If you are looking forward to having a fruit tree on your patio or balcony and you have no idea which one to choose, I recommend that you get a lemon tree. Yes, yes, although it can grow up to 4-5 meters, it is one of the best adapted to living in containers since it tolerates pruning very well.

With minimal care, your potted lemon tree will give enough fruit so that you can taste the real natural lemonsthat is, those who have been nurtured with care.

How to plant a potted lemon tree?

Lemon blossom

Having a fruit tree is something that almost everyone can do. But to take good care of it it is essential that the pot is more or less as wide as it is deep. The size will depend on the tree itself, as we cannot plant it in a 50cm diameter container if it is a very young plant, since doing so will most likely cause its roots to rot due to excess moisture.

So, if the lemon tree that we have bought is in a 30cm container, we will plant it in another that measures between 35 and 40cm. How? As follows:

  1. The first thing we have to do is fill the pot with a first layer of expanded clay or volcanic clay.
  2. Then, we will fill it up to a little less than half with substrate for the orchard (sold in nurseries), or with the following mixture: 40% black peat + 40% perlite + 20% organic fertilizer (horse or goat manure, for instance).
  3. Now, we put the tree in the container. In the event that it is above or far below the edge, we will add or remove substrate. Ideally, it should be about 3cm below.
  4. Then we finish filling.
  5. Next, we place the pot in a very bright area where it will be in direct sunlight for a minimum of 5-6 hours a day.
  6. Finally, we will water.

What care to give it?

Lemon tree with fruits

Now that we have it planted in its new pot, we have to provide it with a series of care so that it looks beautiful and produces good fruit. To do this, we have to do the following:

  • Irrigation: watering the lemon tree must be frequent, but avoiding waterlogging. During the summer it may need a watering every two days, while the rest of the year we will have to water it less. In case of doubt, we will check the humidity before giving it water, inserting a thin wooden stick and checking how much soil has adhered to it. If it comes out practically clean, it means that the substrate is dry and that therefore it must be watered.
    If we have a plate underneath, we will remove the excess water 15 minutes after watering.
  • Subscriber: from spring to summer, we can even also in autumn if we live in an area with a mild climate, we must fertilize it with organic liquid fertilizers, guano being especially advisable due to its high nutrient content and its rapid effectiveness. Of course, we must follow the instructions specified on the packaging to avoid the risk of overdose.
  • Transplant: our lemon tree will need a substrate renewal – as much as possible, without manipulating the roots much – every 2-3 years.
  • Pruning: at the end of winter we will have to prune it, removing the dry, weak and diseased branches, and also cutting those that are growing too much. For this we will use a small hand saw previously disinfected with pharmacy alcohol, and we will put healing paste on the wounds so that the fungi cannot infect it.
  • Preventive treatments: being a fruit tree that can be affected by various pests, such as cochineal, aphid or the Red spider, it is highly advisable to do preventive treatments with neem oil o potassium soap.
  • HarvestLemons will be ready to pick in spring. When they have acquired the characteristic yellow color, we can collect them to make delicious recipes.
  • Rusticity: this is a tree that supports well cold and weak frosts down to -3ºC. If in our area the thermometer drops more, we will have to cover it with a thermal gardening blanket or with transparent plastic. In the case of severe frosts, of -7ºC or more, it will be necessary to protect it in a heated greenhouse.

Lemon tree with fruits

Following these guidelines, we will have a healthy and well-cared for potted lemon tree.