its name from the clusters of fragmented finger-like fruits and contains no pulp or juice. As with most citrus plants, it needs a warmer climate to thrive and is recommended for zones 8-11, but can be grown in a container indoors in cooler zones. Reaching a mature height of 6-8 feet and width of 3-4 feet, it’s compact size is perfect for any small garden and adds a unique oriental touch. They have deep green leaves and produce pinkish-white flowers that are aromatic and also twice the size of an average citrus flower. The fruits are purple when small, turning green and then bright yellow once ripened. The non-bitter tasting fruit is perfect when sliced into your favorite cocktail, candied or zested into your favorite dish.


Selecting a location: Choose a location where your tree is going to get plenty of sunlight, 6-8 hours per day is best. They can tolerate some shade, but thrive in full sun. You’ll want to ensure trees are spaced 8-10 feet apart if planting more than one. These trees also do better in areas with high humidity so you may also need to create humidity for your tree by misting the leaves daily with water. Potted plants do enjoy a daily misting for humidity but placing a tray with rocks filled with water under the plant will feed humidity to the tree as the water evaporates.

Planting Directions (in Ground): If you are located in zones 8-11 and your winter temperatures stay consistently warm, your Buddha’s hand will do well being planting outside in the ground. Be sure the area has well draining soil.

1) Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root system.
2) Place the tree in the hole and back fill it with your sandy, well-drained, acidic soil. If you have clay soil, try amending it with sand, stone, perlite or fine potting soil.
3) Tamp the soil down as you back fill the hole to cut back on any pockets from forming.
4) After planting, be sure to give your Buddha’s hand tree a deep watering for about 5 minutes. Mulching around the tree will help insulate the roots and keep your plant warm in the colder winter months as well.

Planting Instructions (potted): If your winter temperatures are consistently below 40 degrees, plant your tree in a container that can easily be brought outside in the summer months and inside in the winter. A planter with built-in casters is a good choice so it can easily be moved. Choose a pot slightly larger than what it was shipped in that has plenty of holes in the bottom to allow for drainage. Be sure to plant in well-draining potting soil preferably recommended for acid loving citrus plants.

1) Fill your pot halfway with soil. Remove the tree from its original pot and gently place it in the potting soil.
2) Fill in around the tree with the remainder of the potting soil but be sure not to cover the grafted area of the tree. Leave about an inch from the soil surface to the rim of the pot for easy watering.
3) Lightly pack down the soil. Immediately after planting, give your tree a deep watering until it flows from the holes in the bottom of the pot.
4) Place your tree in an area of your home, preferably a south-facing window, where it is going to get plenty of sunlight. Supplement with a grow light if it will not receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. You may also need to create humidity for your tree by placing the pot on a saucer of pebbles or misting the leaves daily with water.

Watering: Buddha’s hands do not like wet feet. Be sure to give your tree a deep watering so that it can penetrate into the root system. After watering, allow the top 2-3 inches of the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Yellowing and droopy leaves is a common sign of over watering while brown, dry leaves are a sign of under watering. Mulching can help retain the soil moisture and also combat competing grasses/weeds.

For potted Buddha’s, stick your index finger into the soil down to about 2 inches. If there is moisture present, hold off on watering until it feels more dry at that depth. When ready to water, stop once you see it escaping the drainage holes at the base of the pot.

Pollination assistance: You can pollinate your indoor trees by hand since most people do not keep a healthy bee population within their home. Simply take a small, dry, fine tipped paint brush and stick it into the center of the bloom. Swirl it around and collect the pollen on the brush. Go to the next bloom and repeat the process until every bloom has been treated. Do this once daily and don’t wash the paintbrush until after the blooms have been pollinated. The bloom will fall off naturally and the fruit will begin to form.

Fertilization: Feed your Buddha’s hand tree during the warmer spring and summer seasons with a citrus specific fertilizer once every six weeks. Espoma Citrus Tone is highly recommended but any organic fertilizer specifically for citrus should suffice. This will help keep your tree on a healthy growth cycle but also replenish the nutrients in the soil. During the fall and winter season, ease back to fertilizing once every 2-3 months. Once the tree has matured a bit and has got a few years on it, you can skip the cold season fertilization. The same fertilizing regimen should be followed for potted Buddha’s hand trees as well. Make sure to follow the application instructions written on the fertilizer bag.

Pruning: Pruning can be done at any time of the year for in ground planted Buddha’s hands except in the winter. Make 45-degree angle cuts to remove dead or crossing limbs and also to thin out the tree to allow more light to flow between the branches. “Leggy” looking branches may indicate that there is not enough light getting to the tree’s interior. After the tree fruits, remove any dead wood and ventilate the center of the tree. Remove suckers as they form/grow from the base as they will steal away nutrients from the primary trunk of the tree. Pruning can be done at any time of the year for the potted Buddha’s hand.



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Buddha’s Hand Citron”