How to Grow Citrus Indoors

Overview

Citrus fruits are popular for their taste and their vitamin C content. Many locations, however, are not conducive to growing citrus, which requires warm and humid air and cannot survive freezing temperatures for very long. Therefore, the only option in many places is to grow citrus fruit indoors.

Growing Citrus Indoors

Step 1

Choose a citrus variety that is conducive to growing indoors. The Calmondin orange or the Meyer lemon are two of the most popular varieties for indoor growing, but they are not the only options available for those who have more space or desire larger fruit than the quarter-sized Calamondin orange. The Otaheite orange and the tangerine can also be grown indoors.

Step 2

Purchase a healthy citrus tree. First, look for citrus trees with dark green leaves that almost look and feel like hard wax. Second, make sure the trunk is straight, as this will help with tight spaces indoors.

Step 3

Ensure the tree has enough light. Citrus trees prefer full sun so placing them near south-facing windows is a good idea. You can also use a grow light to supplement light during shorter days, so that the tree gets 12 to 16 hours of light each day.

Step 4

Water the citrus tree only once the soil is dry to the touch. Once or twice a week is usually enough.

Step 5

Fertilize the tree in the early spring, early summer and late summer. Fertilizer for citrus should have a nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium (NPK) ratio of 8-3-9 or 8-2-10. Also make sure magnesium is in the fertilizer, making up at least 3 percent of the total composition. Follow all label directions when fertilizing.

Step 6

Make sure the citrus tree has enough humidity by adding a humidifier or misting the leaves daily. This is especially important in the winter, when furnaces tend to make the already dry air that much drier.

Tips and Warnings

  • Lack of humidity will cause blooms not to set. Make sure any fertilizer you choose has directions for indoor plants and if not, choose a different one.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer

References

  • Minnesota Extension
  • Food and Soil

Who Can Help

  • List of Citrus Varieties for Indoors and Outdoors
  • Indoor Citrus Growers
Keywords: growing citrus indoors, indoor citrus tree, growing citrus trees

About this Author

Ken Black is a freelance writer and a staff writer for The Times Republican in Central Iowa. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including business, politics, family life and travel.