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Care Instructions to Improve Meyer Lemon Trees

By Jeanne Young

Although Meyer lemon trees (Citrus meyeri) are small and compact, they tend to be more productive than true lemons. Also known as improved Meyer lemon, Chinese dwarf lemon or dwarf lemon, the trees grow to a height of 6 to 10 feet. Meyer lemon trees have shiny evergreen leaves, fragrant pinkish flowers and bear bright canary-yellow fruit 3 inches in diameter, which is rounder and larger than regular lemons with less acidic, sweeter and juicier flesh and a thin skin. Grow Meyer lemon trees in the ground in Florida, the Gulf Coast and California or in containers elsewhere.

Plant Meyer lemon trees in a light, loose, well-drained soil rich in peat moss.

Grow Meyer lemon trees in full sun. Although the trees can tolerate partial shade, they will better thrive and produce more if grown in sunny spot, according to Floridata. For best results, make sure the trees get 12 hours of sun.

Give the trees adequate water. Meyer lemon trees need 40 inches of rain or more per year, according to Floridata. In times of high heat, they might need watering weekly.

Monitor rainfall in the spring when the trees are flowering and setting fruit, because that is when they need water the most. In Florida, springtime is dry. Meyer lemon trees grown there, or anywhere with dry springtime conditions, often need supplemental watering, according to Floridata. Keep soil moist, not soggy, by allowing the soil to dry down about 2 inches between watering.

Fertilize Meyer lemon trees with an acidic slow-release fertilizer or citrus fertilizer, according to Oregon State University.

Slow down on both watering and fertilizing during the winter months when tree growth slows down because of low light conditions.

Renew the soil around the Meyer lemon tree every three years. Make sure the tree's crown is slightly above soil level.

Move container-planted Meyer lemon trees into a cool area over winter months. The tree is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8b to 10. It has withstood temperatures below 23 degrees F in the ground in Florida. However, protect it from freezing temperatures if grown in containers or outside its hardiness zones.


About the Author


Jeanne Young began writing professionally in 2000. She was the government reporter for a daily newspaper in central Florida. Young has also covered general assignment and the business, health, science, environment and education beats for newspapers and a wire service, and written about money and politics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of South Florida.