Plant a lemon tree in our garden or pots is a great satisfaction, both for its quality as an ornamental tree and for the possibility of obtaining its fantastic and very useful fruits.
There is no culture more Mediterranean than this fruit, although it is also present in many other countries, especially in Argentina, where it enjoys the ideal climatic conditions for its production.
Its versatility allows it to be grown in a garden with mild temperatures in winter, as well as arrange it in a potwith less development but also a lot of ornamental potential.
In this article we offer some basic tips for planting a lemon tree, both in the ground of our garden and grown in containers, yes, of large volume.
Characteristics of the lemon tree
lemon citrus, as it is scientifically called, or lemon tree in universal language, is one of the most important citrus fruits known to everyone. Its great importance in gastronomy as well as in the preparation of drinks and juices attracts many people to the idea of growing a lemon in their homes.
THE arabs They were the pioneers in the cultivation of this citrus fruit, which managed to introduce it with great success in our Spanish Mediterranean climate.
Although there are several species of lemons, hybrids and crosses, the most used by professionals for the production and obtaining of lemons are:
- GOOD: It is harvested in the months of October to February.
- Verna: It is harvested between February and June.
- Eureka: It is harvested from October.
Each of them has a ideal harvest timeso that we can have different species planted in our orchard or garden and have the guaranteed collection of lemons throughout the year.
How to plant a lemon tree in the garden or in a pot
Let’s see what are the lemon tree main care and the needs he has grown in the garden or in a pot. In the latter case, this citrus fruit can be grown as long as we have a large pot and we control its irrigation and fertilization well, preventing it from reaching large dimensions and making it impossible to keep it arranged in the container.
Location and weather
To speak of citrus fruits such as lemon, mandarin or orange is to evoke the Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Regarding lemon production in Spain, the Region of Murcia is one of the main producers, although the rest of the production is very well distributed throughout the Mediterranean basin.
Therefore, we have to avoid any cold climatic zone or with the possibility of frost, as it is one of the most sensitive citrus fruits to low temperatures.
Choosing the best soil and substrate for planting a lemon tree
When planting a lemon tree in our garden, we must choose an environment with good depth, soil and rich organic matter.
You have to be generous with the hole, when you do it, as well as the incorporation of several kg of organic matter well mixed with the soil.
In any case, we will avoid planting our citrus trees in soil with a large amount of clay, as they tend to retain humidity excessively and cause root smotheringmain cause of mortality of our lemon tree.
read more: How to use hydrogen peroxide to prevent root suffocation.
If we want to arrange our recently acquired lemon tree from the nursery in pots, we recommend that you choose a good container with at least 50 cm depth in the first years of life. We will choose a universal substrate that we will mix with 20% of a draining material such as coconut fiber or vermiculite.
We can also supplement the universal substrate with worm humus, since it has a good reserve of nutrients and organic matter for better root development.
How to water our lemon tree
Lemon trees are large consumers of water, especially during the summer months and in production. However, it is necessary to find the optimum point of humidity to avoid any rot and to prevent it from undergoing water stress.
To plant a lemon tree in our garden, the best form of irrigation is have drip irrigationby placing between 2 and 4 drippers around the trunk.
Lemon Tree Watering Frequency
- Winter: 1 to 2 waterings per week lasting 1 hour
- Spring: water 1 day out of 3. Months close to summer, alternate watering day yes day no (1 to 2 hours)
- Summer: daily watering (2 to 4 hours)
- Autumn: water 1 day out of 3 (1 to 2 hours).
Potted lemon tree irrigation
Potted watering changes completely, since a container does not have the capacity to evacuate the water that garden soil has, so it it will be necessary to pay attention to the humidity to avoid an excess.
In general, we will irrigate as long as the substrate is still slightly damp, but don’t let our hands get wet. Regarding the volume of irrigation for our lemon tree grown in pots, we will irrigate between 1/3 and 1/4 of the total volume from the pot
It is always recommended that drain through the holes of the base of the pot between 10% and 20% optimal, taking into account the fact that this water carries salts from the fertilizer that we have no interest in keeping in the substrate.
Lemon trees are very well stimulated by providing both mineral and organic fertilizers. At start of germinationit is always advisable to use liquid organic matter, such as earthworm humus or humic extract.
In this way we activate the development of new roots, the engine of water and nutrients to ensure the production of new stems and leaves.
Before flowering, it is advisable to provide mineral fertilizers rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. At this point we can choose between liquid fertilizers, mixed with the irrigation water, or slow-release granular fertilizers.
As liquid fertilizera universal type will have a composition NPK 5-2-8 (5% nitrogen, 2% phosphorus and 8% potassium), being important that it contains magnesium and micronutrients, in particular iron, zinc and manganese. In this way, the leaves will remain healthy and very green, without chlorosis.
If you prefer use solid fertilizers Due to its ease of application, we recommend the mixture NPK (Mg+S) 12 + 8 + 16 (+3+25) with magnesium and sulfur, microelements.
Main pests and diseases
By managing irrigation and fertilization well, one of the biggest headaches we would have would be fight against different pests and diseases which can appear throughout the life cycle of our lemon tree, especially in spring and summer.
Although there is also a risk of diseases, if we control the humidity of the substrate well, we already have a direct advantage over the main lemon fungi. However, there is a long list of pests that affect leaves and fruits.
List of major pests
- Lice and scale insects: white louse, California red louse, snake, gray louse.
- Q-tip: Also called honeydew, an immobile, soft-bodied, white insect that affects branches and new growth.
- fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata): It only affects the fruits, depositing the eggs inside.
- aphids: There are several groups, the most famous being Aphis gossypii, Aphis spiraecola and Myzus persicae.
- Thrips: Mobile insects that settle in flowers and affect newly set fruits, deforming them and creating spots on the skin.
- Whitefly: the most common being the cotton whitefly.
How to Prune a Lemon Tree
Citrus pruning involves a number of important techniques that have been perfected over the years. It is not worth cutting all the branches, especially when you want to get production and lemons from them.
For this reason, we leave you a complete guide to pruning the lemon tree, with all the necessary resources to be able to shape our citrus fruits, even if we grow them in pots.