Post-Holiday Bliss: Nurturing Your Festive Foliage and Flowers Beyond Christmas

In this article I intend to describe the most popular Christmas indoor plants so you can get the most out of them and enjoy the plants to their maximum beauty. 

Over the Christmas holidays we love to decorate our homes with the many different flowering and foliage plants that are available. Sometimes we receive them as gifts when house guests arrive. I personally think it’s a lovely gesture to bring a flowering plant and a bottle of wine when attending any festive event. I highly suggest learning a little more about these plants as many require some special attention and with the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season it is easy to forget about these lovelies. Hopefully this information will help you decide on future plants and also help you extend their lives far beyond the festive season.

Here are my tips;


- The Poinsettia, native to Mexico, has a rich history. Its association with Christmas comes from a Mexican legend about a girl, Pepita, who, lacking a gift for Jesus, gathered weeds and they bloomed into vibrant red flowers, which became known as "Flores de Noche Buena," or Christmas Eve flowers. In the 1820s, Joel Poinsett, the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, brought the plant to the U.S. and its popularity grew, eventually becoming a symbol of the holiday season. Today, named after Mr. Poinsett, it's a festive icon adorning homes and spaces worldwide during the holiday season. This lovely plant is part of the Euphorbia family of plants (Euphorbia pulcherima). Like other Euphorbias they prefer to dry out slightly between waterings. Excessive water will induce root rot and the plants turn scruffy looking and drop leaves readily. They will however also drop leaves if allowed to dry out completely and this requires a closer look. If the plant starts dropping leaves feel the soil and see if it is wet or dry. If wet it could be over watering if dry maybe too dry then give it a good drink of water but don’t leave it sitting in water too long or the roots will suffocate, and rot will set in. Like every plant there are some issues that could arise but it’s a worthwhile plant to try and is available in many colours and sizes. Once a month fertilizer is helpful and bright indirect light is best. 

With the many new varieties available these days they are bred to be easier to grow and more flexible and forgiving on their growing conditions.



– The Florist Azalea is one of the most spectacular bloomers that can be grown indoors.  Originating in Asia centuries ago, these stunning blooms have captured hearts worldwide with their kaleidoscope of colors and delicate petals.

These lovely plants are one of the longest lasting and most colourful of all plants that are given as gifts. The number one key to this plant is to keep the soil consistently moist. I have had success by keeping them close to a window in a prominent location, ideally a bit on the cool side. Plants like this can be grown outside if you live in a mild climate zone 8 is about right. There may be light frosts each winter but generally moderate temps year-round. I do find them a bit difficult but if you have a green thumb, you will be fine. If they do dry out too much they will drop leaves and look quite sad and wilted. If this happens moisten the entire plant top to pot and keep humid until recovery. This beauty is well worth the effort.

The Assorted Christmas Dish Garden - A Christmas dish garden is a delightful arrangement of various plants and seasonal decorations, all nestled within a single container. It's like creating a miniature festive landscape indoors! Typically, these gardens feature a mix o

f live plants like small evergreens, poinsettias, ferns, or succulents, arranged alongside decorative elements such as miniature ornaments, pinecones, ribbons, and even tiny figurines like reindeer or snowmen. The combination of live greenery and holiday embellishments brings a touch of nature and cheer into any space during the holiday season. These gardens can be displayed as centerpieces on tables, mantelpiece decorations, or even gifted as a unique and festive present.

Although these dish gardens are great to receive, they are often a mixture of different plants that don’t often have the same growing requirements. So the suggestion is that once the holiday season has passed and the frenzy of the festive season has calmed, its time to make a few adjustments. What I do is simply remove each plant from the combination planting and give each plant its own pot. This allows each plant to be grown with their own favorite conditions in mind. Once potted, identify the plants so you can learn each of their best growing conditions and place them in the light they require.   

With this plan in place it will ensure the happy existence of each plant into the future. If you don’t want these plants just gift them to a friend and visit them when you can. 

