Get pot-bound citrus in the ground

Question: I purchased a lovely Meyer Lemon tree in a 1-gallon pot in the middle of the spring. It already had six lemons on it. I have the original fruit, have new fruit growing and still am getting blossoms. Should I transplant it now into a larger pot or wait until after the fruit ripens and is used?

Remove any mature lemons from the tree. Lemons should not remain on the tree longer than about late December and possibly early January at the latest.

Leaving lemons on the tree can disrupt the flowering fruiting cycle for the next season. If you are planning on putting it in the ground, then I would just wait until you have that spot prepared if it is this spring. If you are planting this fall, then you might want to repot it into a larger container and wait for fall planting.

If you repot, check the roots for circling inside the container. This is a common problem in nursery-grown trees, called potbound, and happens to plants sold in containers. Planting a tree with roots circling in the container and not trying to fix this problem before planting can lead to serious problems down the road.

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas and professor emeritus for the University of Nevada. Visit his blog at