9 Easy Steps to Grow Lemons in Containers

You want to grow lemons but can’t grow because you live in a colder region. If that’s the reason you can’t grow, then growing lemons in a container is a brilliant idea. You can plant a lemon tree on your terrace, patio, or indoors or grow it in your balcony. Growing lemons in containers allow you to provide an appropriate environment in a limited space.

One of the most common problems you face in your kitchen is the shortage of lemons. You are about to make your favorite dish or cocktail, but then you see there isn’t a single lemon in your kitchen. So today, we are here to provide the solution to this problem. We will tell you how you can grow lemons trees with great fragrance in your home.

Lemon Tree Varieties

Growing lemon trees from seed is not a good idea because it can take up to 4 years to reach a full-grown tree with fruits. Instead, you should visit your local nurseries for different dwarf varieties that can do well in containers. Some most popular types of lemon for containers are Lisbon Lemon, Improved Meyer, and Dwarf Eureka. Usually, the lemon tree doesn’t grow big, which allows you to raise any variety of lemon tree in the container.

Choose Appropriate Container for Your Lemon Trees

You can easily get attracted to big containers but always start with a small container. For small trees, a 12-inch diameter container or you can say five-gallon pot is enough. Mature trees need containers double that width and container must be    
18-24 inches deep.

As far as the container’s material is concerned, you can use any container material as long as there are ample drainage holes in the bottom. You can use Terra-cotta containers as they allow cooperative air movement through the sides. You can also place wheel plant dolly underneath heavy containers to handle and move trees smoothly and always choose light colors that don’t absorb the sun and generate less heat.

Steps To Grow Lemon Trees in Containers

Step 1: Purchase the right variety of plants. Citrus trees such as Lisbon Lemon, Improved Meyer, and Dwarf Eureka are the best suites for containers because they don’t grow large. Purchase semi-mature or mature plants from a greenhouse that specializes in citrus. And don’t purchase a plant that already has got flowers or has fruit on it. If you are buying such plants, then the plant will lose all its flowers and fruits because of its new location.  

Step 2: Choose the right location. One of the most significant mistakes people make when growing lemons in containers indoors are not giving enough light during the winter months. Select a very bright room for your lemon tree and keep it away from doors that open frequently.

Step 3: Regular water is essential for growth. Citrus fruits do require consistent moisture. Prolonged dryness can lead to flower, bud & fruit drop. So it’s better to give them regular water, but too much water can cause the leaves to wilt, and they can turn yellow. Try to water your lemon plant in the sink and allow the water to flush through the container. Do make sure that the base of the container is not underwater.

Step 4: Play pollinator.  Citrus trees usually bloomin the winter season, when the plant is inside, and no insects are available to pollinate its flowers. If you see that your plant has flowers indoors, use an electric pollination tool to move the pollen from flower to flower on every plant. This is a crucial step in lemon growth, but it often skipped by those new to grow lemons in containers.

Step 5: Move your plant out in summer. In the summer months, move your lemon plant outdoors. Position the container in such a way that it receives morning sun until about 1 in the afternoon. Keep your plant in the shade during the hottest part of the afternoon to avoid leaf scald & heat stress. Make sure it’s not completely dry out and keep it watered regularly.

Step 6: Fertilize your plant. In the growing season, do fertilize your citrus plant with a liquid, organic fertilizer – such as seaweed, liquid kelp, or fish emulsion or with an organic granular fertilizer for once in two weeks. Don’t use fertilizer for your plant in the winter season, when new growth is not encouraged. You can use a little amount of organic granular fertilizer in late March to promote new growth.

Step 7: Stay patient. Like many tropical plants, citrus also loose many or even all of their leaves when moved either indoors or outdoors at the start of the season. The dropping of leaves is a natural process; It’s the plant’s way of adjusting to light levels. New leaves will soon develop, which will be more suitable for new light levels. You have to give your plant some time.

Step 8: Move your lemon plant back inside. In the night time when the temperatures drop, move your lemon plant back inside and select the brightest possible location.

Step 9: Become a Repotting Pro. For growing lemon trees in containers, you have to become a repotting expert. After a few months, your lemon plant will outgrow its current container. So you will need to transplant it into another container. The best time to repot your lemon plant is in the spring season and do make sure that the new container is 25% to 50% bigger than the root ball. Also, the night before the transplant, water the soil for a good 2-3 minutes.

Things to Avoid

By now, you will have a better understanding of how to grow lemon plants in containers, but here are some things you should avoid if you want your lemon tree to develop effectively as possible.

  • Keep your lemon tree out of the cold.
  • Keep your plant away from strong winds.
  • Too much sunlight is harmful. It can burn your plant’s root.
  • Too much darkness is terrible, keep your plant at a place where it gets at least 6 hours of sunlight
  • Don’t overwater your lemon plant, too much water can risk the root rot.
  • Fertilizing too much can be a big mistake; never fertilize your plant in the first year of growth.
  • Keep your plant away from diseases, put it away from trees that have diseases, and also keep it away from areas that animals can get into it.

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