Best indoor citrus plants

Best indoor citrus plants

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Make a donation. Citrus are not hardy in Britain but can be grown in pots outdoors in summer and brought inside for winter. Of all citrus, most gardeners grow lemons; kumquats are the most cold tolerant; others, like limes and grapefruits, need more warmth. The fragrant flowers can appear all year round, but are especially abundant in late winter. Fruit ripens up to 12 months later, so they often flower and fruit at the same time. Citrus in pots can be put outdoors in summer, in a sheltered sunny position, but only when temperatures increase, from mid-June until late September.

  • Growing Citrus Indoors
  • Learn to Create an Indoor Orangerie
  • 12 Best Types of Citrus Trees You Can Grow Indoors
  • How Do I Select The Best Container For my Citrus Tree?
  • How to Grow and Care for an Indoor Lemon Tree
  • How to Grow Citrus Indoors
  • How to grow citrus trees in pots
  • Growing citrus in pots: 8 simple steps
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: How to Grow Citrus Trees Indoors EASY! - Complete growing guide

Growing Citrus Indoors

Fortunately, while perhaps not quite as impressive or fruitful as a tropical citrus orchard would be, it is possible to successfully grow citrus plants in pots indoors. While growing citrus indoors can be a bit tricky, with just a few pointers, you can easily fill your windowsill with enough lemons to make lemonade!

We link to vendors to help you find relevant products. If you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. First, you need to find an adequate pot.

You will need a large pot with sufficient drainage holes. To start out, look for a pot that is at least 8 inches wide and inches deep.

A 5-gallon pot is ideal. Larger pots will prevent top-heavy trees from tipping over, while also allowing plants to grow larger roots and be more productive. Keep in mind, however, that the larger the pot is, the heavier the plant will be to move. This could pose a problem when it comes time to move it outside with the return of warm weather, or from room to room. Find a pot you like. Terra cotta, unglazed ceramic, plastic, fiberglass, wood, or resin containers are all fine choices. Whatever pot you choose , give preference to a lighter color, and be sure to place a deep saucer underneath to prevent moisture from seeping onto your floor.

A plant stand or cart with wheels can also make a nice addition, for ease of movement. Fill the pot with a citrus soil blend, or use regular potting soil mixed with perlite, small gravel, pumice, or expanded shale, which will help to ensure adequate drainage. Use two-thirds potting soil to one-third inorganic material. For indoor growing, you want to choose a dwarf variety , as standard citrus trees will be much too large to contain in most indoor spaces, unless you have a high-ceilinged atrium available.

These dwarfs will be sold grafted onto roots which limit their growth size, and increase the speed of fruiting. When transplanting into your chosen container, look for the graft union.

This will look like a scar or bump where the fruiting stock has been grafted onto the rootstock. Plant the root ball into the soil, making sure that the graft is at least 2 inches above the soil line. If any young green shoots are present below this graft area, prune them off, as they will use up valuable nutrients to grow but will not produce fruit. Citrus trees are tropical plants that require lots of light, warmth, and adequate moisture in order to thrive and produce fruit.

Though it varies by variety, citrus trees tend to bloom in spring, with fruit developing over the summer, and ripening slowly into the fall and through the winter. Growth does slow a bit during the winter, though trees will not go completely dormant when grown indoors. Therefore, they will need sufficient light and water year round. Although they are self-fertile, when grown outdoors, citrus trees will be pollinated by insects or wind.

To do this, just take a Q-tip or small paint brush and move from flower to flower, brushing the center of each one.

Look for a place in your house where the plant will get as much bright light as possible, such as a south or southwest facing window. Though they can still survive in lower light conditions, they will be unlikely to flower or produce fruit. Choose a tall LED grow light , which will give off a little warmth and replicate sunshine.

Make sure not to place the light too close to the plant or it may burn the foliage. During the winter, keep the lights on for about eight hours a day. The idea is to mimic the amount of natural light plants normally receive during the season. Keep in mind that ideal temperatures vary between species.In order to flower, citrus requires 5 to 10 degrees of difference between day and nighttime temperatures, so turn your thermostat down a few degrees before bed.

When the weather warms up, you can move plants outdoors during the growing season to give them access to natural light. Gradually move them from a partly shaded spot to one with full sun, eventually setting them in the sunniest spot you can find. Provide protection from wind, and keep the pots in their saucers to maintain good drainage. Find a warmer microclimate in your yard, such as near a building where there might be some heat reflected from a walkway, driveway, or porch.

