The Q&A Archives: Lisbon lemon tree in a container?

Question: I recently received a Lisbon lemon tree by mistake and am trying to decide whether to keep it. Currently, I am unable to plant it, but I may be able to do so in about 1-2 years. So is it possible to maintain it over that length of time in a patio container? What is its typical growth rate? would pruning be necessary and if so, how does one do that? For that matter, even if planted, can a Lisbon lemon survive East Coast winters?

Answer: A Lisbon lemon tree would not survive the winter outside in New York state, so you would have to maintain it as a container tree. It could go outside each summer but must be brought indoors each fall.

It should do fine in a container for at least a while, but for long term container growth it is better if it is grafted onto a dwarfing rootstock such as Flying Dragon. Citrus can be pruned to keep them small, but the dwarfing rootstock is necessary for success as a container plant.

Here is some general information on growing container citrus you may find helpful.

Enjoy your tree!

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