How to Grow Citrus Trees Indoors
There is nothing more satisfying than harvesting delicious fruit from your very own citrus tree. But what if we told you that you could do this from inside your home? That's right! Certain citrus tree cultivars can be grown indoors and still produce their tasty fruits. With the proper caretaking and disease/pest prevention, your citrus trees will flourish and provide you with fresh fruit for years to come!
Choosing Your Trees
Now that we've gotten you excited to grow citrus trees in your home, let's talk about which trees are best and most successful indoors. Our top 2 favorite indoor citrus trees are, Meyer Lemon Trees and Key Lime Trees. Both cultivars require similar care taking, produce similar fruits, and produce white flowers during their growing seasons.
Meyer Lemon Trees
The Improved Meyer Lemon Tree is a must-have houseplant that is rare for its flowering and fruiting abilities. These indoor citrus trees prefer a well-draining potting mix and to be in bright, indirect sunlight. Meyer Lemon trees are sensitive to overwatering, so it is crucial you do not overwater them or they could get root rot disease.
It is time to pick your lemons when they are yellow and soft to the touch. Enjoy your lemons in a pie, tart, or simply slice them up and enjoy a refreshing glass of lemon water.
Key Lime Trees
Key Lime Trees add a tropical twist to brighten any space! This indoor tree features glossy evergreen oval foliage and golf-ball-sized limes. This citrus tree thrives in warm temperatures and can be grown near a sunny window. Always remember to provide your tree with sufficient water because this tree's moisture content is high for fruit production.
This plant is also known as the bartender's lime or West Indian lime tree. Their edible, organic fruit is perfect for making pies, tarts, or a fresh glass of limeade when paired with our Meyer Lemon Tree.
Growth and Care Tips
The most important information to take from this blog is to NOT overwater your indoor citrus trees. Their soil needs to dry out between deep waterings. When it is time to water your plant drench its soil until water runs from the drainage holes.
We recommend that you feed your citrus tree once a month with an organic granular citrus fertilizer. At Garden Goods Direct we sell Espoma Citrus-Tone that is the perfect fertilizer for your citrus tree. Be sure not to feed your tree if it is sick, diseased, or has an infestation; it will only make the problem worse.
Place your Citrus Tree in the sunniest spot available in your home. We recommend in a South, east, or west-facing window. If your home lacks bright, natural lighting, you can use grow lights to take place of natural lighting. However, be sure to turn off the lights at night so that it replicates the sun.
Never place your citrus tree near a heat source or exterior door. These spots will provide your plant with hot or cold blasts of air and they do not like that. Allow them to grow indoors with neutral temperatures and slight humidity. If you have outdoor space, you can place your plant outside during the warmer months.
Control Disease and Pests
Common pests you may see on your citrus trees include spider mites and scale. Spider mites are next to impossible to see, but if you notice any cobwebs, especially on the backs of the leaves, this is an indicator that your plant has mites. If you see flat brown ovals or fluffy white insects, these are scale. You may also notice sticky spots on the leaves or on the floor under the branches, which is actually honeydew from the scale.
The best way to safely remove these pests off your plants without harming your plants, is to spray the entire tree with a solution of one tablespoon liquid dish soap mixed with one quart of water. It is vital that you wash every single leaf with a soft sponge to ensure you remove all the pests and their residue.
A disease that can harm many indoor and outdoor plants that is especially prevalent with indoor trees is Root Rot Disease. Root rot disease is caused by overwatering your plants or allowing their roots to become waterlogged. If your tree is in soil that is not well-draining or a pot that does not have drainage holes, it will absolutely get root rot disease. Another possibility that can cause root rot disease is container size. If your tree's container is too large, this can lead to excess moisture remaining in the soil.
Sooty mold can occur when an infestation of sap-sucking insects take over your tree. The disease is a fungus that is characterized by a black powdery coating on your citrus tree's leaves and branches. Sooty mold is not a dire problem and is usually fixed when you address the insect infestation on your tree. The worst this disease can do is stunt growth or cause yellowing of your plant's leaves.
Something to keep in mind when you bring a citrus tree in your home is that they might not fruit for the first few years. Depending on the variety and their age, it could take some time before they are ready to produce fruit.
During the first few years of fruiting, fruiting will be inconsistent and small. However, this is the time they are developing their strong roots and branches, creating a healthy base that will lead to large harvests in the future.