How to Grow a Lemon tree in a Pot

by on January 5, 2010

Update: Visit our latest citrus joy: Kishu Mandarin Tree !

After a visit to Sorrento Italy in April of 2000, we were immediately smitten with all the wonderful lemon trees adorning the Italian coastline. All throughout Amalfi and Sorrento we saw gorgeous scenes of Sorrento lemon trees in terra cotta pots adorning house fronts, store fronts and cobblestone alley ways.

We knew right there and then we wanted something equally picturesque in our backyard. So, we planted a lemon tree in a container!

We really wanted to bring back a Sorrento lemon tree to the USA, but because we didn’t feel like smuggling anything into the country, we opted for the next best option possible – a Eureka lemon tree. This Eureka is studded with fruit and it’s extremely happy with it’s home in the urn shaped container. In winter, when the cool weather beckons the fruit to ripen, the lemon tree is an absolutely gorgeous scene to the garden.

This little lemon tree is our reminder of our trip to Italy and we’re happy to have it on our garden family.

Drying Out in the Pot: Growing this lemon tree has a few challenges because the heat of the Summer season can quickly dry out the pot. Especially in the rustic looking terra cotta pots.  We’ve since transplanted it into the glazed pot seen in these photos and it helps retain the moisture much better.   It takes consistent watering in hot days to make sure that the tree stays hydrated and happy. Unfortunately there were a few occasions when we forgot to water our little lemon and the fruits became soft and dehydrated. So a glazed pot helps to hold moisture a little better than a terra cotta pot. 

Watering: To keep it consistently watered, we added a drip irrigation line to the pot. Now the lemon tree is in full fruiting cycle again because it’s getting the consistent water it needs to stay healthy. Another added step we’ve found to help keep in the hydration is to mulch the top of the pot.  We use about 2″ of leaves from the leaves left over from trimming out hedges. If you don’t have a way to put an automatic drip on the pot, then you have to be consistent in hand watering. What ever you do, make sure the lemon gets consistent water. 

A word of warning on pot selection: if you ever think you may transplant out of the pot you are choosing, do not get a pot which tapers in at the rim like the one our Eureka lemon tree is in. It will be very difficult to take the plant out without damaging its roots. Luckily this pot is large enough to be our Eureka’s permanent home.

Feeding: Make sure to feed your lemon tree with a good organic fertilizer. Think of all the baby lemons the tree need to nurture, so make sure to give your tree great food and nutrients. 

!! Check with Your Local Nursery. Can you even grow citrus in your area?: The best advice we can give you is to consult with your local nursery. Every growing region is different and growing zones can change rapidly even within 10 miles of each other. So head to your local nursery and check to see what variety of lemon tree grows well and ask for their advice on how you can best grow it for your area. 

Have Fun! 

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{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Fern @ Life on the Balcony January 5, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Great choice of pot! The combination of the rustic pot and the beautiful tree is really stunning. It’s amazing that a relatively small tree can produce so much fruit!

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2 Angela January 7, 2010 at 12:09 am

I agree that the choice of pot is great, the very structured urn shaped pot against the informal branching of the lemon tree. Did you use dwarf stock or just a regular size tree?

Also, thanks for the great tip to add a layer of mulch to containers. My little potted kumquat tree will be forever grateful to you!

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3 White On Rice Couple January 7, 2010 at 11:57 am

This was one of our original trees we bought when we had a tiny back patio, so it is only dwarf stock. We love the lemons off of it so much that we’ve added a second Eureka (this one’s a standard) and created a planter for it.
After we started mulching all of our citrus in planters or pots with cuttings from our hedges, we’ve noticed they all have been much happier. Since so much of their root structure stays shallow, they really benefit from the added protection and moisture. Hopefully your kumquat will be exploding with fruit this year!

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4 viggie January 18, 2010 at 8:54 am

Beautiful tree. Mine is just a baby fresh from the nursery, but sure enough it flowered first month and has one sad little lemon clinging on, and is busy flowering again.

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5 bogdan mardari January 26, 2010 at 9:00 am

But do you do something special during the winter? How come the plant oesn’t die during the winter?

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6 White On Rice Couple January 27, 2010 at 8:26 am

Bogdan- we live in Southern California and our winters are very mild. Citrus trees do very very well in our area. We’re very fortunate!

