The Q&A Archives: Growing An Indoor Lemon Tree

Question: I have been growing a lemon tree which I started from seed during the spring. It has grown to nearly one foot tall, and seems to be doing well. As the weather turns colder, I am anticipating having to bring the young tree indoors. I do not have a window with lots of sunlight, and am concerned about providing an appropriate light level for the tree during the winter. Please help me with surmounting this obstacle and any other issues that are important for growing lemons indoors (fertilizer, water, etc.).

Answer: Citrus trees are very cold sensitive so you'll need to bring the tree indoors for the winter. Not all varieties of lemons adapt well to containers (some such as Eureka grow to 20 feet, while some such as the dwarf 6 foot Meyer will do better), so your success will also depend on which kind you have. During the winter citrus trees need a cool (60 degrees would be great), very bright indoor spot with ample humidity and these conditions can be difficult to provide in the average home. The tree should be set outside each summer to take advantage of the sun. Keep the plant evenly moist but not soggy and use a balanced fertilizer which also contains zinc, iron and manganese to keep up the micronutrients. The tree should grow fairly slowly so be prepared with some patience. Good luck with your tree!

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