How to Plant Ponderosa Lemon Trees in South Texas


South Texas has a climate that is ideally suited for growing Ponderosa lemons. The Ponderosa lemon tree is less hearty than most lemon trees, and will grow best in areas where frost and freezing temperatures occur minimally. The tree is historically a smaller tree that grows only as tall as 10 to 25 feet. Because of this, it is a popular tree for indoor container gardening. Ponderosa lemon trees may be started from rooted cuttings, grafting or grown from seed.

Step 1

Select a location for planting your tree in south Texas that is in full sun and has good drainage. The best spot for a Ponderosa lemon is on the south side of a house or stone fence, where the tree is sheltered from frost and freezing winds.

Step 2

Wash the root ball of a Ponderosa lemon tree with a garden hose to remove about 1 inch of non-soil potting media from the root ball and expose the peripheral roots of the plant.

Step 3

Dig a planting hole that is as wide as the root ball and slightly shallower. The tree should sit slightly above the surrounding land to improve drainage around the tree.

Step 4

Place the tree in the planting hole and fill in soil halfway around the root ball. Water well to remove air pockets and then fill in soil the rest of the way around the root ball. Cover the root ball with 1 inch of soil.

Step 5

Use topsoil to create a ring of mounded-up soil around the tree's base. The ring should be 2 feet across with the tree in the center. The ring of topsoil should also be several inches high and several inches thick.

Step 6

Fill the topsoil ring with water to water the tree. Once the water soaks in, fill in any dirt holes around the tree's planting pocket with more soil. (These holes were created by escaping air.)

Step 7

Water the tree every few days for the first two weeks to ensure proper moisture in the warm Texas climate. Gradually taper off watering until you are filling the topsoil ring with water once every seven to 10 days. The topsoil ring will gradually dissolve into the ground soil. At this point, the lemon tree has become established.

Step 8

Pull up all lawn grass that grows around your tree to keep it from competing with your tree for water or nutrients. Do not mulch around the tree. This can create an environment where fungus can thrive.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Garden hose
  • Ponderosa lemon sapling
  • Topsoil


  • Texas A&M University: Home Fruit Production--Lemons
  • Texas A&M University: Nutrition and Fertilization

Who Can Help

  • Trade Winds Fruit: Ponderosa Lemon
Keywords: Ponderosa lemon, planting lemon trees, growing Texas citrus

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."