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Growing Citrus In Colorado? Here’s How To Do It

Charles Hutchins
Flickr - Creative Commons
Among the citrus that grow well indoors: seedless limes, Meyer lemon and Washington navel oranges.

It may come as a surprise that a variety of citrus can grow in Colorado, albeit indoors. They not only provide fruit, but the flowers provide a strong fragrance for the entire house.

The heaviest flowering time for most citrus is mid-winter. Some plants will flower heavily at different times of the year. Most citrus bloom sporadically throughout the year. Just a few flowers are enough to perfume a room.

Citrus are forgiving house plants. They like well drained potting soil and need moderate, regular watering and feeding. They don’t like drafts, but they can grow in cool rooms. The main requirement? Citrus wants the brightest, sunniest spot in the house. South or west windows are best during the winter. In the summer, put the plant in the garden outside.

Indoors citrus are usually dwarf varieties, bushy plants that can grow about four feet tall and wide. Some varieties are spiny so be careful around young children. The dwarf varieties fruit at a young age, the fragrant flowers and showy fruit appear sooner.

Leaf sucking pests like aphids, spider mites, mealy bugs and scale are the enemy of the citrus. The easiest preventative for these insects is to regularly mist the leaves. Misting keeps the humidity up and discourages insects. Periodically give your citrus a shower and be sure to rinse the underside of the leaves. That’s where the bugs like to hide.

There’s one more bit of work you’ll have to take care of for your citrus. Did you know that they have complete flowers? Both the female and male parts are in each flower. Pollinate the flower by gently shaking the plant. In the great outdoors bees do this work, inside it’s up to you. 

Oranges are the most forgiving citrus to grow. They have white, aromatic flowers. Indoors the fruit is small and can be bitter. However, the Dwarf Valencia Orange can grow to be a large four foot houseplant and it produces a small tasty orange.

Other citrus that grow well indoors include: seedless limes, Meyer lemon and Washington navel oranges. For any citrus you choose, grow it in an area where you can enjoy its fragrance.


Tom has been offering garden advice on KUNC for almost two decades. During that time he has been the wholesale sales manager at Ft. Collins Nursery, Inc. Since January of 2005 he has been the owner and operator of Throgmorton Plant Management, LLC., a landscape installation and maintenance company as well as a horticultural consulting firm. He lives in northern Ft. Collins with his wife and two kids.
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