The Q&A Archives: Feeding Citrus Trees

Question: I recently planted 2 citrus trees (one orange and one Kalamondin - dwarves) to wooden type barrels. I also planted 2 other citrus trees in ground. I noticed much new growth to my in ground trees, but not at all to ones planted in my wood containers. I did however started giving feeds for citrus plants in the containers and just noticed some new growth. What is the deal? Why was their easy and fast growth to the inground trees compared to the ones that were planted in wood containers? Thank You. Was I supposed to feed the ones in containers (wooden)and how often? Has it to do w/ something w/ the wood or the fact its in containers?

Answer: There really shouldn't be any difference in growth rate of your citrus, providing growing conditions are exactly the same - exposure to sunlight, water and nutrients. It has been my experience that plants in containers suffer less transplant shock and therefore grow faster than the same plants in the ground. So, what you're experiencing is certainly puzzling. However, it sounds as both trees are responding to feeding, and to the summer weather. I'd be careful when feeding the one in the container; salts can build up and burn the roots. Use a water soluable fertilizer, diluted to half strength and apply every 3-4 weeks to your containerized citrus.

Best wishes with your trees!

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