How to Grow Grapefruit in Pots (10 EASY Steps)

Have you ever wanted to pick a fresh grapefruit off your very own tree or Learn How to Grow Grapefruit in Pots?

Did you think it isn’t possible because you live in the wrong climate or don’t have enough space?

I am here to tell you that you can grow grapefruit trees no matter where you live in the world.

All you need is a pot, a few dollars to spend, and 2 minutes of care a day!

How to Grow Grapefruit in Pots

Below, are 10 EASY Tips if you want to learn How to Grow Grapefruit Trees in Pots! These tips will make growing grapefruit trees easy, simple, and cost-effective!


Buy One of these 2 Grapefruit Trees (Tip #1)

When learning how to grow grapefruit trees in pots you must first select the correct type of grapefruit.

If you want the quickest results at the most reasonable price then I recommend buying a grapefruit tree, rather than starting one from seed.

Using seed to grow grapefruit trees is too time-consuming, produces inconsistent fruit, and costs more money than buying a tree.

When purchasing a grapefruit tree to grow in a pot, I typically only recommend two types: Ruby Red & Pomelo.

Buy a Ruby Red Grapefruit Tree

ruby red grapefruit

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Most grapefruit trees can grow to be almost 40 feet tall and require temperatures well above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

For gardeners in cooler weather or a lack of space, this poses a problem.

Ruby Red Grapefruit can solve this problem and are great when learning how to grow grapefruit trees in pots.

Ruby red Grapefruit trees maximum height is 30 feet.

When planted in a pot you can prune and trim it can stay around 5-7 feet tall. My current ruby red grapefruit tree is only 5 feet tall and won’t get much bigger.

In addition, ruby red grapefruit trees can survive in weather above 30 degrees and can easily be moved indoors in the winter.

Finally, ruby red grapefruit trees typically bear fruit within two to three years. And you should expect at least a handful of grapefruit each year depending on the size of your tree.

Buy a Pomelo Grapefruit Tree

pomelo grapefruit

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Pomelo Grapefruit are some of my favorites when learning how to grow grapefruit trees in pots.

Pomelo Grapefruit as not really grapefruit, but a citrus fruit that is almost identical to the ruby red grapefruit and sometimes what you even find in grocery stores.

Pomelo is easy to grow grapefruit that is incredibly tasty and can be used in many fruit dishes!

The maximum tree’s height is only 25 feet. And like the ruby red grapefruit can be contained to 5-10 feet when grown in a pot.

Although this grapefruit can survive low temperatures, I do recommend bringing it inside if temperatures constantly stay below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Expect pomelo grapefruit within the first 3 years after purchasing your tree.

Buy the Correct Pot (Tip #2)

gardening pots

Since your grapefruit tree won’t be planted in the ground, your gardening pot is the most essential item you buy!

The reason that it is the most important item that you buy is that it is now that trees home. And if it doesn’t have proper room to grow or enough drainage holes then it can quickly stunt its growth or even die.

Not only do you want to make sure you purchase the correct pot, but also you want to purchase the correct size. This is critical when learning how to grow grapefruit trees in pots.

I recommend purchasing a pot that is twice the size of the pot your grapefruit tree came in.

If your grapefruit tree didn’t come in a pot then I recommend purchasing a pot that is twice the size of the root ball of your tree. The root ball is the bottom of the tree where all the roots come together.

Buy a Plastic Pot

Depending on what article you have read of mine, you will notice I recommend different types of pots.

Because grapefruit trees can grow to be much larger and heavier than other trees, I typically only recommend one type of pot.

When planting your grapefruit tree, I recommend using a Plastic Pot.

I recommend plastic pots for several reasons. While these pots may not be the prettiest, they are the most cost-effective.

They also have great drainage holes and can retain water very well. They are lightweight which is key for moving the tree in and outside. Finally, these are long-lasting and durable pots.