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7 Ciresemik April 23, 2012 at 9:18 am

Would something like this work in a colder climate if it were taken inside in the winter? I have always wanted a lemon and/or orange tree but live in Indiana.

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8 White on Rice Couple April 23, 2012 at 9:47 am

We’ve known quite a few people who will winter their citrus indoors. It is a fairly common practice in Italy. You can even keep them outside if you take the proper protective measures. Here’s a link talking about that. There will be some varieties which will do better than others, so make sure you research to find the ones which will do the best for you. Good luck!
T & D

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9 Kim June 20, 2012 at 4:37 am

We live in an area where it gets in the teens a few times a year (southwest Georgia). I put my glazed pot of dwarf Myers Lemon on top of casters and push it under the overhang of my patio when it is expected to freeze. I’ve got probably 15 lemons on it now; haven’t had any since I bought it. Been feeding it once a month with dilute 20-20-20, 1 teaspoon/gallon water. Every other month I add 1tsp of Epsom salts. I have finally figured out what makes it happy!

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10 Shiloh August 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm

1 tsp of what in your 20/20/20 recipe. I keep getting lemon buds, but they fall off before they mature.

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11 Kim September 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Sorry, I didn’t realize these comments were for me. I use Peters Professional All Purpose Plant Food (which is 20-20-20) per gallon of water to feed my Myers Lemon. Every other month I add one teaspoonful of Epsom salts to this same gallon of 20-20-20 mixture.

12 Renee September 2, 2012 at 10:40 am

I recently read that lemon trees like Epsom salt but it didn’t specify how much to give it and when. I’ll have to try this. Do you dissolve the Epsom salt in the watering can?

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13 Renee September 3, 2012 at 9:16 am

Kim and Diane,
Diane, please describe your drip irrigation system. I’m trying to figure out how much water is too much without killing my trees. Thank you!!

BTW, Diane, my fiancee have been talking about starting a foodie blog for a while now and your blog inspired me to get it going–thank you! http://www.maneesadventures.com

14 Joani March 30, 2013 at 8:37 pm

I live in a climate where the temperature drops into the single digits during the winter, so I move my potted lemon tree into the garage during the colder months. I use a couple of plant lights, turning them on at night when the temperature drops and off during the day. I water as needed. I have the tree on furnature dolly so I can move it outside on warm days. It isn’t perfect, but it keeps the tree alive, and I get tons of lemons.

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15 Kate March 5, 2010 at 2:49 pm

What a beatiful tree! It looks great in that spot in your yard. My mom has a dwarf Meyer lemon that she planted in a pot and keeps inside year round. She lives in Colorado and enjoys lemons in the winter when it’s snowy and cold outside.

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16 Sportsgirl March 22, 2010 at 1:18 am

The tree is so lovely! What size pot are you using? (approx height)

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17 White On Rice Couple March 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm

It is probably a little over 2′ heigh.

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18 Thanh March 26, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I had my lemon tree in the pot forever and it won’t grow! It’s not dead, it’s just doesn’t do anything. More water?

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19 White On Rice Couple March 28, 2010 at 1:45 pm

There are a lot of factors which could cause it. Not enough water, it’s gotten root bound in the pot (pot size has limited it’s growth to what you have now), the soil in the pot doesn’t agree with your tree, not enough sun… I’d start by watering it consistently for a time and add about 2″ of mulch on top of the roots. See if the tree starts to get revitalized. If not maybe move it to a different spot where the sun exposure improves or maybe repotting.
Todd

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20 Barbara@BabyBloggingBoomer March 27, 2010 at 2:26 pm

My dad used to grow lemon and orange trees in wine keg (halves). I miss the sight and smell. I live in an apartment and don’t have any outside area but I want to share this post with my friends on my blog. Houston, where I live, is a great place for container gardening. I might just try growing one in front of my window. Who knows. I really haven’t lost much if it doesn’t grow. Thanks for the reminder about container gardening and bring back sweet thoughts of my dad.

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21 White On Rice Couple March 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm

We love using the halved wine barrels for pots. Our sideyard “nursery” is filled with them giving our seedlings their beginnings. Thanks for sharing the memories.

