How to Grow Citrus in Containers

Have you ever dreamed of having freshly squeezed oranges right in your backyard? Or just pick a lime or lemon whenever you need one to cook with?

This might sound like something that only expert gardeners or wealthy homeowners can enjoy, but growing your own citrus plants isn’t impossible. Citrus trees can be easily grown in containers to make them more portable and help you get that fresh citrus fix.

grow citrus in containers

Choosing the Right Citrus Tree

Like many plants, most citrus plants are not a one-size fits all scenario. In fact, a standard citrus tree will be massive and way too big to bring with you indoors or out on your patio.

One of the biggest mistakes you could make when picking out a citrus tree is not paying attention to what kind you get. Dwarf varieties limit their size and speed up fruiting, making them a more ideal candidate for container gardening.

Choose the Right Container

Pinterest-perfect oversized pots might look showstopping, but you don’t want to start off with your citrus tree in a container this large. Start your citrus tree in smaller pots. Having too much extra potting soil around the tree can mess up the moisture control, so replant your tree into larger pots as it grows.

Smaller trees should start in a 5-gallon pot and will double in width as they mature. This will give your roots plenty of room for growth and prevent top-heavy trees as they grow. If you don’t have the best pots for lemon trees, this will hamper them or harm them.

You can be flexible about the material for the pot. Just make sure there are plenty of drainage holes in the bottom.

Avoid darker-colored pots as these absorb the sun and will generate heat. Citrus loves cool roots, so keep that in mind when choosing the type and color of your pot.

Use the Right Type of Soil

Citrus requires well-drained soil. The right potting mix is essential for the survival of your potted citrus.

Compost and most commercial potting mixes will be fine as long as the soil is light enough to allow for proper drainage of water. Add bark chips to increase air space if your soil feels too heavy.

If you want your citrus tree to bloom, you have to have the right soil in citrus trees for pots.

Position Your Container for Best Sunlight

Citrus love sunlight, and they require a lot of light. If you live in a place with cooler temperatures, you should bring your citrus to a sunny southwest-facing window for at least 6-8 hours each day.

Citrus needs to be in full sun for at least half of the day and can stand being outside at temperatures as low as 60.

How to Care for Your Citrus in Containers

Citrus trees aren’t all that different from your regular houseplants. The important things to note about your citrus tree are as follows:

  • Make sure your citrus gets between 6 to 8 hours of sunlight every day. The more, the better.
  • Never let your pots dry out, and avoid overwatering.
  • Avoid placing your tree near heating or air conditioning ducts if you’re keeping it indoors.

How Long can Citrus Trees Live in Pots?

As long as there is room, they can live almost their entire growth there. Once the space starts to get tight, you can transfer to a bigger space so the plant or tree can continue growing.

grow lemon tree in a pot

As you can see, there are some tricks you need to know to grow citrus properly in containers. With a little bit of learning and taking the necessary steps to care for your plants, you can start growing your own citrus tree sooner than you might think.

Now that you know how to grow a lemon tree in a pot, you can enjoy the growing process and await your produce!