Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Gardening >
Jun 20, 2012 05:55 PM

Back Porch Orange Tree [split from SF]

Thanks everyone. I wondered about getting a little indoor tree at some point or one I can keep in a pot on my back stairs. Not sure how well those would do. I'm in Oakland and need, well as many as I can get I guess. Want to try out a sorbet. I will check B. Bowl and Andronicos. Unfortunately no neighbors with lemon trees, I've checked!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. In my experience, they don't thrive in pots.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I have 4 in pots. 3 are 12 years old, the other predates my time here. they do survive and bear, but they do have to have adequate light and moisture.

      1. re: wally

        True. The one we had in a pot would probably have impressed us more if it hadn't been six feet from one in the ground that bore 10X as much fruit.

        1. re: wally

          Wally, are they indoor or out? Thanks.

          1. re: bythebay

            Definitely outdoor. I had an indoor meyer in the Chicago area. Had to help pollinate, move it outside in the summer. very sparse crops, but there were crops. If you're here no point in indoor growing, just buy or beg them.

            1. re: wally

              I think I should have enough space for an outdoor potted one where I live. I'll try that soon, thank you.

              1. re: bythebay

                As Robert notes, it is not as productive. You do need the light. You might ask where you buy the tree about size of pot.

                1. re: wally

                  Thanks. I called a nursery in N. Berkeley and they have them there and said it should do well outside in a large pot with regular water and fertilizer. We do have space outside where we can put it in a pot. Due to cost, I'm going to hold off probably till next year, but I got some lemons this weekend at B. Bowl and made my sorbet. Very tasty and it was my first time using Meyer lemon.

                  1. re: bythebay

                    It will take a while to get a large volume of fruit.

                    1. re: wally

                      How long before it starts bearing fruit? I saw one at the garden shop but forgot to ask about that.

                      (To clarify, since this thread got split from the original, it's not about an orange tree, but a potted Meyer lemon tree.)

      2. I have two dwarf citrus trees (Meyer lemon & lime) in oak barrel planters.

        In my experience, they need much more care than my eureka lemon planted in the ground.

        Sun exposure, water, and fertilizer, and frost protection.

        The barrels are moved 2-3 times a year. Warm weather requires almost daily watering and fertilizer every 2-3 weeks. Cold weather water every 1-2 weeks, fertilize monthly.

        Fruit size is small, lemons are golf ball size, limes are olive size. I experience a lot of fruit drop until I learned how much water/fertilizer to apply.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Alan408

          Thanks for the info. Was the tree bearing fruit when you first got it, or does that take a while?

          1. re: bythebay

            IIRC, the dwarf trees I purchased each had a couple of fruits on them. But, after that it takes a year or so.

            I don't use a lot of citrus, give most of it away. Some years, I can't give the fruit away because of a bug quarantine, last time it was an apple moth, other times; fruit flies. From a cost standpoint, it would cost ~$75-100, $25-30 for the tree, $30 for a planter, $15 for a barrel walker, $15 for planting mix, $5 for fertilizer.

            Compare that to 5 lemons for $1.

            1. re: Alan408

              Yeah I'm starting to think along those same lines, maybe will hold off on a tree till we can plant one in our own yard someday. But I'm still not sure, it would be nice to just have some out back whenever we want, assuming there would be enough fruit for that.