It is especially important to avoid any abrupt changes in light exposure or temperature. If you transition them too quickly, leaves could become sunburned and flowers and fruit may drop. Another key to successfully growing citrus in pots is appropriate watering. It is important that the soil should remain moist, without ever becoming waterlogged. The exact amount of water required depends on a number of variables, including the size of the container, type of potting mix, air temperature, and humidity.

The most important thing is to water regularly to keep the soil moist, but never to let it become overly saturated. It is better to do infrequent deep waterings rather than frequent shallow waterings. Let the soil dry to a couple of inches deep, and then water thoroughly until water seeps out of the drainage holes in the bottom of your pot.

During the spring and summer when growth picks up, trees may need daily watering. In the winter when plant growth slows, water only enough to maintain soil moisture.

Citrus plants are heavy feeders. They need liberal quantities of nitrogen as well as essential trace minerals including iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc for adequate growth. Excessive nitrogen can cause the plant to put more energy into leaf growth, and impede flowering and fruiting.

Citrus trees typically store nitrogen in their roots and wood, and utilize these resources during flowering and fruiting periods rather than taking up nitrogen from the soil. Since regular watering can leach nutrients, it is important to provide a source of fertilizer for indoor plants.

FertiLome Citrus Fertilizer. You can purchase citrus-specific fertilizers from Nature Hills Nursery. The most important thing is to be sure to use a complete fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium NPK. You may also need to supplement with trace minerals including iron, magnesium, and zinc, though these are often included in multipurpose fertilizer mixes. A granular slow release fertilizer will provide best results. Supplementing with a liquid feed is recommended if you notice yellowing foliage, which can be a sign of nitrogen deficiency.

FertiLome Fish Emulsion Fertilizer. Try this fish-based fertilizer, available at Nature Hills. Apply fertilizer just as new growth is beginning to appear in the late winter or early spring, and continue through the summer until growth slows down in fall.

Follow instructions on the product packaging for recommended application amounts and frequencies. Always use a fertilizer designed specifically for citrus. While pruning is not necessary for healthy growth and fruit production, it is useful to keep indoor trees compact and mobile. Trees can be pruned at any time during the year except when blooming and developing fruit, as this diverts energy away from fruit production and into new foliar growth.

Start by taking note of the general shape of the tree, looking for areas that are off balance or branches that are damaged or broken. Use clean, sharp pruners to make cuts, always with the blade pointing towards the tree to reduce potential damage. You can regularly trim growing tips to maintain your preferred shape and size. For a neat and compact shape, look for new shoots and shorten them back to about half of their length, cutting just above a leaf. You can also remove dead wood and thin out inside branches to let light penetrate to the center, and promote good air circulation.

If you have access to dwarf root stock and established citrus trees, it is possible to to propagate them yourself from stem cuttings taken during the spring or summer. Cuttings will need to be grafted to the root stock in order to be successful. Purchased cultivars will generally be grafted as well, meaning that the rootstock is different from the variety that is fused to the top, which will become the productive plant. Look for dwarf cultivars for container growing, as non-grafted trees will typically be much too large to grow indoors.

The size of the fruit will not be affected by grafting, and dwarf varieties still produce full-sized fruit.Citrus fruits with high levels of citric acid, such as lemons and limes, ripen faster than sweeter citrus varieties, making them a great choice to grow indoors in cool climates. Less acidic citrus types such as sweet oranges tend to require more heat for fruit to ripen. While all types of citrus can be grown indoors, these heat-loving varieties may require more attention in order to achieve good yields.

This classic dwarf lemon is easy to grow indoors. It is a self-pollinating cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. It can flower and produce fruit throughout the year, increasing the likelihood that it will provide you with homegrown lemons that you can use in cooking or to make fresh squeezed lemonade. Improved dwarf Meyer lemons C. More mature 1- to 2-foot trees are available from Nature Hills Nursery.

You can expect them to start producing fruit in about three years or less. Also known as Persian lime, this common grocery store variety produces large quantities of juicy, seedless fruit. The green skins will turn yellow if left on the plant to fully ripen. This is the most cold hardy of limes. You can purchase plants in one-gallon pots from Burpee. A cross between a kumquat and a mandarin orange, this tree will provide an abundance of flowers and fruit, beginning in the second year of growth.

Calamondin Orange. You can order trees in gallon-sized containers from Via Citrus, available via Amazon. These naturally dwarf-size trees are perfect for growing in containers, and can be easily transferred back and forth between a porch and indoors.

