Citrus and Dwarf Citrus Tree Culture

Dwarf citrus trees are popular among home gardeners with limited space and for those who want to bring their outdoor planting abilities inside. There are several different kinds of popular dwarf citrus trees available, including lemons, kumquats, oranges and limes. In order to care for dwarf citrus trees, gardeners needs to have some basic knowledge of container planting.

Types of Dwarf Citrus

There are several different kinds of popular dwarf citrus trees that homeowners grow. The most popular are the dwarf orange and the dwarf lemon.  One popular lemon variety is the Meyer Lemon.

Meyer Lemons are actually a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, resulting in a small, sweet lemon that is well suited for deserts like lemon pies.

Dwarf citrus tend to have smaller fruit than traditional or full size citrus trees. Once they are established, however, they can produce an abundance of fruit.  

Container Planting and Dwarf Citrus

These small trees are easy to grow inside because they thrive in a warm climate.  As a general rule, citrus trees do not do well in climates that have cold winter months.  This is especially true if temperatures reach down into the teens. Optimally, citrus thrives in regions that have winter temperatures that range between 55 and 65 degrees.

If you are growing a dwarf citrus tree inside, it should be kept in a location in the house that is not overly exposed to heat from heating vents or next to the fireplace.  Also, these small trees do well when placed near a south-facing window during the winter months.

As with most container gardening plants, be careful to replant the tree every few years as it grows.  While dwarf citrus trees continue to grow, even up to 10 feet, you can keep your tree in dwarf form by pruning branches to keep it at your desired size.

Water your dwarf citrus regularly, but do not allow the soil to remain overly wet.  Most trees do better if they are allowed to dry slightly between watering.

If you keep your plant indoors most of the year, be sure to bring it outside when it is blooming so that it will pollinate.  Although these small trees pollinate themselves, being outdoors allows them to spread their pollen within their own plant, which allows them to bear fruit.  Without pollination, your citrus plant will simply be a pretty green plant, but it will not bear fruit.