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Author Topic: Lemon re-potting  (Read 1242 times)

Lory

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Lemon re-potting
« on: March 17, 2018, 06:36:15 AM »
I am willing to re-pot my feminello zagara bianca lemon and i've a question.
Since I am planning to keep it in a pot for life (not transferring it into the open soil) is it a good idea to drop it straight into its final destination (a 25 gallons pot) or better to gradually step-up with pot sizes until i will reach the final one?
If this is the case, what is the best  size increase every step? 
The current pot is  2 gallons sized 
Lorenzo

loneroc1

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Re: Lemon re-potting
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2018, 08:47:40 AM »
Hi Lory,

There are very few horticultural absolutes.  One of them is that potted terrestrial plants should always be stepped up gradually to reach the ultimate desired pot size. A typical  nursery pot sequence would be (in US measurements) 1 gallon, 3 gallon, 5 gallon and so on. A good rule of thumb is to repot into a pot that is three fingerwidths wider than your plant all around the root ball.

The problem with going from a small pot to a much larger pot is that there is a large volume of soil where water stagnates and organic matter decomposes under anaerobic conditions,  producing by-products that are toxic to the roots. Citrus are particularly sensitive to this. The goal is to have all the soil in the container accessible to the plant's roots. (You can plant aquatics such as water lilies directly into a large pot because their roots are adapted to stagnant waterlogged soil.)

Good luck, Steve H

Once you've reached the final sized pot some plants can remain in that pot indefinitely. Some plants do fine when root bound and even prefer it. Bougainvillea comes to mind. You just need to fertilize regularly. However, many woody plants will need to be root pruned at regular intervals to maintain the desired size or to replenish nutrients that have been exhausted. Think bonsai. And citrus, though not all growers are willing to spend a weekend root pruning and repotting a very large citrus tree. Your mileage may vary.

Lory

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Re: Lemon re-potting
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2018, 09:37:33 AM »
Steve your answer was really enlightening!
Everything is clear now tomorrow i'll proceed with re-potting in a slightly bigger pot.
THANKS!  :)
Lorenzo

loneroc1

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Re: Lemon re-potting
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2018, 03:25:02 PM »
Lory,

You are welcome. I thought European type lemons didn't grow well in the tropics. Evidently they do. Or maybe, like the rest of us, you love a challenge!   Steve H

Lory

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Re: Lemon re-potting
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2018, 01:01:32 AM »
Yes I really do :-)
Anyway I've a couple of ponderosa lemon and they are doing surprisingly well here both in pot and in soil.
The advantage of the pot is that i can adjust their position to keep them in a partial shadow because the open sun here is really scorching
Lorenzo

CA Hockey

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Re: Lemon re-potting
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2018, 03:34:19 AM »
I have more than 200 plants in pots, and the best advice I can give you from more than 8 years of experience is that you’ll get the best growth by mimicking putting the plant into the ground (ie - placing it into the largest pot available).  Use a wel draining soil, do not use any organic soil or products including soil that contains mulch. I use top pot from laguna nursery . Absolutely no organic debris in the soil as it will rot within 6-24 months and damage the roots. My avocados that have been slowly potted look scraggly nd have lots of dieback every season, overall slowing their growth. In the flip side, a 1 gallon avocado I placed in a 65 gallon fabric pot last spring is 5 x 5 ft in 11 months with beautiful lush growth that looks like my in ground tree (just smaller dimensions) without ever being burnt in the wind or suffering any dieback.

Just my two cents

Remember, nurseries are doing other things to their plants to maintain them in pots including root pruning, daily or even twice daily watering, fertigation, etc.  with my pots, if I miss a day (and I miss a handful every now and then) and there happens to be bad weather. - too hot or windy usually— the potted plants will be set back quite a bit. Giving the plants headway early on is best I think, especially if you’ve got lots of experience with pots.

Khaled

laidbackdood

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Re: Lemon re-potting
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2018, 12:13:38 PM »
I agree with the potting up in stages....I killed a lot of citrus trees from putting in too big a pot....a large area of the mix on the outside of the pot remains wet and never dries out.......the roots starve of oxygen......leaf drop then twig die back follow,.....everytime.......a rule of thumb is .....2 to 4 inches all around(rootball)....That is why i always try to grow in terracotta pots......even though they dry out quicker than plastic...........In the summer the plastic is good because it holds water for longer but in winter when it rains a lot......the roots get wet feet and citrus hate wet feet !........terracotta wicks from the outside in....so that 2 to 4 inches where the roots have not been too yet....will get wicked by the action of the terracotta,.......therefore allowing the mix to breath and with it the roots.......I live in Perth where its gets to 35 to 40 C........It means they need a bit more diligence in the summer but they are great for the winter when it rains plenty.....you must avoid wet feet !........I have 20 citrus in pots 90% of them are in terracotta.......I drill 10mm holes in them with masonary bits..........I then use slow release organic ferts in my mix and they all look very healthy......i water once a week....Thats all.......in the summer.....once every two weeks in spring and autumn.............If you water a lot........slow release fert organic is the best for pots.......If you water once a week....soluble fert in your watering can will work well....something with a high Nitrogen in urea.....meyer lemon is a very nice lemon.I mulch in summer only with lucerne.
If you go Ca 's way.....I have found growing citrus in very sandy mix.....so it drains really well can work as well........although it makes the pot very heavy.......I have bought a few trees where people have just used sand eg papaya/citrus and they all look healthy and is really close to what it would be like if i put in my garden here as the soil is very sandy............I have 5 citrus in the ground that are going really well in this sandy soil .....so the pros are 1.Excellent Drainage 2...Excellent drainage and Excellent drainage........the cons are 1....Can dry out really quickly 2....doesnt hold onto nutrients at all..........so i then spread compost around the tree out beyond the drip line and mix my slow release ferts underneath that......and nthere you have the perfect scenario........compost and slow release fert gradually seeeping down into the sandy free draining sandy soil and each time you water they have a small amount of nutrients to help them grow............so basically growing in the ground is easier because their feeder roots can spread and are unlikely to get "wet feet".....so consider putting your lemon in the ground in the right spot one day........a spot that receives morning sun would be ideal.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 12:31:44 PM by laidbackdood »

Millet

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Re: Lemon re-potting
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2018, 03:20:46 PM »
I agree with potting up step by step.

 

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