Planting Lemon Trees

Planting lemon trees. Lemon tree planting guide. Planting lemons in the landscape. Planting Meyer lemon tree plants. Planting lemon tree hedges. How to get a lemon plant off to a good start.

Garden Detail, San Domenico Palace Hotel, Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Garden Detail, San Domenico Palace Hotel, Taormina, Sicily, Italy

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Bibikow, Walter
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Once you've chosen a lemon variety that is hardy in your growing zone, pick a site that gets plenty of sun to plant it in.

A lemon tree planted outdoors in the desert will take a considerable amount of shade and may even prefer a location that is shaded from the hot afternoon sun. Likewise, lemon trees in South Florida can be sited in part sun. A full sun location is better for lemon trees planted everywhere else.

Keep the ultimate size of the tree and how you plan to train it in mind when siting it.

Standard lemons can grow to more than 20 feet tall at maturity. Dwarf lemon trees will top out around 8-10 feet.

Planting lemon trees in raised beds.

Planting lemon trees in late spring (after all danger of frost has passed) will give them the best chance to establish before contending with cold weather.

The soil in the planting area should be slightly acid (6-7 pH) and free draining. Lemons will not tolerate water pooling around their roots.

Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the plant's root ball. Do not amend the soil in the planting hole as that may discourage the roots from growing into the surrounding unamended soil.

Slip the lemon tree out of the nursery pot and set it into the planting hole. Adjust it so that it is sitting at the same level it was in the nursery pot. You don't want to plant it any deeper because citrus roots need to breathe.

Make a rain basin around the tree with the extra soil to help it get established. You can remove this in a few months.

Water the tree thoroughly now. Water it deeply 2 or 3 times per week depending on how much it rains and how sandy your soil is. Lemon trees like their soil to dry slightly between waterings. Just be careful not to expose a newly planted tree to drought.

Planting a Lemon Plant in a Container

Close-Up of a Lemon Plant (Citrus Limon)
Close-Up of a Lemon Plant (Citrus Limon)

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Cigolini, G.
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Use potted lemon trees to turn your sunny patio or balcony into a Tuscan courtyard. Place the plants near seating areas (not too close--they have thorns) where their large, evergreen leaves and jasmine scented blossoms are sure to be appreciated. See Growing Lemon Trees in Pots for instructions for raising a lemon tree potted plant.

If you purchase a lemon tree that is less than 3 feet tall, plant it in a decorative pot and let it grow for another year or 2 before planting it in the open ground.

Planting Lemon Tree Hedges

Planting lemon trees over a walkway.

Pleached lemons growing above a walkway.

Lemons make excellent thick, thorny hedges. They are evergreen and will flower and fruit almost continuously if they are adequately fed.

A lemon hedge will take any kind of pruning you plan to do and still give you fruit. You just won't get as much fruit as you would from an unsheared plant.

Mark the line you want to plant the lemons along with rope and stakes or all purpose flour to make sure it is straight before putting the trees in the ground.

Planting Meyer Lemon Tree Plants

Lemon tree planted in an awkward spot.

This lemon, though pretty, has been planted in an awkward spot.

Imagine how much nicer it would look over near the fence.

Consider the low, spreading growth habit of this natural dwarf lemon when deciding where to plant it. Put it someplace where it can become the 8x6 foot bush it wants to be without scratching passers by or being constantly cut back to keep it in bounds.

Meyer Lemon Trees make great hedges.

Buy a Meyer Lemon Here

More Lemon-Flavored Fare This Way:

Lemon Tree Fertilizer
Order lemon tree fertilizer here. Fertilizing is an important aspect of growing lemon trees. Lemons will flower and fruit almost continuously if they are fed following these instructions.

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
Store bought Meyer lemon olive oil is delicious. But so is this homemade lemon infused olive oil recipe. Olive oil and lemon juice can also be used to make a marinade or a good furniture polish.

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