How to maintain a dwarf lemon tree?

The dwarf lemon tree requires various care

When you don’t have much room to plant trees, one way to get fruit without having to go to the supermarket is to buy dwarf varieties. These, unlike conventional models, are much smaller and therefore take up less space. In fact, it is even possible to grow them in pots, as is the case with the dwarf lemon tree for example.

The dwarf lemon tree can be the perfect plant for the terrace or patio, because it smells very good and, in addition, it is very productive to the point that, depending on which one you choose, you can have lemons almost all the time. year. But, What are its characteristics and how is it maintained?


What is a dwarf lemon tree?

The dwarf lemon tree is a perennial plant

Image – Flickr/R Berteig

A dwarf lemon tree, or any other dwarf fruit tree, is one tree grafted onto another. To be able to keep them in pots, branches are grafted onto a trunk which serves as a rootstock and which is also a dwarf rootstock.. This means that the rootstock is actually a variety of fruit tree that has been bred to grow much less than what would be normal for its species. For example, to obtain dwarf apple trees with a maximum height of 1.50 meters, rootstocks of the Geneva 11 or 41 apple variety are generally used.

Now well, It should be clear that the size of the fruit does not vary, but the quantity does. For this reason, a dwarf lemon tree will never be able to produce as many lemons as a normal lemon, but they will be just as large. In addition, to have the possibility of harvesting them for a long time, it is usual to choose to graft 4-season lemon trees, since these are more productive than the rest of the varieties.

How much does it push?

Our protagonist is a fruit tree that it will hardly exceed one and a half meters in heightthat is why it is one of the most recommended to grow in pot to decorate patios, terraces or even balconies.

In any case, it tolerates pruning very well, so in the event that it reaches its maximum height (2 meters) and you would like it to be shorter, you do not have to worry since you will not have only to prune its branches in autumn with previously disinfected anvil scissors.

How to maintain a dwarf lemon tree?

If you dare to have one, we will tell you how to take care of it. In this way, you can enjoy it without problems:


It is important that you have outside. Likewise, it should be exposed to direct sunlight, as it needs plenty of light to grow, flower and produce fruit. For this reason, it cannot be kept in the shade, because its health is weakened: the leaves fall off, the flowers do not open and it is not able to bear fruit.

Pot or soil?

The dwarf lemon tree can be potted

Image – Flickr/Plant Right

where you prefer Since it does not grow much it is possible to have it both in pots and in all kinds of gardens, regardless of their size or size. But it is practical that if you choose to have it in a container, check once a year if the roots are coming out of the drainage holes, because if this is the case, you will have to plant it in a larger one.

And if you are going to have it on the ground, its roots are not invasive, so you can put it wherever you want, although we recommend that it be far from the pool because if water falls on it, it will it contains chlorine, it would burn its leaves.

soil or substrate

  • Yard: the dwarf lemon tree can grow without difficulty in fertile, low-acid soils. Like the classic lemon tree, it can suffer from ferric chlorosis in clay or alkaline soils. Therefore, if you see that the leaves are yellowing from the edge inwards, and the veins remain green, you will have to lower the pH of the soil either by adding white peat or coconut fiber, and/or by watering with water with a low pH between 5 and 6 (if it is higher, that is to say if it is alkaline, you can acidify it with oil or vinegar).
  • Flower potFruit: it is important that it has drainage holes at its base, because it is a fruit tree that does not resist waterlogging. Likewise, it should be filled with a light, citrus-specific substrate, like this one from Compo.


We have said that it is not resistant to waterlogging, but lack of water is also a problem for the dwarf lemon tree. For it, during the summer, and especially during the heat waves, you will have to be a little aware of it for it would not be good if the earth were dry. Therefore, during this period, we recommend that you water it every 2 or 3 days, depending on the weather. The rest of the year, as it is cooler and the soil takes longer to dry, it will be necessary to water more spaced out.

In all cases, water must be poured until the soil is moistbecause if we only moisten the most superficial layer, many roots will remain without being able to hydrate.


It is advisable to pay it as long as the good weather lasts, from spring to summer. To do this, you can use specific fertilizers for citrus fruits like the Flower that you can buy here, or other organic ones like the guano that you have here. The indications specified in the packaging will be followed, so that it can develop properly.


If necessary, you can prune it in the fall after fruiting.

Plagues and diseases

The lemon tree can have mealybugs

Image – Flickr/Katja Schulz

Unfortunately, it has the same pests and diseases as the traditional lemon tree. For example, with regard to the harmful, may have scale insects, aphids or red spider mites; and if we talk about diseasesCommon are those caused by fungi such as alternaria or penicillium, and viruses such as psoriasis or sadness virus.


The dwarf lemon tree resists frost up to -5ºC.

Or buy?

If you want to buy a dwarf lemon tree, click here:

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