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I got two tiny grapefruit seedlings for free and I don't know how to care for them. They are in very small pots and all the care they are getting is watering. They are 2" tall. I don't live in the right zone for these, and I don't have any idea how to care for them. How do I grow these indoors under artificial light? Edit: I need an answer fast. Two of three trees are now dead.

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Have a read of this (& see if it offers advice you can use): Home Fruit Production - Citrus – Mike Perry Oct 20 '11 at 15:56
up vote 4 down vote accepted

There are a few common issues with citrus grown indoors.

  • I have seen them get 5 or 6 feet tall indoors, we are talking a plant that wants to be a tree!

  • If it gets enough light indoors normally the environment is dry enough to encourage spider mites. Seeing your citrus webbed by mites is not a pleasant sight. Higher humidity discourages mites. Soap and water will control but not eliminate an advanced infestation.

  • most soil less mixes popular for indoor mixes are ph neutral. If you have alkaline water over time the soil mix becomes alkaline and nutrient deficiencies can show up. The most common is the veins of the leaves are green and the rest of the leaf is yellow. Normally this is a deficiency in iron or manganese. I deal with this by adding garden soil yearly. It may be as alkaline as your water but seems to have more accessible nutrients.

  • oh, and very sharp thorns

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There is lots of info online concerning growing citrus indoors. I know grapefruit trees get pretty big and so may be a challenge to keep indoors after a few years but you're not at a point to worry about this yet. There are the basics to make sure are in place: keep your trees watered but make sure the pots have good drainage and offer room for the roots to grow. Florida soil is very sandy (I can say after having cared for a citrus tree there for a number of years) and so I emphasize the importance of good drainage. If you're willing to invest in your little tree I'd recommend using 'Cactus, Palm & Citrus Soil.' I have purchased it off the shelf at Home Depot here in Boston so I have to imagine you'll be able to find it in PA. I keep a potted blood-orange. Make sure to put them outside in the sun whenever the temperatures are above 40(F) degrees to soak in as much natural light as possible. In a nutshell I'd say the important points are lots of light, good drainage & protect from the cold/wind.

I did a quick google search and found these links (I'm not endorsing their advice so much as pointing out that there's lots out there for potted citrus). I hope this advice is not too late and good luck.

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