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Have you ever wandered through the citrus section of a nursery, inhaling the sweet scent of Meyer lemons and key limes, and thought “Oh my, I want one”? As someone who impulse purchased a struggling lime tree years ago—which I named Limey, by the way—growing citrus indoors is possible with the right care and conditions. Citrus plants can be great houseplants if you set them up for success, and they present a unique opportunity to engage all five senses! In this episode, I invited my long-lost dear friend Danny Trejo from Via Citrus to share with you everything you need to know to cultivate your own indoor citrus plant, from choosing the right variety to proper care for growth and fruiting.


In this episode, we learn:

  • [00:00] What citrus varieties has Maria grown over the years? 
  • [11:59] What is Danny's background with citrus?
  • [15:01] Try Soltech's high-quality grow lights and get 15% off with code BLOOM15
  • [17:23] Where can you get the best citrus soil mix and citrus tone fertilizer?
  • [19:39] What citrus varieties does Danny recommend for beginners?
  • [21:20] Other citrus varieties Via Citrus are growing
  • [24:13] What conditions do citrus plants need to thrive indoors?
  • [28:01] Grow light specifications for citrus (a crash course)
  • [31:28] Why you should have a proper watering schedule
  • [34:09] Soil care and drainage hole for your citrus
  • [35:52] How often should you fertilize citrus?
  • [37:11] How to prepare your citrus in the winter
  • [38:37] When is the best time to prune your citrus plants?
  • [41:40] How to increase humidity for citrus in the winter
  • [42:53] What are some common citrus troubleshooting tips?
  • [44:08] Can you grow citrus from seeds?
  • [45:28] What is grafting?
  • [49:53] How to ensure that your plant's buds develop into fruit
  • [51:52] What exciting new sustainable pot line is Danny creating?
  • [55:06] Where can you find Danny on social media? (use code ‘GROWINGJOY' for 10% discount!)


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Why Grow Citrus Indoors?

Citrus plants are subtropical, meaning they thrive in humid environments with lots of sunlight. While they naturally prefer to be outdoors, it is possible to replicate their ideal growing conditions inside.

The benefits of growing citrus indoors include:

  • Enjoying the citrus scent right in your home
  • Harvesting and eating homegrown fruit like limes and lemons
  • Making cocktails, lemonade, and other drinks with your harvest


Choosing a Citrus Variety

If you're new to growing citrus, Danny recommends starting with some of the simpler, compact varieties:

  • Calamondin – an easy variety for beginners; produces blooms and fruit year-round
  • Key lime – another good starter citrus; highly productive
  • Meyer lemon – a very popular indoor variety; produces fragrant blossoms
  • Kumquat – an ornamental dwarf variety that grows edible fruit
  • Yuzu – a trendy citrus used in Asian cuisine; known for its floral aroma.

The naturally smaller sizes and moderate light needs of these varieties make them ideal candidates for containers indoors. You’ll have an easier time providing what they need to thrive in a home environment.


Providing Proper Lighting

One of the keys to thriving citrus is giving them enough light. Citrus plants need full sun—at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. 

A bright south or southwest-facing window is ideal. However, if your home lacks sufficient natural light, you can supplement with grow lights. There are many affordable, stylish options these days that are easy to install and use.

If using grow lights, carefully read the instructions to position them at the proper height above your citrus plants. I've made the mistake of placing mine too far away, failing to deliver enough intensity! You'll also want lights on a timer to mimic natural day/night duration.


Caring for Soil and Water Needs

To keep your citrus plants healthy, make sure to water them properly and use the right soil. Water deeply and regularly but let the topsoil dry out between watering to avoid root problems. Use a citrus potting mix and make sure your pots have holes for water to drain out!


Fertilizing and Pruning

Fertilize citrus 2-3 times per year during the active growing season, around spring to summer. Avoid fertilizing in winter when plants are dormant. Signs of nutrient deficiency include yellowing leaves.

Prune citrus in early spring to remove any dead branches and shape the plant. Resist cutting in winter since citrus needs its leaves to capture sunlight for energy (think of them like solar panels).


Managing Humidity and Dormancy

Citrus prefers higher humidity, around 40-60%, especially in dry winter months when heating systems run frequently. Use a humidifier and/or mist plant leaves several times per week.

While citrus growth slows in winter, they don't go fully dormant like some other species. Avoid drastic temperature swings and drafts to prevent shock and leaf loss. Keep them in their favorite sunny window and continue watering when soil dries out.


Getting Fruit from Flowers

Don't be discouraged if your citrus blooms a lot but only produces a few fruits. The plant knows how much it can support and naturally drops excess flowers/young fruit. Stay diligent with care, and you're likely to get a modest harvest.

Hopefully, this beginner's guide has provided you with the key information you need to successfully grow citrus plants indoors. Pay special attention to providing the right amounts of light, warmth, humidity and proper watering in order to keep your citrus trees happy and productive. Happy growing plant friends!


Mentioned in our conversation:


Thank you to our episode sponsors:

Soltech Solutions

Ensure your plants are getting enough light indoors! Soltech Solutions makes the grow lights you’ve heard me talk about for years: whether you are looking for a pendant light, track lighting, or a simple bulb to screw into any standard light fixture, Soltech has got you covered. They offer quality products with great customer service, free shipping, and a 5-year warranty. Keep the sun shining and the plants green inside your home with Soltech Solutions.

Check them out at and get 15% off with code “bloom15”.

Espoma Organic

Make sure your plants are all set for the new season! Espoma Organic is dedicated to making safe indoor and outdoor gardening products for people, pets, and the planet. They have an amazing variety of high-quality, organic potting mixes, garden soil, fertilizers, and pest control products that are organic and eco-friendly. To top it all off, they have a huge sustainability commitment with a 100% solar powered plant, zero waste manufacturing and eco-friendly packaging.

Visit to find your local Espoma dealer or check my Amazon storefront.



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