The Q&A Archives: lemon tree

Question: I purchased a miniature lemon tree in Florida in April. It did well in my NJ backyard. Now I've brought it indoors. Any advice on what I should or should not do?

Answer: Lemon trees make terrific houseplants during the winter months. Indoors, citrus trees need average warmth, freedom from drafts, ample water, and well draining soil. Provide bright light. Some direct sunshine is beneficial. Failing that, you may need to supplement natural light with fluorescent or gro-lites especially made for plants. Turn the light on for 12-14 hours each day and turn it off at night. Citrus trees need ample moisture, so water often enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy, and feed in the spring and summer months with a diluted liquid fertilizer, especially if the leaves are yellowish instead of glossy deep green. Watch out for scale, aphids and mites, and use insecticidal soap or light horticultural oil according to label instructions if they do show up. Be sure to give your tree a gradual transition from indoors to outdoors, and vice versa, so they have time to adjust to the changes in the environment. Best wishes with your lemon tree!

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