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Caring for citrus plants in the tub | > – Guide

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Caring for citrus plants in the tub |  > – Guide

Status: 07/28/2023 3:18 p.m

Lemon, orange or lime: there is a large selection of citrus plants. The wonderfully fragrant exotics are an eye-catcher on every terrace. What care do the potted plants need?

From around mid-April to November, citrus plants feel comfortable on balconies and terraces, even with our temperatures. With their intense fragrance and yellow or orange-colored fruits, they provide Mediterranean flair. Since they cannot overwinter outside, they should be planted in containers.

The right location for citrus plants

Citrus plants like calamondin oranges love the sun – but not on the root ball.

In order for the plants to thrive, the choice of location is crucial: citrus plants like full sun, but not on the roots. If the plants are exposed to the sun for many hours a day, the tub should be covered or shaded – for example with a cloth or appropriately placed garden furniture. This prevents the root ball from heating up too much. Overheating can damage the roots, making them poor at absorbing water. It is therefore better not to use a dark planter.

Important: Citrus plants should always be in the same place if possible. If you turn them, they often lose all their leaves.

Clay pots are particularly suitable

It is best to use a clay pot for planting, as it stores moisture. It is recommended to brush the inside of the bucket with cooking oil, this closes the pores of the clay and the water does not evaporate so quickly. Leave the bucket for a day after brushing with oil. The pot should as well Have enough drainage holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain away.

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Repot citrus trees

Citrus plants should be repotted every two to three years. When repotting from the root ball, first carefully remove the old soil. Shorten the root tips by a few centimeters, this promotes root growth. The new roots will then spread better in the pot. Replant the tree at the same height as before, leaving a few centimeters of watering edge free.

What soil do citrus plants need?

Citrus plants prefer slightly acidic substrates.

The best substrate is special soil for citrus plants, one third of which should contain mineral components such as expanded clay, gravel or pieces of lava. It offers the plants optimal conditions because it is pre-fertilized and has the right pH value: citrus plants like slightly acidic soil. The bottom layer in the pot should consist of a loose drainage layer of expanded clay or stones to avoid waterlogging.

Water vigorously in summer

Citrus plants need water every day on hot summer days. The soil should be evenly moist, but not wet. When the leaves curl up, it’s time to water. The irrigation water often only reaches the upper layers of soil in the pot, so that the lower roots do not get enough water. Therefore, it is best to immerse smaller pots in water once a week. The earth is saturated with moisture when no more bubbles rise. Drain excess water.

Are the fruits edible?

With good care, the plants bear sizeable and edible fruits. But it may take a few years before that happens. When buying trees with existing fruit, however, you should make sure that they are suitable for consumption. Otherwise, the plant may have been treated with harmful pesticides.

Fertilize citrus plants

During the growth phase, citrus plants need sufficient fertilizer.

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In fact, with the right fertilizer, lemons, oranges, and kumquats can get pretty sweet—not at all like conventional supermarket fruit. The easiest way is to use a special fertilizer for citrus plants. Fertilization is usually done from April to October, either once or twice a week with a liquid fertilizer or for a longer period of time with a slow-release fertilizer.

Citrus plants do not tolerate frost at all. Therefore, before purchasing, you should consider where the plants can overwinter. Generally speaking, the warmer a plant is, the brighter it needs to be.

Further information

Orange, tangerine and lemon trees have to be brought indoors for the winter. This is how the plants survive the winter. more

In a sheltered, sunny location, the physalis forms delicious and healthy fruits in the bucket. Tips for care. more

A tree can be grown from the cut stem of a pineapple in just a few steps. That’s how it works. more

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