Germinate lemon seeds: how to do it and care

The Citrus x Limon , commonly called lemon, is a fruit tree we all know for its tasty and aromatic fruits: lemons. This tree native to Asia can be grown without problems in most Mediterranean or tropical climates, in the field or even in a pot.

So, if you want to enjoy this fresh and organic citrus fruit at home, you will first have to learn how to germinate lemon seeds and their care . If you are interested in a basic gardening guide on this topic, join us in this article.

How to germinate lemon seeds step by step

In order to germinate lemons, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare a pot or seedbed with a substrate for seeds, preferably pasteurized soil, which will prevent the seeds from being attacked by bacteria. You can add some coconut coir to give the mixture good drainage. 
  2. Stir the soil with your hand as you water it to moisten it. It is important that it does not get flooded, but that it is only damp.
  3. Whether you use a pot or a seedbed, you need to have drainage holes .
  4. With your finger, poke small holes just over a centimeter in the ground. The seeds will go in them.
  5. You need seeds from an organic lemon so they can germinate; the Meyers are a good option. Wash the seed carefully to get rid of any traces of organic matter and its sticky coating. To do this, you can leave them overnight soaking in warm water.
  6. Place the seed or several seeds in the holes that you have prepared earlier in the ground. It is preferable to plant several in case some do not grow.
  7. Cover the pot or seedbed with a thin layer of transparent plastic or film, which you have made small holes to keep moisture but perspire.
  8. Leave the pot in a warm place , but where it does not receive direct sunlight.
  9. Water whenever you notice the dry substrate and you will see that they will grow.
Germinate lemon seeds: how to do it and care - How to germinate lemon seeds step by step

How to germinate lemon seeds in water

It is also possible to germinate lemon seeds in water during its first phase. The process is very simple, although somewhat less secure than the previous one.

  1. Put the seed in water after having completely cleaned it, as in the previous method.
  2. In this case, you can put it in a small jar or glass of water and change it every day to minimize the risk of creating harmful bacteria.
  3. In about a week, you should see how the seed has gained a lot of volume and is ready to take its first sprout.
  4. At this point, plant it in a pot or seedbed and it won’t take long to see the seedling emerge.

How to plant a lemon tree step by step

Once the lemon tree seedlings have roots about 7 cm long, it is time to transplant them to their final location. The ideal is to do it between March and September.

  1. You can plant your lemon tree in the garden or prepare a potted lemon tree. However, in either case, this time prepare a warm and sunny location for them. It is important that this time they do receive some sun, although if you live in an area with a very sunny climate, you can find them a location with semi-shade.
  2. Make sure the soil has good drainage before placing the small lemon tree.
  3. Carry out the transplant being careful not to damage the roots of the lemon tree and covering well with soil, to fix the seedling so that it is straight and firm and its roots well covered.
  4. Water after transplanting and continue to do so as long as you notice the dry substrate, about 2 or 3 times a week.
  5. When the seedlings already have 4 complete and developed leaves, space the waterings a little.

Lemon tree care – basic guide

Now that you have learned how to germinate lemon seeds and transplant the seedlings to their final location, here is a practical guide to caring for the lemon tree so that it bears fruit:

Light and watering of the lemon tree

This tree needs light and humidity, but it is essential not to overdo the waterings or you could cause fungi to attack your plant. When it comes to caring for a lemon tree, knowing how to water in the right amount is essential. You can help yourself by sinking your finger into the ground: if you feel it dry, it is time to water, but if you notice some moisture you can still wait some day before watering. Similarly, a well-drained soil will help avoid problems with excess moisture.

Ideal temperature

This plant also appreciates receiving a good amount of sun each day, although in very dry or hot climates some semi-shade could be a good idea. The ideal temperature for the lemon tree is between 17ºC and 28ºC.

Lemon tree pruning

In each spring it is advisable to prune the lemon tree from its 2 or 3 years of age. It is a gentle pruning that should not be aggressive, the objective of which is to clean the plant of dry branches. 

Germinate lemon seeds: how to do it and care - Lemon tree care - basic guide

When to harvest lemons

Lemons should be picked when they show a bright yellow color . Thus, if the lemons still show green tones, they are not ripe enough. The lemon tree can flower and fruit several times a year, but it is usual to harvest lemons between autumn and winter .

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