Potted lemon tree: how to plant it, care and diseases

The citrus x limon , usually called the lemon tree, is a fruit tree that we all know to a greater or lesser extent. Its popularity is due to its fruit, which is none other than lemon, highly appreciated in our cuisine for its acid taste and its fresh and intense aroma.

Although the lemon tree is a perennial tree that can reach up to 4 meters in height, it is possible to plant it in a pot to enjoy its fruits in a much smaller space. Do you dare to plant your own potted lemon tree? Join us in this article to learn everything you need to know about the potted lemon tree: how to plant it, care and diseases .

How to plant a lemon tree in a pot step by step

Before learning how to plant a lemon tree in a large or small pot , depending on the size of the tree, with this guide, we indicate that you need to gather some material and know some information. The first thing you need is, of course, a pot large enough to house one of these trees. It is advisable to use one that is at least 80 cm deep, although in one of about 50 cm you can grow miniature lemon trees. In addition, from EcologíaVerde we remind you that it is important that the pot has drainage holes in the base.

  1. Once you have got hold of the right pot, you will have to choose the specific variety of lemon tree you want. Since you are going to plant it in a pot, the Meyer lemon tree is the most suitable for indoors, although the striped lemon with pink flesh can also be a good choice.
  2. It is possible to plant the lemon tree from seed, but very young trees of this type can find it difficult to develop properly indoors. For this reason, we advise you to get a lemon tree that is about 2 or 3 years old.
  3. When you have made the necessary decisions, prepare the pot with a drainage bottom made up of small stones or gravel and place it on a wider plate so that it can retain some moisture.
  4. Next, fill the pot with substrate. This tree needs a slightly acidic mixture, such as those that contain a good percentage of peat. If you have substrate for cacti or succulent plants at home, you can also use it for citrus.
  5. Take the lemon tree out of its original pot very carefully and remove the excess soil from the roots, separating them with your fingers without breaking them. This will help the roots to spread better throughout your new pot.
  6. Place it in the pot, upright, on a base of about 15 or 20 cm of mixture and then fill the pot to the top. Check that the roots are not exposed, but do not leave a large part of the trunk covered with dirt either.
  7. After planting it, water the lemon tree to moisten the soil (without watering it) and place it in a sunny area where it receives at least 8 hours of direct light a day .
Potted lemon tree: how to plant it, care and diseases - How to plant a potted lemon tree step by step

Potted lemon tree care

Now that you know how to plant a lemon tree, let’s see the care that you must take into account so that your plant grows in the best conditions. This is a basic guide to caring for the potted lemon tree, but we recommend that you consult any questions with the professional of the gardening store where you buy the tree and the materials for its care.

How to water a lemon tree

Make sure to give the plant frequent but not excessive watering. It is about maintaining an adequate level of humidity in the soil, so that it never gets too dry or waterlogged. If your lemon tree begins to lose its leaves, it could mean that you are watering it too much. To make sure this doesn’t happen, here’s a trick to help you: stick a stick into the dirt, then carefully pull it out. If you take it out dry and without stuck soil, it is time to water your lemon tree.

Sunlight and temperature

As we have already said, the lemon tree requires many hours of direct natural light. From EcologíaVerde we recommend that you leave this plant in the sun for at least 8 hours. However, if you live in a place where the sun has extraordinary intensity, you can put the lemon tree in semi-shade.

In winter, make sure that the tree is not in an excessively warm area. Try to keep it in a room below 15ºC.

Fertilizer for the lemon tree

Regarding the fertilizer and the nutrients, the lemon tree is a very demanding tree, so do not be afraid to fertilize it whenever you think it is necessary. Enrich the mixture right after planting and do it again every 3-4 weeks in the warm months and every 6-8 weeks in the cold. As with many other plants, worm castings are a very safe bet.

Lemon tree pruning

Pruning is also very important on this tree, especially to control its growth. If you want to have your tree pot indoors, it is best that you pay special attention to this step. Formation pruning is carried out in spring, after harvest. 

Pollinating the lemon tree

Finally, we inform you that if you want your lemon tree to bear fruit and you have it indoors, it is likely that, due to the lack of insects, you will have to pollinate it yourself manually with a brush. Carrying out this task is not as complicated as it seems, but you do need to know the basic parts of the plant to be able to carry out pollination manually.

Potted lemon tree: how to plant it, care and diseases - Potted lemon tree care

Lemon tree diseases

As for the diseases of the potted lemon tree, you should know that this type of tree is prone to the same threats as outdoor lemon trees.

The most common pests of the lemon tree are:

  • The mealybug.
  • The aphid.
  • The red spider.

If you find them on your lemon tree, carry out a specific treatment as soon as possible to eliminate pests on your tree.

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