Indoor Citrus Plants for the Home
Citrus fruits are by far the most versatile fruits out there. Whether you’re whipping up a savoury dinner, a sweet dessert, or a zesty cocktail (or three), a squeeze of the sour stuff goes a long way, helping to achieve that perfect balance of flavours. We’ve all had that moment in the kitchen where halfway through preparing guacamole, you realize you’re fresh out of limes, and must begrudgingly abandon your taco tuesday meal prep to rush over to the grocery store. So, why not skip the trip and start growing citrus plants indoors? It’s the best way to ensure you’ve got freshly picked lemons, limes, oranges and more, exactly when you need them.
We’re a little obsessed with the meyer lemon tree. Lemons have become a seriously trendy motif in fashion and home textiles, so why not take it to the next level and keep an actual lemon tree in your home? It’s the perfect combo of style and functionality, with endless uses for this sour, tangy fruit.
The most important factor determining whether your meyer lemon tree will flourish or flop, is the contents of its soil. To prevent the roots from getting waterlogged, a mix of ⅓ peat moss, ⅓ organic matter and ⅓ slightly acidic soil should be optimal conditions for your tree to thrive. This self-pollinating plant will need some fertilizer to produce fruit, but don’t mix it in with the soil— instead, sprinkle it on top so you don’t jumble up the roots.
Keep your tree close to a bright window, because this plant needs a healthy dose of sunshine each day. Water it thoroughly, but like most other dwarf trees grown in containers, you should make sure the soil dries out between watering. They also tend to like more humid climates, so during the dry winter season it will definitely help to set up a humidifier nearby, but a delicate mist of water every now and then should also do the trick. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Key Lime (AKA the Limequat)
These tiny limes made famous for their outstanding contributions to the pie world are another fantastic option for indoor citrus trees. They prefer similar soil conditions to lemons, and they’re pretty easy to care for. Don’t overwater, but don’t let them get too dried out either. Just let the top inch of soil dry out in between waterings.
The more sunshine dwarf lime trees receive, the better. A single tree can produce fifty pounds of limes per year! That’s a lot of margaritas. While it is considered a self-pollinating plant, when indoors it doesn’t mind a little help with getting the job done, so once it starts to produce its little white flowers, pop one off and rub it on all the other flowers on the plant. The incredible fragrance it releases, paired with its natural air-purifying properties will leave your home smelling better than anything an aerosol freshener could ever achieve.
The centennial kumquat variegated is a great species to grow indoors, and the fruits are a little bigger and sweeter than other varieties. One thing to keep in mind with the kumquat plant is that they don’t like their roots to get too cramped in, so pick a big container with lots of drainage holes, and elevate it over a water tray to help maintain proper moisture levels and air circulation.