Question: I just bought a MEYER IMPROVED LEMON at a local nursery in central New Jersey. Can this plant stay in a pot and be brought indoors for the colder winter we get? If so, do you have a list of do's and don'ts for this plant?

I appreciate any help in getting info on the plant. Strongly hoping it'll do ok indoors :)

Diane Slaninko

Answer: You can plant your lemon tree in a container and move it about - outdoors during spring and summer; indoors during fall and winter. The only caution here is that you'll want to gradually acclimate your tree from indoors out and outdoors in. Do this by moving it out (or in) for a few hours each day, gradually lengthening its stay until it is spending all day and all night in its second home. Move it back inside before nighttime temperatures drop below 50F.

Here is a brief guide for keeping your indoor citrus plants happy and healthy:

Location: Make sure your plants receive five to six hours of sunlight. Set your tree in a southern exposure, if possible, or supplement the light by using 40 watt fluorescent shop lights above the plants.

Fertilizer: Use an acidic fertilizer during the plant's active growing season in late winter, June and August. Use a high-nitrogen-low phosphorus food (20-10-10) or one specifically for citrus every time you water.

Water: Your pot must have good drainage as you will water every few days. Mist the leaves and give your tree a shower occasionally.

Humidity: Homes in winter have drier air, so try a tray of pebbles under the pot will increase humidity near the plant. An occasional shower with tepid water will rinse dust from the leaves.

With the right care and a little luck, your own personal citrus grove will bring you great enjoyment and last for years.

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