I have several young, potted citrus trees that range from 1 to 3 years old that are mandarin, grapefruit, key lime, Meyer lemon and eureka lemon varieties. They spent a productive spring, summer and early fall outside growing vigorously, but are now subject to spending the winter indoors since I live in the greater Seattle area. They are living in a Southern-facing window, but I fear that the constant overcast will not provide sufficient light. What type of light would be best for these young guys to keep up healthy leaf production?

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    Have you read the question/answer stuff on grow lights on our site? You definitely need grow lights if you want tip top health. Do you have a covered patio/porch? Did you just recently move to the Seattle area (I know oh so well)? Did you acclimate your plants from the out of doors to the indoors...as this process you have to do when changing from either in to out or out to indoors? Tell us more about their soil, pots, fertilizer...anything you were doing and now not doing? If all you care about during the winter is healthy leaves...easier to manage. Fruit less so...
    – stormy
    Nov 12, 2017 at 8:07
  • Possible duplicate of What should I consider while building a grow-light system?
    – J. Chomel
    Nov 13, 2017 at 10:16
  • @stormy I do have a covered porch, also on the Southern side of the house. I have lived in the area for 30+ years, but I've only recently started growing citrus starting in a windowsill. I gradually shortened their time outside over a period of 3ish weeks after I brought them under cover from direct sun exposure. They are potted in 6" clay pots using Miracle Gro Cactus & Citrus soil. I've reduced their watering to keep from getting soggy and they had a dose of Citrus-tone before I began their winterizing. I only want to keep them healthy right now, fruit can wait!
    – Megan
    Nov 13, 2017 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


Bare minimum and least expensive are T-5 HO fluorescent, 54 watts per bulb and they can have 2 or 4 or 6 bulbs per fixture. Your little trees should be able to survive for the winter in the window and then be put back out on your covered patio? Deck? Not in direct sun for the summer without acclimation. They will need direct sun to produce fruit...or at least the amount of sunlight you get from a high quality greenhouse skin or covering.

The cloud covering isn't really a problem with light it is the height of the ceiling of cloud cover. Out in Colorado, high ceiling of clouds, you get more light than on the coast with a lower ceiling where the clouds do reduce the amount of light.

I'd be more for stability and staying in one environment to make my citrus happy. If you use artificial lighting you won't have to work so hard acclimating from in to out back to indoors...pictures please and a timeline we can work with? Thanks!

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