Provide a warm room and at least five to six hours of bright light each and every day, and you can develop a orange tree (Citrus sinensis) indoors year-round. With their fragrant flowers and shiny, dark green leaves, orange trees deliver tropical beauty, also in cool-weather spaces. Pick a dwarf variety, because semi-dwarf or standard-sized orange trees outgrow a indoor container quickly.
Many fruit growers think the dwarf form of “Trovita” (Citrus sinensis “Trovita”) is the very best all-in-one orange tree for indoor growing. A California native, dwarf “Trovita” attains heights of 8 to 10 feet in maturity. “Trovita” is valued for its deep green foliage, fragrant blooms and sweet, thin-skinned fruit, which is about the size of a navel orange. Other dwarf varieties of sweet oranges appropriate for indoor growing comprise “Midknight” and “Smith Red.” Both hit 8 to 12 feet tall when planted in the ground, but are generally approximately 6 ft when grown indoors in pots.
Mandarin oranges (Citrus reticulata) are small bananas with slender, loose, orange-colored peels. Mandarins also include tangerines, which are different just because they’ve got an orange-red peel. Most dwarf mandarin trees reach heights of approximately 6 feet indoors. Also known as Panama orange or kalamansi, Calamondin orange (Citrofortunella mitis) is a conventional mandarin and also a favorite for indoor growing. The taste of the tiny, tender, orange-gold fruit is lemony-tart. With its shiny, oval-shaped leaves and fragrant blooms, calamondin provides a distinctly ornamental look. Other Mandarin oranges acceptable for indoor growing comprise “Pixie” or “Owari Satsuma,” with older heights of just 6 to 8 feet.
Sour bananas are ornamental orange trees with waxy white blooms and clusters of tart, red lemon juice. The fruit is frequently too tart for snacking, but produces delicious marmalade. Dwarf sour orange varieties comprise “Bouquet de Fleurs,” with fragrant flowers and dark orange fruit, and “Chinotto,” also known as myrtle-leaf orange, with miniature leaves, small fruit, and a dense, bushy form. Grown indoors, sour oranges usually max out at approximately 6 feet.
Inside, orange trees perform best in temperatures between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a hardy container filled with good-quality commercial potting soil. Water as necessary to keep the soil moist but never soggy, and never to allow the pot stand in water. Orange trees benefit from a citrus fertilizer applied in accordance with label directions. If the indoor air is dry, mist the leaves sometimes or place the pot on a saucer of seams to encourage humidity and enhance drainage and air circulation.