Posted on Dec 31, 2015 | by S Mason
First, you need to choose a variety of citrus that will grow well indoors. Often this means a dwarf variety that will remain on the small side. A top favorite is the Meyer Lemon. If you've had the pleasure of viewing lush gardens in California, you've most assuredly seen the Meyer Lemon. It is sweeter than the lemons you get at the grocery and tastes of lemon and tangerine. Other popular picks are the Trovita orange and the Kaffir Lime.
Once you have the proper specimen, choose a container that has lots of drainage holes. To help with air circulation raise your pot off the ground. Pot feet or pot toes are great for this! Or try placing stones in the bottom of your saucer to allow for a bit of air underneath the pot. Be sure not to use ordinary soil from your garden; it just doesn't work for a potted plant. The easiest and best option is to purchase potting soil made especially for citrus. Ask at your local garden center or nursery.
Citrus prefers temperatures between 55 and 85 degrees. If you live in a location that experiences cold winters but warm, pleasant springs and summers, you can consider bringing your citrus in only during the winter. Whether your tree is a part-time or full-time resident indoors they all need from 8 - 12 hours of direct sunlight a day. A south facing window is best. In the darkest months of winter you may need to supplement with grow lights.
Citrus, like orchids, require higher humidity and good airflow. Misting the leaves will help, as will an indoor humidifier.
Your tree needs to be watered regularly but be careful not to over-water. Roots are not happy in wet soil that won't drain. A little moss on the top of your soil will help with water retention. Your soil should be almost dry when you water again. Along with water, you should feed your plants fertilizer in Spring and Summer about every 2-3 weeks. Around mid summer you can cut back to once a month.
If you do choose to move your tree inside during the winter and outside in spring, be sure to make the move gradually. Moving from the patio to indoors by a window with no adjustment time could shock your plant.
Citrus trees will typically produce lots of blooms and fruit during the second or third year. If you get fruit the first year, you may want to pinch them off to encourage more blooms the next cycle.