Meanwhile, When the plants are together in their dish garden remember to water them lightly and let them dry well between each watering. These dish gardens are prone to root rot and that’s another reason to follow these instructions. 

 Christmas Kalanchoe

- The Kalanchoe plant is a popular indoor succulent known for its vibrant, long-lasting blooms and easy care. It features thick, fleshy leaves and clusters of small, colorful flowers that come in shades of red, pink, yellow, orange, and white. This plant thrives in bright light and requires well-draining soil, making it an ideal choice for indoor spaces. These plants are part of the succulent group so if you are familiar with these plants that prefer to be dry between waterings you will be fine. 

These plants can be grown on as house plants after the bloom has faded. They may require a bit of special care. If you are hoping to get them to bloom again then you should know that plants rebloom after a period of short days/long nights. So like the poinsettia they will often bloom in the winter months. The easiest way to have these types of plants rebloom is once fall comes move them to a room where the lights are seldom turned on at night. As the days naturally shorten the plants will start to develop flower buds and once this happens you can move them back to the more visible areas of the house to enjoy the blooms. 



- The Cyclamen plant is a charming and distinctive flowering plant cherished for its unique, upswept petals and attractive foliage. Here are some key features:

Appearance: Cyclamen plants have round to heart-shaped leaves with intricate marbling patterns in shades of green, silver, or gray. The flowers bloom on slender stems rising above the foliage, showcasing striking, upswept petals in various colors such as pink, white, red, or purple. The petals have a distinct shape, often resembling butterflies or shooting stars.

Seasonal Bloomers: Cyclamens are typically cool-season plants, often flowering in fall, winter, or early spring, depending on the variety. They are a popular choice for indoor and outdoor decorations during the holiday season due to their vibrant blooms.

Care Requirements: These plants prefer cool temperatures and indirect light. They thrive in well-draining soil and need regular watering, but it's essential not to let the soil become soggy. They enjoy a rest period after blooming, during which their leaves might wither, but they'll come back to life with proper care.

Cyclamen plants thrive in bright, indirect light. They prefer a location near a window where they can receive plenty of sunlight. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight for long periods of time, especially during the hot afternoon hours, as it can scorch their delicate leaves.

Temperature: These plants prefer cool temperatures, ideally between 50-65°F (10-18°C). Keeping them in a cool environment helps prolong their blooming period. Avoid exposing them to drafts or sudden temperature fluctuations.

Watering: Proper watering is crucial. Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out between waterings, then water thoroughly, ensuring excess water drains away. It's essential to avoid waterlogging the soil, as overly wet conditions can cause the tubers to rot. Water directly into the soil, avoiding wetting the leaves and flowers to prevent fungal issues.

Humidity: Cyclamen plants appreciate moderate humidity. Placing a tray with pebbles and water beneath the plant's pot can help increase humidity around the plant without letting the pot sit in water.

Soil: Well-draining soil is key to preventing waterlogging. A mix designed for succulents or cacti works well for Cyclamen plants. Adding perlite or coarse sand to standard potting soil can improve drainage.

Live potted Christmas tree

– When you receive a live potted plant or tree to have in the house you need to know a few things. Is this plant a tropical plant that can never be situated in cold conditions? Is this a plant that is commonly grown outside and survives cold winters without issue. 

