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Problem Solver: Maintaining Appropriate Humidy Levels

Adequate humidity and light are essential to keep indoor citrus trees healthy. Cooler rooms of the home typically have higher humidity in the winter.

Make sure your trees receive as much full sun exposure during the winter months as possible. Humidity can be increased in rooms in a number of ways. Leaves respond well to a light misting of pure water from a spray bottle or humidifier. You can also place trays of pebbles and water near the base of trees to increase ambient humidity in the growing area.

Efforts to increase indoor ambient humidity levels can be especially helpful to citrus trees during the cold dry months. Make sure plants are not near forced air heating ducts or appliances that generate heat. Remember that citrus like moist soil, but not water-logged roots, so do not let misting turn into over watering. Also make sure that the bottom of the pot does not sit in drainage water, to prevent overwet root issues.

When bringing trees indoors in the fall from a summer outside, they will benefit from taking this extra precaution (which your back will appreciate too, because it decreases the pot's weight): Allow trees to dry down about 50%, or to the point at which it's time to water them again. If they are a bit thirsty (but not wilted!) at the time they are brought in, they can adjust to indoor conditions more easily. Be sure to water as needed as soon as the move is complete.