T & D

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22 Stephanie March 31, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I love the smell of the lemon trees. Check out http://www.citrusfruittrees.net…Lots of great info.

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23 Roxana July 30, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I’m looking at planting some fruit trees in container this fall. How old was the lemon tree when you bought it? And how long before it bore fruit? I also noticed on your website that you have peach trees. Did those bear fruit in the first year or does it take some time before they develop? I’d love any insight you have on this. I love your website! Keep the great blogs and photos coming!

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24 White On Rice Couple July 30, 2010 at 5:55 pm

We’ve purchased several lemon trees over the years (2 Eureka, 1 Meyer). All were in 5 gal. containers and they were all producing fruit from the beginning. The peach trees fruit, but only our white peach has put out any tasty fruit over the last couple years. We are still trying to figure out one of the garden’s original trees (a peach) which developed nice fruit the first year we move in, then nothing very tasty in all of the following years. So Cal isn’t the best area for peach trees but you can still get some nice fruit each year.

Good luck gardening and thanks for the compliments!

T & D

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25 Tina September 26, 2010 at 10:35 am

The tree looks beautiful! We just bought one about a month ago and are keeping our fingers crossed it will survive! I was wondering about the watering. We don’t have the ability for a drip system, would it make sense watering twice a day? We are in the Santa Clarita area and temps are generally in the 80s to 90s right now and very dry. Also, what about fertilizing?

Thank you!

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26 White On Rice Couple September 26, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Hi Tina,
We have our drips set to every other day in the summer. Since yours are so young, once a day should be more than enough to help get them established. Most all citrus, especially if in pots, love being fed. We mostly use the liquid organic fertilizers ’cause any solid organic fertilizers will have the pups’ snouts digging them up. We fertilize about once every 2 months and that works well with our established plants. They probably would have benefited from more frequent feedings when they were younger, though.

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27 Rachelle October 24, 2010 at 10:19 am

What a gorgeous tree! It absolutely reminds me of our trips to Italy. <3 We are also in SoCal and have a dwarf Eureka, as well. How large of a pot is it that you're using? I love the urn shape and would be happy to have ours permanently potted near our patio. Also, how did you set your drip line? Does it run through the bottom and up to the surface? We hope to have our tree looking as happy as yours!

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28 White On Rice Couple October 24, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Hi Rachelle,
Thanks! We love our lemon tree. We think it is about 26″ diameter. The urn shape is pretty, but will make is almost impossible to transplant if we ever wanted to. That is always something to consider when planting in urn shapes. Drip line is coming up through to bottom, plus we’ve drilled extra large holes in the base to keep the roots from clogging up the holes (which will inevitably happen with the the stock drainage holes.) Hope that helps.

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29 DVG March 5, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I have a lemon is a similar-shaped pot. Mine was supposedly a dwarf Eureka lemon, but it is 8 feet tall now. Anyway, I wanted to point out the obvious, which is that you can always transplant the tree by breaking the pot. That’s my plan should that ever become necessary. I am in SoCal, too, FWIW.

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30 White on Rice Couple March 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Very true. Although we have a had time bringing the hammer to a $200 pot. But the tree;s health does come before the pot.

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31 Container Vegetable Gardening March 12, 2011 at 3:54 am

beautiful lemons you got there. Thanks for sharing your container gardening tips on growing lemon trees.

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32 Nfeldman March 22, 2011 at 10:27 am

Love the post! Great tree! Thanks for sharing. I live in west central FL and two pink lemon trees (4 year) just arrived and I plan to container grow them. They came in 24 gal container and I’m planting them in a much larger pot (not sure of the size but they drop right in – they will stay outside all year (no problem in FL). I appreciate your notes about hydration and mulch. I thought http://www.MeyerLemonTree.com had some great prune/feed/grow tips. I’ll keep you posted. I never knew there was such a thing as pink lemons!

I’m waiting on two Nagami Kumquat’s (3 year), which I’m not sure if I’m going to put in pots or the ground yet. I can’t wait to see what the pink lemon’s look like in Dec/Jan. Thanks for your site.

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33 White on Rice Couple March 22, 2011 at 10:22 pm

We’ve kept our kumquat (Nagami as well) in a pot and it has always done ok. Fruits well, is happy with the sun and drip irrigation, but has been slow growing. It might do better in the ground with good soil, but our clay-scape doesn’t help. If it isn’t in a large planter, we are often better off keeping them in pots.

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34 Rinia Cruz July 13, 2011 at 11:42 am

beautiful trees.I bought a meyer lemon tree a few months ago ,it had six lemons ,it still has the six.it has flowered several times,but no more lemons.It gets plenty of sun i fertilize it once a month and plenty of water inspite of the drought. what am i doing wrong? thank you for sharing

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35 White on Rice Couple July 13, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Hi Rinia,
I wouldn’t worry about your tree yet. As long as the leaves seem healthy, is should be fine. Sometimes they just take a little time to settle in. We usually don’t expect much out of our new trees for the first year or so. We tend to look at our trees’ progress in terms of years instead of months. Just keep watering, fertilizing, and making sure it gets a lot of sun. We’ve had great luck with using B vitamin to get the root structure settled and happy. Good luck!

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36 Steve October 26, 2011 at 6:40 pm

The container you chose is wonderful! Any the lemon tree looks awesome. Do you remove any old soil to make room for new mulch?

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37 White on Rice Couple October 26, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Thanks so much. To answer your question, no we didn’t take out any old soil. Everytime we mulch, we just add it on top. Since it is mostly leaves from our trimmings, they tend to not add too much volume to the soil as they break down. :)

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38 lauri December 17, 2011 at 11:44 am

I love your tree! I’ve had one in a pot for about 4 years now, and every year we get about 3 or 4 wonderful lemons. How do you get soooo many lemons on your tree. I would kill for that many! The few we do get are the best tasting lemons I’ve ever had, but just not enough of them. We live in Kansas and it gets very hot in the summer and we bring it inside in the winter in a sunny location. We fertilize and water regularly, and yet skimpy lemon production. Any tips?

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39 helen seaman December 31, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Hi there, I’m from Adelaide South Australia and have a eurika lemon tree in half a wine barrel. I was wo.dering how big should our drainage holes be. We put about 6 in and they are about 2cms in diameter. Is this big enough. We layered gravel first then a mix of sand and gravel then a layer of potting soil mixed with mulch.

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40 White on Rice Couple January 1, 2012 at 10:33 am

Hi Helen,
That is about the same as what we drill into our bigger pots. Occasionally after several years you may have the roots plug the holes, but with the wine barrels it is easy to drill an extra hole a few cm from the bottom on the side if that happens. Good luck with your tree! We had to add an extra Eureka lemon to the garden last year because we love them so much. The oil content in the rind is so much fresher than anything we can buy, even from the best markets.
PS. We’ve found with the trees in our wine barrels that we need to water them a bit more than a ceramic pot. The water will evaporate from the soil faster.
T & D

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41 Michele Smith January 9, 2012 at 11:37 am

Hi I came across your blog from pinterest. Your tree is gorgeous and I thank you for all of your tips. I’m looking to buy my husband a lemon tree as a gift when he comes home from deployment in april. Is there any place that you would reccomend buying from online? I’ve only found Meyer lemon trees.
Thank you!

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42 White on Rice Couple January 9, 2012 at 11:55 am

Hi Michele,

Thank you so much. We haven’t ordered any trees online yet, but have heard good things about Four Winds. On a garden forums we’ve seen a few others mentioned as well. If you have a local nursery, even Home Depot or Lowes nearby, they may be able to special order you one as well. Good luck.

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43 Donna Geary January 12, 2012 at 10:23 am

I loved your photos! I have had a patio Lemon tree for about 6 years. It only grows about 6 or so lemons a year and they never fully ripen. The leaves are beautiful and it looks healthy.

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44 Lisa McCormack March 29, 2012 at 10:07 am

For the past five years I’ve raised the two tiny lemon trees (12-inches high with a tiny root ball) I bought from a vendor at the Miami Airport into 4-foot trees that have never bloomed and, hence, never borne fruit. What’s wrong? In plastic pots appropriate for their size, they appear happy, with lots of yearly growth and tons of dark green leaves and sharp thorns. I leave them outside from spring until the first frost. I live in Washington, DC. Will they ever bear fruit?

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45 White on Rice Couple March 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm

There could be several things causing this. This garden forum has very knowledgeable people explaining several of the potential causes. It is possible to raise and get fruit out of lemon trees by moving them indoors during chances of freezing temperatures, especially if the trees appear healthy under your current care. We only have experience growing the citrus here in So Cal, so don’t have any definitive answers for you from our knowledge. Good luck!

T & D

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46 Rebecca April 16, 2012 at 4:51 am

I have a myerson lemon tree and my lemons barely start growing than they turn black and fall off can’t figure out wht we are doing wrong, too much water or not enough?

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47 Viviane July 24, 2012 at 5:31 am

Your Eureka tree is absolutely beautiful! I’m moving to a new apartment and have been researching about it, and came across your post. I can’t wait to have my Eureka lemon tree on the balcony. Where did you get the terra cotta pot? I’m looking for something similar. Thanks!

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48 White on Rice Couple July 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

Thanks! Good luck on getting your tree. It has been a while, but I believe we either got the pot from one of two local places: The Plant Stand or Roger’s Gardens.

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49 Viviane August 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Thanks! I found a pot that I like but it’s 14′H, 18′W and 18′D, do you think that would do or it’s too small for growing my lemon tree? Thank you!

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50 Renee September 2, 2012 at 10:46 am

Great info, thank you. I have two Meyer Lemon trees in pots that we’ll bring inside in the winter (we live in south-eastern WI). We also added three Fig trees and one Olive tree.

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51 Cherstin Holtzman September 9, 2012 at 7:44 am

I love your site! I came across the lemon container on Pinterest and wanted to ask a question. I live in southwest Florida–probably the most suitable climate for growing citrus–but I have a Meyer lemon tree I am keeping in a container as well. I can remember as a small child one of my (most dreaded) household chores being to go outside and pick up the fruit that had fallen off the citrus trees we had in our yard, and I hated it! ;) I had always heard the container would dwarf the tree a bit, and it is much easier to prune and keep at a tidy height. Anyway, my question is this: does one need to have two or more citrus trees in order for the trees to pollinate one another, or is having one sufficient? My lemon tree is probably going on three years and we have yet to notice any fruit. I’m beginning to wonder if we should add a second in order for pollination to occur?

Thanks for any insight, and thanks for a wonderful website! You’ve provided so much information, and I love that people commenting are enthused about trying citrus as well! :)

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52 White on Rice Couple September 9, 2012 at 2:37 pm

As far as we know, most of the varieties we’ve seen have been self-pollinating so you wouldn’t need a second tree. However in our books, you can never have too much citrus! ;)
T & D

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53 spadge December 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm

On the subject of removing the tree from the pot without damaging the roots if you ever had to… smash the pot and then lift it out as best you can from the pieces, if you love your little lemon tree as much as I do, the tree is precious, the pot is just another mass produced pot, not worth damaging the tree for!

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54 Missy January 7, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Thanks for sharing. I have a lemon and a lime in containers and they don’t do too well. I appreciate the tips and look forward to healthier trees.

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55 Margie Fuller February 17, 2013 at 9:08 pm

I would like to have more than enough lemons, strawberries, blueberries and apples, for my family (and for me to use when baking items to sell, but not so many that I can’t keep up with them. Would you have a suggestion for how many I should plant? I am a family of 3.

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56 White on Rice Couple February 18, 2013 at 12:09 pm

We would love to help, but that is almost impossible for us to easily reply. It all depends on your growing conditions, how you prune, how adept of a gardener you are, the variety you grown, etc… Too many variables. The best would be to chat with your local nurseries, keeping in mind how much you envision quantity wise of being able to use. Personally we can never grow enough of any of those.

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57 June February 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm

I live in zone 9 Northern calif. Got a dwarf myer lemon. Took it several yrs to bloom but now
I have great lemons around oct nov. The less you mess with it the better. I use the dry citrus
fertilizer on it. I just tried planting some of the seeds like they showed on pintrest . It took a couple weeks but they came up. I have 9 little trees now.

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58 sandra mcneill March 24, 2013 at 9:39 am

would this work with an orange tree as well

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59 White on Rice Couple March 24, 2013 at 2:09 pm

We are pretty sure it would with a dwarf variety, but you might want to double check with a local nursery before buying your tree.

