How to Grow Citrus At Home

tropical plants and calamondin citrus in pots on a bright countertop
Winter in Ontario is citrus season! Grow citrus plants indoors in winter, and in containers outdoors in warm summer months.

The frigid winter months don’t seem like the ideal time to think of tropical plants, but it’s the season for citrus! January through March are the months when lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, calamondin, and grapefruit plants begin blooming and producing fruit. You can add the bewitching fragrance and tropical appeal of these plants to your home in Ontario now… and reap the benefits of enjoying the fruits of your efforts! Here’s how to grow citrus at home.

Bright Light

Think Florida or California… citrus plants LOVE the sun! Growing your citrus in very bright light is an important way to keep your plant happy. Ideally, place your citrus plant close to a south or west-facing window, or directly into a north or east-facing window. If a close natural light source isn’t possible, you’ll need to provide supplemental light during daylight hours.

watering a citrus plant
Watering wisely is a key part of caring for citrus plants indoors.

Proper watering is critical for the success of any indoor plant, but perhaps with citrus most of all! Citrus plants need to be watered very regularly, but also require a well-drained soil that won’t allow roots to sit too wet for too long. We like Pro Mix Premium Tropical Plant Mix for citrus and most other tropical houseplants.

Using tepid water, fully saturate the soil at least once a week, allowing all excess water to drain away. If possible, plants should be potted into clay or ceramic pots with ample drainage, and a saucer beneath to catch the overflow. Citrus can’t be allowed to dry out completely, but do prefer to have the soil dry about halfway between waterings. This balance can be tricky to achieve, especially for beginners. A moisture tester is a very helpful tool, and can be used to quickly and accurately assess the moisture level of the soil.


Citrus plants need optimal nutrition to thrive, bloom, and produce fruit. During the active growing season, plants should be fed every 2 weeks with a balanced plant food, such as Miracle Gro All Purpose Liquid Plant Food. To avoid overfeeding or burning, a liquid food is ideal, rather than a slow-release formula. In late spring, after risk of frost, plants can be grown outdoors for the summer, and should be fed monthly to promote healthy, leafy growth.

Calamondin plants grow happily on a greenhouse bench. These popular plants offer small, tart fruits with a sweet, edible peel.
General Care

Our homes can be very dry places in the winter. Like many other tropicals, citrus plants prefer a relatively humid environment, and benefit from extra humidity being provided in dry periods. Frequent misting can help to achieve this, but for ideal conditions, use a cool mist humidifier near your plants regularly.

NEW to TERRA, the Mossify Mistr™ is the perfect humidity solution for your beloved indoor plants.

Inspect your plant regularly for signs of stress. Curled or sticky leaves can be an indication of pest problems, such a spider mites, scale, or mealy bugs. Most indoor pest problems can be solved quickly and easily, if caught early. Keep a bottle of ready-to-use Insecticidal Soap on hand, which can treat infestations effectively with minimal effort.

persian lime

As fruit begins to form, allow it to remain on the plant until fully ripened. More than anything, take the time to enjoy your plant! Tropical appeal is in reach. You’ve got this!

Related Posts

Tropical Treasures : Our Must-Have Houseplants in 2023

August 8, 2023
That ‘I got a new plant today” feeling is real… it’s a happy, hopeful feeling, and adding new houseplants to indoor spaces is an easy way to get a quick mood boost. No matter your home aesthetic, ad...
Read More

The Essential HERBS for Every Garden

June 27, 2023
Have you discovered how fun it is to grow herbs? Whether you’re a gourmet chef or a take-out champion, having fresh herbs growing close by can offer incredible benefits. They add flavour and aroma to cooking, taste a...
Read More