Fruit trees are perfect to decorate the garden while getting the benefit of its delicious fruits. Specifically, the lemon tree is, in our opinion, one of those that brings more joy to gardens thanks to the bright colors that characterize it. Its lemons and its precious orange blossom flowers transmit a fresh aroma to your garden and revitalize it.
To know what care a lemon tree needs, pay attention to this practical guide to lemon tree care, in which you will learn how to cover its basic needs and also how to make lemon tree bear lemons.
Lemon tree characteristics
The lemon tree , or Citrus x limon , which is its scientific name, is an evergreen tree that reaches average heights of around 6 meters. They are fruit trees that can live for 60 or 70 years, so once it begins to bear fruit, your lemon tree will accompany you practically throughout your life.
There are a large number of varieties or types of lemon trees , although the most widely cultivated is the Eureka, which has a great growth throughout the season. The care of the lemon tree are not particularly demanding, but you need to have some things in mind to ensure proper development.
Climate for the lemon tree
We started to explain how to care for a lemon tree by talking about the weather, as it is probably one of the most important points. It is the least cold-tolerant citrus of all, so it needs a climate in which frosts are not common or prolonged. Non-specific exposures below -3ºC will cause serious damage to most trees. Its ideal temperature is between 17ºC and 28ºC .
In this sense, there are varieties that are somewhat more cold-tolerant, among which are Ponderosa or Yuzu, popular in Japan and Korea and whose fruits are halfway between Chinese orange and grapefruit.
In winter, in cold climates, one of the most important points of maintaining a lemon tree is to cover the tree with greenhouse plastic or some other breathable material that lets in sunlight or even move it to an indoor location.
Location and light for the lemon tree
These trees need a location protected from the cold and where at the same time they are exposed to direct sunlight , since they need large amounts of sun.
It is possible to grow a lemon tree in a pot, although logically it will grow less and will also bear less fruit. In this case, we must give it a large enough pot and place it next to a source of direct and abundant light.
Soil and compost for the lemon tree
As it is a tree that requires a lot of humidity, it is very important that we plant the lemon tree in an area with the best possible drainage , so that frequent waterings do not flood the earth. The ideal, both outdoors and in a pot, is to provide it with semi-light soil , with a neutral pH and rich in organic matter.
It will also require a periodic contribution of more organic matter to be able to continue developing and bearing fruit, being highly advisable to add worm humus or specific fertilizer for lemon trees throughout the year, especially in the warm months.
Irrigation of the lemon tree
Regarding the watering of the lemon tree, as we have said, it must be frequent, maintaining a certain level of humidity in the earth since this tree does not tolerate droughts. Thus, in the warm months, it will be necessary to water at least every 48 hours, spacing the waterings twice as long in the cold months.
Lemon tree pruning
Pruning is very important when it comes to knowing how to maintain a lemon tree. Like all fruit trees, formation pruning should be carried out during its first years to give it the desired structure and, in addition, maintenance pruning each season to clean the plant of branches that grow in unwanted directions or parts in poor condition. In this last pruning, it is also advisable to partially clear the crown so that the light reaches all its branches well, although it is always preferable to carry out gentle and not very aggressive pruning.
And when to prune a lemon tree? It is best to always do it between late winter and early spring when the frosts have already passed and its growing season has not yet started.
How to make a lemon tree bear fruit
Unless it is affected by one of the pests or diseases of the lemon tree, your tree should bear fruit without problems if you fulfill all the points mentioned above about its care. If you want your lemon tree to give lemons, it is especially important to make sure that it is not getting cold, receives sufficient waterings, and has an adequate supply of organic matter and fertilizer, being necessary the contribution of magnesium and phosphorus.