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60 ZEE April 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Would these trees bloom in a 10b zone? I live in Miami and would love one of these, but I noticed that you said the cold weather makes it bloom. Maybe it would have the opposite effect in our heat?

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61 Deborah April 5, 2013 at 3:11 am

I tried growing lemon trees last year some produce one lemon an it looked like a bell pepper are they suppose to look like that.

Deborah

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62 Bre Warren April 6, 2013 at 8:39 pm

I was wondering where is the best place to purchase a lemon tree? I really want to grow one!

Thanks,
Bre

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63 White on Rice Couple April 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm

If you can find a good local nursery, that is where we recommend. We have a few down here in So Cal we love.

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64 Kelly L. June 3, 2013 at 12:25 am

Is there any chance you would consider sharing your favorite nurseries? I’m also in So Cal (east Ventura County), and would love to check ‘em out!! Thanks for your thorough, informative, encouraging blog!

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65 Lea Markum April 1, 2014 at 6:57 am

When I lived in California I became familiar with citrus trees from Four Winds growers. Their trees were in all the local nurseries. Since I moved to Tennessee the nurseries don’t carry citrus, so I sent for a kaffir lime from them and it arrived perfectly, grew very quickly, and I got fruit the 2nd season (even though it was the leaves I wanted). I have had a potted Meyer lemon for years here, and just bring it in the house during the winter. I place it in a sunny location and prune it back to make it more manageable in the house. Last year I had about 50 lemons. It is flowering right now for the next crop of fruit and makes the house smell nice. I just use the dry citrus/avocado food and it works fine.

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66 Hannah April 11, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Hi, I was wondering were you got your seeds. Did you just get them out of a lemon at the grocery store? Or did you buy them?

Also, do you leave it out through the whole winter, or do you bring it in? And if you leave it out, what zone do you live in?

It would be really helpful! Awesome idea!

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67 White on Rice Couple April 12, 2013 at 4:07 pm

We didn’t grow ours from seed, but bought it at a nursery in the gallon size. We are in Southern California, so there is no need for us to bring it in. Those who bring it in do so to protect it from freezing. Bring it in before the first frost and take it back out after things warm up again. I know some people will give it some “fresh air” during the winter on days it warms up and then bring it back in again at night, but it depends on how convenient that is for you.

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68 Ruth Ragno April 12, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Hannah, I saved the calamondin seeds from the fruit itself. I put it in a plastic cup with 1/4 cup of water to root…then plant it in small pot. I just transplanted into a bigger pot later. I live in Florida and I just cover them during hard feeze. My citrus in a pot are in my covered Lanai. Goodluck if you decide to grow it from a seed. I enjoyed seeing it grow…I dont know how long I have to wait to see it bear some fruits.

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69 Ruth Ragno April 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Is it normal for the Eureka and Myer new fruits to fall off? FEW of mine does…and if it isn’t, then, what did I do wrong. I start a Calamodin from a seed and they are all growing in the pots. How long would it start flowering and bear fruits. Thank you!!

Rutth

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70 White on Rice Couple April 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Usually our citrus will drop fruit if not getting enough water or if in a pot and the soil is getting depleted of nutrients. Make sure to water and mulch well. As far as the calamodin, we don’t have an answer. We’ve bought ours in a 5 gallon size at the nursery and it was already fruiting. I think a lot will depend on your growing conditions and care.

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71 Tricia May 15, 2013 at 8:07 pm

About four years ago my daughter (3 yrs at the time) wanted to plant lemon seeds from a store bought lemon. I did it to humor myself, please her and just see what would happen. We ended up with four small trees. Lost one this past winter, but today I moved the larger of the remaining three to a larger pot and kept the other two in the other pot. We live in Iowa, so the trees go outside in the summer and inside in the winter. We’ve never had blooms or fruit. Will we ever? I love the scent of the leaves when I rub the leaf between my fingers. It gives off a wonderful lemon scent!

FYI…I ran across your site from a Pinterest post. :)

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72 White on Rice Couple May 20, 2013 at 3:57 pm

It is hard to say for certain if it will fruit or not. Usually they should be blooming by now, but it might need another year or so. Make sure to fertilize. We’ve had great luck with liquid kelp/seaweed extract. The trees all seem to love it. Good luck.

