Dwarf Citrus Tree growers harvest the juiciest fruits all year round. The secret to their success lies in the correct choice of potting soil!
If you are deciding to set up an orchard full of Dwarf Citrus varieties but getting a bit mixed up about the proper soil, you’re in the right place to begin.
Table of Contents Show
- Factors to Consider While Choosing a Potting Soil for Dwarf Citrus Trees
- Best Potting Soil for Dwarf Citrus Trees
- Homemade Potting Soil for Dwarf Citrus Trees
- Common Problems in Dwarf Citrus Trees due to Bad Potting Soil
- Repotting Dwarf Citrus Trees
- Frequently Asked Questions on Dwarf Citrus Trees
- From the Editorial Team
Factors to Consider While Choosing a Potting Soil for Dwarf Citrus Trees
Dwarf Citrus Trees can bear good quality fruits if the potting soil is well-draining, and it’s not recommendable to use garden soil directly.
The potting soil for Dwarf Citrus Trees must have a good balance of water-retentive and aerating components.
Garden soil is compact and can jam the roots once they become wet enough. As a result, the roots can badly suffocate.
Another problem with garden soil is that they are unsafe, containing pests and pathogens that can damage the roots.
To counter this, let’s look at some crucial factors necessary while setting up potting soil for Citrus Trees.
1. Lightweight, Water-retentive and Well-draining
Dwarf Citrus Trees love loose soil that is lightweight and well-draining. If the soil is heavy, it becomes compact after many turns of watering.
Although well-draining soil is better, it’s no good for the plant that the water keeps draining from the soil after each watering bout and washing away all the nutrients.
This becomes a problem in summer when the soil dries too quickly, and you must keep watering the plant to keep the soil moist.
Hence, some water must be reserved in the soil to keep underwatering problems at bay.
2. Organic Elements
Aged compost or green manure is the safest bet for Dwarf Citrus Trees. They are also naturally rich in nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K), three major nutrients for plants.
Additionally, organic composts or manures help to maintain correct pH levels and provide other essential macronutrients and micronutrients for the trees.
But, organic feeds are easily flushed away and have very low nutrient levels. So, opting for premium Citrus Food is the best way to feed Citrus trees.
3. Pots or Containers
Pots help to maintain a healthy rooting environment for Dwarf Citrus Trees.
Terracotta pots provide proper aeration, but water drains too quickly from such containers.
Similarly, plastic pots have a good water-holding capacity but can cause water-logging, which is not good for plant roots.
It’s also important to avoid black containers that absorb the heat and “cook” the roots. This is especially dangerous from late spring to summer when the sun shines the hottest.
Best Potting Soil for Dwarf Citrus Trees
There are various premium potting soils for Dwarf Citrus Trees available in online forums. Check the table below to get your hands on the one that you think is affordable and beneficial.
|Commercial Potting Mix||Advantages|
|Citrus Tree Potting Soil Mix||Can be used for planting, repotting, and growing
Provides proper aeration, drainage, and pH balance
|GARDENERA Citrus Potting Mix||Promotes the development of roots
Contains added perlite and low-salt coconut coir
|Espoma Organic Mix||Contains beneficial fungi for root growth
Blended with perlite, humus, and sphagnum moss
|Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Citrus||Blended with sphagnum moss to aid in water retention
Supports a well-draining potting environment
|WONDER SOIL Organic Potting Soil||Contains beneficial fungi to support the growth of roots and nutrient reach
Added with worm castings as organic components
|Fatplants Premium Citrus Potting Soil||Contains added macronutrients
Mixed with draining elements that are pH balanced
Homemade Potting Soil for Dwarf Citrus Trees
Preparing homemade potting soil is easier than you may think when you know about the potting environment that Dwarf Citrus Trees need.
Commercial potting mixes come with their own fair share of risks. You can even save the cost of buying potting soil from the market.
My uncle has been growing Citrus varieties for years using homemade soil, and he is quite successful at it. You can follow the procedures mentioned below.
- Take a large plastic planter with drainage holes at the base. You can drill some more holes to increase the drainage.
