svg Grow Light For Fruit Trees Indoors | Urban Leaf

Grow Light For Fruit Trees Indoors

How Much Light Do Fruit Trees Need To Grow?

The Total Amount Of Light Needed For Fruit

Growing fruit is an energy intensive process, and fruit trees have the highest light needs of any edible plant you can grow. In nature they are used to having a full view of the sky, so it’s unlikely that you will be able to provide enough natural light, unless you have an exceptionally bright window or sunroom.  You’ll notice that many of the tropical fruits can actually handle moderate light – if you are in this range they’ll grow green but are unlikely to product fruit. 

Because fruit trees come from all over, they have different day-length requirements to set fruit – most of them appreciate getting over 12 hours a night. The final column lists how long you should leave your grow light on to get fruit. 

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

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

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 spring through fall – but as winter sets in you will almost certainly benefit from a grow light. 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.

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).

The DIY Grow Light Option:

Use a 40 W Sansi Screw Bulb ($50) + clamp lamp ($12) + timer ($8). Not much to look at – but it gets the job done! Check this article out to have a bit more of an idea about setting up a DIY Grow Light at home.


40 W Sansi Screw Bulb

clamp lamp



High-end grow light option:

The 40W Aspect Light ($200) is very sleek-looking.

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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