Buy Ceramic or Wood Pots

While I recommend using plastic pots for your grapefruit trees, I also understand that it may not be for everyone.

If weight is not important or if you want a better-looking pot then I recommend purchasing a ceramic or wood pot.

Wooden pots are great pots if you plan on leaving your grapefruit tree outside all year.

Wooden pots are extremely durable and hold water very well. Typically, you’ll see gardeners own their wooden pots for 25 years or more!

Ceramic pots are another great pot if you want something that looks really nice. Ceramic pots are also some of the best-draining pots.

The downside of this type of pot though is that it can easily crack in cold weather. If this is a problem all you need to do is move it inside during the winter or cooler nights.

How to Plant Grapefruit Trees in Pots (Tip #3-5)

planting an orange tree

Planting a grapefruit tree is just as easy as planting any other tree in a pot.

One of the most important factors to remember when planting a grapefruit tree is that it is always good to plant it in a container twice its size.

I cannot stress how important this is when learning how to grow grapefruit trees in pots.

Grapefruit trees quickly grow, so it will be a good idea to transplant the tree into another container that is twice the size of your first container.

You will want to do this every two to three years. You should not have to do this more than twice.

First, DO THIS! (Tip #3)

When you first get your grapefruit tree, you will want to fill your new pot about 75% full with potting soil.

Do not use garden soil, raised bed soil, or any other side besides potting soil.

Potting soil has the perfect mix of nutrients for your grapefruit tree. There is a chance other soils can harm and sometimes kill your grapefruit tree.

I personally recommend Miracle-Gro Potting Mixes

For most of the grapefruit trees you buy, they will come without an existing pot.

Since there is no existing pot all you need to do is place it in the center of your new pot. And then fill in the rest of the pot with soil. I recommend not filling it any higher than where the stem meets the soil.

It should be noted that over time the soil will wash away, so you may need to add additional soil if it goes below where the roots connect to the trunk of the tree.

Next, Fertilize & Water (Tip #4)

If you want to have the most success in the quickest way then immediately after you plant your grapefruit tree fertilize it.

There is only one fertilizer I recommend and it is: Organic Citrus Tone

After applying your fertilizer (per the instructions on the package) you will want to water it.

Initially, water your grapefruit tree for approximately 30 seconds until the fertilizer dissolves and the soil is dark brown.

Next, repeat this at least once a week. Typically, you won’t need to water your grapefruit tree more than 2-3 times a week.

Your grapefruit tree needs watering if the soil is a light brown color and dry to the touch.

Feel free to adjust how often and much you water per your own observation.

It should be noted though that if you keep your grapefruit tree inside all year then watering once a week for 30 seconds should suffice.

Sunshine, Sunshine, Sunshine (Tip #5)

When it comes to your grapefruit tree there is no such thing as too much shine.

If you want your tree to grow the fastest and produce the best fruit possible then make sure it receives 8-12 hours of sunlight a day.

When your grapefruit tree is outside this should not be a problem.

If your grapefruit tree is inside I would highly recommend putting it by a window that gets sunlight all day.

It should be noted that in the winter your grapefruit tree obviously will not get as much sunlight as the summer. That is fine. Just make sure the grapefruit tree continues to be in front of a window.

How to Care for Your Grapefruit Tree (Tip #6-9)

How to Grow Grapefruit in Pots

Water Properly (Tip #6)

Like most citrus trees if you want the best results you need to water it properly.

As discussed above, you will want to water your grapefruit tree at least once a week if it is indoors and 2 to 3 times a week if it outside.

In addition, you want to water your tree in the morning or late evening. Watering at these times will help minimize evaporation and leaf burn.

Fertilize Properly (Tip #7)

Like most citrus trees that are planted in pots, it can be beneficial to continuously fertilize it over the years.

I recommend fertilizing your grapefruit tree once a year.

When you fertilize your tree is just as important as how often.

Only fertilize your tree when there are no flowers or fruit on it.

