Growing lemon trees is a very rewarding way to create an attractive evergreen feature tree for the home, patio or garden, providing edible juicy fruits, scented winter flowers and aromatic leaves. Unlike many oranges which require warmer conditions year-round, lemon trees are surprisingly much hardier and are easy to grow in cooler conditions, making them a viable and useful addition to the garden.
Although the compact varieties are a popular indoor plant, some varieties will also grow well indoors or outdoors in sheltered positions. Larger trees will grow outdoors in the ground or in pots but will probably require some protection from frost. Planting for outdoors is best done in spring, which allows the plant to become well established ahead of winter. When frost is expected simply wrap the trees in fleece or if grown in pots, move under cover. As the trees mature, they become more capable of withstanding the colder temperatures.
The Meyer lemon tree (Citrus x meyerei) is a very hardy and popular variety and by following these simple instructions will ensure your Meyer lemon tree will thrive and reward you with a bountiful harvest of lemons with juicy flesh, which is less acidic and sweeter tasting than other common lemon varieties:
- Lemon trees require full sun and sheltered positions
- Grow in neutral/slightly acidic well drained soil conditions
- During the growing season (March-October) apply a nitrogen enriched fertiliser
- Plants can be pruned to shape and to remove dead branches
- Irrigate with rain water if your tap water is alkaline