Raising Lemon Trees


Lemon trees prefer sunny, mild climates with temperatures in the 70s degrees F and do not grow well in areas with harsh winters. If your climate isn't suitable to grow a lemon outside, it is possible to grow them inside just as easily, as long as you keep them pruned and under lights. Either way, lemons will show up on the tree once it is about 15 years old.

Step 1

Plant seeds in a pot, 1/2 inch down in potting soil, and cover loosely with soil. Before planting, wash the seed off to make sure there is no fruit flesh on it. Water the soil until it is damp and put plastic wrap over the top of the pot to keep moisture from evaporating. Add more water only when the dirt show signs of drying out. Keep the pot in a warm place and make sure it is in light once the seed begins to sprout. Once it is larger, move it to a bigger pot or plant it outside.

Step 2

Plant lemon trees in an area that receives full sun. Fruit trees generally prefer full sun and do their best growing in this setting.

Step 3

Make sure the soil in the area is a rich and drains well. Lemons do not tolerate standing water around their roots and trunk. A soil that drains will take the water down to the roots and keep it away from the trunk.

Step 4

Protect or move lemon trees from low temperatures when they are developing buds and fruit. Lemon trees go dormant if the weather goes below 55 degrees F. If you live in an area that gets this cold during fruit season, grow your tree in a pot so that you can move it to a sheltered area when temperatures drop.

Step 5

Add fertilizer to the soil once a year to put nutrients back. Use a slightly acidic fertilizer. Adding mulch around the tree is another way to put acid back as well as other nutrients. The mulch breaks down slowly, acting as a slow releasing fertilizer. As a bonus, the mulch helps keep water near the lemon's roots.

Step 6

Remove limbs that are dead or diseased. Lemon trees don't need much pruning, but if there is a problem, remove the limb. Use tree pruners to clip or saw off the portion of limb needing removal.

Step 7

Water lemon trees thoroughly once a week so that the soil is soaked down to the roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting soil
  • Pot
  • Plastic wrap
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Tree trimmer


  • Gardening Know How: How to Grow a Lemon Tree
  • New Mexico State University: Lemon Tree from Seed
Keywords: growing lemon trees, lemon tree care, raising lemon trees