Dwarf Key Lime indoor, no problem?

tdave8666February 5, 2008

My question is, do citrus kept indoors during the winter grow much? Here's why I ask.

I bought what was sold to me as a dwarf key lime tree. I say that cause I bought it online and ya just never know what ya really get. Anyway, I'm in Iowa and it's cold/dark. A couple of weeks ago I decided that my lime might need some water. I'm petrified of over watering citrus indoors, so I've only watered a couple of times since October when I brought him in. I happened to have some "acid loving plant" fertilizer that I picked up this summer, just sitting around in my kitchen. Figured. . .meh, how much could a little bit hurt mixed into the water?

I just noticed the other day that almost every branch tip on my plant(not a tree yet)has between a quarter and a half of an inch of brand new growth that has appeared since then. When I bought him, he was barely a toothpick, and last summer he branched out a lot but didn't really get much taller. Since I've brought him inside in October, he's done nothing. Until I watered and included that fertilizer. He's in a south window, and I'm just chuffed that he hasn't died.

So, do most citrus still put out new growth in the winter if they're kept inside? Or is this maybe a reaction to the days starting to get longer?

Just wondering,

Thanks for any info,


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I don't know. Citrus can be funny. Not doing anything and then putting out of flush of new growth. I've had citrus outside in full summer sun not do much only to start growing in the middle of the winter, in a basement under flourescent lighting. Go figure. I don't much care if they go dormant in winter. I keep mine now in very cool and slightly arid conditions to encourage some degree of dormancy before (hopefully) their season of active growth. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 4:47PM
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I would say winter growth is normal. Once the sun starts moving back toward the northern hemisphere, citrus trees kept indoors but in a well-lit (southern or western) window will tend to flower and grow. This makes a reasonable degree of sense: outdoors, citrus often begin to flower and grow around this time of year too.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 4:57PM
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Thanks. I was surprised, pleasantly, when I noticed. Had thought maybe it was reacting to the sunlight.

thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 8:03PM
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Mine put out new growth and is covered in flowers and limes by a south facing window in my studio. So I guess yours is doing just as it should! :)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 3:24PM
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I'm sure it's too young and small to flower and grow any limes yet. Was a toothpick a year ago. I'm guessing probably two more years before it flowers and tries to fruit? When do they usually start that? How large of a pot will I eventually need?


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 4:19PM
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Mine is about four years old and in a 27-30 inch pot. Pot and all it stands about 6 feet. I've got it growing more tall than bushy for space reasons in the cold months. Otherwise it is outside my door in dappled sunlight. You never know about flowering young. I have two meyer lemons that are just twigs but have flowers.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 4:51PM
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Thanks. I've been surfing around looking at ideas to help him deal. Do you re-pot often? Do you prune roots? I'm guessing my pot is probably 20-24 inches across. I put him right in there when I got him. Decided to go with a larger pot from day one, because I'm scared to re-pot him. Mostly, I'm afraid of the thorns. I'm hoping to keep him from getting any taller than about six feet so the majority of his leaves are at the height of my South windows for winter. I'm sure I'm concerned about this far too early, but eventually I will need to re-pot him and maybe prune some roots.

Thanks for the info,
Much Obliged.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 5:09PM
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