Answer: To some extent it is probably related to the type of plant you are trying to grow. Many oranges need to be quite large before they will bear fruit and if grown in a container maybe stunted as a result. (The best citrus suited for containers such as Calamondin orange or kumquat or "Improved Meyer" lemon, grafted on a dwarf rootstock such as Flying Dragon.) Then, it may be related to the amount of sun they are receiving. Indoors in New York you need to give them as much light as possible in the winter months. Another issue may be fertility, they do need regular fertilization from spring through fall with a general purpose water soluble or slow release fertilizer formulated for acid loving plants and containing micronutrients. Finally, be sure you are using a large enough container, a half whiskey barrel size is a rough guideline to go by; a wheeled platform or castors can be helpful in moving them indoors and out. Here is more information about container citrus you may find useful.
I hope this helps you troubleshoot!
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