My TOP TIPS For Growing A Magnificent Meyer Lemon Tree: Who Needs The Supermarket?!
The Meyer Lemon Tree: It’s like having your own little supermarket, right at home.
A Meyer Lemon Tree produces fruit that is actually a cross between a lemon and a Mandarin orange. The lemons have the typical savory lemon flavor with a naturally sweet twist. The thin-skinned fruit is sweet and grows readily in the right conditions. The lemon tree life cycle is simple. Two to five years after planting, the trees bloom with beautiful fragrant flowers capable of fertilization which eventually becomes the fruit. The tree reaches 6 to 10 feet in height. Right now my stunning lemon tree has 46 lemons that will be ready to pick next week!
Meyer Lemon Trees can be pretty fickle. Don’t deviate from these rules if you want to be successful:
1. Finding the right location for your tree. Whether grown in a container or planted in the ground, Meyer lemon growing requires at least six hours of sunlight a day. In the hottest summer areas, morning sun and afternoon shade are best. If you live in a cold climate, plant your lemon tree in a large pot and move it indoors during the winter. I keep mine by the pool in the summer (below) and in a warm sunny corner of my kitchen in the off season (top).
2. Soil conditions when growing these lemons should be well-draining; however, the soil must hold enough water to remain moist. Allow soil to dry out only slightly between waterings. Constantly monitoring the moisture level of the soil is KEY.
3. Fertilize regularly when growing Meyer lemons with a high nitrogen citrus fertilizer. Withhold fertilizer during autumn and winter months. Yellowing leaves indicate the need for either water or fertilizer.
4. Pruning should involve removing unhealthy, unwanted and poorly positioned branches or leaves. The best time to prune is soon after harvest in winter to early spring before bud break.
5. Picking time! It can take from four months to a year for a blossom to transform into a fully ripened lemon. Because citrus fruit will only continue to ripen while still on the tree, make sure to wait until it’s ripe before picking. When ripe, Meyer lemons will be an egg yolk yellow and slightly soft to the touch – this is the time to twist your lemons from the tree. Enjoy!
Plant your own lemon tree this spring. I purchased this one at Fowler’s Garden Center in Southampton and the grower is Monrovia.