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How to Grow Clementines Indoors

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017

Clementines are easy to maintain, drought, disease and pest resistant and can be easily trimmed down to a manageable size. Nules clementines are generally regarded as the best clementine variety and many nurseries carry these saplings. When choosing one to take home, look for a robust, healthy plant with a healthy root system and it will grow happily in your home for years.

Remove the clementine from the container that it is currently growing in. Examine the roots. Prune any that are damaged, diseased or any that have circled to conform to the shape of the container. Then loosen the roots by gently pulling them outward with your hands.

Re-pot your clementine. Its new home should be a clay pot with drainage holes that is large enough to easily accommodate your clementine's root ball with room to spare. Create a mound of potting soil at the bottom of the pot that is about 1/4 the volume of the pot. Then nestle the root ball onto the soil mound. Fill the pot with soil until it reaches the soil line on your clementine. Pat the soil down with your hands to remove any air pockets.

Water the soil. Each time you water your clementine, water it until soil drains out of the bottom and into the saucer. Empty the saucer. Only water your clementine when the soil is dry to a depth of 2 inches.

Provide your clementine with sufficient light. It will need a minimum of 5 hours of direct sunlight each day, although 12 hours a day is ideal. For optimum growth and fruiting, supplement available sunlight with high-intensity discharge lighting during the growing season.

Provide your clementine with sufficient humidity. Use a hydrometer to measure the amount of humidity in the room that your clementine is growing in. If the humidity is not between 45 and 50 percent, place a humidifier in the room.

Fertilize your clementine. Clementines are heavy feeders and they will need a 12-4-4 fertilizer once every six to eight weeks during the growing season applied according to the manufacturer's instructions. In the fall and winter, use only 1/3 of the amount of fertilizer.

Prune your clementine's roots when the tree stops growing. Remove it from the pot and use sterilized pruning shears to remove any large roots that are circling around the pot. Then use a sharp sterilized knife to cut 1 inch from around the entire root ball. Re-pot the clementine immediately. Use as much of the old soil as you can salvage and supplement it with the same brand of potting soil that you used originally.


Things You Will Need

  • 12-4-4 fertilizer
  • Clay pot
  • Potting soil
  • High-intensity discharge lights
  • Hydrometer
  • Humidifier
  • Pruning shears
  • Knife


  • Do not water your clementines with hard water; add a tsp. of vinegar per quart of water to soften it.

About the Author


Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.