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What Is the Best Mix for Potted Citrus Trees?

By: Jessie Keith

“What is the best potting mix for Meyer lemon tree in a plastic pot?  Needs to drain well.” Question from Polly of New Mexico

Answer: We offer several good-fit mixes. Before potting your tree, make sure that the new pot is several inches larger than the old and that it offers excellent bottom drainage. The ideal potting soil should have a balance of good porosity, drainage, and water-holding ability. Ideally, it should be slightly acid, because Meyer lemons grow best in soils with a pH of 6-7. Here are our best OMRI Listed soils for your tree.

  1. Black Gold Natural & Organic Potting Mix
  2. Black Gold Natural & Organic Ultra Coir
  3. Black Gold® Natural & Organic Flower and Vegetable Soil

Growing Potted Citrus

Potted citrus trees require a minimum of 8 hours of sunlight a day to perform well. Warm growing conditions (60 – 75 degrees F) and moderate humidity (45 – 50%) will encourage flowering and fruiting. Bringing plants outdoors in summer, on a sunny porch or patio, helps them grow better year-round.

Good watering, feeding, and care practices will keep your plant happy. Water plants deeply until the water drains from the bottom of the pot. Allow pots to become moderately dry between watering–the tops should be dry down to a minimum of 3 inches. (Outdoor plants may need to be watered almost daily, while indoor plants require less frequent water.) During the winter months, when growth naturally slows, the watering regime should be reduced. Signs of overwatering include leaf yellowing and drop and eventually stem death. Trees allowed to become too dry may also unexpectedly drop some leaves.

Fertilization is essential, any slow-release fertilizer formulated for citrus would be ideal.

I hope that these tips help!

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist

About Jessie Keith


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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