How to Plant Dwarf Citrus Trees


Dwarf citrus trees provide fresh fruit in small spaces; they can grow indoors in cold climates or on apartment porches. Dwarf trees are available in all types of citrus, from kumquat and lime to orange and lemon. Container citrus can be left outdoors in spring and summer, then brought indoors when temperatures fall below 40 degrees F. Plant container dwarf citrus in the spring if you intend to keep it outside, or at any time of year if you want to keep it indoors.

Step 1

Select a container with drainage holes that will hold your dwarf citrus tree. Four Winds Growers recommends a 6- to 9-inch container for one-year-old trees, and a 10- to 14-inch container for trees two to three years old. Containers with drainage holes are a must; they prevent dwarf citrus trees from developing root rot.

Step 2

Add a 1-inch later of potting mix to your container. Use a commercial lightweight potting mix that doesn't contain sphagnum peat moss.

Step 3

Pull your dwarf citrus tree from its container. Loosen the root ball with your hands. Unwind and untangle any circled or tangled roots with your hands until every root is free. Planting a tree with tangled roots can cause the tree to choke later on, because it can't draw water from the soil.

Step 4

Place the tree in the container, spreading its roots against the soil. Holding the tree straight with one hand, fill in potting mix around the tree to plant it.

Step 5

Firm the soil around the trunk of the tree with your hands. Plant the dwarf citrus tree at the same depth as it was in the container.

Step 6

Water the newly planted citrus tree until water pours out the drainage holes and the soil compresses around the base of the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Commercial potting mix


  • Four Winds Growers: Growing Citrus in Containers
Keywords: container citrus, growing dwarf citrus, plant dwarf citrus

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.