Most Christmas trees are conifers that come from cold northern climates. They are fully expecting a cold blast every winter. They tend to go dormant around the end of September and just survive in a state of limbo (dormancy) until the days grow long and the temperatures return in spring. Once these plants go into dormancy they prefer to be kept cold so there is no need for water or the cooling of the plant by water evaporating from their leaves/needles. So the thing that you need to plan is that these plants need to be inside the house for as short a time period as possible. We usually say 7 or so days maximum. Even this short time takes the tree from a refrigerated state outside to a rather hot situation at indoor temperatures. These temperatures cause extreme stress on the plant and it is critical that the roots are maintained at a high water content for the duration while indoors and when removed back outside. Any extreme changes need a buffering time from in to out or out to in for example: If the tree is outside and is frozen solid at the stem and root the tree will defoliate when it hits the high temperature indoors. So in this case the tree needs to be stored in a cool garage just above freezing for about a week to be sure everything is thawed out before it’s moved in. Then on the other hand when a tree is brought in and gets situated indoors for the week or so then needs to go outside we would hope it is cool and rainy when it goes out that would be great. If the weather is very cold out like 10 degrees below freezing you will have to plan to move it into a cool garage until the outside temperatures come up above the freezing point to where the tree can be moved out safely and allow an adjustment period before the hard frost hits again. 

Im sure this all sounds like a lot of work and it could be if the weather outside is freezing and severe. It could all be worth the trouble if things go well and just think you will get a new landscape feature tree for years of enjoyment. Just remember they do grow large over time and will need room to grow. 



Amaryllis, also known as Hippeastrum, is a flowering plant known for its stunning trumpet-shaped blossoms. These plants typically produce large, showy flowers on tall stems, and they come in various colors such as red, pink, white, and striped varieties. Their blooms often have multiple layers of petals, creating a striking appearance. Amaryllis/Hippeastrum is commonly grown indoors as a potted plant, especially during the winter months, and they add a vibrant burst of color. These beautiful blooming plants are sure to please in any living space and are one of the favorites of the holiday season.  

Some of the care instructions:

Thes plants are relatively low-maintenance but require specific care to thrive. Here are some care instructions:

  1. Potting: Plant bulbs in a well-draining pot with good potting soil, leaving the upper third of the bulb above the soil line. Its has been said that keeping the plants a bit root bound may help speed reblooming.
  2. Light: Place the plant in a bright, sunny location. They love lots of sunlight.
  3. Watering: Water the plant thoroughly but allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Overwatering can cause bulb rot.
  4. Temperature: Keep the plant in a warm environment, around 65-75°F (18-24°C), and avoid drastic temperature changes.
  5. Fertilization: Feed the plant with a balanced fertilizer every 2-4 weeks while it's actively growing.
  6. Support: As the flowers bloom, the stems may become top-heavy. Use stakes or decorative supports to prevent them from bending or breaking. Grow in a heavy clay pot if available.
  7. Dormancy: After flowering, cut off the spent blooms but let the foliage continue to grow. In late summer or early fall, stop watering to allow the plant to go dormant and dry. Store the bulb in a cool, dark place for 8 weeks to prepare it for its next bloom cycle. Move the plant back to a bright location near a window and give it a small amount of water to stimulate growth. Over a period of time, (2-6 weeks) the plant will start to push up a leaf or flower bud. Once the shoot is about 3 inches tall resume regular watering. The plant should be in bloom in about 3-4 weeks. 

Following these care directions should help your Amaryllis/Hippeastrum thrive and produce beautiful blooms.


Paper whites

-Paperwhite flowers, scientifically known as Narcissus papyraceus, exude an exquisite elegance in their simplicity. These delicate blooms, part of the daffodil family, possess a graceful charm with their clusters of small, star-shaped, ivory-white flowers atop slender, leafless stems. Known for their sweet and musky fragrance, paperwhites captivate with their heady scent that pervades the air, adding a touch of freshness and allure to indoor spaces during the winter months.

Resilient and easy to cultivate, paperwhites symbolize renewal and rebirth, often associated with the arrival of spring. These blooms are commonly grown indoors, their effortless beauty a testament to nature's artistry. Their swift growth and ability to flourish in a simple container with water and pebbles make them a favorite choice for indoor gardeners and flower enthusiasts. Paperwhites, with their dainty yet captivating presence, evoke a sense of purity and tranquility, brightening up any environment with their ethereal charm.

