The Q&A Archives: Growing dwarf lemon and lime trees in containers

Question: I am growing 2 dwarf citrus trees in plastic containers. One is planted in a regular potting soil mix. The other is planted in Miracle Gro planting soil for trees and shrubs. The label on the Miracle Gro I used says it's not for containers. I noticed this only after I had planted my lemon tree in it. Should I remove both trees and replant with a different soil mix? Both trees look healthy.

Answer: The planting soil you used is not recommended for use in containers because it can dry out too much and be difficult to rewet (as with any garden soil in containers). As long as you monitor the soil moisture, it shouldn't pose a problem and you won't need to replant. Citrus trees appreciate moist soil so be sure to water thoroughly when the top inch of soil is dry. If the soil in the pots with the planting soil begins to shrink away from the edges of the container, it's much too dry. To overcome this, set the pots in a larger container of water and allow to sit for about 30 minutes. This will rehydrate the soil and remove any air pockets that may have formed around the roots.

Best wishes with your citrus trees!

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