With sweet-smelling flowers, glossy foliage and tart, tasty fruit, an indoor lemon tree rewards your attention year-round. Regardless of your climate, you can grow a container lemon tree indoors and enjoy your own homegrown lemons. Growing indoor lemons isn't hard as long as you choose the right tree and meet its special needs. These basics on how to grow and care for an indoor lemon tree can have you drinking lemonade in no time. When grown outdoors in warm climates, regular lemon trees grow 20 feet tall and take up to six years to bear fruit.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Growing lemon trees / citrus trees from seed - Everything you need to knowContent:
- Growing Citrus in North Texas
- How to Grow and Care for an Indoor Lemon Tree
- When Does A Lemon Tree Bear Fruit? (3 Things To Know)
- Can you grow a lime tree from seed?
- Growing Citrus Indoors Can Squeeze More Sunshine Into Winter
- How To Grow Lemon Trees From Seed
- Growing Fruit Trees from Seed
- Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
- Unusual Gift Plants - Citrus
Growing Citrus in North Texas
Growing citrus from seed is a low-cost way to get your very own source of limes Citrus latifolia , lemons Citrus x limon , oranges Citrus x sinensis , mandarins Citrus reticulata or grapefruits Citrus x paradisi. However, you won't enjoy that first harvest for several years when growing citrus trees from seed. In addition, citrus trees are very sensitive to cold, so unless you live in USDA zones 9 through 11, you'll need to plan on growing your citrus trees in pots so that they can be brought indoors when temperatures drop.
Sprouting and growing citrus from seed is relatively straightforward, but care must be taken in choosing the best seeds for growing indoors in containers. Many citrus tree seedlings for sale especially those marketed for indoor use are grafted onto mature dwarf rootstock. This rootstock limits the size of the citrus tree, regardless of what kind of fruit is produced on its branches. For example, planting lemon seeds or lime tree seeds obtained from a fruit grown on dwarf rootstock could produce a full-sized tree nearly 30 feet tall unless the fruit itself is from a dwarf variety, too.
Growing a dwarf citrus tree will also ensure that the roots stay manageable inside a container, and that the tree does not become top-heavy and fall over. Dwarf citrus trees can be pruned back to limit their growth even more and to encourage a more bush-like appearance.
According to Four Winds Growers , suitable citrus varieties include:. Once you have obtained organically-grown fruit from your chosen citrus variety, cut the fruit in half and remove the seeds by either scooping them out with a toothpick or squeezing the juice over a mesh colander until the seeds fall out as well. Transfer the seeds to a damp paper towel and gently clean them to remove any pulp or sugar. Place the seeds in a bowl of room-temperature water and discard any seeds that float, as these are not viable.
Allow the remaining seeds to soak overnight to soften the protective outer shell. According to Fruit Mentor , an optional step involves scrubbing the seeds with vermiculite and blowing away the seed coats with a fan. You can also use sterile scissors to cut off the pointed end of the seed coat and extract the seeds by hand. Prepare a seedling tray with sterile potting soil choose a variety intended for citrus for best results. Spray the soil with water so that it's moist but not soggy before placing seeds half an inch deep and about 1 inch apart.
To help the soil remain moist and warm, cover the tray with plastic wrap until the seeds have sprouted. Because most citrus trees are self-pollinating, you can eventually enjoy a fruit harvest even if you have enough space to grow only one tree. To avoid wasting water and creating a pot that is too heavy to maneuver easily, transfer the strongest citrus seedling to a lightweight 5-gallon pot.
According to Pennington , citrus trees prefer cool roots that can breathe a little, so choose a light-colored pot that won't absorb heat, and leave the top roots slightly exposed. Cover with a fluffy layer of mulch. Choose a potting soil labeled for citrus to get your seedling off to a good start. Citrus need an NPK fertilizer with a ratio applied every two to three weeks. Apply a source of micronutrients — like fish emulsion — at the same time.
Do not fertilize in fall or winter, since the tree will naturally slow its growth at this time. Citrus trees do not like soggy roots, but they also cannot withstand drought.
To achieve a balance, water when the top 2 inches of soil are dry, but without allowing the soil deeper down in the pot to dry out. Watering requirements decrease in winter, but you might need to water every day during the summer. Keep citrus trees in full sun as much as possible; a south-facing window is ideal.
Cathy Habas has been a full-time freelance writer sinceShe enjoys writing content that helps homeowners feel motivated and confident in handling projects around the home.
