The Best Indoor Lemon Trees

An indoor lemon tree can produce fruit throughout the year and perfume your home with a fresh, lively fragrance. Originally from the Kashmir foothills, dwarf lemon tree hybrids are now cultivated to grow in greenhouses and in sunny, indoor environments. Many people plant lemon trees in wheeled containers to move them between a sunny patio and a warm indoor location. Buy a specimen that's about three years old if you want it to bear fruit right away.

Meyer Lemon Tree

Meyer lemon trees-- especially the dwarf, improved hybrid--are perhaps the most popular indoor fruit tree. They're prized for their delicately-scented white blossoms and for the bright yellow, medium-sized lemons they produce. In general, Meyer lemons are juicy, slightly sweet and perfect for vinaigrettes, seafood dishes and desserts. Plant Meyer lemon trees in a large container, in a sunny location that can accommodate a tree that will grow to about 10 feet tall and span about 12 feet. To bear fruit, a Meyer lemon tree must be kept near a window that gets several hours of direct sunlight each day. Be careful not to overwater them, especially in the winter months.

Ponderosa Lemon Tree

Often called the "American Wonder Lemon," the dwarf hybrid of a Ponderosa lemon tree is a hybrid of lemon and citron. It produces very large, flavorful fruits that resemble grapefruits and can weigh more than 2 lbs. Ponderosa lemons are known for their vibrant, tangy flavor and the tree itself has a fresh citrus fragrance that is released on contact. In the right conditions, they will flower and bear fruit throughout the year. Keep in mind that the dwarf Ponderosa isn't quite as hardy indoors as other citrus hybrids. Once established, however, it will bear fruit for decades and yield as many as 50 lemons at a time. A dwarf Ponderosa hybrid will grow between 6 to 10 feet tall and span roughly the same distance. It needs a half-day of bright sunlight and frequent watering, except during the winter.

Eureka Lemon Tree

The Eureka lemon tree is another hybrid that can thrive in indoor environments. It has a compact habit and can be easily pruned into shape. Eureka lemons are typically used as patio container trees, which are brought indoors only during the coldest months. It produces large, tasty lemons without too many seeds. Eureka lemons are striped bright yellow and green at first, then turn completely yellow as the fruit ripens. Eureka lemon hybrids are typically taller than other indoor varieties, and can grow taller than 12 feet. Prune it regularly if you plan to grow it as an indoor container tree. Like other citrus plants, water frequently, but be careful not to overwater it.

Keywords: Indoor citrus trees, Container citrus trees, Lemon container hybrids

About this Author

Susan Sedgwick has been a writer for more than 10 years, and her work has appeared in major newspapers, magazines and websites. Her favorite topics include interior design, travel, food, wine, entertainment, health and medicine. She has been featured in "Time Magazine," "New York Daily News" and "Detour." She earned her Masters of Arts in English/fiction writing from New York University.

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