Answer: Container-grown citrus trees can be kept on patios and decks in warm weather, then moved inside for winter to avoid freezing. Just be sure not to shock your tree with a sudden change of environment. Simply place the tree in partial shade for a couple of weeks to transition from full sun to indoors, then reverse this process after any danger of frost has safely passed.
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!
Citrus like 8-12 hours of sunlight a day. Full-spectrum fluorescent grow lights are the best supplement. Light is a key element for flower production in the spring. Winter foliage will tolerate slightly lower light conditions.
Citrus grow best between 55F and 85F. They generally need to be kept above freezing (32F), while indoor temperatures averaging 65F are excellent.
Use a light, well-drained commercial soil mix. Be sure the pot has adequate drainage holes as well and do not put gravel in the bottom of the pot. Place pot on pebbles in a saucer or other surface that will allow air and water flow. Be sure to apply a good fertilizer as appropriate.
Water as needed to keep soil moist, not soggy. Generally 1/4 - 1/2 gallon of water every 5-7 days indoors is adequate. Do not leave container in standing water.
Citrus foliage benefits from being sprayed with water. In winter months, heated rooms may need additional humidity. Misting, trays of pebbles, or humidifiers will help the leaves stay lush and healthy.
Hope this information is helpful!
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