Indoor Citrus Trees

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Motomom34, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I would like to try growing some citrus trees/shrubs indoors. I have read that they are hard to grow but then I have read it is easy. I have seen some citrus plants at a Lowes and before I waste $30 I was wondering if anyone here has tried growing citrus indoors.

    I am leaning towards lemon trees because we use them more then limes or oranges but if another is more beneficial then I would try something else. Meyers lemons seem hardy but the move from outdoors to indoors makes me think they should just stay inside.

    Any monkey thoughts, knowledge or two-cents opinions would be much appreciated.
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  2. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    We've got an orange tree growing up here in the land of ice and snow. (The mitten)
    Had to hand pollinate it with a q-tip though. Flowers came out and there was still a foot of snow in the apiary.
    first year, 1 fruit.
    2nd year, 15 of the delicious albeit tiny suckers.
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  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    About the same as our poor Apple Tree, the Bear broke down last year.... Momma got 14 Apples this year, which was a small miracle,
  4. JABECmfg

    JABECmfg multi-useless

    @VisuTrac - do you leave it outdoors all year long? I have a grapefruit tree, about 18 months old, that I kept indoors last winter and brought inside again a couple weeks ago. Figured it would die if it froze, maybe I'm wrong?

    Also, what are you using to pollinate it? Does it require another citrus tree?
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  5. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    That's where we get our frozen concentrate from: Alaskan Citrus trees. :lol:
  6. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    My questions also. If I have two lemon trees will I need to self pollinate?
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  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I am glad her tree survived the bear. 14 apples is a pie!
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  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Well, Not quite a Pie, these are really SMALL apples, more like an Apple Fritter......
  9. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    not sure which dwarf orange we bought.
    but it didn't require a second tree. But i suspect that we'd get a bigger yield if we had a 2nd and xpollinated.
    used a q-tip. If you don't have bees in your house, and there is snow on the ground. You've just become the bee.

    we usually put it out when the night time low is around 50 to avoid any issue with late spring frost. Bring it in usually mid oct. to avoid the same in the fall.

    some trees are self-pollinating others require a 2nd. read the tags w/ the tree or research before purchasing.
  10. JABECmfg

    JABECmfg multi-useless

    Grew mine from a seed, that came from a store-bought grapefruit. Which is odd that it would even sprout, with most grocery store fruit being irradiated and all... Either way, the grapefruit sat on my kitchen counter for a few weeks and had begun to dry up. By the time I got around to eating it and cut it open, one of the seeds had started to sprout inside the fruit - so I planted it, and now I have a small tree in my living room. I'm currently trying to replicate the results with a lemon. Which means, I've left a lemon sitting on my kitchen counter for a few weeks and it's beginning to shrivel up. Almost time to cut it open and see if anything's happening inside!

    @BTPost - glad your tree survived, here's hoping the fritter turns out nicely. ;) On a side note, the way you describe it, makes it sound as if bears wandering around the homestead and knocking things down is a common occurrence. For most of us flatlanders, that's not normal at all! :eek:
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Why yes, our bears are less clumsy...:rolleyes:
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yes, I have Bear neighbors.... and they do wonder around looking to feed their snouts.... but they have ALL gone to sleep for the winter, now... I will see them again next April....
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  13. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    JABECmfg, your story reminded me of when I was a kid. My parent's house & property was built on land originally belonging to a dairy farmer, and we had a working pasture, with cows, behind the property up until I was ~6 years old. Then the old farmer passed away, the wife didn't want to continue the business, and their kids never wanted anything to do with it, so she sold everything off and the pasture went fallow.
    After a couple years, Dad got ahold of the widow, and asked if he could take down the barbed wire fence, since he had kids playing around it. No problem. A year or two later, Dad asked if he could "borrow" some of the land, by mowing back into the pasture about 15 feet, in order to increase the play area for us kids. Again, no problem. When he was mowing, he ran across a small apple tree that was growing back there. The consensus was that it had grown from an apple core someone had thrown back into the fallow pasture, after eating the apple, and had sprouted one of the seeds into a tree!

    So I guess the Johnny Appleseed legends aren't so far fetched after all, eh? :)
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  14. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    From a growers present perspective, information on citrus pollination may seem academic. After all, beekeepers continue to clamor for citrus grove locations. Most citrus is, fortuitously for growers, superior in nectar production, responsible in good years for a premium, high quality honey crop. Thus, there are always plenty of bees in the groves; whatever pollination is needed is right at hand. And best of all, it's provided free for the producer in exchange for nectar that would otherwise go to waste.

    This has led to the conventional wisdom that pollination in most citrus is not really required. Other evidence contributing to this belief, as published by Dr. A. Krezdorn, retired from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), University of Florida, "Pollination Requirements of Citrus," Report of the Ninth Pollination Conference, Hot Springs, Arkansas, include:

    1. Citrus flowers are perfect, having both sexes on the same blossom so that self-pollination takes place regardless of pollinators. But bees (pollinators) are distributed throughout citrus groves in any case.

    2. Female-sterile varieties are not benefited by pollinators.

    3. Some seedless varieties may benefit, but evidence is lacking.
    However, Dr. Krezdorn does suggest that this by no means indicates pollination is not necessary in citrus. For example:

    1. There is a growing number of citrus varieties which require cross pollination because they are self-incompatible.

    2. A positive linear relationship between fruit size and number of seeds per fruit exists.

    3. Where cross pollination is required, use of honey bees remains the most consistent, effective and economical means of ensuring adequate yields.

    READ MORE: RFAA092/AA092: Pollination of Citrus by Honey Bees


    I am thinking about acquiring some Nagami Kumquat shrubs for indoors. They do take several years to bloom and produce effectively. Some sellers will do this for you if you shop around, saving time.
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  15. marlas1too

    marlas1too Monkey+++

    try growing kumquats ,they are small and can be grown indoors -skin is sweet and the inside is like a lemon
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  16. marlas1too

    marlas1too Monkey+++

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  17. marlas1too

    marlas1too Monkey+++

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  18. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Thanks for the info on the kumquats. I never thought to grow them because I have never had them or used them.I will try them out and this maybe an option.
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  19. JABECmfg

    JABECmfg multi-useless

    I hope you're right - my lemon didn't do what I was hoping it would, but I've planted apple seeds. Everything I've heard and read about it says that you can't grow fruit trees from seed - that they have to be grafted to carefully selected rootstocks and watered with the tears of unicorns, etc etc... But I figure trees did just fine on their own before people came along and decided they needed our help, and I do have a grapefruit tree sitting right here next to me saying "go for it, man!"

    I think the real test will be not whether the seeds sprout, but more so whether the trees produce anything. (Or at least anything good.) So, it's gonna be a few years before I can answer that one. If they produce but the fruit isn't any good, at least the trees will attract wildlife. If not, oh well... I only spent a few bucks on the seeds, and I got to play in the dirt.

    If this grapefruit tree starts flowering, I might look into a 2nd citrus tree for pollination. Maybe buy a dwarf tree from a real nursery so I can spend more time eating and less time wondering what it will do next. (Though I must admit, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching this little tree grow.)
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  20. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    It wasn't but 20ish years ago that you couldn't walk into an office without finding a couple avocado seeds sprouting in a glass of water on someone's desk. Presumably for indoor planting, but I wasn't paying attention at the time. Dunno if any of them ever got past the root sprouting stage. Always wondered if any of them actually got planted and producing. (This was back in the day when home made avocado dip was the fad of the cocktail set.)
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