Citrus are seductive! The fragrance, the fruit and the lush green foliage are a great addition to the patio or garden. Citrus love good drainage, weekly watering and regular feeding. That is why planting citrus in pots is a great choice especially if you want perennial fruit. Did you ever notice how citrus at the nursery almost aways have fruit and flowers? That is because when citrus is planted in a pot it can receive regular watering and feeding that goes right to the roots and quickly benefits the plants. When selecting a container to plant citrus, the larger the better. A larger pot allows the plant to grow bigger and helps to maintain soil moisture and minimize watering frequency. It is important to water well and allow the soil to dry out. Too much water or poor drainage and you will notice the leaves will turn yellow and begin to fall. Too little water and the leaves will curl and begin to dry. When planting your citrus in a pot, cactus mix is the perfect soil. Most citrus from the nurseries are planted in soil with added gravel. This allows for great drainage and helps keep the roots warm and happy. Smooth beach pebbles make a great mulch and help to keep the soil from drying too quickly. Before you plant your citrus you need to decide which fruit you want.
There are many delicious varieties and a semi-dwarf is perfect for planting in a container. Meyer Lemon, Bearss and Mexican Lime, Kara Kara Navel Orange, Satsuma Tangerine, and the classic Valencia Orange are all good choices. Make sure to select a fruit you like and will use.
Once the choice is made, the next step is selecting a container. Larger containers are better than small containers and allow the plant to grow bigger and will allow a longer period between waterings. Concrete, ceramic and terra cotta are all suited for citrus.
Local nurseries usually supply a great selection of various wonderful containers.
Next, locate the container in a sunny location on the patio or in the garden. If located in the garden on the soil, raise it up off the ground. This will prevent the roots from growing through the drainage hole and clogging the container.
Finally, mulch the soil with some 2"-3" beach pebbles and make sure to water and feed on a regular basis.
Citrus in containers that have good drainage, along with regular feeding and watering will provide a continual harvest of tangy fruit and heavenly fragrance!