If you want to have a fruit tree in your patio or balcony and you have no idea which one to choose, I recommend that you get a lemon tree . Yes, yes, although it can grow up to 4-5 meters, it is one of those that best adapts to living in containers as it tolerates pruning very well.
With a minimum of care, your potted lemon tree will bear enough fruit so that you can savor the authentic natural lemons , that is, those that have been nurtured with care.
- 1 How to plant a lemon tree in a pot?
- 2 What care to give?
How to plant a lemon tree in a pot?
Having a fruit tree is something that almost everyone can do. But to take good care of it, it is essential that the pot is more or less as wide as it is deep . The size will depend on the tree itself, since we cannot plant it in a container with a 50cm diameter if it is a very young plant, since doing so will most likely cause its roots to rot due to excess moisture.
Thus, if the lemon tree that we have bought is in a 30cm container, we will plant it in another that measures between 35 and 40cm. How? As follows:
- The first thing we have to do is fill the pot with a first layer of expanded clay or volcanic clay.
- Then, we will fill it up to a little less than half with substrate for the garden (sold in nurseries), or with the following mixture: 40% black peat + 40% perlite + 20% organic fertilizer (horse or goat manure, for example).
- Now, we introduce the tree in the container. In the event that it is above or well below the edge, we will add or remove substrate. Ideally, it should be about 3cm below.
- Then we finish stuffing.
- Next, we place the pot in a very bright area where it will get direct sunlight for a minimum of 5-6 hours a day.
- Finally, we will water.
What care to give?
Now that we have it planted in its new pot, we have to provide it with a series of cares so that it looks nice and bears good fruit. To do this, we have to do the following:
- Irrigation : watering the lemon tree must be frequent, but avoiding waterlogging. During the summer it may need irrigation every two days, while the rest of the year we will have to water it less. In case of doubt, we will check the humidity before giving it water, inserting a thin wooden stick and checking how much soil has adhered to it. If it comes out practically clean, it means that the substrate is dry and therefore it must be watered.
If we have put a plate under it, we will remove the excess water 15 minutes after watering.
- Fertilizer : from spring to summer, we can even also in autumn if we live in an area with a mild climate, we must fertilize it with organic liquid fertilizers, guano being especially advisable due to its high nutrient content and its rapid effectiveness. Of course, we must follow the instructions specified on the package to avoid the risk of overdose.
- Transplant : our lemon tree will need a renewal of the substrate -as much as possible, without manipulating the roots too much- every 2-3 years.
- Pruning : at the end of winter we will have to prune it, removing dry, weak and diseased branches, and also trimming those that are growing too much. For this we will use a small hand saw previously disinfected with pharmacy alcohol, and we will put healing paste on the wounds so that the fungi cannot infect it.
- Preventive treatments : being a fruit tree that can be affected by various pests, such as mealybugs , aphids or red spiders , it is highly advisable to carry out preventive treatments with neem oil or potassium soap .
- Harvest – The lemons will be ready for harvest in the spring. When they have acquired the characteristic yellow color, we can collect them to prepare delicious recipes.
- Hardiness : this is a tree that withstands cold well and light frosts down to -3ºC. If the thermometer drops lower in our area, we will have to cover it with a thermal gardening blanket or with transparent plastic. In the event of significant frosts, of -7ºC or more, it will be necessary to protect it inside a heated greenhouse.
Following these guidelines, we will have a healthy and well-cared-for lemon tree in a pot.