A few weeks ago I was daydreaming (otherwise known as wasting time) on Pinterest and came across a picture of a lemon tree. Growing citrus trees indoors has always intrigued me so I decided to take action and look into ordering one. There are several websites that sell citrus trees and I’m not entirely sure how I found Four Winds Growers, but that’s where I got my new tree. They sell several varieties of citrus trees and their company has been around since 1950 or maybe even earlier. The reviews were all very positive and there were even a few testimonials from the Pacific Northwest. I ordered a 2-3 year old Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree and it arrived in beautiful condition and came with a pamphlet of great information.
In anticipation of my tree’s arrival, I went out to find a decorative pot. I wanted something understated but also fun. I came across a clay pot at JoAnn Fabrics. It has a cute little rooster on it and I like the neutral color. As an added bonus, it was 50% off so it came to less than $20. Later that day, my tree arrived and as I was reviewing the information pamphlet, I discovered that clay or terracotta pots weren’t recommended because they rarely have adequate drainage. Sure enough, my pot had one small hole in the center. I enlisted Adam’s help to see if we could drill additional holes to improve the drainage. We weren’t sure how to go about drilling into a clay pot without cracking it, so we turned to our friends at YouTube. YouTube is such a gift and to any of you out there that take the time to make instructional videos, THANK YOU! Sure enough, there was a video about our project at hand. The key is to use a small drill bit to make “pilot holes” and to keep water running over the pot while drilling. Once your pilot holes are drilled, you can use a larger drill bit to increase the size of the holes. We decided to add six additional holes and it turned out great!
Once we solved the drainage problem, I got the tree potted and promptly named it “Lemon Drop.” It’s somewhat silly to name a plant, but the kids get a kick out of it and we take turns saying hello to Lemon Drop throughout the day. Plants are living things and a very important part of our environment. I think there is a lesson here for kids and adults to have a connection to something outside of the human world. By naming our tree, hopefully we will work harder to make sure we are meeting its needs and keep it alive!
Here are a few highlights from the information pamphlet about growing dwarf citrus plants indoors:
- Citrus like 8-12 hours of sunlight a day. (This will be a bit of challenge in the PNW winter months, but I have mine in the dining room where there are big windows. So far it seems to get enough light.)
- Citrus grow best between 55 and 85 degrees. Indoor temperatures averaging 65 are conducive.
- Water as needed to keep the soil moist, not wet.
- Once trees are about 3 years old, they are mature enough to handle fruit production.
- Lemon production takes 6-9 months from time of bloom to edible fruit.
- Dwarf citrus trees can grow to reach 6-10 feet if you gradually move up to larger pot sizes over the years!
So there you have it! As my daughter, Olivia, likes to sing, “We have a lemon tree! We have a lemon tree!” And what a lovely tree she is!