The Meyer lemon is a citrus hybrid of the lemon and the mandarin orange. This Chinese native is a relatively small tree that can reach heights up to 12 feet. With dark green, evergreen foliage, the Meyer lemon tree produces fragrant, pinkish-white blooms with bright, canary yellow fruit. Meyer lemons are sweeter and juicier than the average lemon and have a smooth, thin skin.
Plant the Meyer lemon tree in a well-drained location that receives at least eight hours of full sunlight each day. Choose a location near the south side of the home to reduce the potential for cold damage. Plant multiple trees at least 25 feet apart to prevent crowding.
Irrigate the Meyer lemon tree regularly, providing about 1 inch of water every 7 to 10 days during the growing season. Adjust the irrigation levels during rainy periods and hot drought periods.
Keep the area under the tree's canopy free of weeds and competing vegetation. Remove invasive weeds immediately from the area as they appear. Pull the weeds by hand. Make sure to remove the entire root system of the weed to prevent its regrowth.
Fertilize the Meyer lemon tree with a well-balanced, slow release fertilizer designed for citrus trees. Select a combination such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10. Apply the applications just after the first bud break and towards the middle of the growing season.
Protect the Meyer tree's soil moisture levels by adding mulch. Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the diameter of the tree. Include the entire diameter of the tree's canopy for ample root protection.
Treat the Meyer lemon tree annually with a fungicidal spray to reduce the potential of fungal diseases. Apply the treatment in the early spring just after the final frost.
Harvest the Meyer lemons as they reach full color with an oval size of up to 3 inches wide and 3.5 inches high. Look for an orange-yellow peel color. Harvest the lemons only when the tree is dry. Handle the Meyer lemons carefully as they are easily damaged due to the thin, tender skin. Harvest the tree daily until all lemons are removed.
Prune the Meyer lemon tree to maintain a vigorously growing tree. Trim away any dead, dying or wilted stems, branches and foliage. Thin out the interior branches to promote increase air circulation and sunlight penetration. Use sterile, sharp pruning shears to complete the cuts. Make the cuts at an angle to promote rapid healing.