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How Do I Select The Best Container For my Citrus Tree?

Soggy wet roots are the leading cause of problems with container grown citrus trees. Many of those problems can be eliminated with careful container choices and a moisture meter that can prevent over-watering.
The Deep Watering Method is the proper watering method, directions can be found here:
https://lemoncitrustree.com/store/citrus-blog/2018/10/19/deep-watering-method-for-potted-citrus-trees/

CLAY POTS
Clay pots are classic but heavy choices. If you live in the southern part of the country, you may want to avoid the clay pots, as they dry out very quickly and you'll spend a significant amount of time watering in hot summers. If you plan on using clay be sure the mouth of the pot is as wide or wider than the pot itself, avoid the spherical pots with the mouth of the pot curving inward, these tend to be wide and shallow and don't have the depth needed for the deep root growth and if you ever need to transplant you may have trouble getting the root ball out if the opening of the pot is smaller than the width of the whole pot.

WOOD POTS
Wood containers degrade over time, allowing roots to grow into cracks and have irregular surfaces, making it harder to transplant. While transplanting you may be ripping roots out between cracks to dislodge them, so avoid the wood and look for something comparable like a plastic barrel that you can drill additional holes in. Many plastic barrels look very similar to the wood barrels.

SELF-WATERING POTS
The self-watering pots are NEVER recommended for Citrus trees. Citrus require infrequent deep watering, so self-watering pots do not allow for this. The self-watering type can cause overly wet roots. Also, pots that have the catch tray or saucers attached are not recommended, trees do not like "wet feet" and those types of pots can cause root rot.

CLOTH POTS
Cloth container pots are not recommended. The cloth can become misshapen over time as the soil settles. During the watering process, some of the soil may relocate in the pot, and this can cause the tree to eventually tip out of its container since the soil is not held firmly into place with solid sturdy sides. The cloth pots just do not work well because they are far too flexible allowing the soil to reshape the pot during the deep watering process, which will cause the tree to tip out because it has nothing sturdy to hold the soil in place.

PLASTIC POTS
Hard plastic pots come in a wide selection of designs and colors, making them the ideal choice for citrus trees. When choosing a pot, be sure you can actually see drainage holes in the bottom, if not it is the wrong pot. The sides should be sturdy and the plastic strong enough to drill additional holes in the bottom if needed.
Plastic pots are easier to handle and more lightweight than clay and resistant to breakage.
Four to five large (3/4"-1") holes are the minimum necessary for adequate drainage. Select a pot that makes it easy to inspect your tree or re-pot if needed. Smooth tapered sides with a wide mouth at the top work the best. Avoid shapes that are narrow at the top or other designs that would impede the root ball from easily sliding out.

Do not add stones or gravel in the bottom of the container. Elevate the container pot off the drainage-tray or ground to allow the water to exit the container after watering. Water according to pot size and do not go beyond a 10-gallon container.

For more transplanting information: https://lemoncitrustree.com/store/citrus-tree-care-containers

LemonCitrusTree

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