|'Pondersoa' lemon tree with 1 pound fruits|
You can grow full sized citrus in pots, too, but you need really large pots ( over 36" diameter).
|Calamondin Dwarf Citrus|
One of the most prolific and rewarding container citrus varieties is 'Calamondin'. This variety is frequently sold in garden centers across the country, especially in early Spring. 'Pondersoa' and 'Meyer' are stalwart varieties which produce huge fruit on small trees. There are several varieties of kumquats, including some hybrids using other citrus as parents, resulting in plants with curious names like Limequat, Citrusquat, and Lemonquat. Kumquats are used as parents since the trees are fairly small, bear profuse fruit, and in some cases, the fruits are edible, skin and all.
Citrus need excellent water drainage so the roots won't rot. In Florida, there are citrus varieties for every part of the state, and as well for every type of soil. In almost every case, citrus need lots of light and good soil drainage.
A good sunny window, cactus potting soil, and some attention to regular fertilizing will produce a healthy tree with heavenly-sweet flowers. Some bonsai growers use citrus as their subjects, so check out a local bonsai show
for sources for growing citrus in containers. If you have the space, try growing some of the mid-size grafted citrus varieties, such as some of the tangerines or mandarins. Citrus like a lot of light and are quite suitable for conservatories, enclosed pool areas, and picture windows.
If grown indoors, citrus can have problems with spider mites or other insects on the leaves. Insecticidal soap works well, as do a number of organic pesticides, just remember to use contact pesticide products, not systemic ones. Fertilizing every 6 months with a balanced fertilizer like Dynamite 13-13-13 controlled-release or Osmocote 14-14-14 will give the tree the steady fertilizing it needs without overfertilizing it.
A little routine attention for your citrus yields a robust tree with one of the best flower fragrances in the plant world. One of my favorite memories as a kid growing up in Milwaukee was tending to my Mom's lemon tree indoors, smelling the flowers in March, and enjoying some fruit late in Summer, grown from our own tree. You can do the same thing, even in limited growing areas.
|'Meyer' dwarf citrus|
|Kumquat dwarf citrus|