Problems with Lemon Trees in Containers
I have successfully grown lemons in a container for a little over a year now. Since then, I’ve received several emails from people who also want to grow a lemon tree in a container. Some have written to ask if they should be aware of or prepared for, and others have written to me telling me that their container lemon tree has a problem of some sort. So consider this post a primer on problems with lemon trees in containers that may arise on your gardening journey
Improper Drainage for a Container Lemon Tree
Lemon trees, like all citrus trees, require that their soil be quick draining. To achieve this, use a potting soil mix that drains quickly. More importantly, use a container that has drainage holes in it. If the container doesn’t have drainage holes, your lemon tree will be literally drowning in stagnant water, and its roots will rot.
Not Enough Water for a Container Lemon Tree
All lemon trees prefer that their soil remain moist. It should never be overly wet, but it should absolutely never under any circumstances be allowed to remain parched for very long. This will send your container lemon tree into stress, and will affect the over all health of your lemon tree. Lemon trees grown in containers have the unfortunate draw back of requiring more frequent watering than those grown in the ground, because the container heats up and causes the soil’s moisture to evaporate.
Wrong Size Container for a Container Lemon Tree
A lemon tree grown in a container requires some room for its roots to stretch out and grow. At the same time, the container can’t be so large that the little sapling looks dwarfed by its container. Use a container that allows for some growing room while still providing some comfy coziness.
Not Enough Sun for a Container Lemon Tree
Lemon trees require at least eight hours of direct sunlight per day. Southern exposure is best. Container gardeners have an advantage in that we can drag our little container lemon trees to any area of the yard, in search of sunlight. If you grow your container lemon tree indoors, place the container near a sunny window that gets several hours of sunlight per day. Ideally, this should be a tall window on the south side of your house. If this is not possible, use a grow light to supplement the amount of sunlight the lemon tree receives.
Container Lemon Tree Climate Shock
When fall or winter temps dip below 40 degrees, it’s time to start thinking about what to do with your container lemon tree. Lemon trees are warm weather lovers, and they start to stress when the temperatures get too cool. A lot of container lemon tree gardeners make the mistake of dragging their containers into their toasty warm house when there is a threat of freezing temperatures. This sends container lemon trees into what is known as climate shock. To avoid this, gradually acclimate the tree to the warmer temperature. For instance, move the tree into the shade for a few days. Then move it close to the house where the temperature is several degrees warmer and leave it there for a few days. Finally, move the tree indoors and provide a light source for it for at least 8 hours per day (in the form of a sunny window or a grow light). After spring thaw, reverse this process by gradually moving it to outside the door, into shade, and finally into a sunny spot.
Originally posted 2010-05-15 16:22:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter