Young Lemon Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Columbia, So
Question by sherylparne
February 11, 2011
How to care for? What to put in pot when transplant? Worrying about enough light in house.


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Answer from NGA
February 11, 2011

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Like most houseplants, citrus prefer a sandy slightly acid, all-purpose mix, which you can get by using a peat-moss based growing mix. Lemon trees thrive in a normal temperature range of 70 degrees during day to 55 degrees at night. Though the plants are evergreen they will go into dormancy and stop growing below 54 degrees F.) Set your lemon tree in full sun from a south facing window. Trees need lots of light. If that's not possible, supplement the light by installing 40-watt fluorescent shop lights above the tree. This is especially important during the winter, when they need 8-12 hours of light.

You'll need to keep the soil evenly moist and since most interiors are quite dry, mist your plant often -- daily if you can. Give your lemon tree a shower occasionally. When you grow plants indoors, bees and insects can?t pollinate them. So you need to use a paintbrush or cotton swab to rub pollen within the flower. Sometimes they will produce fruit without doing this, but it's a good idea to increase your chances!

Container size is very important. Choose a container that is large enough for the tree. A 10-15 gallon container will allow your tree to 7-8 feet in a pot this size. Allow for a few years of growth, so that you are not repotting every spring. A 10-15 gallon container is excellent for a 3-4 year old specimen. And make sure your container has drainage holes so excess water can drain out.

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