The Meyer lemon tree is a hybrid cross between true lemon and mandarin orange. As a result, it has a sweeter flavor than ordinary lemons, and a slight orange tint when ripe. Meyer lemon trees can grow up to 10 feet in height and produce fragrant, white flowers. The fruit and the rind are edible, and are commonly used in recipes as a substitution for lemons. Meyer lemon trees can be grown in most temperate regions with the proper care and maintenance.
Plant Meyer lemon trees in spring after the final frost of winter. Purchase container-grown plants from the nursery, as the trees are very difficult to start from seed. Ensure the planting location receives full sunlight throughout the day and has fertile, well-drained soil.
Dig a hole twice as wide as the tree's root ball, and of an equal depth. Place the tree in the hole and gently cover the root ball with soil. Water thoroughly to collapse air pockets in the soil and to bring moisture into contact with the roots.
Water the Meyer lemon tree twice per week during the first month of growth. Reduce frequency to once per week during spring, summer and fall, and only on weeks that receive less than 3 inches of rain. Water twice per month during winter when the tree enters its dormant state.
Feed Meyer lemon trees once per year using a fertilizer specially formulated for citrus trees. Follow the directions on the package for proper application and dosage. Water thoroughly both before and after application to avoid root burn.
Pick the lemons from Meyer lemon trees as soon as they are completely yellow in color. Lemons with a green tint have not fully matured and will not be as flavorful. The lemons must be picked immediately when ripe, or they will become soft and spongy in texture.
Things You Will Need
- Citrus fertilizer
- Mulch can be used to increase the nutrients in the soil and to conserve moisture. It is not necessary, but might cause an increase in the health of the tree.
- Citrus fertilizer can be purchased from well-stocked lawn and garden stores or plant nurseries.
- Never allow fertilizer to come into direct contact with the trunk of the tree.