How to Grow Lemon Trees From Cuttings


Growing plants from cuttings is a way to create a genetically identical plant. Lemons are one of the plants that can be propagated via cuttings. Growing a lemon tree from a cutting will create a tree that produces fruit identical to the fruit on the tree from which you took the cutting. Although many lemon varieties can be propagated from cuttings, the Meyer lemon is commonly propagated in this manner.

Step 1

Dip the knife you will use to take the cutting in rubbing alcohol to disinfect it and reduce the risk of contaminating the cutting.

Step 2

Take a 5-to-6 inch softwood cutting from the current year's growth in the early morning. Make the cut at about a 45-degree angle. Avoid taking a cutting with flowers or flower buds. If your cutting has flowers or buds, remove them to encourage root growth.

Step 3

Remove the leaves from the bottom 1/3 of the cutting.

Step 4

Fill a pot with sterile potting soil.

Step 5

Poke a hole 1 to 2 inches deep in the soil either with your finger or a pencil.

Step 6

Sprinkle some rooting powder onto a clean surface. Do not dip your cutting directly into the bag to avoid contaminating the rooting powder.

Step 7

Roll the bottom of the cutting in rooting hormone. Shake off excess.

Step 8

Slip the cutting into the hole in the soil carefully to avoid knocking off the rooting hormone.

Step 9

Cover the top gently to secure the cutting in the pot.

Step 10

Water your cutting to keep it moist, but not soaking wet, during the rooting process. Keep your cutting in 70 to 80 degree Fahrenheit temperatures. Although rooting times can vary, three to four weeks is common.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Rooting hormone
  • Sterile potting soil


  • North Carolina State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings - Instructions for the Home Gardener
  • Purdue University: Lemon
  • Texas A&M University: Texas Citrus
  • University of Florida: Citrus Culture in the Home Landscape
Keywords: lemon tree propagation, growing lemon trees, citrus tree propagation

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.