Growing Lemon Seeds


Growing lemon trees from seeds may seem daunting, but with a few gardening items, fresh water and sunshine, you can have your own lemon tree seedlings sprouting in a short time. The fruits of your labor provide cooking options across the board, from fresh-squeezed slices to create cool pitchers of sweet lemonade served with slices of tart lemon pie or a crispy lemon chicken entree complemented with a zesty lemon-inspired salad dressing.

Step 1

Prepare individual containers that have drainage holes by using a garden trowel to fill each 3/4 full with potting soil. Gently shake each container to distribute the soil evenly within the container. Add enough water to each container to lightly moisten the soil; set the containers aside.

Step 2

Slice the lemons in half. Remove seeds from the fruit, and place them in a bowl. Continue slicing and removing seeds until you have the desired number of seeds for planting.

Step 3

Remove the seeds from the bowl, and place them in the colander. Rinse them thoroughly in fresh water, and set aside. Rinse the bowl thoroughly to remove juice and pulp residue. Place the rinsed seeds inside the bowl, and cover them with just enough water to keep them moist.

Step 4

Place two to four seeds into each container. The size of the container regulates the number of seeds to place in each. Keep the number of seeds in proportion to the container size as a single seed may have one sprout or multiple sprouts.

Step 5

Press each seed down into the soil 1/2-inch deep. When all of the seeds have been secured into the soil, cover with a layer of potting soil to the rim of the container. Lightly water.

Step 6

Place a layer of plastic wrap over each container. The plastic wrap serves as a seal to hold in moisture. Place the containers outside in a warm, semishady area or on an inside windowsill. After 3 to 4 days, place each container where it will be exposed to direct sunlight for 8 to 10 hours a day.

Step 7

Watering the seeds is essential. Keep the the soil slightly moist, not soggy. Once the lemon seeds germinate and begin sprouting, remove the plastic covering.

Step 8

Add additional potting soil to containers around the base of the seedlings, if needed. Gently shake the container so the potting soil fills in and around the seedling stems.

Step 9

Thin out multiple lemon seedlings, and transplant them into additional containers to prevent choking of the plant's roots and competition for water. Transplant the lemon seedlings to a garden area once they reach 6 to 8 inches in height.

Tips and Warnings

  • Plant seeds as soon as possible. Dried seeds have less of a chance of germinating. Do not overcrowd the seed container when initially planting seeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Containers--plastic or ceramic, 4 to 6 inches wide
  • Potting soil
  • Garden trowel
  • Fresh lemons
  • Serrated knife
  • Bowl
  • Colander
  • Plastic wrap


  • New Mexico State University: Lemon Tree from Seed
  • DoItYourself: How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seeds
Keywords: growing lemon seeds, lemon tree seedlings, germinate lemon seeds, lemon seedlings

About this Author

Vickie Ferguson began freelancing in1998 and hasn't put the pen down since. Her editorial stints have included working as a reviewer, managing editor and senior managing editor. She writes for several websites and covers a range of topics, including travel guides, gardening, home d├ęcor, crafts, pets and wildlife. Ferguson specializes in flower craft articles and has worked in the flower craft business for some time.