Author Topic: Big pot size for citrus?  (Read 643 times)

SonoraOrlando

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Big pot size for citrus?
« on: April 18, 2021, 07:01:44 PM »
What’s the ideal pot size for citrus - for “life?”

I can’t repot once I put it in.

Is a 24” round pot big enough to get maximal size/production? Or should I go bigger?

Thank you! I’ve read conflicting things.

brian

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2021, 08:44:15 PM »
I guess it depends a lot on how large you intend to let the tree get.  That is probably fine for a 6ft tree to live in.  I think my largest pots are about 30" at top and 24" bottom

It is definitely possible to grow 10ft+ citrus trees in seemingly way-undersized pots, though.  I have seen some old ones in greenhouses with many fruit.  I doubt they are healthier or more productive than a smaller tree in an appropriately sized pot, though

Galatians522

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2021, 09:00:02 PM »
What rootstock will the trees be grown on?

Millet

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2021, 11:18:07 AM »
SonoraOrlando,  no matter what you do, you will always have to repot every 3 to 4 years  Either repot or lose the tree.  The size container you start out with, has a lot to do with the size of tree and its root system, that you start with.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2021, 11:21:44 AM by Millet »

MisterPlantee

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2021, 06:11:48 PM »
From what I understand you can do root trimming in lieu of repotting. As long as the roots aren't rootbound and can continuously grow you should be OK. At least for a lot longer than leaving it in the pot without trimming.

lebmung

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2021, 05:30:34 PM »
You would probably need to trim the roots and the top every 2 years, so some years you will not have full fruit production. I do it this way, a lot of work though. Flying dragon will take 10 years to fill that pot

Millet

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2021, 05:53:20 PM »
letmung has a good point.  In Italy there are famous centenarian citrus trees that have been growing in the same container for 100 years and are still healthy.   What the caretakers of these trees do, is cut and remove 1 inch to 1.5 inches around the entire side of the rootball, and replace with new medium.  This is done every year.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 05:57:37 PM by Millet »

pagnr

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2021, 06:13:45 PM »
Here is a recommendation from Australia, constructing 200 litre containers.
The tree you put into a large container should be well developed, it can often be a problem to put a small tree straight into a large pot.
A small plant doesn't pump out enough water from the pot media.
https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/potted-citrus/9437354

Hopefully no location problems seeing this link ?

brian

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2021, 07:34:32 PM »
Yesterday I was at Longwood Gardens with my family.  They have a very large conservatory/greenhouse which includes some large containerized citrus trees.  The ones in these photos are all Oroblanco. They are professionally maintained and always look about the same size when I see them.  They are clearly pruned, and I assume root pruned also.  My daughter is 3ft tall so these trees are about 10ft tall not including the container.  I would say this is probably the ideal size and tree:pot ratio for a container citrus tree.  They do allow fruit to set on them but not as much as somebody who is growing primarily for fruit might.  I have seen maybe twenty or so fruits on each of these trees, while my smaller grapefruit easily held fifty or sixty last season and has a much denser canopy.  The containers in these photos are 2-3ft wide & tall. 



Millet

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2021, 09:22:42 PM »
I went to Longwood gardens to see their 4th of July fireworks show.   We also sell chemicals to Longwood.  As for the containers that are shown in Brian's post, I like the square sided one much better then the round white one. One of the sides on the square container open up so the tree can be repotted .
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 09:33:16 PM by Millet »

brian

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2021, 09:50:49 PM »
Longwood Gardens has announced a 250 Million dollar renovation, including a massive greenhouse expansion.  I am very happy to have them nearby, I hope they add more fruit trees. 

https://www.pennlive.com/gardening/2021/02/longwood-gardens-planning-massive-revamp-of-its-conservatory-complex.html

Millet

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2021, 10:06:10 PM »
I also like Longwood Gardens rolling benches.  With the rolling benches they only need one open pathway in the entire greenhouse.  When they require another isle, they just slide an isle any where they need it.  Can be done in one minute.

Yorgos

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2021, 05:11:48 PM »
Clearly repotting tress as large as those is beyond a homeowners capability.  Must take a pretty big scaffold and winch type system to manage trees such as those.  I certainly wish I could prune in such a refined manner as to maintain tree size yet obscure the actual pruned section. Beautiful trees.
Near NRG Stadium, Houston Texas. USDA zone 9a

kumin

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2021, 06:27:50 PM »
Living an hour northwest of Longwood Gardens, these photos bring back memories. This is where I saw my first Poncirus tree. I love to visit in mid to late Winter in order to get out of hibernation lethargy. Thanks for the pictures, Brian.

brian

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2021, 04:59:07 PM »
Yorgos, as Millet mentioned the box-type container opens up for root pruning.  But even the cone planter you could probably tip over gently and wiggle the plant out.  I think if a homeowner was determined they could manage one on their own.  And don't forget having to haul it outside in the spring and inside in winter!

sc4001992

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2021, 09:57:52 AM »
I like the large green wooden (square) pot shown in Longwood Gardens photo.
For a simple pot that works for me is to buy a large green plastic trash bin with wheels, like this one (96 gallons).


But if you want to build your own like the one in the photo I could build one. I like the idea of the one side opening with the latches. It's not that hard to move the plant from one size pot to a larger. I would use my engine cherry picker to strap onto the large trunk then move it out of the current wooden pot, remove the wooden pot, then slide in the new larger size pot under the hanging tree and lower it in, close the side door and you're done! It's similar to pulling out an engine from a car, but much easier (no nuts/bolts to remove from under the car).

Millet

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2021, 11:38:51 AM »

Millet

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2021, 11:41:28 AM »

Galatians522

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2021, 10:06:45 PM »
Very smart! I like the idea of being able to root prune a tree without having to yank it up out of the planter (and risk peeling the bark off and killing it after years of care).

Seanny

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2021, 03:58:31 PM »
1st time seeing those.
You know where I can buy the hardwares?

sc4001992

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2021, 05:02:38 PM »
Millet, thanks for the Versailles citrus box info. I don't think I would spend that much for these boxes, but I may just build one myself (under $500) for a special citrus tree. I already have a heavy duty pallet jack so I should be able to move it around after I put the soil/tree in it.

poncirsguy

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2021, 05:04:21 PM »
It is easier to grow 10 lemon trees in 10 gallon pots each with 20 fruits than to grow 1 lemon tree n a 100 gallon planter that has 200 lemons.

brian

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Re: Big pot size for citrus?
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2021, 05:36:49 PM »
But having a large tree in a 100gal planter might be lots more fun  :)

Growing out of zone trees in containers isn't so much about the economics