Citrus are one of those plants that I think are a must in the garden.
They have beautiful dark green foliage all year, sensuously perfumed flowers at various times of the year and then produce fabulously colourful edible fruit. They really are the most perfect garden specimen.
I spoke to you about why you should be growing citrus in pots, now let me tell you how!
Where to start:
Choose you pot(s)
They can either be aesthetically pleasing or just functional. But remember they must :
• Be large enough to maintain the plant for 4 or 5 years
• Have good drainage as citrus hate wet feet. If in doubt drill more holes, or raise it off ground to encourage better drainage. This can be done by purchasing “pot feet”, attaching casters on the bottom or placing the container on three bricks. If you are purchasing very small plants such as the “pipsqeak” brand, firstly pot them up into a pot one or two sizes bigger than the pot they are in and repot every 2 or 3 year until they are in 40cm+ pot. If they are larger citrus ( ie bagged or in 20cm pots) on dwarf root stock they can go straight into a large pot equivalent to a ½ wine barrel.
(Check out my Youtube video to see how I prepared a ½ wine barrel for a lemon tree.)
Purchase your Potting mix
Buy the best quality you can afford but always make sure it is has added wetting agents and slow release fertilisers.
• Make sure you have everything you need close by and place the pot in the area you have chosen to grow the citrus tree – no need to break you back moving the pot once it is full.
• Half fill pot your pot with potting mix
• Gently remove citrus tree from its existing pot, try not to disturb the potting mix and root system too much, unless the plant is very root bound, and then trim any congested root mass with a sharp knife.
• Place in the centre of the new pot, making sure the top of the soil is about 5cm below the rim of the pot. This allows room for a mulch layer and to still have enough space for water to pool to allow it to soak into the potting mix rather than run off the top of the soil.
• Back fill gently firming down the potting mix around the plant.
• Water well and top up with more potting mix if it settles below the desired level.
• Water again with seasol mix to encourage root development.
• Mulch the top of the area with a good weed free organic matter.
• Seasol weekly for a month to ensure it establishes well.
And there you have it, one beautiful citrus tree!
Next week, Im going to show you how you can maintain this beautiful tree throughout the year to make sure that you get beautiful lemons when you want them, and have a beautiful tree all year round.
Have you potted up your own citrus plant? I would love you to show me, so post a picture over on the Facebook page