Patio citrus trees are available now at the garden center, including avocado, key lime, Meyers lemon, and pomegranate varieties! Many homeowners ask- yes, these trees do produce a good amount of fruit here in our area as long as they're happy and healthy! These citrus trees need to stay in pots so you can bring them indoors when there is a threat of frost. They will not survive lows in the 30s or below.
To plant, first, select a pot that is at least 25% larger than the root ball of the small tree. Also, choosing a pot with drainage holes in the bottom ensures your tree will not have consistently wet roots (which can rot the plant).
As far as potting soil, you need to choose a good, well-draining soil that has organic matter in it. Most citrus trees also prefer slightly acidic soil. Our Holy Cow garden soil would be an ideal planting soil for them.
Sunlight is very important to grow citrus trees. They need bright light on a patio, deck, or porch for at least 6 hours a day. Only bring your plant outside when we have no more threat of frosts (usually around this time of the year; be sure to keep an eye on the upcoming lows for the next several weeks as we can have a late frost). While it is indoors in cooler months, it will need bright light as well. Placing it near a bright, sunny window is best when indoors. If your interior lacks natural light, you can use artificial grow lights in cooler months.
As far as how much to water, citrus trees do not like too wet or too dry conditions. Test the soil by sticking your finger about 2 inches into the soil before watering well. Then allow to slightly dry out before watering again (check the soil again before watering). On super hot days or windy days, it may need an extra drink.
Humidity is a blessing when talking about growing citrus trees- they love it! They thrive outdoors in our naturally humid summers. Indoors, if you have a bright window in a bathroom where they would receive humidity from a shower being used, that would be excellent. Alternatively, you can place your pot on a pebble tray during the cool months when indoors or use a humidifier.
You can use special-purpose fertilizers for whatever variety of citrus you're growing. Otherwise, a slow-release fertilizer is great for these small trees (such as a 20-20-20).
Repotting will be necessary every couple of years. Adding new soil and moving up usually one pot size will be plenty of growing room for your patio citrus tree to continue to flourish!
Feel free to ask us specific questions, including specific pruning questions for each of these trees, at the nursery. Avocado, key lime, Meyers lemon, and pomegranate patio trees are available in 3 gallon containers for $75 each.