travisaz

Need to reacclimate potted grapefruit tree?

Hi all,

I put my young ruby red grapefruit tree (1st summer since purchased from the store in a 5 gallon bucket in the spring) through some significant stress. It came in a sandy soil with poor aeration so I did a full repot, but inadvertently blocked the drain hole. It became extremely droopy and several leaves became withered and brittle.

It is consistently over 100 degrees in Phoenix so I brought it inside while the roots recovered from their trauma. It's been about 1 week now and the tree is starting to look happy again. I'd like to put it outside again because it does not get a lot of light inside.

Do I need to re-introduce it slowly? In its normal spot it gets morning sun from about 5:30-noon, but temps go from 80s to about 100 before it is shaded by my patio. It has been inside for about 1 week. What do you all think?

Comments (27)

  • Travis in PHX (9b)
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    I hope I'm getting up to work at 5am when I'm retired--I can barely get up at 5:45 for my job!


    My wife and I actually joined a "puzzle of the month" club recently. It's quite fun :)

    Best Answer
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    last month

    Reintroduce your tree and white wash the trunk with diluted white INDOOR use paint.

    Steve

    Travis in PHX (9b) thanked poncirusguy6b452xx
  • Travis in PHX (9b)
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks Steve!

    I did whitewash the trunk, so we are good there. So you're saying it's okay for me to just return to it's original spot, no hardening need?

  • MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ
    last month

    My opinion is to gradually acclimate the tree to the new temperature. It's 110° today and will continue for most of this week.

    Travis in PHX (9b) thanked MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ
  • bklyn citrus (zone 7B)
    last month

    go with morning sun only first


    Travis in PHX (9b) thanked bklyn citrus (zone 7B)
  • Travis in PHX (9b)
    Original Author
    last month

    That's my instinct too, Mary, I'm just not sure how to do that. Between my work schedule and my back, I don't know that I can move it back and forth on a daily basis. I keep it shaded in the afternoon, I hope that will be enough. My weather app said it will be 118 degrees next Sunday. Ouch!!

  • Vladimir (Zone 6a Massachusetts)
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Steve, why not EXTERIOR paint? Just curious.

  • MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Understood. Don't you just hate it when working for a living gets in the way of living???

    Give it as much shade as possible. The temps are going to be brutal the next few days. And....you can only do what you can do, eh?

    Travis in PHX (9b) thanked MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ
  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    last month

    Exterior paint has chemical that can harm citrus that interior pant lacks.

    Steve

  • Meyermike(Zone 6a Ma.)
    last month

    Mary, what a deep saying!! I love it.

    Travis, why don't you get in touch with me? Stay safe

    Travis in PHX (9b) thanked Meyermike(Zone 6a Ma.)
  • MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ
    last month

    :-) Meyermike - I'm retired and loving it. So much time to just do stuff around the house, the yard, the garden.

  • Lemon Lime Orange Zone 6a
    last month

    When the pot is hot the roots will die and the new shoots will say goodbye. There is a correlation between air and soil temperature. Soil is normally about 10F cooler than the air. What happens in a pot is just the opposite. As the pot heats up it will cook the roots. The citrus has to keep a a root to shoot ratio and will drop leaves in response to damaged roots. The ideal root temperature is around 75-85F.

    Travis in PHX (9b) thanked Lemon Lime Orange Zone 6a
  • Lemon Lime Orange Zone 6a
    last month

    In a grove the tree can handle heat better with more root to shoot ratio than the root to shoot ratio of a potted plant. If water and mist are not enough the only other variable is shade.

    Travis in PHX (9b) thanked Lemon Lime Orange Zone 6a
  • Travis in PHX (9b)
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Thanks Mike, today was crazy--I'm juggling family, work, citrus, and the final steps in building my kitchen table. I'm just now seeing your comment and I know it's much later for you. I'll send you a text or something tomorrow.

    Mary and Lemon Lime: It has been weepy ever since I took it outside on Sunday morning, and isn't popping back up when the sun goes down. I'm thinking of just "summering" it indoors this season and giving it a chance to recover. When the temps start getting reasonable again in September might be a better time to reintroduce it to the great outdoors. My Meyer did this when I was trying to figure out its watering early in the summer and it bounced back after 2-3 weeks, but it wasn't 110+ every day then, either. It's not fruiting so keeping it indoors with partial sun might not be too detrimental to it.

  • HOWARD Martin
    last month

    just bury the pot in the ground and that will keep the pot and roots much cooler

  • MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Hi Travis, Here at the McP casa we have been weeding through all the valuables buried in the two large storage sheds in our yard. I found this grow box that maybe can work for you. It's from a company called Groasis:: Groasis WaterBox


    I've never used it. Bought it on the recommendation of a friend but just never got around to doing anything with it. It's designed for planting a single sapling into the ground but I bet you can adjust it to work with your potted trees that are struggling in our heat. It's yours if you want it. Free to your good home. Let me know if you have an interest. I'm near 43rd Ave and Peoria in Phx, almost Glendale.

    Cheers!

    Travis in PHX (9b) thanked MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ
  • Travis in PHX (9b)
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    Very kind Mary! I hope your storage sheds are air conditioned, this is an awful time of year to be finding buried treasure :)


    I looked at the product online and it seems like a really cool way to plant young trees, especially in our harsh desert climate. I tried to figure out a way to use it with my potted trees but I don't see how that is possible. It appears that the box surrounds the tree and is lifted up or set down, "threading" the tree through the hole in the middle. This would work great for seedlings (as it's intended), but I don't think I'd be able to get it around my young citrus because they already have branches. I'd still take you up on your offer if there was a possibility I would be working with some younger stock, but I don't see that happening at this point.


    Stay cool this weekend. 118 degrees on Saturday and Sunday. Ouch!!

  • MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ
    28 days ago

    We are only working out in the sheds very early morning, like 5am to maybe 7. Made great progress.


    This weekend seems a good time to get out the old jigsaw puzzles!


    LMK if you change your mind on the Groasis. It's a great idea, I just have not had occasion to use it yet either.

    Travis in PHX (9b) thanked MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ
  • HOWARD Martin
    28 days ago

    I have no wife at this time

  • Travis in PHX (9b)
    Original Author
    27 days ago

    That's alright Howard, you have individual value.

  • HOWARD Martin
    27 days ago

    but I'm looking for one

  • HOWARD Martin
    26 days ago

    I've started my lemon seeds in clay soil in a flowerpot and they are doing well can the clay soil help the seedlings and I'm putting used teabags on top of the clay and using used coffee grounds and pouring water rich in chicken blood and homemade liquid fertilizer out of grass clippings is that safe approach for my lemon seedlings

  • MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ
    26 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago

    Hey Travis, in another thread we are talking about using olla's in the garden. I'm thinking this might help your hot pot problem. Check out these watering spikes: Terracotta Watering Spikes Sorry I didn't remember/think of this sooner. :-(

  • Travis in PHX (9b)
    Original Author
    24 days ago

    Thanks for the tip Mary!

  • Lemon Lime Orange Zone 6a
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    I wonder how well this idea would work to cool plant roots. Might try it some time.


    https://www.survivalsullivan.com/how-to-make-a-zeer-pot/

  • poncirusguy6b452xx
    12 days ago

    The tree won't be able to make use of the chicken blood or grass clippings untill they re totally decomposed.

    Steve

  • HOWARD Martin
    12 days ago

    I just poured the chicken blood rich water straight onto the soil and the grass clippings I make into liquid fertilizer