How to Avoid Water Spots on Indoor Citrus Trees


Unlike water spots on African Violets, which permanently discolor the leaves, water spots on citrus trees are caused by mineral deposits in the water and leave a whitish discoloration which can be wiped away, much like water spots on glass dishes. Water spots do not harm the tree or hinder its development in any way, but they can reduce its beauty. Although some gardeners like to use mayonnaise to clean off water spots and polish the leaves, be aware that sunlight--even sunlight filtering in through a window--can burn the leaves of a tree treated with oil.

Step 1

Water the soil instead of the tree. Indoor citrus trees should be watered when the soil is dry or mostly dry on top. Slowly pour water into the container until water starts to come out through the bottom holes.

Step 2

During the drier winter, apply water to the leaves with a spray bottle that has a fine mist setting. You can also use a damp sponge to apply moisture to the leaves.

Step 3

Remove water spots that do occur with a damp, soft cloth. Gently wipe the cloth against the face of the leaves. Neem oil, applied to the leaves, also removes water spots and helps to protect the plant against pests.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be careful not to over water, as over watering can lead to root rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Spray bottle or sponge
  • Neem oil


  • Potted Citrus Care
  • Growing Citrus in Containers
  • Growing Citrus
Keywords: citrus tree, container tree, indoor gardening

About this Author

Antonia Sorin started writing in 2004. She is an independent writer, filmmaker and motion graphics designer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has completed work for the Long Leaf Opera Company, the former Exploris Museum and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She graduated from Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.