How to Grow Citrus Trees in the House


Citrus trees are very cold sensitive and thrive outside in areas of the country known as the citrus belt, or regions that typically do not have winter freezes. Growing citrus trees in the house allows you to grow them in other places, too. Citrus trees that grow best in containers include sour orange varieties, Ponderosa or Meyer lemon, Meiwa kumquats as well as Persian or Tahiti limes. Choose one of these or dwarf varieties for best results.

Step 1

Plant citrus in containers that are at least 14 inches in diameter and have bottom drainage holes. Place the container in a location that provides full sun for most of the day for best results.

Step 2

Cover the drainage hole with screen mesh to keep the soil inside. Fill the container partially with good quality potting soil or with a mixture of 1 part sand, 1 part composted bark and 1 part peat moss.

Step 3

Place the citrus tree in the middle of the pot. Add more soil until tree is at the same level it was growing previously. Pat the soil to firm it around the citrus tree's roots and trunk.

Step 4

Drench the tree with water to remove air pockets and to settle the soil. Water the citrus tree again when the top 2 to 3 inches of soil is dry. Water until it seeps out the bottom of the container. Cover the top of the container with mulch or gravel to retain moisture and to improve the appearance of the citrus tree.

Step 5

Apply a citrus fertilizer every month during the growing season, as directed by the label instructions, or use a time-release formula. Keep the fertilizer away from the citrus tree's trunk and foliage to prevent burning.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Screen mesh
  • Potting soil
  • Hand trowel or shovel
  • Mulch or gravel
  • Citrus fertilizer


  • Missouri University: Growing Citrus Trees Indoors
  • Texas AM University: Home Fruit Production-Citrus
  • Citrus Tree Care: Container-Grown Citrus Plants

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida: Your Dooryard Citrus Guide
  • Meyer Lemon Tree: Growing Your Indoor Meyer Lemon Tree
Keywords: growing citrus trees, growing citrus inside, container citrus tree

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.