Am considering a grapefruit,Valencia Orange and a Meyer lemon tree for my
yard in Gilbert AZ. Not really sure where I want to plant them, plenty of
space, I kind of like the idea of putting them in LARGE decorative pots as I
have seem them planted that way in several places. BUT I wonder, what kind
of growth can I expect out of them if they are in pots? I would like to see
decent sized "trees"( I know the lemon is technically a bush), but will the
pot size limit this growth?
The pots will limit their growth and will probably prevent them from having
much fruit. UNLESS... you get really, really big pots. I would plug these
into the ground and let 'em rip if you want fruit. Keep in mind that the
average fruit tree produces enough fruit for several large families each
time it bears fruit.
Gilbert, AZ, being 20 miles SE of Phoenix, is probably a safe bet for
putting citrus in the ground. I don't know your climate data but I
wouldn't think it gets in the mid 20's in the winter so you'd be o-k. A
lot of Satsuma and Mandarin oranges on tri-foliate rootstock are
cold-hardy to around 22 degrees in Houston, TX. If a hard, hard freeze
does hit here, a large vat of water placed next to the tree moderates
the climate around it. I heard some will place a blanket on the ground
covering the trunk. I even heard one guy wrapped Christmas lights around
Dr. Bob Randall, http://www.urbanharvest.org , recommends putting citrus
in the ground, don't let it get over 9 feet tall and scaffold prune it
for strength in January.
Celestial Habitats by J. Kolenovsky
2003 Honorable Mention Award, Keep Houston Beautiful
If you want citrus in containers, consider dwarf trees. I have a
Eureka lemon, a Robertson navel orange, and a kumquat, each in an
18-inch tub in my back yard (redwood tubs 18 inches in diameter
and 18 inches deep). The lemon and orange grow like small trees;
the kumquat remains like a bush.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
Ahhhh, that is a consideration for got about dwarf trees. I think the size
is a factor though, I really want to have good substantial trees eventually,
looks like they are going into the ground.
One consideration as well...how far away from the reflectivity of the pool
should they be?
The amount of fruit might depend on the variety of lime.
On the other hand, citrus in a container does respond well to
feeding and watering. In a container with well-draining potting
mix, the tree needs more water than in the ground. This tends to
leach out nutrients, which you must replace with frequent but
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