Indoor Citrus Tree Temperature and Humidity Ranges

For optimal growth and fruit production, indoor citrus trees prefer warm temperatures between 60-90ºF with moderate to high humidity throughout the year. While some citrus, such as yuzu and kumquats, can tolerate below-freezing temperatures, in my experience, they will thrive much better in warmer temperatures. Follow along for all you need to know about home indoor citrus temperature and humidity requirements.

Temperature Requirements for Indoor Citrus Trees

Ideal Temperature and Humidity for Indoor Citrus Trees

Most indoor citrus trees will grow the best when air temperatures are between 60-90ºF. 

While this is ideal, most trees can tolerate temperatures outside this range. 

Properly hardened citrus trees can survive freezing temperatures, and some varieties of kumquats, yuzu, and mandarins can survive temperatures in the low 20s. However, this doesn’t mean you can turn off your heat and watch your tree flourish.

When planted outdoors, trees typically experience a gradual decrease or increase in temperature as the seasons change. This allows the tree to adjust to colder weather. When freezing temperatures arrive, the trees are likely to survive.

On the other hand, indoor trees are typically kept at a relatively consistent temperature. If your trees experience a sudden drop in temperature, they will likely suffer.

One more note: although trees may survive temperatures outside their ideal range, they won’t thrive in these temperatures. Temperatures below 50º will often set your tree back a bit.

Regarding humidity, all types of indoor citrus trees prefer moderate to high humidity.

Where to Position Your Citrus Tree

To keep your citrus trees happy, I avoid placing them in areas where they experience large swings in temperature. This means keeping them away from air conditioning vents, frequently-opened exterior doors, and radiators.

Since citrus trees like lots of bright, direct light, consider placing them near a south-facing or west-facing window. As long as this area doesn’t receive intense swings in temperature, it’s a good choice in my experience.

Here’s our in-depth guide on where to position citrus trees indoors.

How to Boost Humidity

A large indoor citrus tree growing in a bright room with long branches filled with ripe fruits
Humidifiers and pebble trays can be a great way to boost moisture levels

Since citrus trees love lots of humidity, you might need to boost the humidity levels in your home. This is especially true during the winter when heaters dry out the air.

While a humidifier is the best way to increase the humidity rapidly, it’s not the only option. I like to place my planter on a tray filled with rocks and water, providing a nice, low-fuss humidity boost. Just make sure your plant isn’t sitting in the water.

Regularly misting the air around your tree with water will also increase the humidity. However, you’ll need to do this daily to keep the humidity high, which can be a hassle in my experience.

Spring and Summer Care

A close shot of an indoor lemon tree growing in a bright room
Indoor citrus trees can be moved outside during the warmer months

Since citrus trees are native to regions with hot summers, keeping temperatures high is essential. While this typically isn’t a problem outdoors, you might find yourself cranking the AC to keep cool.

With this in mind, check the temperature of the room your tree is in. If it’s below 70º, consider lowering the AC. Also, ensure your tree is in a bright area, where temperatures tend to be slightly warmer.

Another option is to move your tree to a sunny location outdoors. If the temperature is warmer outside, this is typically the best move. Bring your tree back inside once temperatures dip below 60ºF regularly.

Winter Care

A small indoor citrus tree with a single lemon on a branch
Humidity can be particularly challenging to maintain during the winter months

Once the darker days of winter hit, citrus trees can handle a bit colder temperatures. With that said, you’ll want to keep temperatures above 60ºF.

Another thing to keep an eye on during the winter is the humidity. As heaters dry out the air, your tree may need a boost of moisture. Set out a tray filled with water, or give your tree a daily spritz.

Common Signs The Temp & Humidity Aren’t Right

Signs Your Indoor Citrus Trees are Exposed to the Wrong Temperature/Humidity
Low fruit production or leaf drop are common signs the temperature or humidity are off.

Low Vigor

While many people think cold temperatures will cause extreme damage, they can also impact trees subtly. While citrus trees can survive temperatures around 50ºF, constant exposure to these temperatures will slow their growth.

If your tree looks stunted or seems delayed in flowering and fruit set, your temperatures may be too low. This is especially true if summer temperatures are below 60ºF.

Boosting your temperatures to 80ºF or even 70ºF will improve your tree’s overall health.

Flower Drop

The moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived – your citrus tree produces those sweet-smelling flowers! However, you notice many flowers or leaves have dropped before fruits have formed.

Some fruit drop is natural as trees thin their future fruit load. But a drop of more than 50% is cause for concern. 

While flower drop has numerous possible causes, exposure to cold temperatures is one possibility. Keep your tree away from cold drafts and ensure the temperature stays above 60ºF.

Crisp Leaf Edges

Something is awry if you notice your tree’s leaves are developing discolored, crisp edges. The most likely issue? Low humidity.

If your lips and skin feel dry, the humidity is likely too low for your tree. Even if your tree is well-watered, low humidity can cause issues. If your air is extra dry, you’ll need to boost the humidity so it’s in the moderate to high range.

To do this, use a humidifier, set out a tray of water, or give the air around your tree a good mist.

Wrapping Up

While citrus trees may seem a bit intimidating to care for, all you need is the proper knowledge. Now that you know the ideal temperature and humidity for indoor citrus, you can confidently add your tree of choice to your home.

Further reading: Discover the best types of indoor citrus trees for homes and offices.

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