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Planting Citrus in your outdoor room

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

Back in the day there was no home without at least one citrus tree. The lemon tree was one of the most common, followed by orange and perhaps grapefruit.

Now the choices are wide with kumquats, Tahitian limes, blood orange, finger limes and more. Plus for even more variety you can buy grafted plants that include 2 or more varieties. It is important to note that citrus are not difficult to grow and can be in pots or your garden.

Where to plant?

Citrus love sunshine so make sure you have a warm sunny position with well drained soil. Do you have a sunny balcony or patio? Citrus do very well in pots.

Top tips for planting citrus trees in a container

  • Use a good quality potting mix, and buy enough to fill the pot within 4cm of the top

  • Slide the tree carefully from its nursery pot

  • Set the tree in the hole you’ve prepared

  • Make sure the root ball rests at least 5cm above the surrounding soil and fill with potting mix, patting down lightly

  • Be sure you add enough potting mix to allow for slumping after you water it a few times

  • Water it with a seaweed solution to help it settle

Top tips for how to plant citrus trees in the garden

  • Choose a sunny, spacious spot, with enough room for your plant to grow its branches

  • Use a deep, sandy loam-type soil if possible – although a loamy soil that is well-drained will also do the trick

  • Dig a hole that’s wide and deep enough to accommodate the entire root system of your tree

  • Water it with a seaweed solution to help it settle

Pruning your citrus

Prune when necessary. A light trim across the in early spring will see new growth.


Your citrus will need plenty of water during its main growing period of spring and summer. It is important to keep the soil moist during the hotter months with a deep soaking. A light watering will only result in the fine surface feeder roots dying out when the soil dries. That said, only water as needed – too much may result in rot.


This will help to prevent drying. It also helps to suppress weeds and improve soil structure.

Pest & disease control

Regularly spray new growth with a horticultural spray oil to control citrus leaf miner, aphids and citrus bugs.


You’ll need fairly large quantities of citrus food to keep your plant happy. Be careful not to apply too much nitrogen (such as sulphate of ammonia), as it will cause the tree to produce thick-skinned fruit and lush leaf growth at the expense of fruiting. Your citrus can do with a feed at least four times a year.


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