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Trees and Limited Space

2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

I know that I can't be the only one who has struggled with this, so I thought I'd create a discussion topic for it.

Some background for those who haven't seen any previous posts by me. I've been growing citrus for a number of years exclusively indoors. All of my trees grow well, are healthy, and fruit in their window. (I also grow a couple bonsai trees in other rooms).

My question is a bit connected to a rangpur lime seedling I was given a few years back. Because this tree is one of only two trees that were grown from the seed of a special tree belonging to my grandmother, I can't give it away. I would like to eventually let this tree grow to the same size as my Nagami and Fukushu which are both about 4 ft tall and have large, spreading canopies. At the moment, however, I am very limited on space. My growing area is about 2 ft deep by 15 feet wide and is home to about 12 large air plants, three orchids, a fukushu, Nagami, and Nancy garrison passion vine (this one is huge and regularly tries to take over my window), a rangpur lime, a makrut lime, a fig tree, and seedlings of sour orange, tangelo, and indo mandarinquat. The rangpur lime was previously a very sick, very tiny seedling in a 2 inch pot which I was given in the hopes that i could save it from root rot and a number of deficiencies that were killing it. By last year it was about 8 inches tall, had three branches, and very green leaves. It smells amazing. But now, it has grown to about 13 inches tall and spreads about 2 feet in all directions. It has about 9 new branches sprouting, which are growing rapidly and it is quickly overtaking the small space I have for it to grow. In the next few weeks I'll be repotting a bunch of my trees (I finally found the full-size pot I plan to keep my fukuhsu in, so I'm going to play some musical pots. Fukushu into new pot and makrut lime into fukushu pot). My question is this: I want to eventually grow the rangpur to the size of the fukushu and Nagami, and I'd love to see it fruit sooner rather than later, but I can't until I move from my current home and have more space to grow plants. It is doing very well finally, so I don't want to mess with it too much, but it is also somewhat root bound in the tiny 8 inch pot it lives in right now. If I pot it into a bigger pot, I'll have to put it on the ground, where it will get less light than it gets currently so it might not do as well, but then again it might do just fine as there is quite a bit of light where I can place it. So here are my choices:

1. Repot the rangpur into the former makrut lime pot (12 inch), move it to the ground and let it grow.

2. root prune the rangpur, wire the branches to get them out of the way, prune it, and then return it to the 8 inch pot.

I'd be curious to see what others think about the different options I have, or maybe options I haven't thought of. How do you handle managing plant sizes so you can keep them in your growing space? What are the pros and cons of my options?

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