Untitled - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Gita Veskimets
Baltimore or Nottingham MD-212 (Zone 7a)
Life is "mind over matter". If I d
Question by gitagal
August 26, 2017
Aug 25, 2017 2:02 PM CDT
I need some advice how to grow a Lemon Plant (tree).

my neighbor gave me a nice started cutting a couple years ago. which is now about 1-1/2 feet tall by now. Very healthy looking. It is in a tallish, 6" pot.

She (the neighbor from Pakistan) insists she needs to cut parts of it off and graft it to the bigger part of the plant. She ALWAYS has to do something like that.
With her record of success with anything she grows-- it may work-but the plant
looks so healthy, I don't want her messing with it.
I am more interested in just growing it as is and letting it do it's thing... keep it going.
It looks healthy and has nice, shiny, strong leaves and has a "V" split at the top--now How would I care for it indoors for the winter? OR---Does it just need some bright light
to keep it going? Would love to experience the taste of a home-grown lemon.

Thanks for any advice any of you can give me. Gita
Sorry--I do not have a picture--just imagine a small, healthy lemon tree...

Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Answer from Philipwonel
August 26, 2017


It needs to be graphed if you want fruit.
It will also need to be outside. They need winter chill to blossom and get pollinated. If it gets to cold where you are, cover with freeze cloth, hang old fashion Christmas tree lites on it, ( the kind that get warm ) or put on protected patio.
They can take light frost.

Name: Gita Veskimets
Baltimore or Nottingham MD-212 (Zone 7a)
Life is "mind over matter". If I d
A comment from gitagal
August 26, 2017

Thank you very much. I will tell my neighbor she can graph to her heart's content.

We both live in zone 7a. Winters can be iffy--like this whole year has been iffy....

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Answer from DaisyI
August 26, 2017


Citrus trees are grafted for a variety of reasons including vitality, size control, cold hardiness and resistance to certain viruses and diseases. But they don't need to be grafted to produce fruit.

As you are in zone 7, your tree will probably never be planted outside (if your neighbor has lemons outside, she has cold hardy rootstock or has planted in a very sheltered spot). I suspect cold hardy rootstock and that is why she is insistent about grafting. But is she using your tree as the rootstock? That doesn't make any sense to me - your little tree won't have inherited cold hardiness from the rootstock of her tree.

If you like your little lemon the way it is, give it a bigger pot and keep it in a warmer spot during the winter (an unheated garage would be perfect). You will have lemons one of these days - it may take a few years.

As its already 1 1/2 feet tall, decide where you want it to branch and cut the top off just above that point. Visualize your little tree as a bigger tree in a pot - you may want a 1 ft trunk and an eventual tree of 3 ft. This will take a little thought and planning on your part.

My daughter grows several types of citrus in pots. She keeps them in her kitchen for the winter and has fruit every year.

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