How to Grow & Care Lemon Tree At Home | Soil, Pots, Planting, Fertilizer, Prune

In every climate condition, can grow lemon trees in a pot. Citrus family trees grow well in an outdoor sunny spot. This is the best small evergreen tree for your garden. Like other evergreen plants, this one can easily grow in an outdoor environment. Although you can plant lemon tree indoor pots. You can use the fully ripe fruit as a fresh drink. 

It is believed that this tree originated in southeast Asia. It requires a minimum temperature of around 45°F (7 °C), so it’s not hard to grow in colder countries. This family has many spices, some of them can grow in colder areas. Citrus limon grows best in the hardiness zones in the United States 9 to 11. While this plant can live successfully in USDA zone 7 or higher environment conditions.

When a lemon tree grows in a pot, it does not grow as big as the ground. Regular prune can maintain a manageable tree and maintain the proper structure. The matured lemon tree requires an annual pruning cycle right after the harvesting.

Grow Lemon tree on pot

How to Grow & Care Lemon Tree At Home.

Citrus tree Potting Soil Mixture.

Lemon grows best in sandy loamy or loam soils with good drainage and root aeration. The best potting mix for the lemon trees is  50% of normal garden soil, 20% of sand 20% of organic compost, and 10% cocopeat. Never use heavy clay or salty soil mixture. Its perfect soil pH levels are between 5.5 and 6.5. A simple method to check the garden soil pH level.

Proper drainage is a must for this plant, but not the sandy soil. It needs a steady base. If the citrus plant’s leaves turn yellow,  needs proper drainage.

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In your area garden soil more alkaline (close to clay), you can use 40% compost and 20% sand 20% of coco peat/peat moss with 20% of the garden soil. When you are potting a citrus tree garden, can use Iron Sulfate or Soil Sulfur contain fertilizer to make the soil acidic.

How to grow a lemon tree in a pot?

For an early-stage citrus tree select a 10 to 12-inch diameter and 18 to 24 inches deep container. When the plant growing, you can go for larger pots. Plastic or terracotta pots are good choices and keep moist. If you live in colder countries, always select a lighter pot, it makes movement easier.

The pot should have good drainage holes. More than one hole is perfect. Cover the bottom hole using a flat rock. Then fill the container halfway with the potting mix and place the lemon tree without damaging the root ball. Then again fill the remaining potting mix. This method will create a steady base for the citrus plant.

Citrus Sunlight Condition.

This is an evergreen plant. This plant requires all-day sunlight. At least it requires 6 hours, but more than that is the perfect condition. But not require all-day direct sunlight. Overexposure to direct sunlight will not only curling the leaves, but they can get sunburn easily. Three to five hours of direct sunlight OK.

Lemon tree fertilizer.

This is another critical aspect of lemon tree care. This plant requires essential nutrition to grow well and produce fruits and lush foliage. Citrus family trees high nitrogen user. Always use a high amount of nitrogen mix fertilizer. Also, use zinc or iron and magnesium sulfate/Epsom salt to contain fertilizer. There are citrus specific fertilizers, you can use them either.

When you are growing lemon trees organically, you can use homemade compost. When creating the compost pile, use the correct nitrogen and phosphorous mixture (2:1 ratio). Also, you can find citrus organic compost in your area shops.

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The best time to fertilize in early spring. When using chemical fertilizers, slow-release fertilizers are best and they need once a year or every six months. After the fertilized regular water, it is a must. When using liquid fertilizers, add every month.

Watering Requirement.

Regular watering is a must to provide healthy fruits. Watering too much or too little will cause the flowers and fruits to fall off and eventually the plant will die. Before watering check the surface soil dries up. Also, check 3 inches deeper soil dryness using the chopstick method. If there is no enough moisture you can water.

Growing Colder Areas.

The citrus trees don’t like cold weather, in the winter season move the plant to a greenhouse or indoor to protect it. If you can provide artificial lighting, it makes things more favorable.

The citrus family has many varieties of plants. Some of the cold-hardness lemon trees are Yuzu, Citrangequat, Citrumelo, Trifoliate orange. These species can grow in colder areas like USDA hardiness zone level 7 or above ( average annual extreme minimum temperature level 0-10 °f and -17.8 to -12.8 °c).


Harvesting can be done in the winter season. When the fruits are fully ripe, it turns to yellow or green-yellow.  That is the right time pluck. You can pluck the fruits by gently twist them from the stem of the trees. These citrus trees leave not shut down in winter.

How to grow lemon trees faster?

To grow lemon trees faster, use the aerial propagation method. This method can be expected to rapid growth than the seed propagation method. Also, use a high nitrogen compost mixture. Make sure that your plant receives enough direct sunlight. When the plant receives good direct sunlight citrus grows rapidly.

How to prune lemon trees.

This is another important thing. Trimming is one of the critical things in caring for lemon trees. When the plant gets matured annually pruning is necessary. Also, it ensures that tree size is manageable and needless effort.  The best time is after the harvesting but before bud break. That is in between winter to early spring.

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When removing the branches, ensure that they are suckers, unhealthy, unwanted, poorly positioned. But minimize the loss of plants’ healthy foliage.

Remove Lemon Tree Suckers. These are growing below the plant’s graft union and produce usually thornier branches. These shoots grow rapidly than other branches. Sucker branches use more nutrients and reduce other branches’ growth to reduce fruit production. Always keep eye on these suckers.

  • Baby lemon trees do not recommend trimming until they become older.
  • Young lemon trees should be pruned as often. In this stage, trimming can maintain the proper structural framework.
  • Mature lemon trees, after every harvest once a year, but before buds break.


How to Grow Lemon Trees Indoors?

This is an evergreen outdoor plant, although the lemon tree grows indoors if you can provide the necessary care. Dwarf citrus trees is a perfect variety of indoor growing lemon.

Humidity. When growing citrus trees indoors, it needs around 50% humidity or above. The main problem with indoor gardening is the lack of humidity. It’s not a big issue, you can improve humidity indoor by using a pebble tray.

Air circulation. Outdoor there is plenty of fresh air movement, but indoors normally airtight. Moving the lemon plant to a balcony or close to the windows or outdoors will improve air circulation.

Sunlight. While growing the citrus plant indoors, another main problem is sunlight. To get perfect lighting to move the plant to a balcony, veranda, or close to the window. The indoor growing ideal locations are the veranda or balcony area. Make sure that the tree exposes at least 2 hours to direct sunlight.

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