Lemon Cutting - Knowledgebase Question

Frisco, Te
Question by Z1nowar
September 23, 2010
Hi. I have a Meyer Improved lemon tree, and I want to grow another one from cutting. How can I grow one from a cutting? Which branch should I choose? Temperature? Which location should I put it in? Thanks!


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Answer from NGA
September 23, 2010

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Meyer lemon trees can be propagated by seeds and by cuttings. Seeds are easiest, cuttings can be challenging. If you'd like to give cuttings a try, here's how:
Harvest softwood or semi-hardwood shoots from the tip of your young citrus branches during a period of active growth in the spring, summer or early fall. Select branch tips with at least three sets of healthy leaves attached and roughly 4 to 6 inches in length.

When yo make your cuts, they should be on the bias just 1/4 inch below a leaf node. Remove the leaves on the lower 2/3 of the cutting.

Prepare a nursery pot (with adequate drainage holes) by filling it 3/4 of the way up with soil-less potting mix designed for seedlings. This will be loose enough to allow tiny roots to easily form but still keep the cuttings upright. Soak the soil thoroughly and let the excess water drain away. Create a narrow hole in the center of the soil with a pencil.

Dip the bottom inch of the cutting into tepid water and then rooting hormone powder to coat it. Slide 1/3 of the cutting into the hole and firm the soil around the cutting to secure it upright.

Slide two dowels into the soil on either side of the pot and tent over them with a clean, clear plastic bag to create a mini-greenhouse. Place the tented pot in a location with bright but indirect light, where ambient temperatures can be controlled to remain between roughly 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit; warmer is better for citrus.

Water the cuttings and soil as needed to keep the soil-less mix evenly moist but not sopping wet. Let the waste water that collects the the bottom of the bag drain away.

Check for root formation after three to six weeks, though it may take longer. Graducally remove the plastic tent after healthy roots have formed - open the bag slightly over several days until it is uncovered completely within two weeks. Keep the soil moist and allow the cuttings to grow in the pot until they are well rooted and begin to develop new leaves and stems. At that time you can tranplant them into larger pots.

Good luck with your propagation project!

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