Do you love citrus fruits like Meyer Lemons, Key Limes, and Mandarin Oranges, but live in a climate much too cold to grow these trees outdoors? I have a solution for you. You can grow indoor citrus trees! These trees grow well in pots and indoors with proper care. Just a few tips and tricks offer the best results. Read on and I will teach you how to grow citrus trees indoors today.
Indoor Citrus Tree Care
Natural sunlight is the absolute best choice for growing citrus trees. They are sun lovers that generally grow outdoors in full sun so we want to come as close to these ideal conditions indoors as we can.
A sun porch or a bright window will be the best choice, but if you don’t have either of these, look to a plant light.
I recommend some real sunlight and supplementing with a plant light, but a good plant light will work in place of natural light. You want a quality full spectrum plant light. There are loads of options from large to small and in a variety of formats. You can even simply buy a plant bulb to put in a lamp of your choice. Just be sure the bulb is pointed at your plant. Rotation of your citrus tree may be necessary if your light isn’t overhead. The best grow light for indoor citrus trees is going to be a full spectrum plant light that works in your space and provides enough light. Don’t choose something for seed germination or even growing herbs that probably won’t be enough. One full size plant bulb that fits in a regular light fixture is what I have used most and it has worked well. One per plant is probably going to be best unless your citrus trees are particularly small.
Choose a container that you like that has really good drainage. Tall and narrow is going to be better than short and fat for citrus trees. If you want to move your tree outdoors when the weather is nice keep the pot light and easy to maneuver. Choose a pot slightly wider and deeper than the existing pot. Do not choose a much larger container as this can be quite unhealthy for your citrus tree.
The soil should also be well draining. You can actually buy citrus soil, but any good quality potting mix is going to work well for these plants. Don’t use heavy soil.
Watering is actually pretty simple with indoor citrus trees. Allow the soil to dry out before watering deeply. Do not allow water to sit in a saucer or the bottom of the pot. The soil must be allowed to dry.
Humidity is crucial especially in winter when our indoor heated air is so dry. You have a lot of options:
- Mist once or twice per day with a spray bottle.
- Use a humidifier.
- Create a humidity station with a saucer and some rocks. If you sit this under your plant, be sure the water line stays below the bottom of the pot.
Citrus trees work hard producing blooms and fruit up to four times per year. This translates to a love of food. My favorite citrus fertilizer is Espoma Citrus-Tone. For plants in containers it should be used every 2 months from late winter/early spring through fall.
Citrus don’t get incredibly large, but they do grow fairly fast. So a haircut in late winter or right after they have stopped fruiting will keep your tree small and tidy. They can handle heavy pruning and can be kept quite small.
Citrus trees are self-fertile, but consider your indoor conditions. There aren’t pollinating insects or wind to help pollination along. You can boost fruit production with hand pollination. Take a paint brush or Q-tip and gently rub them on the inside of each flower. Use the same brush or Q-Tip each time. You can do this once or twice per day while your plant is in bloom. This step isn’t necessary, but if you want to take the extra time, it certainly can increase the quantity of the fruit you grow and even the quality.
Best Indoor Citrus Trees
Growing lemon trees in pots is surprisingly easy! Enjoy these popular, easy to grow, sweet lemons in the very first year. They make the best lemonade!
Buy Meyer Lemon trees.
Grow these delicious, sweet and tart pie limes in your own home. This tree is very easy to keep small. Even maintaining it at only a couple of feet tall can still provide a good harvest of these small citrus fruits!
Shop Key Lime trees.
Owari Satsuma Mandarin Orange
The oranges of this tree are small, tasty and easy to peel. This citrus tree is wonderful for families with small children.
Buy Mandarin Orange trees online!
Some other indoor fruit trees to consider are Fig Trees. We love the Little Miss Figgy and the Celeste Fig trees for their compact size and easy care.
Shop house and patio plants at PlantingTree and have an indoor citrus tree delivered to your door.
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How to Grow an Orange Tree Inside or Outdoors