5 Easy Tips for Growing Lemon Trees

by Alli

Lemons are a huge favorite at my house. A glass of iced tea is not complete without a big squeeze of lemon. If you love lemons, why not grow your own? These 5 Easy Tips for Growing Lemon Trees will help you become a pro in no time at all.

For me, summertime is about fresh produce, berries and using lemons in everything! I use lemons in salad dressings, cakes, squeezing over chicken, and even cleaning my house! Lemons are very versatile and add a delicious brightness to any dish.

5 Tips to Growing Lemon Trees

Lemons are not that hard to grow on your own. Wouldn’t it be great to have a fresh supply from your very own lemon tree?

As long as you treat your tree properly, it will do just fine and you’ll soon be an expert at growing lemon trees.

Growing Lemon Trees

5 Tips for Growing Lemon Trees

1. Climate 

Lemon trees grow best in tropical regions. So if you live in a place that the temperature drops below 50 degrees, you should plant your tree in a large pot and keep it in your house somewhere that has a lot of light, like a sunroom or next to a window. 

2. Sunlight

Some plants are capable of doing very well with little sunlight. However, lemon trees are not one of those plants. They need lots of sunlight (seven to eight hours every day) to thrive and give you the best yield possible.

3. Watering

I know this may seem like a no-brainer. Everyone knows plants need water to live, but I’m talking about a lot of water. You won’t need to water all the time, but when you do you need to give it a good long soaking.

Lemon trees don’t tend to respond well to frequent shallow soakings, but once a week giving it about two gallons (however much it takes to soak it well and get down to all the roots) has done wonders for my lemon tree.

4. Pruning

Pruning is when you cut off what’s not necessary so all of the plant’s energy goes into the branches producing the lemons. Prune dead branches or branches that never flower. This will help with getting a higher quality of lemons.

If you live in a warm climate, you have a lot more leeway on when to prune. Don’t do it when it’s roasting hot. For everyone else, February through April are the best pruning months. However, you can prune any time the tree is producing flowers.

5. Soil

This is so important. You know the saying, “you are what you eat?” Well, the same rule applies to your plants in the sense that the soil they are in can drastically affect their growth. Sandy soil is great because it has great drainage which lemon trees love.

A soil with high clay content can stunt the growth of your tree. An easy fix is to mix in a little sand or gravel to improve the drainage. There’s also plant food specifically for citrus trees to give you your best chance at a high yielding tree.

5 Tips on Growing Lemon Trees

Follow these tips and soon you’ll be a pro at growing lemon trees.

Questions About Growing Lemon Trees

How long does it take to grow a lemon tree?

It usually takes about three years before you’ll see a harvest suitable for picking. If you start a lemon tree from seed, it may take three to six years.

How big will a lemon tree get?

A Meyer lemon tree growing on its natural roots can get as tall as 10-15 feet. A true lemon tree can grow as tall as 20 feet.

How often do you water a lemon tree?

Your tree needs to be watered twice a week until it shows new growth. After that, citrus trees need to dry out between waterings. Once your lemon trees are established, deep-water once a week or every 10 days.

What is the best fertilizer for lemon trees?

Lemon trees need to be fertilized with nitrogen to produce strong growth. The best source of nitrogen is a slow-release fertilizer. Fertilize from once a month to every other month during the spring and summer and every two to three months during fall and winter.

A nitrogen deficiency is often to blame for leaves turning yellow.

When should I prune my lemon tree?

The best time to prune is soon after harvest in winter and before bud break in spring.


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Kate | Life of a Ginger June 16, 2017 - 12:55 pm

I would love to try and grow a lemon tree. I live in NC so during the summer I’m sure it would be plenty hot, but I’m worries about keeping it alive in the winter inside, lol. I tend to have a black thumb!

Sarah Bailey June 16, 2017 - 1:32 pm

I would absolutely love to grow some fruit trees, perhaps after reading this I will try and grow a lemon tree to start it off.

Amber Myers June 16, 2017 - 3:32 pm

Ooo I just love lemons. I wish I could grow a tree, but I know I’d kill it. Maybe one day I’ll try it out–I go through a lot of lemons.

Mimi Green June 16, 2017 - 5:13 pm

We are currently growing quite a bit of things right now. The idea of growing a lemon tree sounds cool. My daughter would love that. We need more space, our urban garden is taking over our front door area.

Jenn @ Engineermommy June 16, 2017 - 6:22 pm

I would love to grow some lemon trees in my yard. I try to plant flowers every year but it’s sometimes a struggle to keep everything healthy for the whole season. I wish we had underground sprinklers.

Melissa Dixon June 16, 2017 - 9:43 pm

I loved being able to eat fresh lemons right off of the tree in florida but here in Iowa it just doesn’t seem like a good idea. I do know some people who have indoor ones though.

Bella June 16, 2017 - 10:20 pm

I use a lot of lemons so this is something that I should try out. I am not the best gardener though so I am skeptical if it would grow.

Kita Bryant June 17, 2017 - 1:09 am

I’ve always wanted to grow lemon trees. You definitely need all the tips you offered! They’re not easy!

Maurene Cab June 17, 2017 - 9:36 am

I haven’t thought of growing my own lemon. Thanks for sharing these tips. I’ll give it a try.

Brandi H June 17, 2017 - 10:18 am

I’ve never thought of growing lemons. Sounds fairly easy. I really love lemons so thanks for sharing some recipes. The corn on the cobb sounds interesting!

