If you don’t have any outdoor space to grow fruits, there is a group of trees that make ideal indoor plants – citrus. Citrus trees are tropical plants that can grow incredibly well indoors when given the correct position and care. Follow this guide to find out exactly where to position your indoor citrus tree according to Feng Shui principles as well as their care needs.
- Where to Position Indoor Citrus Trees in the Home – The Essentials
- About Indoor Citrus Trees
- Where to Position Indoor Citrus Trees
- Where to Position Indoor Citrus Trees in Feng Shui
- Where To Place Indoor Citrus Trees In The Home
- Where Not To Place Indoor Citrus Trees In The Home
- Where To Place Citrus Trees Outdoors
- The Best Position for Indoor Citrus Trees – The Final Word
Where to Position Indoor Citrus Trees in the Home – The Essentials
Citrus trees need a bright position with an absolute minimum of 4 hours of direct sunlight per day. A south-facing window is preferred to ensure the tree produces fruits. They also require warm temperatures and high humidity for strong growth. In Feng Shui, citrus trees belong in the wealth area of your home and are believed to bring good luck and prosperity.
About Indoor Citrus Trees
Citrus is a large genus of fruiting plants in the family Rutaceae. The fruits of these trees and shrubs are beloved worldwide, offering a host of uses and benefits, with many species and even more hybrids and cultivars delivering the wide range of colors and tastes we are accustomed to today.
Citrus is largely native to Asia, traveling down to Oceania and Australia. They are found in tropical environments where temperatures rarely drop, explaining their ability to grow so well indoors. As there are few plants that reliably produce fruits indoors, needing a period of cold to induce fruiting, citrus trees are ideal for those with only indoor or patio, or balcony space to grow.
There are too many species and hybrids in the Citrus genus to name here. But, among the hundreds of plants to choose from, only a few grow well and continue to fruit indoors. These are normally dwarf or compact trees that don’t mind being confined to a pot:
Calamondins, thanks to their short stature, are the most commonly grown indoors and can even be found in the houseplant section of some nurseries. Some lemons are more suited to indoor growth, such as Meyer lemons that don’t grow as large as other trees. Make sure you identify the exact species or cultivar before you buy to make sure it will grow well indoors and in a pot without growing too large.
Where to Position Indoor Citrus Trees
Growing citrus indoors is the ideal solution for gardeners who live outside the tropical and warm zones these plants require to produce fruit. They are also great for those who may not have a garden to plant in, allowing you to grow fruits almost year-round.
Correct care is vital in getting your citrus tree to produce fruit. Give them the perfect conditions year-round to encourage fruiting, or simply enjoy the tree for its foliage and wonderful scent.
Light Requirements for Indoor Citrus Trees
The right lighting conditions are essential if you’re hoping to get fruits out of your citrus tree. They need tons of energy to produce delicious fruits, needing at least 3-4 hours of direct sunlight per day. Closer to 5 or 6 is preferred, but that is not always possible indoors with the movement of the sun during the day.
Aim for a south-facing window that gets as much direct light during the day as possible. If your plant is not performing in spring and summer, you can also move them outdoors on a patio or balcony for a few hours to improve conditions.
Whenever you change their lighting conditions, make sure you do so slowly. Sudden changes in light can lead to leaf drop or burning that is difficult for the plant to recover from. If you choose to move them outdoors in spring and summer for a few hours each day, start with only a few hours of direct light and increase the time each day to avoid sudden shock.
The same can be said for the end of the season when they need to come back inside to protect them from the cold. Introduce them to lower lighting conditions slowly to prevent wilting and leaf drop.
For more, see our in-depth guide to the best light conditions for indoor citrus trees.
Watering Considerations for Indoor Citrus Trees
Citrus trees love moist soil, especially during the active growing season when they are working hard to produce fruits. Like most houseplants, they are also sensitive to overwatering and cannot sit in overly moist or waterlogged soil for long periods.
How often you water will vary depending on the environmental conditions, the size of the plant and its pot, and the season you’re in, among other things. Rather than following a schedule, simply check the soil daily with your finger. Once the top layer is dry, it’s time to water again.
