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We live in the Caribbean and I have several potted plants in my rooftop. One of the plants is a small citrus plant.

The problem is that the climate here is so hot (over 90 degrees in the morning) and there's so much sunlight that it's really hurting the plant. It doesn't matter where I move it, it will receive the same amount of sunlight and heat. I know that this lemon plant thrives in the sun, but I had to move it downstairs because the sun was just too strong.

My question: is there anything I can put over the soil so that the soil doesn't receive the full force of the sun?

This may be a dumb idea, but I have several of these types of outdoor chairs that I have to throw away. Can I use the mesh from these chairs to cover the pot? It will give the soil some shade, and since it's a permeable and breathable mesh, water and air can go through it.

I want to move it back upstairs because it's not doing great downstairs either. enter image description here

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You can paint the pot white to help cool the soil, or buy a decorative clay pot, and place the plastic pot in it. Could you make a roof out of an old cotton sheet? In your climate a cotton sheet roof would provide plenty of sun, and some cooling shade.

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There are citrus trees growing all over the Caribbean in wild and domesticated situations. Fundamentally the lemon can take quite a lot of heat no problem but most of the time the root area is large and deep and protected somewhat by the leaf canopy. It would help to transplant the tree into a larger pot, the idea being that it takes much more heat to raise the temperature of a larger pot. Also try to increase the spread of foliage as shade to reduce sun on the soil surface. Many beaches in the tropics are not sand but fragments of white shells, so perhaps a thin layer of tropical sand on the soil surface would help reflect radiated heat off the root surface. Keep the pot well watered not only to give the tree water but also to allow the soil surface to cool by evaporation. The larger pot with more volume and surface area of soil will help with this.

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