Have you ever planted a tree or flower before? If you haven’t, or even if you have ever planted one, we recommend a lemon tree for you to try and grow today! This tree is one of the easiest and versatile fruit trees, which can be grown both indoor or outdoor. Moreover, this tree can bring a refreshing virtual with its green and glossy foliage and fragrant blooms. If you nurture this tree well, it will produce you with many delicious and fresh lemons you can have every time you need them.
This tree brings a carefree vibe of spring and summer, exactly like how citrus fruit does. The lemon trees generally produce about 38 pounds of fruits around three years of age. The amount of fruits production will increase with age. A 4 to 5-year-old tree will produce their crops for about over 100 pounds yearly. They are super easy to grow and bear fruit quite quickly. If you plan to try growing one, make sure to read these tips we have compiled for you below!
1. Choose the right tree
There are several types of lemon trees you can choose from before you start growing one. Make sure to select the one that matches your overall conditions. Do you plan to put them indoors or outdoors? Which kind of lemon do you want your tree to produce?
- Meyer Lemon: The Meyer Lemon Tree is versatile, can grow both indoor and outdoor. It is also famous for its sweet and savory flavors from each squeeze. Some said it tastes better than store-bought ones, but their skin is thin and easy to get bruising. They can grow around 10 and 15 feet tall.
- Eureka Lemon: The Eureka Lemon offers a home-grown fruit that has high drought tolerance. This tree is dwarf-sized and easy to harvest. Moreover, it is very adaptable to most soils and conditions and isn’t prone to pests and diseases.
- Limequat Citrus: This is not a lemon tree but a citrus tree. It’s a natural cross between a Key Lime Tree and a Kumquat Tree. It will produce limequats with the sweet flavor of limes and oranges, thus being a perfect ingredient for cooking and adding to drinks.
2. Choose where to plant it
2.1 Planting a Lemon Tree Indoors
If you choose to plant the tree indoors, put it in front of a South-facing window or sunny window. It requires full to partial sun, which means they need about 4 to 8 hours of sunlight. This fruit tree will grow best in places with nightly temperatures that reach about 65 degrees Fahrenheit. They can’t tolerate hot or cold drafts; hence you need to put them away from air conditioning or any heating ducts. Once you have found the perfect place, select a larger container, about one and a half or two in size compared to the width of your tree’s shipped container.
2.2 Planting a Lemon Tree Outdoors
If you plan to grow it outdoors, find a south-facing side for placing them so it can have full sunlight. Sunshine will help your tree produce flower quicker, which may lead to fruit-producing after it. Let it savor the heat of the sun and keep it away from cold wind.
3. Caring for your tree
- Choose suitable soil: Use a well-draining potting mix that helps prevent the soil from getting too soggy but still moisturized enough. You can also fill the bottom of the pot with a 2-inch layer of crushed stone to improve the drainage. They prefer a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.
- Watering: For lemon trees, they need deep watering once a week or every two weeks. Plant them along with some mulch to help retain some of the water, avoiding them from getting dry out quickly. Once the soil becomes partially dry, give it another deep watering. The watering also depends on rainfall or humidity (if planted indoors). If the top 2 inches of soil is already dry, it means it’s time to drink. However, watch out for warning signs from your lemon tree! If it shows yellow leaves, it means they have soggy roots or nutrient problems.
- Fertilizing: To help them thrive, you need to fertilize your Lemon Trees every four to six weeks to ensure a healthy cycle. They prefer fertilizers with a general balance with a slightly nitrogen-rich blend. You can also apply a small number of coffee grounds to the soil as coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper. However, do not apply them too much as caffeine can kill beneficial life in the soil.
- Pruning: To maintain the trees’ shape, you need to prune them. Clip the branches that grow too long and the ones that grow toward the trunk instead of away from it. It maintains the airflow between the branches by pruning them, allowing the sunlight to penetrate the tree’s center directly. Make sure that your pruning tools are sterilized with alcohol to keep your lemon trees healthy!
- Pollinating: Lemon Trees are self-pollinating, so they don’t require pollen from another tree to bear fruit. But you can help them pollinate to produce better fruits by gently shaking the branches to help the pollen spread within the blossoms.
- Harvest time: Lemons are ready to pick when they reached yellow or yellow-green on the outside. Lemons ripen between 4 and 12 months after flowering. You need to note that the fruit that grows within less than two years old shouldn’t be allowed to mature because the trees are still young, and they need to put their energy into developing robust root systems. Remove the fruit from those young trees to ensure they will be healthy enough to produce plenty of fruits later once they have fully established. Once they’ve at least two years old and produce a large number of fruits, you can begin to harvest them. They will give a signal by showing blooms. Don’t leave the fruit on the tree for too long, or it will deteriorate. Gently remove the fruit so you wouldn’t damage the tree. Enjoy the fresh fruits of your labor!