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How to grow citrus in pots: instructions tocultivation of lemons, orangesand othercitrus fruits in pots. From diseases to treatments, fertilization and pruning. From irrigation to interventions to protect the plants of citrus fruits in pots from the cold.
Yes they cangrowing citrus in pots? Of course, indeed, for those who live in the north of Italy, the pot cultivation of lemons and orangesis the only possible one.
There are varieties ofcitrus fruitswhich are particularly well suited forcultivation in pots. First of all, you will need to follow the advice given in our special dedicated tocultivation in potswhere we talk about drainage, pot size, soil management ... and then we can deal with the topic in detailcitrus fruits, in particular lemons, oranges, mandarins, clementines, Chinese mandarin, cedar ...
Which citrus fruits can be grown in pots
All the citrus fruitsYes they cangrow in potsbut some species and varieties are more suitable than others. From Northern to Southern Italy, thecitrus fruitsthey are a very widespread plant, also cultivated only for ornamental purposes.
Amongcitrus fruitswhich can be easilygrown in potsfigure bitter orange, bergamot, sweet Roman lime, lemon and grapefruit. Japanese mandarin (more rounded) and Chinese mandarin (smaller and oval shaped) can also begrown in pots, the cultivation of cedar in pots is more complex.
In order not to be too distracting we will focus oncultivation in potsdel Limone but the same indications are also valid for bitter orange and the other citrus fruits mentioned above. Potted bitter orange can act as a rootstock for sweet orange. With the addition of lemons and oranges, our garden on the balcony will shine like never before!
How to grow citrus fruits in pots: lemon
Thelemonis definitely themore pot-grown citrus. At the time of purchase, it does not matter whether you choose a plant that already has ripe fruit or a bare sapling, from repotting a lot of time will have to pass at the next harvest: the plant will have to adapt to the new soil and new vegetative conditions.
In the first planting phase, the lemon tree must be treated with extreme care, it is a delicate step: for its growth choose a warm, humid and sunny environment. Same exposure for orange, mandarin, lime and grapefruit.
Thelemon(as well as other citrus fruits) is very sensitive to low temperatures, so when the climate drops below 10 ° C, it will be time to bring thelemon plantinside the house and place it near a window. Lighting must not be lacking but the plant must be protected from frost.
As always happens with thecultivation in pots, plants need more attention than forlemonresult in frequent fertilization. The potting soil must have a neutral pH, must not allow water stagnation (well drained) and must be not very clayey. If your potted lemon leaves turn yellow, you are probably irrigating with overly calcareous tap water. Try irrigating with distilled water, neutral pH water, or tap water left to sit for a few days.
The soil must be enriched with organic matter and fertilization must be carried out periodically using a specific fertilizer for citrus fruits. Do not be surprised if a long time passes from the first plant to the harvest of the fruit: the lemon tree could take 2-4 years to provide you with the first fruits; the wait is justified by the roots that will have to adapt well to the new container.
Care of potted citrus fruits in winter
In winter, thelemon plants in potsthey must be moved to a greenhouse, veranda or covered room. In the room you should avoid the formation of condensation because the humidity in the environment could triggerfungal diseases.
On the warmest days, ventilate the rooms and always guarantee a change of air. The temperature should never drop below 5 ° C.
Whether to your lemon tree or to allcitrus fruits in potsthat you are cultivating occurs thereleaf fall, it means that the plant has suffered a thermal shock. Temperatures below 5 ° C can cause a sudden and rapidleaf fall.
In winter, gather all the ripe fruit on the plant so as not to further stress yourscitrus fruits in pots.
How to grow citrus in pots, care
At the end of March, you can bringcitrus fruits in potsoutside or dismantle the greenhouse and covers, only when the risk of late frosts has passed.
During the autumn and winter period, watering must be moderate keeping the soil only slightly moist. From March you can increase the frequency of irrigation and the amount of water administered. In the late spring and summer period, the irrigation ofcitrus fruits in potsthey will have to be daily.
Fertilization of citrus fruits in pots
In mid-March you can continue with the first fertilization of the year. Fertilize with ground lupine which provides good doses of nitrogen. Just put 6 - 7 handfuls of ground lupine near the edges of the jar.
Lupine macinao is an excellent organic fertilizer useful for numerous potted plants: azalea, hydrangea, camellia, lemon, mandarin, orange, grapefruit, other citrus fruits, geranium, rhododendron ...
Theground lupineit can be purchased at all garden centers and specialized retailers, you can ask your trusted nursery while if you do not have one you can take advantage of the online purchase. On the web there are many ecommerce that offer bags of ground lupins. The price of ground lupine varies according to the producer, the origin (ground lupins derived from organic or non-organic farming) and the quantity. Among the various proposals present online we point out those with the best value for money:
1) 20 kg bag of ground lupins, price 39 euros with free shipping.
2) Pack of 3 kg of ground lupins, price € 16.90 with free shipping.
Ground lupine will help citrus fruits stimulate flowering and fruit production.
Citrus fruits in pots, pruning
At the end of February, if you notice any dry branches, cut them off to the point of insertion on the trunk or main branch. Also remove any diseased branches. For the second containment pruning and for other information on how to prune lemon in pots, we refer you to the guide articlehow to prune citrus in pots.
Diseases of potted citrus fruits
Citrus fruits in pots, if well kept, are very resistant to diseases. In the winter or spring period, the only threats to potted citrus fruits are fungal diseases linked to an excessively humid environment. In case of fungal diseases, treat with specific anticryptograms. In case of attacks by the cottony cochineal, do a treatment with mineral oil, allowed in organic farming.