Growing paperwhite flowers indoors is a delightful experience. These bulbs are often purchased ‘ready to plant’ and can be grow without soil in gravel with roots dangling in water. Here are some instructions to nurture these beautiful blooms:

  1. Planting: Fill a shallow container with stones, pebbles, Nestle the bulbs into the medium, leaving the upper half exposed.
  2. Watering: Add water to the container until it touches the base of the bulbs. Maintain the water level just below the bulbs to prevent rot. Change the water if it becomes cloudy.
  3. Light: Place the container in a bright location with indirect sunlight. Paperwhites thrive in ample light but avoid direct sun to prevent wilting.
  4. Temperature: Keep the growing paperwhites in a moderately cool area, ideally around 60-65°F (15-18°C). Cooler temperatures can promote sturdy growth and prolong the blooming period.
  5. Growth: Paperwhites grow quickly, and within a few weeks, they'll produce lush green foliage and clusters of very fragrant white blooms.

Check your area for growing these plants outdoors as these bulbs do not care for cold climates. Following these instructions will help you cultivate vibrant paperwhite flowers indoors, offering a fragrant and visually enchanting display in your home.


Moth Orchids

- Phalaenopsis orchids, often called "moth orchids," are beautiful and relatively easy to care for. Here's a guide to help you grow them successfully:

  1. Light: Provide bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves. East or shaded south/west-facing windows are good spots.
  2. Temperature: Phalaenopsis orchids prefer temperatures between 65-80°F (18-27°C) during the day and slightly cooler at night. Protect them from drafts and extreme temperature changes.
  3. Watering: Water approximately once a week, allowing the potting medium to nearly dry out between waterings. Ensure good drainage and avoid letting them sit in water, which can lead to root rot. The plant root mass can be submerged in a bucket or bowl of water to ensure a good soak. 
  4. Humidity: These orchids prefer higher humidity. You can increase humidity by placing the pot on a humidity tray or using a humidifier nearby.
  5. Potting Medium: Use a well-draining orchid mix or bark mix rather than traditional potting soil. Repot every 1-2 years when the medium breaks down.
  6. Fertilization: Feed with a balanced orchid fertilizer diluted to half strength every 2-4 weeks during the growing season (spring to fall).
  7. Pruning and Care: Remove spent blooms by cutting the stem just above a node. Trim any dead or yellowing leaves or roots. The plant may grow new air roots each winter. 

 Remember, they might take some time to rebloom, so patience is key! The plants normally start their blooming season in mid to late February and some types bloom several times per year.

Christmas cactus

-Schlumbergera bridgesii- Christmas cacti are wonderful and getting them to bloom can be quite rewarding. Here's how to care for them and encourage blooming:

  1. Light: Place your Christmas cactus in bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can lead to leaf burn, but too little light might hinder blooming Part sun to shade is best when growing them outside in the summer.
  2. Temperature: Maintain a moderate temperature between 60-70°F (15-21°C) during the day and slightly cooler at night. Avoid sudden temperature changes.
  3. Watering: Water thoroughly when the top inch of the soil feels dry. Ensure good drainage to prevent waterlogging, which can cause root rot. These rain forest plants do not like prolonged drought.
  4. Humidity: Christmas cacti appreciate higher humidity levels. You can mist the plant occasionally or place it on a tray with pebbles and water to increase humidity.
  5. Fertilization: Feed with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring to early fall). Reduce feeding during late fall and winter.
  6. Bud Formation: Around the end of September or end of October for blooms closer to Christmas, place the cactus in a location that gets mostly natural light and where the night temperatures get quite cool. Nighttime temperatures should range between 10 and 15 deg C. Buds should start forming within 4 weeks, leading to beautiful blooms in time for the holiday season.

Remember, consistency in care and the night temperature cycle during the pre budding period are key to getting your Christmas cactus to bloom reliably.

