Meyer lemon trees were introduced into the United States from China in 1908. The fruit is not a true lemon, but a cross between a lemon and an orange, so Meyer lemons are sweeter. They have faintly orange flesh and thin orange-like skins. Because Meyer lemons are more cold tolerant than true lemons, they will grow successfully in areas where true lemons don't do well.
Meyer lemons will grow outdoors in U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zones 8 through 11. Meyer lemons, like other citrus, will not survive freezing temperatures. However, Meyer lemons can be successfully grows in pots in colder zones as long as they are brought indoors for the winter.
In the summer, Meyer lemons need between eight and 12 hours of direct sun per day. If you are planting outdoors in warmer climates, select a sunny location to give your tree adequate light. If your Meyer lemon tree is in a pot in colder climates, place the tree outdoors as soon as the risk of freeze has passed in a location that gets eight to 12 hours of sun.
Meyer lemons do best in rich soil that drains well. When planting outside, mound the soil up above the level of the nearby ground to stop water from pooling around the lemon. If water pools on the surface around the Meyer lemon, you may have problems with root rot. When growing Meyer lemons in pots, use a rich potting soil that drains well. Do not allow your plant to sit in excess water.
If you are planting new Meyer lemons, water your tree every few days for the first few weeks after planting. Give your tree an inch or two of water per watering. Gradually increase the watering intervals to seven to 10 days over several months after planting.
Do not fertilize your newly planted Meyer lemon until it starts to grow. Once it starts to grow, give your young tree a cup of 21-0-0 fertilizer split into three or four applications over the first year. Use 2 cups the second year and 3 cups the third year. Scatter the fertilizer around the tree and water.