Is it possible to under-plant container citrus trees?

slashyAugust 22, 2008

Hi all,

I have two small citrus trees, a Eureka lemon & a Tahitian lime, that are about 20cm tall each at the moment. They've been living quite happily in a sunny spot in my backyard all Winter since I bought them. As we're heading into Spring here, and I imagine they're about to put on a bit of a growth spurt, I'll be re-potting them soon into 50cm-wide, minimum 50cm-deep self-watering containers (the type with a reservoir at the bottom).

What I'm wondering is, does anyone have any experience of planting anything around the base of citrus trees in containers? Any plants that would be beneficial companion plants, or that like similar conditions and might do well there? My preference is always for edible plants & herbs, but I'd be happy to explore other options.

My conditions here are frost-free and quite warm (think Southern California, but with a little more Summer humidity). These are plants that are intended to live outdoors all year round. The property I currently live on already has a thriving mandarin tree & unknown-variety lemon tree in the ground.

Also, any tips for how best to care for first-year citrus trees would be fabulous! I'm guessing staking them is a good idea? Should I pinch off any flowers that appear?

Thanks in advance for your responses,


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Citrus do not like wet feet .
A container with a saucer might not be the best idea .
No staking is needed .
The movement from winds actually produces a stronger trunk over time .
Check this link for some great advice

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing citrus

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 8:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is a web site that has a very nice section about companion planting. I just read that Nasturtium flowers planted in the root zone, under citrus trees help repel insects because the tree will take up the pungent odar of the Nasturtium. This doesn't affect the taste of the fruit. You might get some good ideas from this site.

Here is a link that might be useful: companion planting, etc.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 11:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

gatormomx2, thanks for the tips. I'm opting for the self-watering containers (which are more like 'earthboxes' than pots with saucers underneath- they have a water reservoir below where the soil is) because other people I know have container-grown citrus in my area and warn me that without the water reservoir, they will get parched by our hot summer winds and die. I imagine that this wouldn't be such a concern in places with less dry summer heat, or higher summer rainfall.

Brass tacks: thanks for that! I might have a go at planting nasturtiums underneath the lemon tree and see if it works.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 1:04PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Can Budwood be too small, or thin?
When grafting should I try to obtain close to pencil...
figbear (8b coastal carolina)
Citrus/Orange Tree in Container---Health Concerns
Hi there! So, about three years ago a friend of mine...
Grace Larkin
sweet citrus trees in 2015 diary
this is my diary of my citrus trees from the last 2...
Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)
Which Cara Cara Orange to Choose?
I'd like to try growing this variety in a container....
Need help with my Meyer lemon!
Hi everyone, new to this forum and to gardening in...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™