Holly Plant

- Growing Christmas holly (Ilex) can be a rewarding process, whether indoors or outdoors. Here’s a guide for growing it both indoors and transitioning it outdoors:

Indoor Growing:

  1. Container and Soil: Select a large container with drainage holes. Use well-draining soil, preferably a mix of peat, perlite, and pine bark. Hopefully, you have just received the plant and its already in a pot.
  2. Light: Place the holly in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight indoors. It benefits from around 6 hours of sunlight daily. 
  3. Temperature: Keep the indoor temperature around 60-70°F (15-21°C) during the day and slightly cooler at night. Avoid sudden temperature changes. Because this plant is typically grown outside keeping it cooler rather than warmer is a good plan. 
  4. Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Ensure the container has drainage to prevent root rot.
  5. Humidity: Holly appreciates moderate humidity. You can use a humidifier or mist the plant occasionally to create a humid environment.

Outdoor Transition:

  1. Timing: Plan to transition your holly outdoors in the spring after the last frost.
  2. Acclimatization: Gradually introduce the plant to outdoor conditions. Start by placing it in a shaded or protected spot outdoors for a few hours a day, gradually increasing the time over a week or two.
  3. Planting: Select a suitable spot in your garden with well-draining, slightly acidic soil and full to partial sunlight. Ensure good spacing between plants if planting multiple hollies.
  4. Watering and Care: Continue watering as needed, especially during dry spells. Mulch around the base of the plant to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Prune to shape and encourage healthy growth.
  5. Winter Care: Most holly species are cold-hardy, but young plants might need protection during severe winters. Consider wrapping with burlap or providing a windbreak if exposed to harsh conditions.

Growing Christmas holly indoors and then transitioning it outdoors involves careful acclimatization and providing suitable growing conditions in each environment. With proper care, your holly plant can thrive and add festive beauty to your indoor space and or garden.

Frosty Fern

- The "frosty fern," also known as Selaginella kraussiana 'Frosty', is a type of clubmoss that's appreciated for its delicate, lacy appearance and its ability to add a touch of greenery to indoor spaces and is often used in dish gardens. Here's what you should know about growing it:

  1. Light: Frosty ferns prefer bright, indirect light. They don’t tolerate direct sunlight well, so placing them near a window with filtered light or in a partially shaded area indoors is ideal.
  2. Temperature: Maintain moderate temperatures for this plant, ideally between 60-75°F (15-24°C). Avoid extreme temperature fluctuations and drafts.
  3. Humidity: Frosty ferns thrive in higher humidity environments. Regular misting or placing the pot on a tray of pebbles and water can help increase humidity around the plant. Plant this guy in a terrarium and watch it thrive!
  4. Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. These ferns prefer slightly damp soil, so ensure proper drainage to prevent root rot.
  5. Soil: Use well-draining, peat-based potting mix. A mix designed for ferns or orchids can work well for frosty ferns.
  6. Fertilization: Feed the fern with a diluted, balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring to early fall). Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can harm the plant.
  7. Pruning: Trim away any brown or dead foliage to maintain the plant's appearance and encourage new growth.
  8. Propagation: Frosty ferns can be propagated through division. As they grow, you can divide the plant by carefully separating sections and replanting them in suitable containers.

With the right care, frosty ferns can thrive indoors, adding a lovely, airy touch to your home. Their unique appearance and relatively low maintenance make them a popular choice for indoor greenery.

Norfolk Island Pine

- Norfolk Island Pines (Araucaria heterophylla) are popular indoor plants. These trees can grow quite large in a tropical climate and would give most conifers a run for their money when it comes to speed of growth. Small plants are best to start with as their growth rate is quite fast. They can grow 2-3 ft per year indoors and possibly faster outdoors. Here are some key points to consider for their successful growth:

