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Best Potting Soil for Dwarf Citrus Trees!

Dwarf Citrus Tree growers harvest the juiciest fruits all year round. The secret to their success lies in the correct choice of potting soil!

Dwarf Citrus Trees adore nutrient-rich, water-retaining, lightweight, and permeable potting soil having a pH of around 5.8 to 7 with a mixture of peat moss or coco coir, perlite or vermiculite, compost, and some hardwood bark chips as the major aerating components.

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.

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.

Image represents Dwarf Citrus Trees growing and fruiting in planters
Dwarf Citrus Trees are happy in wide and spacious containers with bottom drainage holes and loose soil for free root growth.

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.

Compact soil can easily get water-logged and hamper the tree roots. Later, the tree suffers from leaf drop as an outturn of overwatering.

So, it’s ideal to place some organic perlite or commercial vermiculite that can boost the aeration of the soil.

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.

So, the potting soil must also contain peat moss or coco coir to secure some water between the watering schedules.

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.

Besides, adding organic matter is the most effective way to improve water permeability in the soil and prevent soil crusting.

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.

Like Citrus Trees, Jade Plants are also sensitive about fertilizer requirements although you provide the plant with proper potting soil!

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.

Hence, you can use a plastic pot with 4-6 drainage holes around the basal circumference of the planter. Try keeping an equal distance between the holes.

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.

Image illustrates some factors to consider while choosing a potting mix for Dwarf Citrus Trees
While choosing a proper soil for Dwarf Citrus Trees, consider using well-draining and water-retentive soil that is amended by compost or manure in a plastic pot with drainage holes at the bottom.

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 MixAdvantages
Citrus Tree Potting Soil MixCan be used for planting, repotting, and growing

Provides proper aeration, drainage, and pH balance
GARDENERA Citrus Potting MixPromotes the development of roots

Contains added perlite and low-salt coconut coir
Espoma Organic MixContains beneficial fungi for root growth

Blended with perlite, humus, and sphagnum moss
Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for CitrusBlended with sphagnum moss to aid in water retention

Supports a well-draining potting environment
WONDER SOIL Organic Potting SoilContains beneficial fungi to support the growth of roots and nutrient reach

Added with worm castings as organic components
Fatplants Premium Citrus Potting SoilContains 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.

Image represents an infected leaf of Citrus Tree
Citrus Leaf Miner is a serious pest of Citrus Trees that can damage the leaves and fruits.

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.
Image illustrates a few care tips for Dwarf Citrus Trees
Dwarf Citrus Trees can bloom and fruit right on time if the plants are protected from pests and pathogens and provided with healthy organic compost with annual or biannual repotting.

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.

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