Can I plant an older lemon tree?


Can I plant an older lemon tree?

I have a lemon tree in a large pot. The tree is about 1.5m and produces a few lemons but not many. I was wondering if it might do better if I planted it in the backyard. Its over 5 years old though. Would it be okay to plant it? What would I need to do to ensure it survives and fruits more in future? Thanks!

Community Manager

Re: Can I plant an older lemon tree?

Welcome to Workshop @Bec1975. It's great to have you join us. 


I'm sure some of our keen fruit growers like @Adam_W and @CathM will be able to assist you with your question. 



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Valued Contributor

Re: Can I plant an older lemon tree?

I can't image there would be any difference.


These should help:


- How to plant fruit trees from @Bunnings


- How to plant a fruit tree from @Adam_W


Established Contributor

Re: Can I plant an older lemon tree?

Hi @Bec1975

Most citrus do well in pots & will be happy there for years. They can also be transplanted pretty successfully from pots into the ground.

The major concern is that if a tree has been in a pot that’s too small for years (lack of fruit etc can be a sign that the pot’s too small) then the plant may be ‘root bound’ or ‘girdled’. This is where roots turn back in on themselves & get all tangled up.

The problem is that you plant them out & they keep growing in this confined, tangled way, the roots don't spread, so performance may not be good.

You won’t really know this until you pull it out of the pot though.

When you do plant into the ground try to avoid any root damage because, apart form the obvious reasons, this can trigger the root understock into growing which may weaken the plant. Understock is the root system most citrus are grafted onto & it can be very vigorous & take over from the grafted part.

Otherwise you’ll find a heap of citrus planting tips in the Bunnings video or my recent one.


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