Nothing embodies the warm, carefree vibe of spring and summer quite like citrus fruit. And Lemon Trees are arguably one of the best to choose for your own at-home orchard. Why? Well, for starters, they're super easy to grow and generally fruit quickly, even in less-than-stellar climates.
Plus, having a Lemon Tree is like having a little slice of the tropics right in your backyard. There's nothing like the fresh flavor and versatility of Lemon Trees...so, check out a few of our favorites, along with our tips and tricks!
Choosing Your Tree
Though it's a symbol of exotic, island-inspired growth, there aren't many places where you can't grow a Lemon Tree. Even if you live in an area where it gets cold outside, you can pot your Lemon Trees and bring them indoors during the winter. But if you're not sure what to choose, we've highlighted a few of our favorites below to get you started on your citrus journey!
1. Meyer Lemon
Ah, the famous favorite. The Meyer is probably what comes to mind when you think of versatile indoor/outdoor growth and amazing, easy-to-grow flavor. It's especially known for offering both sweet and savory flavors from each squeeze, making it even better than store-bought.
In fact, Meyer Lemons are not available in grocery stores because the thin skin of the Meyer means easy bruising. However, this delicious skin also allows the citrus juices to develop fully, making it the perfect raw fruit for juices, desserts and flavoring.
2. Eureka Lemon
The top choice for growing juicy lemons on your patio: Dwarf-sized for easy harvests, the Eureka offers effortless home-grown fruit and the benefit of drought tolerance.
It's no wonder why the Eureka Lemon Tree is the most popular selection amongst homeowners who grow their own citrus fruit. You'll easily grow bushels of lemons that are great for lemonade or for adding a sweet flavor to your meals.
And seriously - it's super easy. The Eureka is adaptable to most soils and conditions, and you don't need to spray harsh chemicals because it isn't prone to pests or diseases. There's nothing like the Eureka!
Ok, so it's technically not a Lemon Tree per se, but as a member of the citrus family, it's a must-have.
But the Limequat is exactly how it sounds: A natural cross between a Key Lime and a Kumquat, this tree offers small, yellow-green oblong fruit about the size of kumquats, which are perfect for snacking without peeling.
Limequats have the sweet flavor of limes and oranges with a tart aftertaste. Their unique flavor is perfect for cooking with, as well as adding to drinks. Either way, the Limequat gives your favorite recipes some extra zest.
But no matter which variety from our Lemon Trees you select, you'll get easy, hassle-free care that's straight-forward. No guesswork in growing - you'll know exactly what our Lemon Trees need. Each variety above (and most on the market) require full to partial sun, which means about 4 to 8 hours of sunlight daily. For indoor growth, simply place them in front of a sunny window.
Outdoors, select an area that gets just a bit of shade and maybe some shielding from harsh afternoon sun. Other than that, Lemon Trees just need a regular watering schedule and a plan for fertilizing.
Once you've scouted your chosen area and selected your favorite Lemon Tree, it's easy to plant.
Dig your hole just as deep and approximately twice as wide as the tree's root ball. If you're planting indoors, select a container that's about one and a half or two times the width of your tree's shipped container.
You can also fill the bottom of your pot with a 2-inch layer of crushed stone to improve drainage.
After you've got everything ready, place your tree and loosen its roots just a bit. Then, back fill your hole with soil with 2 inches of compost, water well and place near a South-facing window or South-facing area in your landscape.
When the planting process is complete, you can also spread a 2 to 3-inch layer of mulch over the tree's root area to preserve moisture. Just ensure you keep the mulch away from the tree's bark.
Like we mentioned above, a watering schedule is important to keeping your Lemon Trees healthy and happy. But if you're not sure when to water your Lemon Trees, just check the top 2 inches of soil. When this area is dry, it's time to water. Generally, this is about once weekly or bi-weekly, depending on rain fall in your area and your humidity indoors.
And a quick tip: Citrus leaves love humidity. Indoor Lemon Trees will do best if misted daily, especially when you are running your heat during cooler months. You can also use a humidifier or fill your pot's saucer with rocks and add water; place your plant on the rocks, ensuring the bottom of the pot is above the water line, for best results.
We recommend fertilizing your Lemon Trees (especially Meyers) every four to six weeks, from February to August, to ensure a healthy cycle. Citrus benefits from fertilizers that are generally balanced with a slightly nitrogen-rich blend.
Prune as needed to maintain your Lemon Trees' shape. Clip any branches that are too long, and remove branches growing toward the trunk of the tree instead of away from it. This process maintains airflow between the branches and allows light to penetrate the center of the tree.
FGT Tip: Sterilize your pruning tools with rubbing alcohol - this ensures a clean cut to keep your Lemon Trees healthy.
Pest and Disease Solutions
Citrus canker, root rot and mites are the most common pests and diseases affecting Lemon Trees, but luckily, they're easy to treat...especially with organic, natural solutions. And if you keep your Lemon Trees indoors, you simply need to monitor and clean the leaves.
But if you're treating, ensure that you always use an approved fungicide, or just remove any dead or diseased areas. Fully remove infected material from the tree – don’t use any of this material for compost.
Now it's time for the best part: Harvesting! Lemons are ready to pick when they're yellow or yellow-green on the outside. And most of our Lemon Trees are primed for harvest after only a couple of years, or sooner.
Also, lemons ripen anywhere between 4 and 12 months after flowering, with blooms appearing in spring to signal a later transition to fresh fruit in the summer. And there's nothing like a delicious summer harvest.
So, no matter the variety you choose, ease and home-grown flavor await - select your favorite from our Lemon Trees today, and get growing!