Jennifer G June 17, 2017 - 2:11 pm

I should grow Lemons I love them so much! I go through at least one a day every day for my warm water and lemon and I love using them for baking cakes, cupcakes and a killer lemon loaf!

Rose Cottrill June 17, 2017 - 6:19 pm

Thanks a lot for these pointers. I have a lemon tree in a pot, it has been three or four years since I had it but I haven’t seen any sign of fruit yet lol. I will definitely add some sand in the dirt that it has in. I didn’t know they need that much of water.

Lisa June 17, 2017 - 6:21 pm

I would love to grow a lemon tree. They wouldn’t survive here in IL outside but I wouldn’t mind trying a green house or some other form.

Aline Dias June 17, 2017 - 7:21 pm

I really enjoyed your tips. Continue writing articles with this quality.

Jaime Nicole June 17, 2017 - 7:21 pm

I just love this post! I would LOVE to grow citrus trees but I think they would take one look at our Western NY weather and RUN – but I love how beautiful your lemons are!

Eloise June 17, 2017 - 10:54 pm

I LOOOOVVVEEEE the idea of having a lemon tree in my home! what an awesome list of tips to keeping a healthy lemon tree… I want to give it a go… thanks!

Polarbelle June 18, 2017 - 1:23 am

These tips are very helpful. We had a lemon tree but it died last year. they told us something went wrong in the dirt. I’d like to get a lime tree…not sure where to put it, not in that spot if something’s wrong with the dirt, anyway, I’m hoping it will thrive as easily as the lemon tree did

Rebecca Swenor June 18, 2017 - 12:22 pm

These are great tips for growing a lemon tree. In my area the lemon trees would have to grow inside because of winters. I am going to have to make a couple of these lemon recipes for sure. The lemon squares are my favorite too. Thanks for sharing the tips and the recipes.

uprunforlife June 18, 2017 - 9:21 pm

I would love to have a fresh lemon and even a lime tree. I just don’t think it would survive well where I am in Texas. Maybe if we ever have a house again, we will have to attempt planting a lemon tree.

Amanda Love June 19, 2017 - 2:35 am

I have never experienced growing lemon trees before. I think it’s amazing and it’s awesome to be able to grow your own lemons in your backyard.

My Teen Guide June 19, 2017 - 7:38 am

It must be great to be able to grow your own lemon tree! However, I think it won’t survive here because of the winter. Citrus plants do better in warmer climates.

Alli June 20, 2017 - 12:58 pm

You can grow them in northern climates by taking them indoors for the winter. It’s a hassle and you’d do best with dwarf lemon trees in a movable planter with wheels.

Heather June 30, 2017 - 12:40 pm

Great tips! Using proper pruning and watering techniques varies among different trees, especially those that produce fruit, so thanks for indicating those details.

Holly July 14, 2017 - 9:04 am

I love to drink lemon juice and it’s so healthy, even the lemon peel contains a lot of nutrients.But I’m not sure if the English climate will allow me to grow my own lemon tree.

James November 22, 2017 - 9:41 am

Love growing veggies, herbs and fruits.
Nothing like eating them as fresh as possible…
Thanks for sharing this useful tips

zara June 29, 2018 - 6:18 am

I go through at least one a day every day for my warm water and lemon and I love using them for baking cakes, cupcakes and a killer lemon loaf!

Embankment Stairway June 30, 2018 - 5:03 am

Hello, In my area the lemon trees would have to grow inside because of winters. I am going to have to make a couple of these lemon recipes for sure. The lemon squares are my favorite too. Thanks for sharing the tips and the recipes.

Nathan January 5, 2019 - 7:38 am

Great advice, our yard needs some proper trimming and these tips are very helpful, thanks for sharing this! http://www.treeservicespasadena.com/

Penelope Smith January 24, 2019 - 8:56 pm

This is some really good information about growing a lemon tree. It is good to know that it would be smart to prune branches that never flower. It is good to know that will help me get higher quality lemons.

PlantingTree May 9, 2019 - 2:22 pm

Nothing like Lemon cake and a glass of milk 🙂 Really appreciate the tips, you did an awesome job on that! For smaller tree options check out dwarf trees, i actually planted a pair this weeknd and they have now became my favorite. Just some more ideas for you and additions for your garden. Look forward to your next post. Here they are by the way incase you want to check them out.


brian September 30, 2019 - 10:25 am

Hi I am from South Africa and a keen but not all that qualified gardener. I believe
that each house hold should have a lemon tree. Lemon trees are pretty hardy and easy to grow. Since growing lemon trees I have supplied each of my family members and their friends with a lemon tree. This has being quite exciting as they send me photos of progress and they cannot wait for the first fruit to appear. I believe iron and Epsom salts allows for the tree to produce within 3 years.
Thank You, for all the tips and comments on this forum
and wish you well with your lemon tree experience.

Lynne Vester September 30, 2019 - 4:26 pm

Hi guys I also live in South Africa my tree has lots of flowers and can’t wait for my first harvest bananna skins are very good for a lemon tree happy gardening

jack January 12, 2020 - 10:25 am

Turkey Trees recipe is helpful to me. I’m always looking for a unique recipe for Christmas. Thanks for sharing.Tree Removal Service

kamera sistemleri January 27, 2023 - 1:54 pm

Nothing like Lemon cake and a glass of milk 🙂 Really appreciate the tips, you did an awesome job on that! For smaller tree options check out dwarf trees, i actually planted a pair this weeknd and they have now became my favorite.

Alli January 27, 2023 - 2:48 pm

I’m so glad you like the tips! Thanks for stopping by!!


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