The Eureka lemon tree is an evergreen tree that produces pink-fleshed lemon fruits all year. Eureka lemons usually start to bear fruit when they reach their 3rd year. On the other hand, it is fairly common to see fruits on some Eureka Lemon within the first year or two.
Eureka lemon trees have been cultivated in the US since the mid-1800s when the first seeds were brought over from Italy. Unlike the Meyer lemon variety, which is a hybrid lemon tree (a cross between a lemon and a sweet orange such as a mandarin), the Eureka lemon is considered a true lemon.
The standard Eureka lemon tree grows up to 20 feet tall, but you can find dwarf eureka lemon tree versions available from sellers that are well suited for potting. The Eureka does well in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 and 10 and thrives well in warmer climates. Eureka Lemon trees must be protected if temperatures are expected to drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Eureka vs. Meyer Lemon
Besides their classification, Eurka and Meyer Lemon differ in many ways. Eureka lemons as stated earlier can grow up to 20 feet, while a Meyer lemon tree size can get to only around 10 feet tall. Both Meyer and Eureka lemons bear fruit year-round in warm climates. Their peak time (the time they bear the most fruit) varies. Eureka trees bear the most fruit during the spring to summer months. Meyer lemon trees bear fruit mainly in fall and winter.
Meyer lemons require little pruning and can also grow well in containers because they require minimal maintenance. This feature makes them an ideal ornamental garden addition. Eureka lemons require more care and monitoring than other lemon varieties.
Grow Your Own Lemon Tree
Dwarf lemon trees and semi-dwarf lemon trees are best suited for home gardens. Standard trees reach a height of 20 to 30 feet and are grown on a number of different rootstocks, chosen for characteristics besides height. Dwarf lemon trees range in height from 8 to 10 feet but may grow taller to up to 15 to 20 feet.
- Plant the tree in a container and place it where it can receive full sun. The watering requirement of a lemon tree is very much different than from that of the lawn so avoid planting your tree in the center of a grassy yard. Drainage is important so make sure your container rapidly drains.
- Newly planted Lemon trees require frequent watering. Container-planted trees will require more watering (twice a week) and may require daily watering during dry spells. Once established, you can water your tree every week or two weeks depending on weather conditions.
- Fertilize the tree with nitrogen-rich or lemon tree fertilizer once during the late winter months and then again in June and August. Make sure the tree gets about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of nitrogen each year. Dwarf Eureka lemon trees require only half of this amount. For potted lemon trees, you can use fertilizers for lemon trees in pots. Best practices: Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when feeding your lemon tree.
- If needed you can prune the tree and remove dead and damaged branches. You can also cut back leggy growth if desired. Eureka lemon trees bear fruit year-round and never go dormant, so pruning can be done anytime.
- For pest preventions and removal, it is usually enough to strong spray your tree with water. However, should you see the need to use a more specific treatment for pest, bear in mind that your tree produces edible fruits and could be affected by the chemicals in the pesticides.
Impress Your Friends
Did you know that you can have both lemon and lime fruits grow from the same tree? The cocktail tree lemon lime is a combination of Meyer lemons and summery Key limes grafted onto a single, compatible rootstock.
The hybrid lemon lime tree can be planted in regions within USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11 but must be protected from severe frost during the winter months.