Gardening Tips for Lemon Trees

Lemon trees (Citrus limon) are small trees that originated in Asia. As the name indicates, the trees are known for producing the yellow, oval and sour-tasting fruit known as the lemon. Lemon trees tend to grow to be between 10 and 20 feet in height, and have alternate leaves that, when young, are a reddish color. The flowers are subtly fragrant and are yellow with red buds.

Soil Preparation

Lemon trees require soil that is well-drained. The soil should not be too acidic. Before planting lemon trees, it is helpful to add lime. Then, dig a hole that is a little less shallow than the root structure's full length. Make sure that the ground is moist. Thick mulching is necessary for the soil. The bark also requires ample space for breathing.


Plant lemon trees in areas away from any possible frost, in bright and sunny spots. In times of cold weather, placing lemon trees near a house can be helpful for sheltering them. However, in situations where the temperature dips below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, cover and wrap up lemon trees entirely in a blanket. The trees also can be brought inside. Lemon trees can be cultivated within containers, particularly in cold regions.


For the initial two years, do not allow lemon trees to set fruit. This requires, during those first two years, picking lemons off of the trees (without allowing them to mature) and then throwing them out. Although it might be unpleasant to pick off the growing lemons, this leads to the trees later on producing crops that are far superior.


Lemon trees require regular watering. Water the trees thoroughly just once a week, as opposed to just a small amount of daily watering. Between the months of February and August, fertilize the lemons every four to six weeks. Prune the trees approximately every other year. Cut any new growth back between a quarter to two-thirds.

Keywords: lemon tree gardening, growing lemon trees, lemon tree cultivation

About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.