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How to Grow Lemon Trees in Louisiana

Louisiana state contour against blurred USA flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from

If you live in southern Louisiana, you should have no problem growing a lemon tree in your yard. Parishes north of southern Beauregard Parish and northern Washington Parish may run into a bit of trouble due to frost. According to agricultural specialists with Louisiana State University, a hard freeze can destroy lemon trees. They suggest growing some of the less cold-sensitive varieties, such as Harvey. They warn, however, that you may still lose your lemon tree, even if you provide protection in winter.

Grow your lemon tree on the south side of your house. This is especially important in northern Louisiana as it will help to keep the tree warmer than if it were planted elsewhere in the landscape.

Remove all weeds and turf grasses from within a 3-foot radius of the lemon tree. Weeds, such as alligator weed and redweed, common in Louisiana, compete with the tree for soil nutrients and water.

Water the lemon tree once a week. Lemon trees require a deep, slow watering rather than small, frequent waterings. Water the tree for five to 10 minutes, once a week. If the weather is particularly hot and dry in your region of Louisiana, you may have to water deeper, extending the watering time to 15 minutes.

Fertilize the lemon tree when it has new growth. Use 1/4 cup of ammonium sulfate and then apply 1/4 cup every three months until harvest. If the tree is older than one year, double the amount of fertilizer. Water before fertilizing the tree.

Protect your lemon tree from frost if you live in one of the cooler-winter areas of Louisiana. Tarps or other waterproof materials can be draped over the tree and should be tied down. If needed, experts at Texas A&M University suggest supplying heat under the tarp with lanterns or strings of Christmas tree lights.

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