If you are like me, you might live in an area that citrus doesn't quite grow so well. I live in the pacific northwest and although we rock at apples and lentils, citrus fruits just don't fare well here outdoors. The good news is, you can still grow some citrus indoors year round and they make a lovely conversation piece. It is a tedious process and you may not get fruit the first year, of course, but like all gardening, it can be very rewarding. Here are some tips for growing citrus indoors if you are thinking of giving it a try.
How to Grow Citrus Indoors
Make sure you have the right species. Not all trees will do well in smaller pots. Some like Meyer Lemons, for example can do well. You want to make sure and get dwarf varieties if you because they do well in smaller spaces like in your home. Also, citrus like lemons that are highly sour do best if you don't have year-round sun.
Make sure to provide plenty of moisture. Citrus plants require a higher moisture content than in typically found in most homes. You can add moisture with a humidifier in the area of your plants or you can simply add some small garden pebbles to a container and place them under your pot's drainage holes to allow moisture to stay near your plant's roots all the time. Make sure to water frequently.
Allow your trees to go outdoors when it is summer. Even if you live in the northern states, you probably have some hot weather. Moving your plants during this season to an outdoor setting is best for them and will allow them to get extra sun and movement. This fresh air is very good for them. You can make it easy to move your plants by placing them on wheeled plant stands.
Speaking of sunlight, make sure to provide enough, even in colder weather. A citrus plant needs at least 8 hours of sun each day. Place your plant in a window area where it can get direct sunlight all day long. If it doesn't get enough sun, the leaves will start to curl under and it will not fare well at all.
Make sure to keep the soil well nourished. Citrus variety plants need a lot of nutrients. You need to make sure the soil is full of nutrients by either adding some compost material or commercial plant food make for trees. Also, make sure that you place them in roomy pots with a place for the roots to grow.
Keep them at a room temperature setting at all times. Don't leave your plants outdoors when it starts to get chilly and don't move them outside until a few weeks after the last frost. They will die if left at temperatures below 40 degrees for more than a couple of hours or over long periods of time.
Have you ever grown citrus indoors? Do you have any tips to share? I would love to hear them in the comments!