The Q&A Archives: Indoor Care Of Dwarf Washington Navel

Question: I live in the Seattle area, and someone gave me the Dwarf Orange as a gift. I love it and I want to create a nice indoor space for it since it can get below 20 F in the winter. Summers are also not guaranteed 150 days of sunshine. SO, what can I do to keep my tree happy and healthy under these limitations?

Answer: Citrus trees are delightful indoor plants during the winter months and will produce fragrant flowers followed by small fruit if growing conditions are right. Your tree will require average household temperatures (minimum 50F in winter), careful watering, regular feeding, and freedom from drafts. The trees are self-fruitful but you can help things along by hand-pollinating the flowers, transferring pollen with a soft brush. Provide as much light as possible by choosing the sunniest site you have. (Supplement low light conditions with fluorescent gro-lights.) Air tends to be dry indoors during the winter. Mist the leaves every few days to counteract dry air. Water often enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy wet, and feed monthly with a half-strength dilution of liquid fertilizer. Take your tree back outdoors when the weather warms in late spring.

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