How to Grow a Lemon Tree from a Lemon Seed


With their glossy green leaves and their bright neon fruit, lemon trees make an attractive addition to almost any landscaping project. Though you can purchase immature plants for transplanting into your garden, if you have some curiosity and the patience you can grow your own lemons with just the seeds left over from making lemonade.

Step 1

Cut the lemon in half, and use the point of a knife to find seeds. Opt for the plumpest seeds. If you want to grow one or two trees, find three or four seeds to account for any seed failure you may have.

Step 2

Carefully rinse the seeds to remove any lemon fruit or sugar that may remain on them. Sugar will help the seed to rot; remove all traces of it.

Step 3

Fit peat pots with fresh potting soil. Plant one lemon seed in each peat pot, planting the seeds 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep. Water pots so that you've thoroughly moistened the soil without soaking it. Place the pots on a tray to catch any dripping water.

Step 4

Cover the peat pots loosely with a layer of plastic wrap. Simply lay the wrap over the pots; do not tuck in the ends or make the cover tight. This will help to keep the pots moist. Place the tray in a warm place, such as on a high shelf or on top of the refrigerator.

Step 5

Check the pots daily to see when they have begun to sprout. Sprouting your lemon seeds can take up to two or three weeks, so don't become impatient. Once the seeds have sprouted, remove the plastic and move the tray with the peat pots to a window where they will get sun every day.

Step 6

Grow the seeds in the peat pots until the roots begin to grow out of the bottom---an indication of when to transplant to a larger pot. Fill a plant pot with fresh potting soil, and plant the lemon seedling at the same depth at which it grew in the peat pot. Water thoroughly, and place in a sunny window.

Step 7

Grow your lemon tree by giving it as much sun as possible and not letting it dry out. Though you can place the pot outside in warm weather, move any plants grown in northern climates to protected areas during winter months. Lemons take anywhere from five to 15 years before producing fruit, but you will enjoy the glossy foliage for years before that.

Tips and Warnings

  • Pollinate single lemon trees by hand in order to produce fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • Lemon
  • Potting soil
  • Peat pot
  • Tray
  • Planting pot


  • YouTube: How to Grow a Lemon From a Lemon Seed
  • New Mexico State University: Lemon Tree from Seed

Who Can Help

  • YouTube: Facts about Lemon Trees
Keywords: grow a lemon tree, grow your own lemons, lemon tree from lemon seed

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. Her degree in public law and government began a lifetime love of research, and has served her writing well. Baley has written articles for, and hundreds of articles for