02 September 2013

Repotting My Meyer Lemon and Key Lime Trees

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While I was out gallivanting in the city yesterday there came upon home some very high winds and a short cloud burst. Well, my poor citrus trees were blown over, pot and all. And, consequently, lost a good amount of the potting mix they were in.

I intended to repot them into a gritty mix this next spring. Now that they have fallen over I decided to just go ahead and repot them now. Good thing I bought all the ingredients for the gritty mix a few weeks ago.

This was an all day affair. Straining and mixing the ingredients and watering them all down was very time consuming. And then to get all the old potting mix off the roots was another job. I hope I did it all ok, I've never done it before. I did get some help from Mr. Bumbleberries.

 Then I potted them up, watered them and put them in filtered sun.

I know this has been quite a little shock for my trees. I hope they will handle it ok. I have read that citrus will drop their leaves due to stress from repotting. I fully expect it to happen, I hope it doesn't. I love my little trees and I will be devastated if I've hurt them.

Al's gritty mix recipe is one I found on the GardenWeb forums, where they can't say enough good things about it. It consists of Turface, granite grit, and bark fines. Here is Al's website where you can find out how to strain everything and a few more particulars. You can do a search for Turface distributors here. You can find granite grit at a feed store, it's just poultry grit. Don't get chick grit, it's too small. And bark fines can be found at nurseries perhaps, but the pieces may be too big. I've read that people use Repti-Bark, which is found at most pet store. This is what I used too.

Wish me luck!

UPDATE: It's been 2 days since the transplant. I've been watching the trees very closely. So far the lemon tree seems completely unscathed by the whole affair.

The lime tree is showing some signs of distress. I see the new top growth is wilting over and I see some leaves cupping upward a little. The whole tree seems a bit saggy. I have read that some of this could be due to under or over watering.

I have been reading a lot about it and the transplant and the new growing medium and I have concluded that perhaps my lime tree hasn't gotten enough water. I watered this morning and then again this evening. It might be my imagination, but I think the new growth on top has positively responded to the water.

Both trees are kept in filtered sun for about 7-8 hours. I have removed almost all of the tiny lime fruits that are growing. I removed about 20 a few days before transplant and another 20 again today. The lemon tree has only just begun to bloom a few days before transplanting.

I also bought another Meyer lemon from the clearance aisle yesterday. I'm going to grow this one a little differently to see how it responds. 

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