Citrus Trees in Pots

it'sALLartOctober 17, 2013

I just moved into a house that has cathedral ceilings and this year for the first time I didn't have to cut back my citrus trees so they fit into 8 foot ceiliings.

But that sort of made me wonder about things....

I usually trim the roots and the limbs so that they can continue to grow in pots and be healthy. Otherwise they would get root-bound and start to produce tiny, unhealthy leaves that fall off (been there) or get root rot and that's not good either.

The other solution is to get bigger pots, but they are already so large I can barely move them without help and equipment and I don't like that option much as they take up too much space and are simply too heavy for the floor.

I'm wondering if they could simply be fed more in order to support a taller tree or if I need to keep trimming both tree and roots or can I let them simply get taller and taller and not worry about it? One of them is from seed and is now 32 years old, so I don't want to lose it because of bad management.

Any answers would be appreciated! :-)

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Hi Keith,

Have you been to the Citrus Forum here on GW???

There are many members who can answer your question/s.

I have Citrus, but don't trim roots. They're potted in plastic, tree pots..All but two are grafted.

What material are your containers? Ex. clay, plastic, ceramic?
Also, what size are containers?

I fertilize with citrus fertilizer..a 3-month pellet type, starting early spring. Every so often they get iron, and once a year, citrus spray which contains minerals.

In October, prior to bringing indoors, foliage is sprayed with Fish Emulsion, 'and a few other items to prevent/kill pests.'

Fish Emulsion is an organic fertilizer.
So, foliage sprayed with FE is their last meal until spring.

Are roots growing out of drainage holes or atop soils? If not, no need to trim or repot..
If you must, I'd wait until spring.

Hope this helps. Toni

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 12:01PM
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Yes, Toni, I cross-posted this message in Citrus Forum, wasn't sure which one was most active.

Containers are glazed ceramic in one case and plastic-coated lightweight resin in the other two cases.

33 inch circumference, 20 inch tall, that holds one grapefruit tree, 32 years old. Never has flowered, but very healthy.

24 inch, square, 20 inch tall, holds a group of 5 orange trees, appx. 18 years old.

16 inch square, 28 inch tall, holds one lemon tree, appx. 20 yrs old.

All of the trees are now 9 - 10 feet tall and growing.

I do a weak solution liquid fertilizer during the winter and then come on strong with organic stuff in the spring, but may not go as strong this year since they'll stay indoors from now on.

No roots out of drainage holes yet...

My basic question was about their size:

Is it OK to let the tree get bigger with the root ball staying the same size and just feed them to support the big tree part....?

I really want larger trees since the ceiling is so high and they would look great growing up into it, but I don't want to keep getting larger pots as these are already pretty big.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 7:40PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You'll have to pot up if you want to grow taller, larger plants. Root pruning will create the new, young roots necessary to support growth.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 10:22PM
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