How to Grow a Lemon Tree From a Seed


Watching a lemon tree grow from a seed you have planted is fascinating. Save a lemon seed the next time you use a lemon in your kitchen. Choose a seed that is whole and plump, without any cuts or nicks. Keep the lemon seed moist until you are able to sprout and plant it. Discard any dried out or misshapen seeds. Plenty of moisture, good drainage and adequate sunlight are the keys to growing a lemon tree from a seed.

Step 1

Moisten the paper towel. Fold the damp towel in half, and then in half again. Place the lemon seed inside the fold and fold the paper towel loosely in half one last time.

Step 2

Put the damp towel with the lemon seed inside the clear plastic bag. Tie a loose knot in the top of the bag so moisture does not escape. Leave in a sunny location, such as a south-facing windowsill or countertop.

Step 3

Fill the small plastic cup or flower pot with potting soil. Check for drainage by watering the soil, ensuring that the cup or pot does not remain water logged.

Step 4

Within a few days, you will see that the lemon seed has split open and is starting to send out a shoot. Once a shoot appears, carefully remove the sprouted lemon seed from the paper towel.

Step 5

Use your finger or a pencil to poke a shallow hole (less than an inch deep) in the prepared soil, and place the sprouted lemon seed within. Loosely cover the sprout with moist soil.

Step 6

Place the plastic cup or pot in a sunny location. If the climate is mild outside, over 54 degrees even overnight, it will do well in full sunlight. Otherwise, place in a sunny room near the window.

Step 7

If you have used a plastic cup for your lemon seedling, you must transplant it once it reaches about 6 inches tall.Tip out the contents of cup onto your palm, cradling the seedling between two fingers. Plant in the prepared flower pot.

Step 8

Keep your growing lemon tree well humidified and in plenty of light. Check the humidity level of the soil by sticking your finger in. Once the top few inches dry out, water the tree again.

Things You'll Need

  • Lemon seed
  • Paper towel
  • Clear plastic bag
  • Potting soil
  • Plastic cup or small container with drainage holes (optional)
  • 2-foot-diameter flower pot


  • PlanTea
  • eHow
  • Oregon State University
Keywords: sprouting lemon seeds, growing lemon trees from seed, lemon tree seed growth

About this Author

Ruth Taylor is a teacher and a freelance writer. She has been writing for years, but only recently started freelancing. Her articles have appeared in Livestrong, eHow and other websites. In college she majored in Spanish and graduated summa cum laude with a M.A.T. in teaching a second language. She has taught both in high school and elementary school.