Q&As/Citrus/Planting Citrus Trees in Pots


I recently bought three citrus trees; Orange Harwood Dwarf (grows approx. 1.5 meters high), Lime Bearss Dwarf (grows approx. 1.5 metres high) and Tangelo Seminole (grows approx. 2.5 metres high).

I’d like to have them in pots which can be moved in the cold winter months, instead of covering and uncovering each day. How big a pot should I be looking at and what compost/ pot mix would be best to use?


Growing citrus trees in containers is possible, especially in colder parts of New Zealand. As all citrus have a substantial root system, you must select containers that are large and feasible to move, such as half wine barrels. Very simply, the bigger the container, the more successful you will be. 

Young plants should be planted into Garden Time™ Daltons Container Mix. It’s free draining and has sufficient nutrients for the first 3-6 months after planting. Side dressings of slow-release citrus fertiliser (try Daltons Garden Time™ Fruit & Citrus Fertiliser) should also be applied over the warmer months.

Ensure the containers have adequate drainage holes and are raised above the deck or patio they are resting on. 

The ‘winter home’ for your citrus should have good light and adequate ventilation.

Read our How to Grow Citrus Guide for more advice: www.daltons.co.nz/how-to-guides

Orange Tree