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73 Carol March 30, 2014 at 12:49 pm

You might have bought a lemon from the ‘regular’ store, and it is basically a neutered plant: incapable of bearing fruit even though it grows well. Try using an organic seed: these will usually bear fruit as they are not hybrids or GMO seeds and will fruit. Good luck

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74 Diane May 16, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I have a question that I hope you can answer. I have a Meyer Lemon tree on my patio. The lemons always seem to want to grow heavily on one side and the tree wants to topple over. I’ve tried staking it but the stake just isn’t strong enough in the container and it also leans that way. Any ideas?

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75 White on Rice Couple May 20, 2013 at 3:48 pm

You might have to prune the heavy side of the tree back to help even it out, just don’t do too much at once, particularly this time of year or else you may shock the tree. Sometimes we’ll support a heavy branch with a thick stake directly under the branch so it can rest on top of the stake. That’s the best I can think of at the moment. Hope it helps.
T

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76 Clare Rannigan May 31, 2013 at 5:38 am

My husband pulled two sprouted lemon seeds out of our compost pile last year and planted them. They have flourished, are about 12 inches tall and one has a bud at the top of the plant. As the seeds were from lemons bought at the grocery I’m guessing they are from commercial, standard trees. I live in zone 7 so will have to bring them inside when the temperatures drop. Do you know if they can be pruned and when this should be done in case the plant gets too large?

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77 White on Rice Couple June 18, 2013 at 9:25 am

Since you’ll probably be keeping them in a pot, that will restrict their size some, but you’ll probably still want to prune to keep them to a manageable size. We’ve read that citrus don’t like a hard pruning (doing a lot at once), and you can prune just about anytime. Here is a good discussion on pruning citrus – click on link for discussion.

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78 Heather @ French Press July 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm

this is gorgeous, we’re the only house on the street, without a lemon tree in the yard, and I would love to do one on the deck! thanks for the inspiration

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79 Sharon August 5, 2013 at 9:17 am

My lemon tree leaves have little white bugs on them and the leaves turn black. I’ve sprayed it with Sevin Spray hoping that will get rid of the insects. Any advice??

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80 White on Rice Couple August 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm

I’d take a leaf or two into your local nursery and have them look at it. The white bugs sound like white flies. Start by giving your tree a good strong hose down.

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81 Tim October 30, 2013 at 6:06 am

I’m about to grow a Eureka in a container – a 17 gallon washtub, which I figure should be big enough, but will it be too shallow? Proper containers that size cost a fortune! I plan on covering the bottom (which I’ll drill holes in) with gravel and using a good quality potting mix. It will be on my balcony which has about a 12′ ceiling. How big can I expect it to get? I have to be able to move it when I move (I’m a renter).

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82 White on Rice Couple October 31, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Sorry, we don’t know quite enough to give you a proper answer. Our guess is you’d be fine. We started a semi-dwarf in a pot when we were renting and it only got to about 4′ in the 3 years we were there. Easy to move when we bought our first place. The shallowness, we don’t have an answer. Best to ask an expert, maybe someone at a local nursery or on a good gardening forum. Good luck.

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83 Jennylecour January 24, 2014 at 10:05 pm

I need help.i have 11 years old calamansi tree from philippines ,it s a family of lime,lemon tree ,but I never get any fruits yet.i live in Illinois .i put in the winter I’m growing them in the pots they 2 tree at
Lease 7 foot tall .pls. Help me I love gardening .thanks I’m advance

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84 Nancy March 21, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Not to be disparaging, but I grew up in San Diego county. How hard could it be to grow ANY citrus there? We had everything growing in our yard; it wasn’t rocket science. Now that I live in Iowa, I’d like to know any suggestions from people who don’t live in the perfect citrus-growing climate of California or Florida. Anyone from the Dakotas having great success? You are the ones we need to hear from.

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85 kim wargo March 23, 2014 at 9:25 am

my lemon tree’s lemons are green and have been for months. is this normal or did the nursery screw up and give me a lime tree by mistake. we got it at the end of summer and it bloomed, fruited and has not changed since. it is now march. when do I pick these fruits. im new to this as you can tell

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86 White on Rice Couple April 1, 2014 at 10:32 am

It takes at least a few months for the fruit to go from green to yellow. If the fruit size and shape is correct, you should be fine. If you scratch the rind it and smell it, it should give you an indication of which fruit it is too.

