Did you know you can successfully grow citrus in Michigan year after year? With a little planning, you can enjoy lime, lemon, and even orange trees in your own yard.
Citrus plants won’t survive outside in Michigan during the winter, but you can grow them indoors. Here are some tips for caring for your citrus plants in winter.
Let There Be Light
Location matters. Finding the perfect spot for your citrus will be your biggest challenge during the gloomy winter months in Michigan. Citrus plants need roughly 8 hours of sunlight a day to be happy, so giving them as much light as possible is key to their success. A room with two exposures, like eastern and southern, is ideal, but a south-facing window will do. Bonus points if you have a temperature-controlled sunroom–your plant will love it. You can always supplement with a grow light if you’re concerned.
Water and Food
Citrus plants prefer moist soil. Water regularly and make sure to remove any excess water from the saucer below the plant. It is important citrus plants don’t get too dry. Salt can build up in the soil causing damage to the roots.
Citrus plants prefer moist air as well as soil. Using a humidity tray will help ensure your plant gets everything it needs to be happy and healthy this winter. If you have a radiator or air vent nearby, you can place a bowl of water near it to help the rate of water evaporation.
Tip: Use a fan to help circulate the air and disperse moisture. On warmer days open the windows for an hour to bring in fresh air, your plant will thank you.
Learn more about winter house plant care.
Fertilize regularly even throughout the winter. Using a citrus fertilizer monthly will give your plant the head start it needs come Spring.
Once Spring arrives and temperatures warm-up, you can start the transition back outdoors. Start with one or two hours of sun at mid-day. Gradually increase that time until the threat of frost is gone (usually mid-May) and your citrus can enjoy the summer sun for the season.
For a full selection of citrus plants or more care tips, visit your nearest English Gardens location and talk with an expert.