You can purchase trees in 1 to 2-foot containers from Nature Hills. This beautiful fruit-bearing dwarf has striking dark green foliage, abundant orange fruit, and fragrant flowers that will fill your house with a citrusy sweet fragrance. A popular option for container growing, this cultivar produces an abundance of juicy, delicious fruit that is easy to peel — ideal for fresh eating or juicing.

Learn to Create an Indoor Orangerie

Introducing an indoor citrus tree into the home is an excellent way to bring a dose of sunshine to your interiors—especially during the darker months. Here, they discuss four dwarf varieties that are ideal for cultivating indoors—and provide a primer on how to maintain them year-round. Consider a kumquat. Beautiful and bearing sweet fruit, kumquats are a wonderful choice when it comes to indoor cultivars. The fruit is sweet and tart, and the thin skin holds most of the sweetness. For this reason, it is eaten whole.

One of the best reasons to grow fruit indoors is the ability to The Meyer lemon is probably the most well-known indoor fruit tree.

12 Best Types of Citrus Trees You Can Grow Indoors

Oranges, lemons, tangerines: there are a lot of varieties to choose from. Not just for the fruits, they usually make excellent container plants due to their lush foliage and scented flowers—enough reasons to grow them on your balcony or patio. Like all trees you plan to grow in a pot, always select either a natural dwarf or a tree growing on dwarf rootstock. Kumquats produce fruit that looks similar to oranges but much smaller in round or oval shape. The skin is sweet, and the pulp is tart. No need to select a variety growing on dwarf rootstock because these citrus trees are naturally short. In a really cool climate, bring this fruit tree indoors in winters. Lemons are a great choice for areas with both hot and mild summers.

How Do I Select The Best Container For my Citrus Tree?

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Growing citrus indoors is possible and can be a beautiful element to add to the home. Though Southern California has the ideal climate to grow the citrus trees outdoors, there are several cultivars that are suitable for growing indoors.

How to Grow and Care for an Indoor Lemon Tree

Citrus fruits, as fruits go, are some of the most refined—from the twist of orange rind in an Old Fashioned to the fancy-lady mainstay of hot water with a slice of lemon. Since citrus is fairly sensitive to cold, they do best in our region as dwarf cultivars grown in pots. With a little TLC, you can coax these elegant dwarf trees to produce gorgeous, edible fruit. Citrus trees, and particularly lemon trees, are the divas of the plant world; beautiful, elegant, glamorous—and a tiny bit demanding. They need plenty of sunshine, moisture, and fertilizer to live their best lives.

How to Grow Citrus Indoors

Fortunately, while perhaps not quite as impressive or fruitful as a tropical citrus orchard would be, it is possible to successfully grow citrus plants in pots indoors. While growing citrus indoors can be a bit tricky, with just a few pointers, you can easily fill your windowsill with enough lemons to make lemonade! We link to vendors to help you find relevant products. If you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. First, you need to find an adequate pot. You will need a large pot with sufficient drainage holes. To start out, look for a pot that is at least 8 inches wide and inches deep.

The best pick for homegrown citrus is a dwarf variety, a plant that is grafted onto special rootstock that prevents the tree from growing.

How to grow citrus trees in pots

Lemons in Minnesota? This idea is not so far-fetched if you consider growing certain citrus plants indoors. The flowers and fruit can be fragrant and attractive. Most varieties of citrus grown commercially in warm climates are too large to be grown indoors.

Growing citrus in pots: 8 simple steps

The appeal of growing citrus trees in containers is not new. In fact, the practice has been popular since Louis XIV of France began growing orange trees in pots at Versailles in the 17th century. To awe his courtiers and other crowned heads of Europe, Louis had a vast "orangerie" built with special glass to protect the plants from freezing during the winter months. Indeed, being able to pick an orange, lemon or lime from your own indoor tree is still impressive. Aside from the novelty factor, containerized citrus trees have a beauty all their own.

While an imported orange from Florida or California might hit the spot, imagine the satisfaction of biting into an orange from your own personal grove! Some citrus trees do very well as houseplants , so you can grow them yourself right here in Iowa!

JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Winter can be hard on everything, including the trees that need to go inside for the winter. It is so important to have a good fertilizing program during the spring and summer months so the tree is hearty for the winter. Trees taken inside for the winter can continue to be fertilized, because there is no fear of frost damage. Good lighting is a requirement for all citrus, and this can be daunting task when sunshine is rare in the winter months.

Calamondin orange tree is one of the best indoor fruit trees. Buy plants from a reputable grower that are grown from cuttings. Citrus plants that are grown from seed aren't reliable to bear much fruit.