Lemons have been one of the most popular citrus fruits for the home grower for many years. This popularity is in large part due to the ease of growing delicious fruit in your home. Few indoor plants can rival the delightful fragrance of the lemon tree. Once you begin to grow your lemons, you will notice a difference in the grocery store lemons' taste and quality.
Most of the lemons we buy today are produced in the winter months in the warmer climates and then stored for a period, which lessens the taste. At other times of the year, our grocery store lemons are sourced from overseas. These lemons are picked before they are ripe and allowed to ripen during transport.
Lemons Grow Just About Anywhere in the Country
People often think you need to live in a tropical climate to grow your lemon trees. Nothing could be further from the truth; lemon trees can be grown outdoors during the warmer months in full sun and brought inside and placed near a sunny window when the temperature begins to drop in the fall.
Lemon trees make an attractive, easy to grow houseplant that's perfect for any home or apartment. In the fall and winter, the fragrant blooms will fill the air with a heavenly scent!
Planting your Lemon Tree
Outdoors: If you live in the warmer areas of the country in zones 9, 10, or 11, you are lucky enough to plant your citrus trees outdoors directly in the ground. Lemons that are grown outdoors year-round will bear larger quantities of fruit than those grown indoors. Lemon trees should be planted in full sun and well-drained soil.
Indoors: For those who live in growing zones 3 through 8, growing citrus trees indoors during the winter months and moving them to the patio in late spring is the way to go. Be sure to plant your lemon in a pot with drainage holes. The tree can easily be moved around with very little stress to the fruit tree.
Choosing the Best Soil for your Dwarf Citrus Trees
When planting your Lemon tree in the ground, it is recommended to use a mix of equal parts of your existing soil and locally sourced compost.
In a pot, well-drained potting soil is recommended, such as Espoma Organic Cactus Mix. Espoma Organic Cactus Potting Mix contains a premium blend of peat humus, sand, sphagnum peat moss, perlite and enriched with Myco-tone. This potting mix provides optimum aeration, drainage, improves soil moisture retention, reduces drought stress, and promotes root growth.
Watering your Lemon Tree
Once established, Lemon Trees are very drought resistant making them welcome additions to most houseplant collections. Only water lemon trees when the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil is dry and stop only when water begins to flow out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
Do not allow the potted lemon tree to sit in a saucer full of water, as this can cause root diseases and ultimately lead to the lemon tree's death. Many growers will place pebbles in the saucer to raise the bottom of the potted tree out of the water. Doing this does allow some water to remain and raises the humidity level around the tree.
Fertilizing your Lemon Tree
There are many options when it comes to feeding your lemon trees. If you are planting your lemon tree outdoors, one of the easiest and best ways to fertilize is with Espoma Citrus-tone. Citrus-tone is made from natural and organic plant food ingredients. The organic nutrients in Citrus-tone break down gradually to provide a safe, long-lasting food reservoir throughout the growing season.
Indoors a well-balanced fertilizer like Osmocote Plus is a good way to feed lemon trees. Sprinkle the recommended amount onto the soil surface, and each time you water, the perfect amount of nutrients are made available to the tree.
Whether indoors or outdoors, when the tree is producing fruit, it's important to make sure there are enough nutrients available to the tree. A tree that is deficient in nutrients will often drop fruit before it is fully mature.
Pruning your Citrus Trees
As the Meyer Lemon tree matures, it will occasionally need to be pruned. There are several reasons that a citrus tree should be pruned.
One of the main reasons, especially for those growing trees indoors, is to maintain a bushy more compact shape. This can be done by pruning the tips of the branches. This promotes lateral branching and will keep the tree fuller, leading to more blossoms.
Removing any weaker shoots that may form will allow the sun to penetrate the canopy to help ripen the fruit.
Suckers will occasionally grow from the bottom of the truck. A sucker is a little stem that grows out of the bottom of the tree near the roots. It can cause additional stress but can be removed at any time.
Pollinating Lemon Tree Flowers Indoors
Indoors when flowers form, there are no bees or breezes to pollinate the lemon tree's flowers. Getting past this problem is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding tasks any house plant grower can undertake. Take a small paintbrush and dab the flowers picking up the polling from one flower and moving it to other flowers. Lemons will form without this help, but a larger crop of lemons will form when you manually pollinate.
Controlling Insects pests on Lemon Trees
Citrus trees that are grown outdoors will occasionally get insect pests. Aphids, spider mites will occasionally find their way onto even the healthiest lemon trees. Insects are easily controlled on citrus trees, and it can be done organically. Bonide Neem Oil is a beneficial method of control as it will control all life cycles of the pest. It is available in a ready to use formulation that can be sprayed directly onto the leaves and stems of the tree. Another excellent product is Bonide's Insecticidal Soap, also available in a ready to use formulation that smothers all life cycles of the insect. Both products are organic and do not harm the environment.
When you're ready to purchase citrus trees online, shop our extensive collection of Citrus trees. Whether it's Orange Trees, Lime Trees, or Grapefruit Trees, we have what you need. When you purchase from us, you will not only receive a healthy tree but also get the peace of mind knowing that our helpful staff is here to answer any questions you may have.