Planting a Citrus Tree

For Planting In Containers

Containerized citrus trees can be planted throughout the year because you are transferring the tree and there is minimal shock involved. When replanting you will want to select a well draining soil as citrus trees do not like to have drowning roots for an extended amount of time. Wet roots can create issues of disease and leaf yellowing. Furthermore, container citrus trees can benefit from adding rocks or styrofoam peanuts in the bottom of the pot so that there is room for the water to retain to, and eventually leave the pot so that the roots stay dry. Always select a pot with holes and a caster that sits underneath the pot.

For Planting In Ground

Pick a spot with 50% or more sun on well drained soil or soil mix. Preferably where it will have protection in winter from cold north and west winds. Avoid septic tanks and drain lines. Clear away any weeds and grass because you don’t want competition for the fertilizer and nutrients that you may apply.

Have water available and dig a hole larger than the container the citrus tree is in. Remove your tree from the container and shave away fiber roots from the side of the root ball (Important). You are most concerned with the roots that are growing in a circular direction around the edge of the root ball where the pot was. By loosening and trimming these roots you are allowing for roots to grow out into the new soil environment that you are placing the tree.

Place your citrus tree in the hole that you have keeping the top of the root ball at the same level as the existing ground level, no deeper (Important). Planting trees to low in the new hole will cause issues where the tree may not survive. Once the tree is placed in the hole and the crown of the root ball is at ground level go ahead and fill the hole 1/2 full with water. This will remove any air pockets and help the tree settle in where in wants to be.

Finally, fill the rest of the hole with the remaining soil to ground level, pack soil to remove air pockets. You can water again if you wish. This will help in removing any other air pockets that may have happened when finishing the soil fill in.

Comments (10)

  • I bought a small plant in a bag. When I went to transplant in container, the leaves had fallen off. The trunk is still green and the dirt was moist. Will it get new leaves?

  • I just bought your ponderosa lemon tree in a pot. We prefer to plant it in the ground as we have a large back yard. I have printed out the planting instructions from this page. My question is how big (tall) will my tree grow? Thank you.

    • We like to tell people to let it get as big as you can reach. that way you can pick the fruit with ease and enjoy it. Good selection on the tree!

  • I bought a Hamlin Tree and planted it in a 25 gal container using MiracleGlow potting soul for citrus plants. The tree has flowers and small baby fruits when I bought it. I noticed that the small baby orange fruits and flowers start to fall off from the tree.

    I sprayed the blooms and tree with micronutrients and applied fertilizer and reduce water application as advised by the place where I bought my Hamlin.

    What can you recommend to prevent the small baby fruit and flowers from falling off? Thank you.

    • Mother Nature will drop some of the fruit as the tree only knows what it can handle. A well balanced diet of feeding and micronutrients is what the tree will need. A possible calcium and boron blend of micronutrients could help with cell wall development for holding the fruit on the tree if you feel to much is falling off.

  • Hi! I’m on Amelia Island,where I see quite a few orange trees doing well. Our friend brought us a Costco Valencia tree about 7 ft. tall and branched well.
    we want to put it in the yard,however a large magnoliua tree is close by in the sunniest spot.
    A more weather- protected,but less sunny spot is near neighbor’s North fence(runs East to west).
    Sandy soil as you may be well aware. We may want to plant another tree near it . I have room to keep it away from that wall about 8 ft. THANKS for any info.! Don and linda

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Products We Recommend

Citrus Tree Micronutrient 

GrowScripts Citrus Tree Micronutrient Nutritional is a formulation of micronutrients most often found deficient in Citrus. It is a product formula based on what is proven successful in the commercial citrus industry.

Kits and Subscriptions

GrowScripts is the next step in growing your baby successfully. Providing a simple, user-friendly, way to nurture citrus trees without all the guesswork. They've developed feeding programs that anyone can subscribe to.  

NPK Macro- Nutrients

With a coating based on temperature your tree will get the Macronutrients (NPK) needed through diffusion. When triggered this control-release product allows for feeding over months and not weeks.