How to grow lemon trees

Step 1

Prepare the planting site

Choose a position for your lemon tree in full sun and make sure it is sheltered from the wind. Dig the ground over removing any weeds and rocks from the bed. Dig to at least twice the size of the root ball and add sand if the drainage is poor. Also mix in plent of well-rotted organic matter to enrich the soil.

Step 2

Planting the tree

Plant the lemon tree into the well-prepared hole making sure that both the plant in the pot and the ground where it is to be planted are lightly damp. Keep the soil at the same level to the tree as it was in the pot.

Step 3


Mulch well with an organic mulch to inhibit weed growth and protect the roots over winter making sure to leave a gap between the mulch and the trunk. This will ensure ample air flow so as not to cause rot.

Step 4


A deep watering once a week is most beneficial. By watering deeply at ground level it promotes strong root growth encouraging the roots to grow downwards.

Step 5


With your secateurs, prune out spindly, dead or diseased stems, or any shoots that emerge from the graft at ground level. No other pruning should be necessary, as lemon trees have a compact shape.

Step 6


Lemon trees are heavy feeders so apply a citrus fertilizer every six to eight weeks to ensure good fruit production. Make sure that you water the soil well prior to and after feeding.

Things Needed
• Potted lemon tree
• Shovel
• Compost
• Organic mulch
• Secateurs
• Watering can or hose

Tips & Warnings
• Lemon trees resent root competition, so avoid growing them in the lawn, and do not allow weeds to invade the soil around the base. Fungal diseases can easily arise in overcrowded conditions.
• If lemon trees are exposed to strong prevailing winds damage to the foliage can occur. Prevent this by positioning the tree in full sun, but with a wall or windbreak to provide some protection.
• When there is an over-abundance of lemons, preserve the juice by storing in ice cube trays in the freezer. Individual cubes can be used as needed.
• Yellowish-green areas between the veins of citrus leaves may be a sign of manganese deficiency. Spray with 1g of manganese sulphate per liter of water, or for an organic approach add a little poultry manure to the soil.


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