Growing plants in containers are very common now. Container plants add aesthetic value to your garden. You can even plant a trees like citrus in containers. Citrus trees are beautiful with their glossy leaves and the scent their flowers produce.
Citrus tree require good sunlight and air circulation and if you can provide these two then you can easily grow citrus tree in containers. If your house is in a place where winter is severe then you have to keep your container indoor in winter season. Instead of a tree that is growing from seeds you can use a citrus grafted on flying dragon root stock. This will give flowers and fruits quickly than the normal trees.
Choose the Tree for Container Planting
Almost all variety of citrus may grow in containers for a certain period but if you want a true container citrus then select the small varieties like bears lime, meyer lemon, Satsuma mandarin, kumquat or any citrus tree that is grafted on flying dragon root stock.
If your tree is only one year old then choose a container of about 9 inch diameter and for a 2 to 3 year old tree choose one having a diameter of 14 inch. As the tree grows, increase the diameter of pot to 24 to 36 inch. You can use plastic, clay pots, wooden pots etc. Whatever the pot you select make sure that there is enough drainage. For plastic and wooden pots you can easily provide additional holes. Also cover the drainage holes with window screen to avoid the washing out of soil. Keep the container above a raised structure to get enough ventilation.
Use the sterile potting mixture designed specially for container plants as it helps to hold the moisture and nutrients. In order to remove the air pockets from the potting mixture soak it with water and water continuously for three days. You can also mix compost with this mixture to provide good drainage and nutrients. The tree should be planted in such a way that the roots on the top must be just beneath the top soil. After planting provide some mulch on the surface to reduce the rate of evaporation. Also give a support to the tree by staking.
Water and Fertilizer
Citrus Trees require moist soil but cannot grow in a water-logged field. Deep watering regularly helps the tree to produce deep and strong roots. Usually deep watering once in a week will be sufficient for the citrus trees to grow properly. Citrus trees prefer to have more nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium and hence a 2 11 ration of nitrogen phosphorus potassium will work better for citrus. Deficiency of trace elements like zinc, iron, manganese etc will cause yellowing in citrus leaves. Hence foliar applications of these trace elements are found to be beneficial.
Protect our tree from frost and pest and enjoy the beauty and aroma of citrus from your house.