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Growing Citrus as Houseplants
Citrus trees can be grown easily indoors! Key elements for success are good light, adequate humidity indoors in the winter, well-drained potting soil, additional nutrients, and consistent watering. Take any one of those away and problems can develop. Supply them as indicated below, and you'll be on your way to a beautiful tree! (Which varieties are best for indoor growing?)
If your growing space receives at least 5-6 hours of full direct sun per day, supplementing with full spectrum bulbs or fluorescent plant lights can help trees perform well. IF, however, the space provides less than 5 hours per day of direct, full sun, more sophisticated grow light systems may be necessary. ACF Greenhouses is a good online source for helpful information about grow light systems.
If you live in an area with cold winters and hot summers, you might consider treating your citrus as an indoor/outdoor plant.
Using dirt (native soil from your yard) in a container is not advisable. We also advise against putting gravel or any other material on the bottom of the pot, as this negatively impacts drainage over time.
Soils that are too heavy can be amended with about 1/3 – ½ volume of 1" redwood shavings or cedar hamster bedding. Pine and spruce shavings tend to break down more quickly, so are not ideal. Try to select hardwood chips that will last longer. If necessary, moisten the mix to reduce dust and make it easier to handle.
Be sure to apply a good fertilizer as appropriate.
Please see our Growing Citrus in Containers page to review more helpful tips for successful citrus growing.