Searching for tips on how to care for your indoor orange tree? Continue reading below to get all of the facts you need to help your orange tree thrive!
Fun fact: Oranges don't grow in the wild. They've been around for literal ages. But they're a domesticated hybrid between the pomelo and mandarin.
So when you think about it, growing an indoor orange tree is your duty to humanity.
Of course, now you're probably asking yourself, "But how on earth do I even grow an orange tree indoors? There's not enough light for a citrus tree indoors! Isn't that why they're grown in Florida and South Texas?"
We hear you. But not only is growing oranges indoors possible, but your tree can also thrive — you just need to know a few tips about how to grow an orange tree indoors.
Keep the Temperature in Check
As a rule of thumb, your indoor citrus tree will die if the temperature gets below 10 degrees F for 10 hours or 20 degrees F for 20 hours. It's OK to place your tree outside for some light, but when the winter weather starts getting rough, it's time to pull it in.
Just note the exact temperature citrus houseplants thrive in might vary from variety to variety. So check with your citrus seller.
Let There Be Light
The light for a citrus tree is very important. Your indoor orange tree needs at least five or six hours of direct sunlight a day. A south-facing window is a sweet spot when growing citrus indoors.
But note that your window has to be physically hot to the touch to provide enough light. For times when it's not, you can buy a special grow light for citrus trees.
It's Not a Dry Heat
Orange trees also like humidity. It keeps them cool and encourages orange blossom growth.
Naturally humid rooms like the kitchen or bathroom are great places if you can swing it. If not, put your indoor orange tree on a pebble tray and mist the leaves with cool water to raise the humidity.
Speaking of Water
Believe it or not, indoor orange trees' water needs aren't too different from another more boring houseplant.
In the summer, they'll need regular watering. Once or twice a week should do. During the winter, however, do make sure you let the soil dry out between waterings.
Pro tip: Put a bucket outside to catch rainwater. That's their favorite treat.
Feed Me, Seymour
Citrus trees are hungry little buggers. Feed them regularly — every second watering should do — with a high-potassium feed during spring and summer. If you take care of them, they'll return the favor with better fruit.
We recommend Nelson Plant Food.
Don't Forget to Prune
Indoor orange trees do need a lot of pruning. You don't want the branches to get overcrowded. If they do, make sure you get them pruned by February. And it may seem counterintuitive, but cutting back the tallest branches actually encourages better growth.
Buying an Indoor Orange Tree
From Valencia to blood orange, mandarin and more, there is a wide variety of indoor orange trees to choose from. They all have different uses. So think of how you'll likely eat them when making your decision.
Or get more than one! It's OK to be greedy. Now, let's go pick out your indoor orange tree!