By fertilizing your grapefruit tree when there are no flowers or fruit all the nutrients will go directly towards the trunk and leaf growth.

Prune Away! (Tip #8)

Pruning may seem like a complex task, but I promise it is not.

Pruning your grapefruit tree will help you better shape the tree to fit in the spot, your property, and inside your house when you move it over the winter.

Also, pruning your grapefruit tree will promote more tree growth and this will increase the number of grapefruit you get.

I recommend watching the below video for more information on how to prune grapefruits, lemons, and other citrus trees:

Repot Your Grapefruit Tree (Tip #9)

If there is only one Tip you take advantage of it should be Tip #9 – Repot your Grapefruit Tree.

Your grapefruit tree will outgrow your new pot within the first year. Because of this, you will want to make sure you transplant it into another pot.

As a reminder, it is important to transplant it into a pot that is twice the size of the current pot or root ball.

Typically, I recommend repotting in the spring and doing this every two to three years. After you have had your grapefruit tree for about 5 years you should not need to transplant it again.

Before repotting your tree make sure to water it and the soil in the new pot for approximately 30 seconds. You will then need to repot it the same way as you planted it and you are all set.

Once you have transplanted your grapefruit tree make sure to fertilize it and then water it again! Too much water is not a bad thing to help prevent root shock.

How to Harvest Grapefruits (Tip #10)

How to Grow Grapefruit in Pots

Once you have a grapefruit tree fresh off your tree you’ll never want a store-bought one again.

In order to have the freshest taste, you will want to pick your grapefruit at the right time.

If you are reading this post you most likely should know what a grapefruit should look like.

My best suggestion is to pick your grapefruit when it looks like the picture below.

pomelo grapefruit 2

But just because your grapefruits look like how do you know it is the perfect time to pick them?

The perfect time to harvest your grapefruits is when they look like the picture above and are just a little bit soft to the touch.

If your grapefruits are firm and do not give when you touch then they are not ready.

If your grapefruit is very soft when you touch them then you know they are overripe.

Finally, if you have a hard time removing the grapefruit from the tree then it is too early to harvest.

Once you determine your grapefruit is ready to harvest all you have to do is gently grab the grapefruit where it meets it stems and twist until it comes off!

Beware of These

There are several items you want to beware of when planting and caring for your grapefruit tree.

Cold Weather

If your forecast is calling for weather below 50 degrees Fahrenheit then bring your grapefruit trees in. One of the easiest ways to kill your tree is to leave it in temperatures below 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Too Much Water

While grapefruit trees need a lot of water to grow and produce fruit, too much may not be good.

Overwatering can lead to root rot and other fungi that stunt growth and potentially lead to death.


As a reminder, your grapefruit needs about 12 hours of sunlight. If it doesn’t get 12 hours of sunlight it is not the end of the world.

If your grapefruit tree gets less than 6 hours of sunlight a day then it will not bear fruit and potentially die.


This tip is easy. Do not use any soil besides potting soil. Wrong soil will provide incorrect nutrients, poor drainage, and an environment for disease and pests.


This is often an overlooked item when planting in pots. Don’t make your pot too heavy. When initially planting it, envision what it will look like a few years later with fruit, soil, and water.

If your pot is too heavy to move then think about placing it one spot all year or using a different type of potting mix.


As I talked about above there are 10 EASY Tips to follow. If you can’t follow all of the tips then I recommend these top three:

  1. Purchase the Correct Pot
  2. Purchase a Ruby Red Grapefruit or Pomelo Grapefruit
  3. Provide your grapefruit tree with 12 hours of sunlight

If you follow these three tips I have no doubt you will have success. And best of all is that it will only take a few minutes every day!

If you enjoyed this article then I highly recommend reading:

How to Grow Lemon Trees in Pots (18 PROVEN Tips)

Ultimate Guide to Starting a Vegetable Garden

10 EASY Tips to Grow Avocado in Pots

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