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87 Gaile March 23, 2014 at 6:22 pm

How long from when the flowers first come on till the lemons are ready to pick. I have had fruit on my lemon tree since September & it is only just turning yellow but not ready to pick yet. It is in a pot in the front garden, I am near Bundaberg Queensland. I have had mulch around the top of the pot & when is the best time to re-pot?

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88 White on Rice Couple April 1, 2014 at 10:29 am

Usually it seems like it take 6-8 to go from flower to ripe fruit. Not sure if there is necessarily a best time to replant. Probably at least not when the weather is particularly hot. Here’s some info on transplanting. Hope that helps. Good luck!

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89 DJ March 24, 2014 at 8:02 am

I grew one from lemon seeds. Just soak for a few days and plant (several – since you can’t be sure which ones will take root). BOOYA!! The End.

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90 Carol March 30, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Make sure that the seeds you use, if growing from seeds, are from organic lemons! The ‘regular’ ones are almost always treated with something that disables it from bearing fruit although it might grow and be a beautiful tree. Also, those seeds can be GMO or hybrids which won’t produce fruit.
Nancy, I too, wish that those from colder states would weigh in. I live in Oregon. Our winters are usually frequented by several low (think 16*-19*) cold periods that can last up to two weeks, and summers that usually get upward into the 100’s. …. Quite a range! It would be nice to have some help regarding these climates when reading such a post, but it is quite hard to cater to everyone in every climate possible. As the writers have stated many times: check with your LOCAL nursery for the best guidelines.

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91 Jane C April 11, 2014 at 11:06 am

When mulching, do you mulch all the way to the stem of the tree?

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92 White on Rice Couple April 14, 2014 at 8:13 pm

We usually leave a couple inches of breathing space around the trunk.

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93 Melissa April 27, 2014 at 10:29 am

Back in 2012 Rebecca mentioned the problem of lemons barely growing and then turning black and falling off. I am having the same problem with a lemon tree that was gifted to me when a friend left town. It’s been on my sunny deck for about a year now, and it’s still in the original, very large container. It had fruit which matured and we harvested it back in October. I live in San Francisco and we had an inordinately sunny winter. This spring it is flowering profusely, but the fruit starts are black. It’s still creating new flowers too. I’d like for this mystery lemon tree to flourish, but it has me worried. Has anyone encountered the problem of black fruit starts? They’re about the size of a navy bean, if that helps. Thanks so much in advance.

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94 Elizabeth Rall June 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm

I live in a climate where it gets below freezing about 15 days a winter. I bring it in under an overhang and I put a string of Christmas tree lights over the soil/mulch and that warms the soil just enough to keep it from freezing.

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95 Debbie July 30, 2014 at 10:44 am

Don’t forget about Mexican Lime trees! For the beer drinkers these small trees are a hit.

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96 Celeste August 6, 2014 at 7:20 am

My Mom started a lemon tree over 30 years ago from a seed. As it grew she transplanted it into bigger and bigger pots and trimmed it regularly. Eventually it got so big my Dad had to build a sort of wagon to wheel it in and out of the garage for the winters. (They live in South Dakota and winter is not a pleasant time for man nor citrus tree!) It now bears fruit regularly. Actually the year my mom passed away it had over 70 lemons on the branches. It’s beautiful and a real traffic stopper when it’s got fruit on it. People will stop and ask if it’s real. I’ve never known anyone else to have a lemon tree in S. Dakota. But would love to hear if there is.

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97 Krisztina Szucs September 10, 2014 at 6:43 am

Can you actually grow lemon tree from a seed. If you do where and how?

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98 White on Rice Couple September 10, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Sure. We usually buy young plants already started, but it is easy enough to grow them from a seed or a cutting. It just takes a bit longer.
Here’s a link for growing a lemon tree from seed.
And another for growing a lemon tree from a cutting.
Have fun.
T & D

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99 Janet Fazio October 3, 2014 at 9:12 am

I just hate buying lemons in the store, but I’ve never had luck with a lemon tree in the ground. Maybe a large pot is the way to go.

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