Why is a lemon tree the perfect houseplant? Because it’s easy to grow: citrus plants thrive in the right conditions indoors, and for indoor use they grow between two and three meters tall, although dwarf varieties can be a few meters shorter. To learn how to overwinter a lemon tree in a pot indoors, check out this post!
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What is the best location for a lemon tree?
“Here comes the Sun.” That’s the tune you should be humming when choosing the right location for a lemon tree in your home. Experts recommend placing the plant in the sunniest window in the house. If you don’t have enough direct natural light, experts recommend placing a large grow light over the tree. Rotate the plant frequently so all sides get enough light to bloom. If it is not rotated, only one side of the plant may bloom. Once temperatures have warmed in late spring, carefully move the plant outside into full sun.
When to bring the plant indoors?
Once temperatures begin to drop in the fall, you should bring your lemon tree back indoors before the first frost threatens. The tree can tolerate a range of indoor temperatures. If you set the thermostat in your home to a comfortable temperature for people and pets, your lemon tree will be fine. If you move your plant from indoors to outdoors, you will need to gradually acclimate it to the higher light outside or it will burn quickly.
Which pot and soil are best?
When you grow a tree indoors, its survival depends entirely on you! Make the right choice for your lemon tree by selecting the best type of pot and soil. Start with an inexpensive clay pot. Terracotta pots are great for citrus plants because they are porous and provide more oxygen to the root system. Citrus plants are very susceptible to root rot caused by various pathogens, and terra cotta pots greatly reduce this risk.
If your citrus tree has taken root and needs a larger pot, you should only increase it by one pot size. For the same reasons as moisture and root rot, your citrus tree needs a very well-drained potting soil. Experts recommend mixes designed specifically for citrus plants. You can also use an all-purpose potting soil, but it is recommended that you make it porous by adding soil conditioners such as perlite. The pH of the soil for a lemon tree should be between 5.5 and 6.5.
Winter lemon tree in a pot indoors: Watering
Citrus trees can be a little picky when it comes to their water needs. The roots need to stay relatively dry, but you can’t let the soil dry out completely either, especially during the blooming season, because the flowers can wilt and even fall off. You need to wait until the top inch or two of the potting mix has dried out before watering thoroughly again.
How to fertilize a lemon tree?
If you fertilize your lemon tree, it will bear more fruit. Since you will eventually eat the lemons, it is recommended to use an organic granular fertilizer. Simply sprinkle the recommended amount in your pot, mix it in lightly and water. Then fertilize until early fall according to the instructions on the fertilizer label. Then it’s time to bring the plant back indoors and enjoy its cheerful color, fragrance and fruit throughout the winter. If your lemon tree has an iron deficiency, the young leaves will turn yellow while the leaf veins remain green. In this case, you may need to use a more acidic fertilizer or iron supplements made specifically for plants.
Increase the humidity
Indoor air is very dry (especially when the heater is on); citrus trees like humidity levels of 50 percent. To increase it, place trays of water (this is especially effective if you can place the trays on a radiator or in front of a heating vent to increase the evaporation rate).
Improve air circulation
Outdoors, breezes move air around. In airtight buildings, air stagnates. Place an electric fan in the room where your citrus tree is wintering. Open a window for an hour at noon on a sunny day when the outside temperature is not too brutally cold.