Knowledge from Olle Garden Bed:How to Plant and Care for Potted Lemon Trees

Lemon trees typically thrive in tropical or subtropical regions, but if you live in a cold area and want to enjoy homegrown lemons, you can learn how to plant lemon trees in garden beds, and the best part is, it's much easier than you might imagine.

When you grow lemon trees in garden beds, you can plant them in any environment. As the weather turns colder, you can bring them indoors as they make wonderful and fragrant indoor plants, or if the climate permits, you can grow them outdoors all year round.

Start with a 5-gallon container and gradually increase the size as the lemon tree grows.

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Lemon trees require 6-8 hours of sunlight. If you're planting a lemon tree indoors, you may need to supplement with a grow light.

Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. 

Lemon trees need plenty of nutrients and require sufficient fertilization throughout the growing season.

You can harvest fresh lemons from the tree from November to April.

If you've always wanted to try growing lemons at home but couldn't due to climate reasons, now you can! This guide shows you everything you need to know about planting lemon trees in pots. 

Learn How to Plant Lemon Trees in garden beds

If you've never planted fruit trees in pots before, lemon trees are an excellent choice for beginners.

They are relatively easy to grow and not very demanding on the environment. Believe me, learning how to plant lemon trees in pots is much easier than you might imagine.

Choose Small Varieties Suitable for Container Planting

When planting lemon trees in pots, they won't grow as large as those planted in the ground.

While you can grow any type of lemon tree in your house - conditions will limit the size of the tree - it's best to choose dwarf lemon tree varieties for optimal growth.

Some dwarf lemon tree varieties that have been found to grow particularly well in containers are:


Improved Meyer Lemon


Ponderosa Dwarf

Select the Right Container

Choose a container large enough to accommodate the tree's growth. A 5-gallon container is a good starting point, but you may need to gradually increase the container size as the lemon tree grows. Ensure the container has a good drainage system to prevent waterlogging and root rot.

Provide Adequate Sunlight

Lemon trees thrive in full sunlight and generally require 6-8 hours of sun exposure each day. If you are planting a lemon tree indoors, you may need additional grow lights to provide sufficient light.

Keep the Soil Moist

Keep the soil consistently moist but not soaked. Lemon trees require moderately moist soil, but overwatering can lead to root rot. Use the finger test: check the top 1-2 inches of soil with your finger, and if it feels dry, water the plant appropriately.

Provide Ample Nutrients

Lemon trees need plenty of nutrients to maintain healthy growth. During the growing season, use balanced fertilizers suitable for lemon trees and follow the package instructions for application. Avoid over-fertilizing, as it can damage the tree.

Control Temperature 

Lemon trees prefer a warm environment and ideal growing temperatures range between 18-29 degrees Celsius. If you live in a cold area, it's best to move the lemon tree indoors when temperatures approach freezing to keep it warm.

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Regular Pruning

Regular pruning promotes the health and shape of the lemon tree. Trim away dead and overgrown branches, and maintain a compact shape for the tree. Prune in the spring to encourage new growth.

Pest and Disease Control

Regularly inspect the lemon tree to ensure there are no pests or diseases present. Common pests include aphids, whiteflies, and lemon fruit flies. If issues are detected, use appropriate pest control measures or treatments.

Harvesting Lemons

From November to April, you can harvest fresh lemons from the tree. Wait until the lemons are fully mature and display a bright yellow color. Harvest the lemons carefully to avoid damaging the tree.

By following these steps, you can successfully plant and care for your own lemon tree in a pot. Enjoy the beauty and fragrance that lemon trees bring, as well as the delicious taste of homegrown lemons!