Growing Citrus Trees Inside: 5 Helpful Growing Tips

Last Updated on September 18, 2022 by Ellen Christian

Have you ever tried growing citrus trees inside? Our growing season in Vermont is only about six months long. On a good year, we can start lettuce at the beginning of May and harvest pumpkins at the beginning of October. Growing indoor plants is an absolute must if you want to have green growing things any other time of the year.

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Growing Citrus Trees Inside: 5 Helpful Growing Tips

Growing Citrus Trees

Citrus can be very expensive at the grocery store and that’s not great for my grocery budget. I’d love to be able to grow a dwarf citrus tree inside. I realize that the citrus crop wouldn’t be huge.

But, it would be pretty neat to be able to pick an orange or lemon from your own tree. I’ve been doing a bit of research to see if we have the right conditions in our home to try this.

Indoor trees

Indoor trees need a lot of light in most cases. Unless you have a room with a lot of windows that get a fair amount of sunlight, you’re going to want to invest in a grow light for citrus tree health.

You’ll want a full spectrum grow light and will probably need to leave it on for twelve hours a day. This is an absolute must for us since our home is in the woods and doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight inside.

Growing Citrus Trees Inside: 5 Helpful Growing Tips

How long does it take to grow a lemon tree indoors?

Most people will probably want to purchase a citrus tree that is already growing. But, if you’re asking yourself how long does it take to grow a lemon tree indoors, the answer varies.

If you try to start it from seed, be aware that they often won’t produce the same as their parent tree. Instead, start with a lemon or other citrus tree that is already two to three years old if you plan on growing citrus trees inside.

The Blood Orange tree will arrive about one to two feet tall. The Meyer Lemon tree is shipped in an 8″ pot if you want something smaller. This dwarf orange tree is perfect for inside.

We have a small home and the citrus tree would be located in our living room. The dwarf orange tree would be ideal. If you have a home with an indoor greenhouse or conservatory, you may want to try something larger.

Growing Citrus Trees Inside: 5 Helpful Growing Tips

If you want to keep your indoor trees on the small side, you’ll want to keep them in a small pot. If you have any hope of moving the tree outside during the summer or to a different location, using a lightweight plastic pot is a better idea than a heavy ceramic pot.

You can always put it on wheels if you prefer a heavier pot which is what we’ll do to avoid aggravating my back. You can also place the plastic pot inside a more attractive ceramic pot if you don’t like the look of plastic.


Or, you might want to consider self-watering containers.

Growing Citrus Trees Inside: 5 Helpful Growing Tips

Soil for citrus trees

Your citrus tree will need adequate drainage. Citrus trees do not like we root systems soif you’re growing citrus trees inside, be sure to use an organic soil that’s made for citrus trees.

Line the bottom of your pot with a layer of pebbles to ensure it drains well. You will also want to use citrus fertilizer in the springtime to encourage fruit.

Since you’ll probably want to eat the citrus that grows on your plant, look for an organic option that won’t have chemicals.

How to look after a lemon tree indoors

A lemon or other citrus tree grown inside doesn’t need a lot of care provided it gets enough light, has a good quality soil, and gets the right amount of water. Be sure it gets at least eight to twelve hours of sunlight in an area with adequate air flow.

Use a soil made specifically for citrus trees to ensure it gets the right drainage and proper nutrients. Water your lemon tree weekly. If the leaves curl, it needs more water.

While I’m not sure we have enough sun in our home to grow a citrus tree, I would like to try. I’ve learned that dwarf Meyer lemon tree is probably the easiest indoor citrus tree to start with.

So, that’s probably where I’ll begin. I’d love to know if any of my readers in colder climates have tried growing citrus trees inside?

Want more indoor gardening articles? Check out these unkillable houseplants.

Save on citrus trees here.

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