How to Grow a Lemon Tree in a Pot


Lemon trees in the landscape are usually planted at least 10 feet apart. If your gardening is restricted to containers on your balcony or patio, you can grow a lemon tree in a pot as long as the area receives adequate light and warmth. Although lemon trees grown in containers will be smaller, they will still produce fruit.

Step 1

Visit your local greenhouse and select a healthy, young lemon tree. Although any lemon tree can be grown in a pot, dwarf varieties will live longer and will need to be re-potted less frequently.

Step 2

Choose a large container for the lemon tree--at least 16 gals. is best. Consider the type of container carefully. Wooden pots will eventually decay, but plastic pots can sometimes get too hot and burn the roots. Clay pots can be a good compromise. The most important feature to look for when you're selecting a pot is adequate drainage.

Step 3

Fill the container about two-thirds full with a high-quality commercial potting soil. Choose a potting soil that has been developed specifically for potted plants.

Step 4

Plant the lemon tree so several inches of the pot can be seen above the root ball. Fill to the top of the root ball with soil. Water the lemon tree until water drains out the bottom.

Step 5

Check the lemon tree daily and keep the soil evenly moist. The soil in containers will dry out much faster than soil in the landscape, especially in warm weather.

Step 6

Feed your lemon tree regularly with a slow-release fertilizer. Follow the directions carefully. The amount of fertilizer will depend on the size of the tree and the size of the pot.

Things You'll Need

  • Young lemon tree
  • Large planting container
  • Potting soil
  • Slow-release fertilizer


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Keywords: lemon tree, container, pots

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a longtime writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the "East-Oregonian Newspaper" and "See Jane Run" magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.