  1. Light: Norfolk Island Pines prefer bright light. They can easily tolerate direct sunlight once they adapt to it. 
  2. Temperature: Maintain a consistent temperature between 60-70°F (15-21°C). These plants can be sensitive to extreme temperature fluctuations and drafts.
  3. Humidity: They appreciate higher humidity levels. To increase humidity, mist the plant regularly or use a humidity tray with pebbles and water placed beneath the pot.
  4. Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Water well when the top of the soil feels dry, and ensure good drainage to prevent root rot.
  5. Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix that retains some moisture but allows excess water to flow through easily.
  6. Fertilization: Feed with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength every 4-5 weeks during the growing season (spring to fall).
  7. Pruning: Trim back any dead or brown branches to keep a tidy appearance. Norfolk Island Pines may drop lower branches as they grow, which is normal.
  8. Repotting: Repot every 2-3 years or when the plant outgrows its container. Use a slightly larger pot and fresh potting mix.
  9. Indoor vs. Outdoor: These pines are typically grown indoors in northern climates but can thrive outdoors in warm, humid climates. They are sensitive to cold temperatures and frost. 
  10. Growth: Norfolk Island Pines can grow quite tall indoors over time, so consider their potential size when choosing a location. This is a plant that would benefit to rotation when grown indoors to keep a balance look.

With proper care in terms of light, water, humidity, and temperature, Norfolk Island Pines can make beautiful indoor trees, resembling miniature versions of their outdoor counterparts.


-Rosemary (Salvia Rosmarinus) is a fragrant and flavorful herb that can thrive both indoors and outdoors.

Growing Rosemary Indoors:

  1. Light: Place indoor rosemary in a spot with at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Consider a south-facing window to provide ample sunlight. In northern climates a grow light may be helpful in the winter months.
  2. Temperature: Rosemary prefers temperatures between 65-70°F (18-21°C) (summer) during the day and slightly cooler at night. In winter, they can tolerate freezing temperatures down to about -12 deg C or 10 deg F.
  3. Potting Soil: Use well-draining soil with good aeration, like a mix of potting soil and sand or perlite.
  4. Watering: Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Water thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry, but don’t let it sit in water as it can lead to root rot.
  5. Humidity: Rosemary can tolerate lower humidity, but occasional misting can benefit the plant indoors, especially in drier environments.
  6. Fertilization: Feed with a balanced fertilizer diluted to half-strength every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring to fall).

Growing Rosemary Outdoors:

  1. Location: Plant outdoor rosemary in well-draining soil in a sunny spot with good air circulation.
  2. Soil: Ensure the soil is well-draining, sandy, and not too rich. If the soil is heavy, amend it with sand or gravel to improve drainage.
  3. Watering: Water deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Established rosemary plants are drought-tolerant once their root systems are established.
  4. Pruning: Regularly trim rosemary to encourage bushy growth and prevent it from becoming leggy.
  5. Winter Care: In colder climates, protect outdoor rosemary from extreme temperatures. Consider bringing potted rosemary indoors or covering outdoor plants during cold periods.

Harvesting: You can harvest rosemary by snipping off sprigs as needed but avoid cutting more than one-third of the plant at a time to ensure healthy growth.

By providing adequate sunlight, well-draining soil, proper watering, and occasional feeding, you can successfully grow rosemary both indoors and outdoors, enjoying its aromatic leaves for culinary purposes throughout the year.

Lemon Cypress

- Lemon cypress, scientifically known as Cupressus macrocarpa 'Goldcrest,' is a beautiful evergreen tree with vibrant golden foliage and a lemony fragrance. Here's what you need to know about growing it indoors:

