The Q&A Archives: When and how big a container to transplant meyer lemon tree

Question: I just purchased a Monrovia Meyer Improved Lemon tree (3.6 gal) and planting directions say to dig a hole 3 times wider than container it came in.

How does that correlate with an indoor container? Should I transplant to a larger container and if so how big? I'll keep it out on the patio in the summer and in south windows for winter.

Its flowering like crazy right now and even has a few little fruits on it.

Answer: When planting in the ground, you'll want to provide room for future growth of the root system by loosening up the soil at planting time. In a container, your lemon tree will need only enough room to hold the roots without overcrowding. Generally the best indication that your tree needs transplanting into a larger container is when the roots begin to escape through the drainage holes of the pot. You'll want to move it up to the next pot size when you transplant. So, if it is in a 3.6 gallon pot now, you can move it up to a 5-gallon pot when it's time to repot. As your tree grows you may be able to use larger containers such as half-whiskey barrel sized containers. Citrus trees generally flower 4-5 times a year and it isn't unusual for them to flower while still having immature and mature fruit on the branches. Enjoy that delightful fragrance and those yummy fruits!

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