A hardy dwarf citrus tree, the Improved Meyer lemon can grow to 8 feet tall but the height is easily controlled by pruning. The tree can be planted in USDA zones 8 to 11, and it also makes a lovely houseplant with its dark green glossy leaves and highly scented white flowers. The tree's name distinguishes it from the true Meyer lemons, which became infected with a virus and are no longer sold commercially. Planting the Improved Meyer lemon tree is easy to do, whether in a patio container or in the garden.
Planting in a Pot
Choose a pot that is the same depth but three times the width of the pot in which the Improved Meyer lemon tree is growing. It should have drainage holes in the bottom. Place the pot in its permanent location as it may be too heavy to move after the tree is planted.
Pour potting mix into a separate pot or large container and add water until it is completely wet. Allow it to drain.
Place a single layer of pebbles, broken pottery shards or styrofoam packing peanuts on the bottom of the pot. This will keep the soil from running out of the bottom of the pot when you water the tree.
Pour enough of the potting mix into the pot so that the Improved Meyer lemon tree will sit at the same depth at which it has been growing.
Gently remove the Improved Meyer lemon tree from the nursery pot and place the roots into the new pot. Fill the pot to within 1/2 inch of the rim with soil, tamping down the surface of the soil with your hands to remove any air pockets. Water the tree until water runs out of the bottom of the pot.
Planting in the Landscape
Choose a planting location that receives sun all day.
Remove any weeds from the planting area.
Dig a hole that is slightly shallower and three times the diameter of the pot in which the Improved Meyer lemon is growing. When planted, the crown, or top, of the rootball should sit just 1/2 to 1 inch above the surface of the soil. Scrape the sides of the hole with the gardening fork to loosen the soil.
Remove the Improved Meyer lemon tree from the pot and lightly wash the outside layer (1 inch) of planting mix from the rootball. Place the roots into the hole. Backfill the hole halfway with soil and then fill the hole with water. When it drains, finish filling the hole with soil. Lightly sprinkle the soil over the exposed roots at the surface.
Build a watering well around the tree by mounding up soil to a height of 5 inches and a width of 8 inches. The ring should be 2 feet from the base of the tree, completely encircling it. Fill the well with water immediately after planting the Improved Meyer lemon tree and then water every three days for the first month.