Growing Lemon Trees In Pots

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Growing lemon trees in pots is easy as long as you start with the right kind of plant. How to grow a lemon plant from seed. How to keep lemons growing in containers healthy.



Lemons grow easily from seed, but seedlings are not the best pot plants. They will be thorny and they may never fruit. More about that later.

How to grow lemons in pots:

  • Transplant your plant into a pot one size (two inches) larger than the pot it is in now. Use a good quality, well draining potting mix.
  • Keep the soil at the same level it’s at in the original pot. Citrus needs to breathe so don’t plant it too deep.
  • Keep the soil moist but never wet.
  • Feed a citrus food following the directions on the fertilizer package. Citrus trees require trace nutrients to prevent yellowing of the leaves. Citrus food contains all the elements they need.
  • Keep the pot in bright light year round. Move it outdoors during the summer months. Put it in a shady spot for a week or so and gradually move it into the sun so that the leaves do not burn.
  • Bring the lemon tree indoors well ahead of the first frost.
  • Continue to pot the growing lemon tree up each spring until it gets as big as you want it to be.
  • Then root prune it every two or three years (in the spring or early summer) to keep it in the same size pot.


Growing Dwarf Lemon Trees As House Plants

Improved Meyer Lemon
from: Fast Growing Trees Nursery


Variegated Eureka Lemon
from: Fast Growing Trees Nursery
Lemon - Genoa
from: Nature Hills Nursery, Inc.

Unless you have a sunny Florida room or a greenhouse window in your home, growing a lemon tree indoors may be challenging. Indoor lemons grow most vigorously when given intense light, good air movement and high humidity.

The bright blue headline above links to an entire page of instructions to help you achieve success.


Growing Lemon Trees From Seed

A potted lemon tree growing in a lath house.

Rinse the fresh seed well and plant half an inch deep in good potting soil. Keep the soil warm and moist and the seed will spout within a month.

The seedlings will grow slowly for the first six months or so. Keep them in a bright spot and don’t let them dry out. Feed them a liquid fertilizer at half strength once a month. Move them up one pot size at a time as they grow.

When it’s time to transplant them out of a 10 inch pot, plant them in the ground. Do this in late spring or early summer.

If you grow a lemon plant from seed it will not flower or fruit until it is very tall. Too tall to live in a pot in your living room. This is why I say to grow lemon seedlings in the ground.

If you are growing lemon trees from seed and you want fruit, do not prune them. They are genetically programmed to bloom at a certain height. Cutting them back delays flowering.

It will take a seedling lemon tree 6 or 7 years to reach flowering size.



More Lemony Goodness, Right This Way:

Outdoor Lemon Tree Care

Lemonade Diet Recipe

Fresh Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

Meyer Lemons Are Especially Well Suited to Pot Culture

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