Love citrus? Consider adding an indoor citrus tree to your sunroom or other indoor space! In addition to bringing a dose of sunshine to a dull winter day, a bright, cheery citrus tree looks lovely in a pot and produces delicious, juicy citrus fruits you can add to everything from cocktails to classic dishes.
With so many great varieties of dwarf citrus trees available, you may be wondering where to start. Read on for a citrus fruits list of some ideal varieties for indoor growing, along with tips on how to keep them healthy year-round.
What are citrus fruits?
If you’re planning to use the fruit (as opposed to just keeping a citrus tree as an ornamental), you’ll want to figure out what kind before you start looking for citrus trees for sale.
To begin with, what is citrus? The different varieties of citrus fruits come from the citrus foundational fruits: pomelos, mandarins and citrons. When thinking citrus, orange might be the first fruit that comes to mind, but citrus fruits also include lemons, limes, grapefruit, tangerines and kumquats. Not only are the citrus fruits in this diverse group delicious and refreshing, their richness in vitamin C, folate, potassium and flavonoids make them superfoods.
Many citrus trees come in dwarf variety versions as well. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Dwarf Meyer lemons trees. This small, sweet cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange is less tart than a true lemon, and is popular with chefs due to its versatility in cooking. They fruit from late November to the end of March.
- Dwarf Key lime trees. Producing fragrant blossoms and tart limes that give the iconic pie its name, the dwarf Key lime will do well on your patio during the summer months and then thrive inside when the temperature drops.
- Dwarf kumquat tree. Beautiful and bearing sweet fruit, kumquats are a wonderful choice when it comes to indoor cultivars. The small fruits are sweet and tart, and the thin skins are edible, allowing you to eat these tiny fruits whole.
- Dwarf Clementine mandarin orange tree. What it lacks in size, the Clementine Mandarin orange makes up for in taste! The sweet flavor is hard to resist and it ripens early, so it is one of the first citruses to be harvested.
How to keep your indoor citrus tree healthy. Citrus tree can thrive in an indoor environment, but they do need conscientious care. While being inside does keep them safe from some citrus tree diseases, there are other stressful factors that you’ll need to compensate for (such as lower humidity, higher and dryer temperatures, and watering protocols).
Citrus leaf curl is sure sign your indoor citrus tree may not be getting enough water, but you must take care not to overwater. Experts advise using the “two-knuckle-deep” rule to determine if your plant needs water: insert your finger into the soil to the second knuckle, and if it’s still most, put away your water can. Make sure the tree is will drained, and do mist the leaves with a spray bottle regularly.
You should also provide citrus tree fertilizer twice a year – once in the spring, and again in the summer. (During fall and winter, when the plant is about to flower, citrus fertilizer isn’t necessary.)
Also, make sure your citrus plant gets plenty of light. All citrus plants need bright light to thrive, and prefer south-facing windows with good airflow and out of direct heat or drafts. For your tree to be fruitful, you’ll need at least four hours of direct sunlight.