The Q&A Archives: Care & Feeding Of The Meyer Lemon

Question: I just bought a meyer lemon tree & and I would like to keep it in a pot to winter inside. I would like any info that might help me keep this tree healthy and bear fruit.

Any help you could give would be appreciated.
Thank you
Doug Johnson

Answer: The Meyer Lemon Tree is a hardy variety and the best lemon tree for sub-tropical climates, but it is also perfectly adapted to containering growing (and wintering indoors in cold winter climates). In true fact, the Meyer Lemon is not actually a real lemon but a cross between a lemon, a type of orange and a mandarin. While it retains most of the characteristics of a lemon, it has a bit less acidity, less bitterness, more sweetness and thinner skin. The skin of the Meyer Lemon lacks the typical zest of a real lemon. It has gained favor because it bears a heavy crop and it is a relatively hardy plant, as far as citrus goes.
Here are some guidelines for success:

Performs best with full sun (at least 8 hours per day).
Regular water with well dranined soil. No wet feet..
Hardy to 25 degrees farenheit.
Can grow in a pot to restrict size or in areas that can suffer a heavy freeze.
Grows to 15 feet tall and wide or larger if planted in the ground.
Sandy, well-drained, dry, alkaline soil works best.
Tolerates acidic soil if necessary.
Low salt tolerance.
Rounded growth habit.
Medium rate of growth.
Used for Patio Tree, Screen, Fruit and as a Specimen Plant.

The Meyer Lemon bears heavily when mature. Its crop size increases as the plant matures. It may bear 10 or more lemons even at 3 years of age. The fruit is green in color until it matures. When mature on the tree, the Meyer Lemon changes to a yellow-orange color. That will take longer than you expect. The main crop matures in the summer. In a tropical climate, the Meyer Lemon Tree can bear fruit nearly all year long.

Keep the soil moist, but not soggy wet. After 3 or 4 years in a pot, you need to replace the soil since it will be exhausted of nutrients. You can either replant into a larger pot or cut away some of the outer roots with a sharp, strong knife and replant in the same pot but with fresh soil.

Give your tree bright light (some direct sunshine is beneficial), and take it outdoors when the weather warms in the spring. As evening temperatures get cool (about 50F), take your tree back indoors for the winter months.

Enjoy your tree!

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