Hey, lemon-lover! Have you ever wished you could enjoy homegrown lemons from your own lemon tree, without having to relocate to Florida or California? Here’s good news for you – it may be easier than you think!
While it’s true the subtropical lemon tree plant is very sensitive to frost and does best in warmer climates (like those found in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11), it is possible to keep a thriving lemon tree in cooler Hardiness Zones. Read on for tips on how to grow a lemon tree in almost any climate:
Tips for Growing a Lemon Tree in Zones 7 and 8
Much of Zone 8 is fully or at least partially along a coast. Though the climate in these areas is generally mild with extended warm seasons, they do experience strong storms and occasional winter freezes.
Choose one of the hardier cultivars (such as the Meyer lemon tree) and plant it in a location with full sun and with some wind protection to help increase its chances of surviving. Consider looking for a dwarf Meyer lemon tree for sale, as a dwarf lemon tree variety is easier to look after when there’s a storm or hard freeze because you can cover it with until the frost has passed. Trunk wraps and other types of temporary covers are also beneficial.
Tips for Growing a Lemon Tree in Zones 5 and 6
In colder climates, it’s safest to grow your lemon trees in a pot – that way you can move it indoors for the winter. When moving your lemon tree indoors, choose a room with the brightest light possible (like a sunroom or greenhouse), and be sure to maintain moderate humidity to help fruit production.
Again, a dwarf Meyer lemon tree is a good choice because it’s cold-hardy and Meyer lemon tree care fairly simple, so you won’t have to move it indoors until temperatures fall below freezing on a consistent basis. While your tree is still living outside, protect it during storms by covering it with an old blanket, and keep it warm on cool nights by stringing fairy lights through the branches. This is a great way to keep the lemon tree leaves from falling off, and it looks stylish, too!
Tips for Growing an Indoor Lemon Tree
You may choose to keep your lemon tree indoors full-time; if you do, you won’t be limited to the type of lemon tree because lemon trees grown in containers (such as the “true” eureka lemon tree or the strikingly colored pink lemon tree) will stay smaller than their outdoor counterparts. That said, when planning to keep an indoor lemon tree it’s best to look for a variety of dwarf lemon tree for sale. Because it has been bred to thrive in a pot, you’ll find the lemon tree care to be easier.
Lemon trees grown indoors should be kept in a sunny location (a south-facing window is best). Natural light is ideal, but you might want to provide a grower’s lamp as a supplement. It’s important to keep the soil wet, but not soggy (in a lemon tree, yellow leaves can be a sign of overwatering). Apply a lemon tree fertilizer in early spring, early summer and early fall.
Make sure your lemon tree has enough humidity by placing it in a gravel-filled tray of water. Avoid drafts, but don’t be afraid to turn down the heat – citrus plants prefer cooler temperatures during the winter (50s-60s).