How To Grow Lemons

Move over, avocados, there’s a new green trend in town. And it’s packing a punch of sunshine on the inside. Yep, learning how to grow lemons is the big garden project of 2024.

This guide peels back the layers of lemon-growing magic, from seed selection to sunshine strategies. No lemon-pith. You’ll master the art of crafting the perfect soil, keeping those pesky bugs at bay, and coaxing your tree into a fruitful frenzy.

Lemons trees aren’t hard to grow in your kitchen garden, but they won’t thrive unless you live where the winters are mild (hardiness zones 9 to 11). These subtropical plants are killed or damaged once the temperatures dip into the 20s.

Growing Lemons

You can grow lemon trees with seeds extracted from a ripe lemon or by purchasing grafted saplings from a nursery. Growing from seeds takes longer but is more affordable, while saplings offer a faster harvest.

Choose healthy seeds from a mature lemon. Soak them in water for 24 hours to soften the seed coat and aid germination. Plant the seeds about 1 inch deep in a pot filled with well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil moist but not soggy and place the pot in a warm, sunny location. Germination typically takes 4-6 weeks.

When searching for a sapling to transplant, choose a dwarf variety if you plan to grow your lemon tree indoors. Select a pot slightly larger than the root ball and with drainage holes. Use a well-draining potting mix, like a citrus or cactus mix, and plant the sapling at the same depth it was in the nursery container. Water deeply and place the pot in a sunny location.

Soil & Sunlight for Lemons

Well-draining soil is crucial for lemon trees. They are susceptible to root rot if the soil stays waterlogged. Use a potting mix specifically formulated for citrus trees or create your own by mixing equal parts potting soil, perlite, and sand.

Lemons need at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal growth and fruit production. Choose a sunny spot in your garden or indoors near a south-facing window.

How To Water Lemons

Water your lemon tree deeply when the top inch of soil feels dry. Avoid overwatering, especially before your lemon tree is full grown, as it can damage the roots. During the growing season (spring and summer), you may need to water more frequently than in winter.

Do Lemons Need Fertilizer?

Yes, lemon trees need fertilizer because their nutrient needs can be very demanding on soil. Use a balanced citrus fertilizer monthly during the growing season and reduce fertilization to once every two months in winter. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer label for application rates.

In Ace’s Garden we use Fruit and Bloom Booster from Amazon for all citrus tree fertilizing.

How To Prune Lemons

Regular pruning helps maintain the shape and size of your lemon tree and encourages fruit production. Prune off dead, diseased, or damaged branches, as well as any suckers that grow from the base of the trunk. Aim for an open, vase-shaped tree.

Topping your mature, outdoor lemon tree is a very important pruning step. If you fail to dwarf the upward growth your lemon tree will produce lemons that require a ladder to harvest.

You can train your lemon tree to grow in a specific shape, such as espalier against a wall. Use wooden stakes and twine to gently guide the branches as they grow.

When To Harvest Lemons

Lemons are typically ready to harvest when they reach their desired size and color. The rind should be firm and slightly yellow. Use sharp shears to clip the lemons from the branches, leaving a short stem attached.

Your homegrown lemons are perfect for adding a zesty touch to your culinary creations, making refreshing lemonade, or simply enjoying fresh as a mouth puckering treat.

If you don’t have the patience learn how to grows, try plugging in a lemon scented air freshener and placing this artificial lemon tree from Amazon in front of it.

artificial lemon tree

Bonus Lemon Growing Tips

  • Pests and diseases: Watch out for common citrus pests like aphids, scales, and mealybugs. Treat them organically with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Fungal diseases can also affect lemon trees. Use a fungicide if necessary.
  • Temperature and humidity: Lemons prefer warm temperatures and moderate humidity. If you grow your tree indoors, provide it with a humidifier or mist the leaves regularly.
  • Patience: Growing lemon trees from seeds takes time and patience. It can take several years before you see your first fruits. But with proper care, your homegrown lemons will be worth the wait.

I hope this comprehensive guide provides you with everything you need to know about growing your own lemon trees. With a little effort and patience, you’ll be enjoying fresh, delicious lemons for years to come!

Enjoy Ace’s guide on How To Grow Lemons? Check out How to Make Fruit Grow Faster.

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