Never leave the soil to dry out completely, as this can stunt growth and cause the leaves to drop. On the other hand, don’t water when the soil is already moist, and make sure the pot has enough drainage to prevent root rot.
Soil Requirements for Indoor Citrus Trees
Citrus trees need a light and nutrient-rich potting mix to grow well and prevent root rot. They prefer slightly acidic soil packed with nutrients to fuel their rapid growth.
When planting or repotting a citrus tree, it’s best to make your own soil mix perfectly tailored to the growth of the tree indoors. Start with one part high-quality potting soil and mix in one part perlite to improve drainage and one part coconut coir to retain moisture. If you already have peat moss on hand, you can use that instead which will also decrease the pH of the potting mix.
Temperature and Humidity Considerations
Managing temperature is key to getting your citrus to produce fruits. Exact temperatures will vary depending on your chosen species, but most indoor citrus trees grow best in temperatures between 55F and 85F.
They also need a slight dip in temperatures overnight to encourage fruit development. Depending on your region, you may need to adjust your thermostat by around 5F at night to match the conditions outdoors in their native habitats.
Never leave the trees exposed to temperatures below 50F. Some are hardier than others, but all will grow far better and avoid damage in warmer conditions. Aim for humidity above 40% for the quickest growth and fruit development.
Fertilizing citrus trees is one aspect of the care you cannot skip, especially for citrus in smaller pots. Thanks to their speedy growth (meaning you’ll also need to prune regularly), they use up nutrients quickly, requiring constant top-ups throughout the growing season.
Purchase a fertilizer high in nitrogen as citrus trees are quite sensitive to nitrogen deficiency. There are many citrus-specific fertilizers available perfectly suited to those plants.
Never apply more than is recommended on the packaging as this can quickly lead to root and leaf burn. In fact, when growing in containers where the nutrients hang on to the little soil there is, it’s better to start by applying at half strength and upping the dose only as required.
Where to Position Indoor Citrus Trees in Feng Shui
According to Feng Shui principles, indoor citrus trees are believed to bring good luck and financial prosperity to the home. To get the most of these benefits, they need to be placed in the wealth area according to the bagua map. The wealth area is the southeast part of your home, associated with prosperity and abundance.
When following Feng Shui principles, plants placed in the wealth area need to be green and healthy to contribute to the positive energy of the area. Dying plants add negative energy to the space, so make sure their placement also correlates with the correct care to get the most out of your citrus trees.
Where To Place Indoor Citrus Trees In The Home
Citrus trees are bright plants that deserve a central position in the home.
The first thing to consider is lighting. Place them directly in front of a south-facing window that gets plenty of direct light throughout the day. If they are placed in areas with less than four hours of direct sun, they are unlikely to produce fruit.
Easy access is also essential. When fruiting, it’s best to have the trees in your kitchen or dining room to quickly pick when needed in the kitchen. However, if there’s not enough space in these areas, an open living room is also suitable.
Choose a warm room with high humidity to replicate the conditions they enjoy. As the pot will likely be placed on the floor, ensure the bottom is easy to access so you can check the soil moisture frequently.
Where Not To Place Indoor Citrus Trees In The Home
Your chosen position should be away from any draughts through the home and warm or cold air from radiators or air conditioners. This can quickly cause leaf drop and stunted growth. Make sure there is enough airflow around the plant to prevent disease, but not so much that the tree becomes stressed.
Also, avoid rooms with low light. Not only will this prevent fruiting, but it will also stunt growth, ultimately killing the plant.
Where To Place Citrus Trees Outdoors
If you’re moving your tree outdoors in summer or live in a tropical zone where they can be left outdoors permanently, choose a position with at least 6 hours of direct light, especially in the morning. This early morning light improves evaporation and prevents the pests and diseases indoor citrus trees are prone to.
The Best Position for Indoor Citrus Trees – The Final Word
Indoor citrus trees are slightly tricker to care for than other plants. But, with the correct position and care, you shouldn’t have much trouble. Plus, if you’re following Feng Shui, you can even get some additional benefits out of these wonderful trees, apart from their delicious fruits.
Madison is a writer and editor with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science. She writes and photographs for various online and print publications in the gardening sphere and is the author of the book The Next-Generation Gardener.