Lemon/lime tree pruning - Knowledgebase Question

Bakersfield, CA (Zone 8B)
Avatar for tspencer78
Question by tspencer78
May 7, 2007
How do I prune citrus tree that are in containers? I cannot find a good guide online. Also, please provide info about watering and fertilizing citrus trees. My lime tree was purchased about a year ago. It has many branches growing straight upwards which appear to be suckers. Should I prune down to a main branch? Thanks.

Answer from NGA
May 7, 2007
Citrus Maintenance Watering and Fertilizing: Try to avoid overwatering your citrus. A good rule of thumb is to allow the first inch of soil to dry between waterings. Water slowly until the soil is moist but not soggy. A good citrus-specific fertilizer should be used from time to time but do not over fertilize and follow the instructions carefully. To avoid the possibility of overfeeding, I use a half-strength dilution of liquid fertilizer (such as Miracle-Gro, Shultz's or Peters) applied every 2-3 weeks. This provides a nearly constant source of nutrients without concern for overfeeding. Freezing: If your container citrus is generally left outside, keep a close watch on the weather forecast during the winter. Remember that container trees will freeze sooner than landscape-planted trees. While there are steps that you can take to protect your tree from freezes while left outside, the safest course of action with container plants is to move them indoors until the cold snap has passed. Pruning: Pruning is generally not necessary in the case of landscape citruses. However container plants which are not receiving adequate light sometimes become 'leggy' and can benefit from pruning the top back by about a third. This will stimulate branching. Remember, though, that for the long term health of your tree, pruning cannot take the place of adequate light. Hpe this information is helpful!

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