The Q&A Archives: variegated lemon tree

Question: I just bought a variegated lemon tree at Home Depot.
I live in zone 9 and would like some information about the tree. Is it a easy tree to grow and will it produce numerous lemons and is the pulp of the lemon actually pink? Is the lemon good tasting or is it just an ornamental tree?

Answer: I think you'll be delighted with your new tree. The botanical name of your Variegated Lemon tree is 'Citrus limon' Striped Lemonade Lemon. It has sweetly fragrant white blooms and fruit that tastes as good as it looks. Even the foliage gets into the act, with pink tints in spring and creamy accents year-round.

In spring, the leaves emerge with pink tints among the green, which quickly changes to rich cream, and these tints remain on the tree all season. In late spring, masses of fragrant ?-inch white flowers cover the tree. These are followed by baseball-sized fruit -- but instead of being plain yellow, they are pink.

Eureka Lemons are found in supermarkets across the country, but this variegated type is very uncommon. It has been grafted onto grapefruit stock, creating the larger fruit which arises in clusters of 8 or 9. If you want larger lemons, thin each cluster to 2 or 3.

As you might expect from a tropical tree, Variegated Eureka is exceedingly tolerant of heat and humidity. It needs no special soil to grow -- just give it a well-drained container with premium potting mix. Feed it throughout the growth season with a gentle fertilizer, and if the leaves turn yellow at any point, apply Chelated Iron to the soil once in springtime.


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