Tropicals forum: Container Citrus

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plantcrazy
Mar 19, 2013 1:32 PM CST
Been working with Container Citrus for a Year now. Indoors excep the Summer i live in MI. I see on other forums that some are using Cedar Mulch for their Soil medium along with Peet, Perlite. i was at Home Depot and no Cedar Mulch, go figure, only had Cypress Mulch, Does anyone know if Cypress mulch, PLAIN NO COLOR is safe for Container Citruss? Shrug!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Mar 19, 2013 4:22 PM CST

Moderator

Welcome to the Tropical Forum! We're glad you're here!

I see you've already asked your question on other sites, so I'll just offer an opinion and a question. I would think that equal parts of good mix would be soil, sand, and peat. My question is would you be putting mulch into the pots, or on top of the potting mix? I would think either cypress or cedar pieces would be too large for a potting mix. If you need something that will take in water, then drain well, maybe use a potting mix geared for cactus.

Someone else may come along with a better idea, so check back later. We'd like to see your potted citrus too. Post a few photos if you can.

plantcrazy
Mar 19, 2013 10:17 PM CST
A Few Container Citrus growers are mixing, Cedar Mulch, Peet, Perlite, all together for Container Soil Medium. Here's a few Citrus picks.Thumb of 2013-03-20/plantcrazy/092765
Thumb of 2013-03-20/plantcrazy/d70aaf

plantcrazy
Mar 19, 2013 10:23 PM CST
I love, All Things Plants.!!! The uploading a photo pic to the post was sooooooooooooo.....easy !!!! and i'm not very Computer Savy!!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Mar 20, 2013 9:08 AM CST

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Your plants look very healthy for being indoors for the winter.

I bought a couple of patio tree types, navel orange and satsuma, a couple of weeks ago. Texans can only buy Texas citrus, so I was surprised to find the patio trees at Costco. They are Texas grown, so I'm looking forward to some fruit this fall!

Here's a link to the TX A&M website about citrus that might interest you.
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/patiocitrus/containers.ht...
Name: Paul
Frisco TX (Zone 8a)
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pniksch
Apr 17, 2013 2:02 PM CST
I have grown a Meyer lemon and a Moro blood orange for years in containers, just using Miracle Gro potting soil. In north Tx, they spend 4 months in my greenhouse, the other 8 mos outside. They started out in 2 gal pots, then went to five, 7 and this year will be going up to 15 gal pots (I'm waiting until they finish blooming and set fruit)but that's about as big as I can go, as they need to be able to fit in their winter quarters. They are heavy feeders, so they get plant food(Miracle Gro reg),iron and Superthrive when I water. In SoCal, where I'm from, they bloomed regularly, year after year- here in Tx, they seem to bloom heavily every other year. Here's a pic of my Meyer lemon in bloom taken about two weeks ago-the fragrance is great! Good luck with yours.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 17, 2013 3:38 PM CST
I can't imagine why cypress mulch would be any different than cedar mulch as long as there are no chemicals added. But I sure wouldn't be mixing it into the potting mix, I'd leave it on top as a mulch to keep moisture in the soil and keep the soil cooler. Decaying wood chips in the mix will rob the soil of nitrogen.

Here's a cynical comment - don't forget that the growers don't care if that plant survives after you buy it. They'll pot their product in anything that's cheap and readily available, gambling that the plant will look good long enough to sell. That's the only reason I can think of why any grower would mix wood chips into potting mix for a container grown citrus tree. Or any other plant, for that matter.

Citrus here are grown commercially on heavy, rich muck soil, raised up on dykes for good drainage. Citrus have their feeder roots near the top of the soil, so a mulch is beneficial as long as it's not near the trunk.

If you want to grow bonsai trees that will stay small, maybe the lean mix with wood chip mulch mixed in would work, but if you're lookin to grow fruit, you gotta feed those puppies, and good soil is the start of good feeding.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Apr 17, 2013 4:38 PM CST

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I agree
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Apr 18, 2013 5:25 AM CST
Note that Cypress mulch is now considered 'not green' since Cypress trees are being destroyed to make this.
The best choice for mulch at least in Florida is 'Florimulch' which is made of the invasive Melaleuca tree. It may also say 'Eucalyptus mulch',
I have been using this for a couple of years now and like it a lot. It is the same price as the Cypress mulch.
Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
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MotherRaphaela
Aug 17, 2014 8:28 AM CST
Let me see if I can someone back here since I'm new to ATP... I've finally grown citrus in pots successfully as far as their surviving, indoors in the winter, outdoors for summer vacation. These are now 3 years old. Since nights are already going down to 43 degrees, I just brought them in. They look happy; my question is, now do I get them to bloom? We do not get enough sunshine for windowsill culture to work and a greenhouse is not in the foreseeable future (never say never, but...) Last year I tried making sure the lights went on and off as close to what was going on outside as possible...

Are they just too young? Do I just need to be patient?

Any hints will be happily and gratefully received!

Mother Raphaela
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 17, 2014 9:19 AM CST
Welcome to ATP, Mother Raphaela. Sad to say, only sunshine will make your citrus trees bloom. Artificial light is not a substitute for sunlight, unless you have a large, very intense bank of fluorescent grow lights right down within a foot or so of the plants.

Try to find a south or west facing window that gets at least some direct sun in winter, and put the plants in front of it. Then when it's warm enough in spring again, get them outside as soon as you can into full sun all day long.

For the rest of the summer, do try to keep the plants outside when the nights are not too cold. They need every minute of sun you can give them. Just watch the weather forecasts. Citrus groves here in Florida have nights in winter that go down into the 40's regularly, and even into 30's at least a few times each year and do fine, with some help from fans and water application. But it is best to keep them warmer if you can of course, especially because a citrus tree in a pot will get cold much faster than a big tree in the ground.

Long term, a greenhouse is the answer for growing citrus in NY, and greenhouses are expensive not only to build but to maintain, and to keep warm in the winter.

There are also greenhouse 'services' in some places where a person with a large greenhouse will 'babysit' other people's tropical plants for a fee. Perhaps a kind neighbor or church member would do this for you?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Elfrieda
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orchidgal
Sep 7, 2014 5:48 PM CST
I agree with Dutch Lady to avoid buying Cypress mulch. Most of these trees are harvested in a non sustainable way. Land is bought, trees cut down and the area left bare, or used for something other than replanting the trees.

Do your homework on potting mixes. As a Master Gardener here in central Florida we don't recommend Miracle Gro.
I have no more room in the ground for planting trees, so I now have a Key Lime and Persian Lime in very large pots on one of the decks. There are both loaded with fruit and I actually made my first key lime pie a couple of weeks go. So good. Will be making another one this coming week.
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Name: Cheryl
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ShadyGreenThumb
Sep 12, 2014 12:43 PM CST
My lemon and Satsuma did not get enough sun this summer. I only have 3 oranges. I seriously have to think of a new place for the pots other than the perfect look in front of my front porch if I want fruit. Ir getting busy and trimming up the big tree instead. The kumquats however, are doing very well with part sun. Looking forward to a bumper crop of kumquats this year!
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