How to Grow an Indoor Citrus Tree
Love lemons and limes? Great news! You don't need to live in a tropical paradise to grow citrus trees. You can, with a bit of effort and a little luck, grow your own citrus tree, of any kind, indoors.
Where Can You Grow Citrus Trees in Your House?
Citrus trees need a warm, sunny environment. If you have a greenhouse or a sunroom, these spots can be perfect places to let your citrus trees grow. Most people don't have sunrooms or greenhouses, though, so you'll need to pick the perfect spot in your home that has warmth, is away from any vents, and gets good sun. Morning sun is cooler than afternoon sun.
Make sure your citrus tree is less than ten feet from a window that gets morning or afternoon sun. Your specific citrus plant may require morning or afternoon sun, so make sure to check the instructions that come with your tree.
Citrus trees need to be kept in at least sixty-five-degree temperatures and shouldn't get too hot. Your specific tree will have temperature requirements.
Where Can You Buy Citrus Trees?
You can purchase citrus trees online or at a local greenhouse. Make sure to read reviews before you purchase your tree online because you don't want to buy from a company that doesn't properly ship their trees. Plants love continuity, so shipping can be hard on them. You may need to be gentle with your online order plant for a few weeks after it arrives and avoid disturbing the roots or replanting.
How To Pollinate Your Citrus Tree
If your citrus tree isn't growing any fruit, it probably needs to be pollinated. While you can move your trees outside during the warmer months for natural pollenation from bees you can also artificially pollinate your plant by using a gloved hand to gently flick and spread the pollen from flower to flower.
Orange trees love their sun bring but indirect, and they need at least six hours of sunshine every day. South and west-facing windows are great for orange tree growth, and you can use a citrus tree soil fertilizer to give your tree an extra boost twice a year during the growing seasons. Like most citrus, orange trees need good drainage and are prone to root rot if they are overwatered. In the warmer months, your orange tree will need more water and more humidity.
If you want to grow a lemon tree indoors, start with a Dwarf Improved Meyer lemon tree—these trees are great for indoor growing. When you buy a lemon tree, it will likely be a few years old, so you should see fruit the first season or two. You will need to re-pot your lemon tree a few times throughout its life, so when you need to upgrade your pot, pick something just a few inches larger than what your plant is currently growing in. When the top three inches of your soil are dry, it's time to water your lemon plant.
Like lemons, Dwarf Lime or Dwarf Key Lime trees are the easiest for indoor growth. Over or underwatering your trees can be detrimental to the fruit, so make sure you stick to a good watering schedule for your lime tree. Check for dry soil before you water and make sure that your excess water can easily drain. A potting soil mix that offers great drainage is going to be your best bet for lime tree soil. Your lime tree will likely take three to four years to produce full-sized limes, so be patient!
Lemons, limes, and oranges—oh my! If you're not quite ready to jump into the world of indoor citrus trees, check out these easy-to-grow houseplants!