Grow Light For Fruit Trees Indoors

Grow Light For Fruit Trees Indoors

Nov 23, 2022Get UrbanLeaf Admin

How Much Light Do Fruit Trees Need To Grow?

The Total Amount Of Light Needed For Fruit

Fruit trees require more sunlight than any other edible plant, making indoor growth challenging. They thrive under full sky exposure, a condition difficult to replicate indoors, even with the brightest windows or sunrooms.

Without adequate light, your fruit trees won't just struggle; they may fail to produce fruit altogether. This is particularly true for tropical varieties, which might survive in moderate light but won't yield the desired fruit.

Using grow lights is a game-changer for growing fruit indoors, and in this article we will cover:
1) Light requirements for different types of Fruit Trees
2) The impact of window direction and seasonality
3) Reading your fruit trees' health
4) How to choose and set up a grow light for your fruit free indoors

Believe It Or Not, The Variety Of The Fruit Matters in Choosing the Grow Light for your Fruit Trees!

As you probably already know, different fruits are at their peak at various times of the year. Plants, including fruit trees, will determine what time of the year it is by following the day length. Since different trees set fruit at different times of the year, they also have different day-length requirements to set fruit.

The minimum and ideal hours of direct sunlight for fruit trees are:

The chart above provides useful generalizations, but light needs for fruit trees vary quite a bit by variety. While most trees are used to full sun – some evolved to understory conditions and can do ok with a little less. For citrus fruit trees, stay away from grapefruits and Meyer lemons.

Better options for growing indoors include: Thai Limes, Finger Limes, and Thornless Key Limes, Owari Satsuma Tangerine, Bumper Satsuma Mandarin, Meiwa kumquat, ponderosa lemons, Washington naval, ‘Flying dragon’ Bitter Orange or most Calamondins. For strawberries, alpine varieties are best.

Do I Have Enough Sunlight To Grow Fruit Trees Indoors?

Considering Window Direction & Seasonality

Fruits are warmth-loving, so will be happiest in a southern or western window, if possible. If you have truly unobstructed, direct light coming through a South or West-facing window you’ll likely be able to get a little growth from Spring through Fall – but as winter sets in you will almost certainly benefit from a grow light (more on this soon!). If you do have bright outdoor space – your plant will most likely appreciate spending the summer outside. 

Reading Your Fruit Trees: Are They Happily Lit?

The ultimate test of your natural light will be your plant’s growth. The first sign that something is wrong will be that your plants aren’t growing much, if at all. If perfectly green leaves are falling off, it almost certainly is not getting enough light. You can always try plants that require lower light in the same space, like lettuce, to use as a point of reference.

Setting Up The Best Grow Light For Indoor Fruit & Citrus Trees

Grow lights can be a little intimidating – but they really shouldn’t be! There is a lot of marketing noise to cut through, but at the end of the day a well designed grow light provides a 1:1 replacement for sunlight and can look nice in your home. Plants love the consistency of grow lights, which helps your little space be as productive as possible.

We consider the grow light an essential tool of indoor gardening and it’s easy to give fruit plants enough light to be healthy by using grow lights. The instructions below give practical instructions for two of the best grow light recommendations for fruit trees such as citrus trees, but if you’d like to have a deeper general understanding of fruit light, check out the introduction to our grow light series.

The best Grow Lights on the market for growing fruit trees indoors are:

  • Best Hanging Option: If you are able to hang a grow light from the wall or ceiling, then we recommend the 40W Aspect Grow Light
  • Best Free-Standing Option: If you'd rather have a grow light 'tower' that can stand on the floor, then a PlantSpectrum is the way to go. This also has the nice benefit of being water proof. It comes in a 16 and 32W version. 
  • Best For Flexibility: If flexibility is important to you, then consider the Vita Grow Light. This can be mounted either in a Pendant Kit, or a lamp/stand of your choosing. 

All of these lights can be paired with a timer to make sure that you are delivering the correct light duration. 

Best Hanging Option

Best Free-Standing Option

Best For Flexibility



Aspect Grow Light


 Vita Grow Light or Vita Pendant Kit

Setting Up Your Grow Light For Your Fruit Tree Indoors

A powerful spotlight provides good lighting for a tree canopy. With either the DIY or High-end option below, you will want to set up the grow light for your fruit tree 12 inches from the top of the canopy and leave it on for the “total light” hours per day (see chart above or the learn by plant section).

Considerations With Other Grow Lights For Indoor Trees

Grow lights come in all types of sizes, shapes, and technologies. For herbs, high-powered lights (ie. Metal Halide or High-Pressure Sodium) can put out too much way too much heat. LED’s can be great, but there is a wide range of light quality. 

Fluorescent grow lights run cooler and are perfectly suitable to grow herbs, lettuce, and greens. If you are interested in setting up a more complicated grow light system, we recommend understanding Daily Light Integralcorrect setup and placement, and how many hours a day to leave them on.

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