Her work has been published around the web, including on home improvement sites like Ron and Lisa. By Cathy Habas Updated September 15,Related Articles. Because seed-grown plants have genes from two parents, they vary just like human children from the same family. Don't be surprised if some of your plants develop thorns, since many citrus plants are thorny. If you do get fruits, it's unlikely they will taste exactly like the parent fruit.
How to Grow and Care for an Indoor Lemon Tree
Hi, we are growing about 10 different citrus including oranges. The oranges all seem to be quite sour. I have sprinkled Epsom salts around - is that going to be enough to help? Also, how can I stop the fruit and leaves getting black scum on them? Thanks, Leah. The black scum is sooty mould, there will be insects — aphids, scale, mealy bug on the tree.
Can You Grow a Lemon Tree From Seed? Commercially grafted citrus trees are identical to the parent.
When Does A Lemon Tree Bear Fruit? (3 Things To Know)
The standard propagation method for such trees is asexual reproduction: a piece of the parent plant is either grafted onto rootstock, usually a cultivar; or the tree is grown from a cutting. The new tree will produce fruit exactly the same as the parent tree. Producing new trees from a seed is sexual reproduction: the seedling has two parents and a unique mix of genetic characteristics. This is part of the fun with growing from seed — you can produce unique fruit. However, some of these new trees may be low yielding, or have boring or inedible fruit. Seedling trees tend to be larger and more vigorous than grafted trees. They are able to cope with harsher conditions so are good in poor soils , non-irrigated areas and low-input food forest systems , especially where there is a lot of space available. Peaches and nectarines are excellent trees to grow from seed.
Can you grow a lime tree from seed?
Our Feedback Hello. I haven't ordered yet as I am waiting until I move but I really enjoyed looking at your site and the descriptions of the plants. Your ad in the newspaper made me smile: "Grape vines, not silly twigs! Michele Haynes, Leicester. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit Following on from our popular feature on lemons, Simon Lindley takes a look at the range of other marvellous citrus fruits you can grow easily here in the UK.
A commercial citrus tree usually consists of two parts: the scion and the rootstock. The scion is the above-ground portion of the tree and comprises the main trunk, limbs, leaves, and fruit.
Growing Citrus Indoors Can Squeeze More Sunshine Into Winter
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How To Grow Lemon Trees From Seed
Small plantings that formerly existed near Beaumont, Orange, Houston, Beeville, Falfurrias and Carrizo Springs have mostly disappeared because of economics and recurring freezes. Nonetheless, many Texas residents want citrus trees in the home landscape to enjoy their dark, evergreen foliage, fragrant blossoms and colorful, delicious fruit. Citrus trees growing outside the Valley are at a distinct disadvantage with regard to climate, i. Citrus trees are subtropical to tropical in nature; thus, they may suffer severe damage or even death because of freezing temperatures. However, several types of citrus have sufficient cold-hardiness to sustain some freezing conditions, particularly as mature trees. The resident of coastal and southern Texas who is willing to put forth the effort to provide cold protection for young trees, and sometimes even mature trees, can successfully produce citrus fruits.
Fruit trees naturally reproduce themselves from seeds, but most fruit trees that you buy are not produced that way for very good reasons.
Growing Fruit Trees from Seed
Citrus Citrus genus are subtropical trees that thrive primarily in U. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 throughThese include the sweet or navel orange Citrus sinensis. When grafted onto sturdy rootstocks, citrus begin bearing fruit within two to three years of transplanting into the garden.
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
Looking for an unusual gift plant for your gardening friend? Consider a potted citrus tree to grow as a houseplant and even produce edible fruits. But if you're curious to try and grow a plant from an orange or lemon pip seed for yourself, don't do it. Although the seeds will grow, they will produce a tree too large to be grown as a houseplant; and remember, citrus are not winterhardy in Nebraska so cannot be grown outdoors year-round.
Next time you're sucking on a lemon save a few of the seeds to grow into your own tree.
Unusual Gift Plants - Citrus
The fragrance carries me back to when I was six years old, growing up in Lebanon, a tiny country in the East Mediterranean. Each spring, my grandmother and I would get up early in the morning to harvest orange blossoms from the Sour Orange tree that grew adjacent to her kitchen window. We used the orange blossoms to make orange blossom water. Early morning was always the best time to harvest orange blossoms. We stored the harvested blossoms in tightly closed glass jars, filled with water. We placed the jars in a sunny area for three weeks. During that time, the oils from the orange blossoms would seep into the water, and after draining the water from the spent blossoms, we had Orange Blossom Water.
Ever tried to grow your own lemon tree from a lemon seed? The lemon tree is a citrus tree that is native to Asia. The fruit that it produces is a cross between a sour orange and a citron. Lemon trees produce fruit all year long.