- Heat one gallon of sandy loam soil to about 140°F to 180°F to kill pests or pathogens.
- Combine peat moss or coco coir, perlite or vermiculite, and aged compost in a 2:2:1 ratio.
- Add this blend to the sterilized soil and mix thoroughly.
- If the mix is too compact, you can add 5 parts of fine hardwood bark shredded to about half an inch in size.
- Thus, the homemade potting soil mix is ready to plant Citrus Trees in containers of your choice.
Common Problems in Dwarf Citrus Trees due to Bad Potting Soil
Some of the problems your Citrus Trees may face due to the wrong soil mix are briefly described below.
1. Root Rot
Root rot occurs when the plant sits in soggy soil for too long. This creates a perfect breeding ground for fungi to flourish.
Ingredients such as peat moss and vermiculite are vital for maintaining proper drainage of the soil mix.
Without the proper ratio of drainage elements, the roots will suffocate due to overwatering and eventually, the whole plant will die.
Root rot can also bring out symptoms like leaf curling, wilting, change in color (yellow to brown), and leaf fallout due to the inability of roots to absorb water from the soil.
2. Decrease in Fruit Production
People grow Dwarf Citrus Trees for fruits. The element aiding Citrus Trees in begetting vibrant and colorful fruits is potassium.
However, the wrong choice of soil may lack this critical element.
As a result, the plant will be unable to produce quality fruits due to potassium deficiency.
Try adding banana peels to the soil mix throughout the spring and fall and boost Citrus Trees with a supplement of potassium.
3. Stunting Growth
Macronutrients (nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, and calcium) are mainly responsible for the growth and development of Dwarf Citrus Trees.
However, if the potting soil lack most of these critical macronutrients, stems, branches, roots, and leaves might not grow up to their maximum capacity.
The plant may refrain from flowering. And, without any flowers, the plant cannot produce fruits in time.
4. Diseases and Infections
The wrong type of soil may contain various fungi, bacteria, spores, and pests that can cause numerous diseases in Dwarf Citrus Trees.
Citrus Leaf Miners, Nematodes, Various Forms of Root Rot, Molds, and Blasts are some common diseases caused by pests, fungi, and bacteria, respectively.
Most of the pests and pathogens complete their life cycle through the soil and can easily crop up to a healthy Citrus Tree if you ignore a proper watch out.
Repotting Dwarf Citrus Trees
To repot Citrus Trees, you need lightweight, water-retaining, acidic to neutral, well-draining soil and double-sized planters with drainage holes.
Also, the right time to repot is from spring to summer when the plant is sprouting actively.
- First, uproot the tree from its old container, observe the roots, and remove any dead or damaged ones using sterilized pruners.
- Prepare a 24 inches wide and 18-24 inches deep plastic pot by filling it with the suitable potting mix, a few inches at the base.
- Place the tree in the middle of the pot and add more soil from the sides to cover the feeder roots about an inch below the soil.
- Water to keep the topsoil moist, and locate the plant in a light shade to recover from repotting stress for a few weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions on Dwarf Citrus Trees
How Much Spacing Do Dwarf Citrus Trees Need?
Mature Dwarf Citrus Trees must be placed about 6-10 feet apart from each other while growing on the field.
What Kind of Soil Does Dwarf Lemon Trees Like?
Dwarf Lemon Trees, like most Dwarf Citrus Trees, love a well-draining sandy loam soil with acidic to neutral pH.
Can You Put Coffee Grounds in Potting Soil of Dwarf Citrus Trees?
Coffee grounds have an acidic pH range similar to what the Dwarf Citrus Trees like. So, putting coffee grounds will maintain a suitable soil pH range for these varieties.
From the Editorial Team
Choose a Healthy Soil, Free of Pests and Diseases, for Dwarf Citrus Trees
Even if you select a well-balanced soil for Citruses, all your work can go in vain if the soil is full of pests and pathogens.
So, it’s always necessary to heat sterilize the soil with steam for 30 minutes before repotting.