Growing Grapefruit Indoors
Citrus trees like grapefruit make for fantastic – if unusual, house plants. If you care for your indoor grapefruit plant as recommended below, you may even get sweet smelling flowers and delicious fruit as the seasons pass.
Instead of growing from seed, choose a two-to three-year-old dwarf tree from a local orchard or garden store instead. Select a clay, ceramic, or plastic pot slightly larger than the root ball to grow your grapefruit in. It should have several holes at the bottom for air circulation. Good quality well-drained soil is also crucial. Buy premixed potting soil formulated specifically for citrus trees.
Most citrus trees require eight to 12 hours of sunlight daily. When growing them indoors, position your plants beside a south-facing window with good airflow. Dwarf citrus perform best when temperatures stay between 55 and 85 degrees. And they dislike abrupt temperature shifts, so be sure to protect them from drafts and radiators.
When the warm season draws close, slowly acclimate your citrus tree to its new outdoor home by placing it in a semi-shaded spot for a few days, very slowly bringing the tree into the sun. To move the tree indoors for winter, slowly reverse the process before the frost sets in.
Although regular watering is important, make sure your tree’s potting soil is kept on the dry side of moist, to prevent fungal infections and root rot. Citrus trees also like moist air. Positioning your plant near a humidifier or regularly misting the leaves with a spray bottle will help keep foliage looking its best in dry winter months.
From spring to summer, feed your tree every three weeks with a high-nitrogen fertilizer made for citrus. Feed half as often in fall and winter. Citrus are vulnerable to scale, spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. Be on the lookout for early signs of infestation: curled, speckled, or yellowing leaves; sticky residue; and silky webs between th