How to Grow Lemon Trees

If you plant, remembering to water and fertilize your lemon trees with care is not only crucial but will help result in consistently healthy, attractive trees, as well as a quality harvest. Follow these simple but important steps to grow and take care of the lemon tree you’ve always wanted.


Step1 : Purchase a lemon variety adapted to your area. Most lemon trees are very sensitive to frost and grow best where winters are mild.

Step2 : Plant the tree in a warm, sunny area where the soil drains well. Planting next to a house or under an eave will provide some frost protection.

Step3 : Water the tree deeply once every 7 to 10 days in midsummer (newly planted trees may need more frequent watering until established). Water less often if it rains or if the weather is cool.

Step4 : Apply 2 to 3 inches of organic matter under the canopy of the tree to conserve moisture.

Step5 : Fertilize every four to six weeks from February to August.

Step6 : Prune trees every year or two to keep them within bounds and easy to pick. Cut back new growth by one-fourth to one-third.

Step7 : Protect trees from frost if temperatures are forecast to drop below 30 degrees F.

Step8 : Harvest lemons when fruit reaches full size and color. Timing will vary by variety and growing area.

Tips & Warnings

In cool coastal areas, lemons can be harvested almost year-round.

In colder climates, plant Meyer lemons, which are hardier than the standard varieties, Lisbon and Eureka.

Meyer lemons are not as sour as standard lemons, and the trees are smaller (6 to 8 feet high).

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