Growing Citrus Trees in Pots: What You Need to Know
Growing citrus trees in pots or containers is a great idea, as long as you know what to do. Use the information here to help you with this tricky endeavor.
You don't have to live in a warm, sunny state with a big backyard to grow citrus. If you love growing your own fruits and vegetables, you can start growing citrus trees in containers.
It might seem impossible- how can a tree grow as a potted plant? But with the knowledge and necessary materials, you can do it! Here's what you need to know to grow and care for citrus trees in pots.
What Type of Tree Can You Use?
You can't just grow any type of citrus tree in a pot. You need a citrus tree of the dwarf variety. These dwarf trees actually produce the same sized fruits as bigger trees, but they produce about half as many, so they can thrive in a pot.
What Environment Do They Need?
Citrus trees thrive when they have at least 8 hours of sunlight each day. If you live in a moderate climate with a good amount of sunlight each day, put your trees where they can get plenty of sunlight but are protected from heavy winds.
If you live somewhere with harsher winters, you'll need to take your potted trees indoors and use grow lights to keep them going.
Our Grow Light Recommendation
We love SANSI 24W LED grow lights. They have a clean white light because they are full spectrum. They have all the right mix of light spectrum for growth, leaf flush, flower blossoming, and fruit set. 24 watts is a good amount of power for indoor lighting. We recommend placing the grow light anywhere from 6 to 18 inches away from your tree.
Your tree needs 12-16 hours of light a day. You can be very flexible with your light. You can keep it on for many days straight. However, all citrus trees need some dark time.
You can easily use one grow light for 1-3 trees. An easy way is to use one light on a tree for 24 hours at a time.
All grow lights get hot. We prefer SANSI because they use ceramic sinks to dissipate the heat. We have found the majority of grow lights on Amazon to have disturbing safety profiles. Use standard safety precautions, don't let babies and pets stare directly into the light or touch the heat from the grow light!
Our socket/clamp Recommendation:
What Type of Pot Should You Use?
Choose a nonporous container (such as plastic) instead of a ceramic pot. These are lightweight, making it easy for you to transfer between the indoors and outdoors.
Plastic potters retain moisture well, which is great for the citrus tree. Make sure the planter has five or six drainage holes.
What Soil Mix is Best?
Choosing the right soil for your citrus tree is essential for a healthy tree. Use a lightweight planting mix that is made for containers. It's best to use an inorganic mix over an organic mix when looking for soil to use.
Organic mixes will decompose a lot more quickly, which will reduce aeriation in the roots. Inorganic mixes that include ingredients like perlite will provide drainage and long-term aeriation.
How Often Should You Water Citrus Trees in Pots?
Citrus trees need to have consistent hydration, but keeping the soil wet is bad for the trees. You'll want the soil more on the dry side, but don't let it get completely dry.
The frequency in which you water the tree depends on a number of factors, such as soil and the weather conditions. The best way to make sure your plants are properly hydrated is to monitor the soil, and water them consistently. You can keep a journal to track how often you need to water throughout the year.
Make sure the water drains through to the roots and out of the drainage holes each time you water the citrus trees.
For All Your Citrus Needs
Taking care of citrus trees in pots can be difficult, but with the proper knowledge and care, you can do it no matter where you live.
Growing Trees is fun, and every tree we send comes with a 20-page care guide.