The Improved Meyer lemon tree is a handsome evergreen citrus tree that is a hybrid between a Mandarin Orange tree and a common Lemon tree. It is fairly vigorous, has a spreading growth habit, and is shrubby in nature.
Do Meyer lemon trees have thorns? The standard Meyer Improved lemon tree is thornless and grows to 6 up to 10 feet in height, while the typical dwarf Meyer lemon tree height is just around 4 to 6 feet tall. Both the standard and dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree produce fragrant, purple-tinted blooms that develop into medium-sized, yellow-orange, sweet-tart lemons that are in season in fall or spring.
Meyer lemon trees are native to China and were first discovered by Dutch horticulturist and botanist Frank Meyer in 1908 while working for the United States Department of Agriculture. The citrus Meyer lemon tree was an instant success and became widely grown because it is easy to care for, sweet-tart fruits with numerous uses. The trees grow gorgeous foliage that makes it a wonderful ornamental specimen. Unfortunately, in the mid-1940s it was discovered that a majority of Meyer lemon trees were symptomless carriers of the deleterious Citrus Tristeza virus – a virus that has killed millions of citrus trees worldwide and rendered millions of others fruitless. Because of this discovery, most of the Meyer lemon trees were destroyed to prevent the spread of the virus.
Then in the 1950s, the virus-free Improved Meyer lemon selection was found. The selection was then certified and released by the University of California for commercial planting in 1975.
Improved Meyer Lemon Tree Care
If you are looking for Meyer lemon trees for sale for home gardening it is highly advisable that you buy an Improved Meyer lemon tree for sale from a reputable citrus nursery to ensure that you will get a healthy tree that will not wither away just a few weeks after delivery. Once you have determined where to procure a Meyer lemon tree for sale, the next step is to learn how to grow a Meyer lemon tree in a pot.
- Both standard and dwarf Meyer lemon trees are well adapted to container growing and can be grown outside USDA plant hardiness zones 8-11. However, you have to make sure that they are given cold or frost protection during the winter season.
- The Meyer lemon lime tree should be watered deeply every 2-3 days for the first 2 weeks after replanting. Allow for adequate drainage though, since they do not like wet feet and tend to be prone to root rot due to standing water. Once established, you can cut back watering the Meyer lemon dwarf tree to once every 7 to 10 days. Make sure to let the soil get dry between watering.
- Pruning is part of Meyer lemon tree care. To keep the tree healthy, you have to prune leggy, damaged, or diseased branches back to the base of the trunk any time of the year as needed. Trimming on the other hand should be done in late winter to prevent disruption of the winter harvest.
- Both the standard and dwarf Improved Meyer lemon tree need citrus specific fertilizer to meet their nutritional needs. The Meyer lemon tree should be fed with ammonium sulfate balanced to 21-0-0. One cup of Meyer lemon fertilizer is a must during the first year and should be broken into 4 equal parts. The fertilizer should be applied to the Meyer Improved dwarf lemon tree between February and August to encourage a healthy growth cycle. Follow the instructions provided on the label to ensure optimum results.