Growing lemon trees offers versatility as if you live in a warm climate, you can quickly grow them in your garden landscape. Also, in a large enough pot, lemon trees are equally at home when grown indoors.
Lemon trees come with dark green oval leaves with an oval shape and a glossy texture that will shimmer as the sunlight hits them.
When it’s time to flower, the trees are full of delicate white flowers and the unique citrus fragrance we associate with juicy lemons.
While indoor lemons may bear nowhere near as much fruit, they still make growing lemons indoors a fantastic choice for several people.
It is easy to take a cutting to grow your lemon tree, yet many individuals wonder if they can grow from the lemons they purchase from the store.
In this guide, you can learn how to grow lemon trees from seeds indoors or to accompany your garden landscape and produce fruit in the years to come. (Read Can You Grow Cherry Trees From Cherry Pits)
How Long Does it Take to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed?
It can be faster to grow from cuttings, yet cuttings are not available in many areas, hence growing from seeds.
Before your lemon seed is up to the stage, you can grow a lemon tree; it will be around 3-6 years before they are of fruit-bearing age. However, for full maturity, it can be approximately 15 years.
Do Lemons Grow True from Seed?
Many gardeners claim that it isn’t a good idea to learn how to grow lemons from store-bought varieties because they have been through too much processing, and the trees may deliver fruits that are dud and won’t germinate.
Fruits may not be as abundant and can be thorny, large, and take longer than usual to fruit. These are the types that won’t grow true to seed.
On the other side, you can find organic Meyer lemons, and with these, you stand a better chance to use the lemon seeds and grow a lemon tree rather than try to find lemon tree cuttings.
Will Dry Lemon Seeds Germinate?
If you plan on growing from lemon seeds, you need to make sure they don’t dry out. Use the email address for more information. However, you will need to collect the seeds from inside your lemon and wash them to remove any sugars sitting on the seeds.
These sugars encourage fungal attacks, so giving the best start is advisable.
Here are all the steps you need for effective seed planting and lemon tree propagation so you can have multiple chances of growing your trees.
Make sure you have a Meyer lemon, which is a cross between bitter orange and lemon. You will find this variety grows bush-like and can be perfect for growing in pots.
Things You Need
- Meyer Lemons
- Potting soil – a blend of vermiculite, peat, and perlite with a good dose of organic fertilizer. (Read Bone Meal vs. Blood Meal)
- Containers or pots – Pots around 5 – 6 inches deep with drainage holes are the ideal sizes for sprouting though you will need to re-pot these later. For fully grown trees, you are looking at pots of up to 16-inches deep and a diameter of up to 18-inches.
- Grow lights or a sunny location – lemons love sunlight from the time they are sprouting. They will require 10 -14 hours per day.
Steps to Sprout from Seeds
- Moisten your potting soil beforehand. Place some soil in a bucket and add a little water until the soil is thoroughly moist.
- Now fill your container with the pre-moistened soil, and leave a space of 1-inch under the edge of your container.
- Open your sliced lemon and pick seeds that appear to be healthy.
- Wash off the sugars, or place them in your mouth and suck until you remove all the flesh and there is no lemon taste left. Ensure the seeds don’t dry, so keep them in your mouth until you are ready to plant them.
- Make holes 1/2-inch deep into your potting soil. Place your seeds in the holes and cover the seeds with potting soil.
- Keep the soil moist, yet not too much as it becomes soggy.
- Cover your container with breathable plastic. Using this method keeps your seeds warm and retains the moisture inside the pot. Clear plastic with a few holes from a toothpick is a good solution. Hold the plastic in place with a rubber band.
- Put your container in a warm location, and keep an eye on it for a few days. Make sure to keep the soil damp and it doesn’t dry. The temperatures shouldn’t go too high, and around 70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.
- After two weeks, you should see sprouts emerging from the top of the soil. As you see this, you can remove your plastic wrap and move your pot to a warm location with lots of direct sunlight. You may need to supplement the light hours with grow lights if necessary.
- As your lemon seed seedlings begin growing and show several sets of leaves, you can transplant them to larger pots of up to 6 inches.
- You can now add some potassium-rich soluble fertilizer every couple of weeks or up to a month between feedings.
- Your propagated lemon seeds now need upwards of 4-hours of direct sun and temperatures in the range of 60 -70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once your tree starts to get larger, you will need to prune in the spring and possibly re-pot into something more extensive to encourage increased and new growth as well as fruiting.
You can reduce fertilizer use in the winter and make sure your tree is in a draft-free area, or you can bring it indoors. (Read Planting Poppy Seeds)
Once your tree begins to get more extensive, you can propagate lemon tree and take a cutting of around 7-inches of a healthy branch that has two or three nodes. You can be on your way to a few lemon trees around your home.
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