Growing lemon tree in pots is easier than you think. What’s stopping you from growing a lemon tree – Is it the space shortage or weather conditions? Whatever the reason is, you can easily grow a lemon tree in pots.
With our expert tips, you can have scented flowers and yellow citrus fruit side by side.
- How To Start Growing Lemon Trees in Pots?
- 1. Choose Lemons That Are Perfect for Pot Growth
- 2. Start in a Pot With Proper Drainage
- 3. Fill the Container With the Right Soil Mix
- 4. Plant the Trees in Pots
- 5. Place the Pot in a Well-lit Location
- 6. Recharge the Soil
- 7. Maintain the Humidity Level
- 8. Use the Right Fertilizer
- 9. Prune and Pinch as Needed
- 10. Harvest Lemons
- 11. Lemon Tree Care
How To Start Growing Lemon Trees in Pots?
To start growing lemon trees in pots, the main requirements include location, watering, humidity, soil, and position. The main perk of planting a tree in a pot is that it lets you grow lemons in any environment. You can grow them inside in winter and place them outside in summer.
1. Choose Lemons That Are Perfect for Pot Growth
If you choose a lemon variety randomly and grow it into a pot, it will not grow well. Normally, these trees only grow well into the ground, where they get space to get large. You are not restricted to choosing a specific lemon variety, as any lemon tree can grow inside the house. It’s recommended to grow dwarf lemon tree varieties as they grow exceptionally well in pots.
The dwarf varieties include the Meyer lemon tree, Kumquats, Lisbon, and Pendorsa dwarf. Lemon trees from seeds potentially take 4 to 5 years to grow. You may go to a nearby nursery and buy dwarf varieties.
Selecting a dwarf tree that is 2 to 3 years old is ideal. That’s how the fruits will appear soon. But don’t be impatient, as the lemons can still take up to one year to grow.
2. Start in a Pot With Proper Drainage
An ideal pot has a good drainage system. The pot’s size depends on the maturity of the tree. Start with a small pot with more drainage holes in the initial stages. Gradually move toward higher pots according to the growth of the tree.
The potted lemon tree indeed grows well in sunlight, but another fact is that the roots need to stay cool. So, buy a light-colored pot to stop it from absorbing extra sunlight.
You can’t leave your tree in a single pot from beginning to end. Repot your citrus plants every few years or at the beginning of new seasons. While repotting, take a pot one size bigger than the previous pot.
3. Fill the Container With the Right Soil Mix
The right potting soil is necessary for the faster growth of your fruit tree. You can go to a nearby nursery to buy a readymade potting mix with the right moisture level for your lemon tree. Never use ordinary garden soil for planting lemons in a pot. Choose a potting soil with the appropriate pH balance and essential nutrients for the growing citrus tree.
The pH level of the potting mix must be between 5.7 and 7. A soil testing kit can help you check the mixture’s pH level. Add organic matter to the pot to improve soil texture and fertility, i.e., aged manure and earthworm casting. You will no longer need to ask, “How to grow lemon tree faster?” if you use the right soil blend.
4. Plant the Trees in Pots
You only get to plant your trees once, so you have to do it right. You don’t have to ask, “How to plant a lemon tree in the ground?” anymore. Some basic instructions are enough to get the planting procedure started.
- Leave space for putting the tree while filling the pot.
- Before planting your lemon tree in a container, loosen the roots in the root ball to help them spread out more easily. Then, place the tree into the pot and hold the stem with one hand while you cover the soil with the rest of the potting blend.
- Keep watering until you see it coming out of the drainage hole from the center of the pot.
- To avoid evaporation, cover the oil on the top with mulch.
5. Place the Pot in a Well-lit Location
If you are looking for an excellent location to grow trees, choose a sunny location. During the summer season, grow citrus outdoors. Your dwarf Meyer lemon trees must receive 4 to 6 hours of daily sunlight.
As soon as the temperature drops, bring the tree indoors. After bringing the citrus trees indoors, place them near southern or southwest-facing windows. You can only keep your pot in a different spot for a while.
The location of the pot needs to be shifted during the seasons. For excellent fruit production, place the potted citrus in full sun. In some cases, it is difficult to get sunlight. Artificial grow lights can be used as an alternative in such situations.
6. Recharge the Soil
Recharging the soil is a crucial step in maintaining the health and productivity of your tree. Over time, the soil’s nutrients can deplete, making it more difficult for your tree to grow and produce fruit.
To recharge the soil, you can replace the old soil with fresh, nutrient-rich soil every two to three years. Adding compost to the soil is another effective way to enrich it with nutrients and improve its health.
You can make your compost using kitchen scraps and yard waste or purchase compost from a garden center. By regularly recharging the soil, you can ensure that your tree has the nutrients it needs to thrive and produce an abundance of delicious fruit.
7. Maintain the Humidity Level
Lemon tree growing conditions include humidity, and in dry environments, the leaves of your tree may become brown and crispy. For an indoor lemon tree, the ideal humid level is 50%.
To maintain adequate humidity levels, you can use a humidifier near your tree to increase the humidity in the air. Keep the humidifier clean and replace the water regularly to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
You can also place a tray of water near your tree or mist the leaves with a spray bottle filled with water. Proper humidity level ensures the ideal growing environment for lemon trees indoors.
8. Use the Right Fertilizer
Citrus trees require a balanced fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other micronutrients. When selecting a lemon tree fertilizer, look for one with an NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) ratio of 2-1-1 or 3-1-1.
These ratios provide the right balance of nutrients for your lemon tree. Generally, you should fertilize your lemon tree every four to six weeks during the growing season and reduce fertilization during the winter months when growth slows.
9. Prune and Pinch as Needed
Pruning involves removing dead or diseased wood, as well as those branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. You can also remove branches growing too close to the trunk, interfering with the tree’s overall shape and structure.
Conversely, pinching involves removing the tips of new growth with your fingers or pruning shears. This helps encourage the tree to produce more lateral branches, which can lead to more fruit.
You should aim to prune and pinch your tree in the early spring, just before new growth begins. Pruning and pinching collectively solve all the Meyer lemon tree problems. Avoid pruning or pinching your tree too heavily, as this can reduce fruit production and cause stress to the tree.
10. Harvest Lemons
Growing fresh lemons at home has its advantages, one of which is that these trees can bear fruit throughout the year. To harvest your lemons from the fruit trees, gently twist them off the tree, or use pruning shears to snip them off at the stem.
Be sure to leave a short stem on the fruit, which can help prolong its shelf life. Once you’ve harvested your lemons, you can store them at room temperature for up to a week or in the fridge for up to a month.
11. Lemon Tree Care
It is not enough to grow lemon trees and leave them. Essential care is needed to avoid problems with lemon trees in pots. To promote the production of fruits, spread buttermilk around the tree in the growing season.
Common pests like spider mites and mealy bugs cause dry root rot. You can use various pest-repellent sprays to protect your plant. You can see more on the internet about the symptoms of plant diseases and their cure.
The perk of planting a lemon tree in a pot is that one can easily adjust the position of the lemon tree. To help you with the procedure, here are the summarized points to remember.
- The minimum container size for growing a lemon tree is 5 gallons. You may gradually increase it with the size of the tree.
- Around 6 to 8 hours of sunlight is necessary for plant growth. A grow light can play its role when planting a lemon tree indoors.
- Throughout the growing season, the lemon tree needs to be provided with enough nutrients.
Any particular climate will no longer affect the plant’s growth as you can easily place your pot anywhere. We hope you will soon be on your planting journey with these tips.
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