  1. Light: Lemon cypress prefers bright, indirect light. Place it near a south or west-facing window where it can receive several hours of sunlight daily.
  2. Temperature: Maintain temperatures between 60-70°F (15-21°C). Protect it from drafts and sudden temperature fluctuations, as it prefers consistent conditions. This plant is a Zone 9 and does not like cold temperatures.
  3. Humidity: This plant appreciates higher humidity levels. Consider using a humidifier or placing the pot on a tray of pebbles and water to increase humidity around the tree.
  4. Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Water when the top 1/2 inch of soil feels dry. Ensure good drainage to prevent root rot.
  5. Soil: Use well-draining, acidic soil or a potting mix designed for conifers.
  6. Fertilization: Feed with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer formulated for evergreen trees. Apply according to package instructions during the growing season (spring to early fall).
  7. Pruning: Trim the plant as needed to maintain its shape and encourage bushy growth. Remove any dead or brown foliage.
  8. Repotting: Repot the lemon cypress into a slightly larger container every couple of years or when it outgrows its current pot.
  9. Winter Care: Protect the plant from cold drafts or extreme temperature changes. It can tolerate cooler temperatures but avoid exposing it to freezing conditions.
  10. Pests and Diseases: Watch out for spider mites and scale insects, which can sometimes affect indoor lemon cypress. Treat any infestations promptly with appropriate insecticides or natural remedies.
  11. Acclimatization: If transitioning the plant indoors from outdoors, acclimatize it gradually to the indoor conditions to minimize stress.

Lemon cypress can add a vibrant touch to indoor spaces with its citrusy aroma and golden foliage. With proper care in terms of light, water, humidity, and temperature, it can thrive indoors and be an attractive addition to your home.

Citrus plant

- In colder climates, growing citrus plants both indoors and outdoors can be a rewarding but somewhat challenging endeavor. I would grow them in fairly large pots indoors in the winter and outdoors on the patio in the summer.  Here are some tips for cultivating citrus plants in colder regions:

Indoor Citrus Growing:

  1. Variety Selection: Choose cold-hardy citrus varieties like kumquats, Meyer lemons, or calamondins, which can adapt better to indoor conditions and lower temperatures.
  2. Light: Place indoor citrus trees near a south or west-facing window to maximize sunlight exposure. Consider supplemental grow lights during darker months.
  3. Temperature: Maintain indoor temperatures around 60-70°F (15-21°C) during the day and slightly cooler at night. Citrus plants might struggle with extreme, rapid temperature changes, so avoid drafts.
  4. Humidity: Citrus plants appreciate higher humidity levels. Use a humidifier or mist the plant occasionally to increase humidity indoors.
  5. Soil and Potting: Use well-draining soil specific to citrus or create a mix with sand, perlite, and peat to ensure good drainage. Choose pots with good drainage.
  6. Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry and reduce watering during the dormant season.
  7. Fertilization: Feed with a citrus-specific fertilizer according to package instructions during the growing season (spring and summer) to support healthy growth.

Outdoor Citrus Growing:

  1. Location: Choose a sunny, sheltered spot in your garden for outdoor citrus plants, ideally against a south-facing wall for added warmth.
  2. Variety Selection: Opt for cold-hardy citrus varieties that can withstand freezing temperatures or consider dwarf varieties that are more manageable in colder climates.
  3. Soil: Ensure the soil is well-draining and slightly acidic. Amend the soil with organic matter to improve drainage and fertility. If growing in pots mix sand with regular potting soil 50/50
  4. Protection: Cover young or sensitive citrus plants with blankets or frost cloths during frosty nights. Mulch around the base to protect the roots from extreme temperatures. Some people in borderline growing areas cover the trees with incandescent Christmas lights and leave them on during cold snaps as the lights produce heat and help keep them warm.
  5. Pruning: Prune citrus trees if needed and remove dead or damaged branches. Prune lightly in colder climates to avoid excessive stress. Too much pruning may reduce flowering and fruiting.
  6. Winter Care: In winter, consider wrapping the trunk with insulation material or burlap to protect against freezing temperatures.

Growing citrus plants in colder climates requires extra attention to temperature, sunlight, and protection from frost. By selecting appropriate varieties, providing proper care, and safeguarding them from harsh weather conditions, you can successfully grow citrus both indoors and outdoors in colder regions. Some Citrus varieties start blooming in February so I look forward to the fragrance indoors in late winter. Their fruit may also take some time to ripen so I prefer to keep them warm all winter for best effect and harvest.

Ken Salvail 


Grower Coach