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How to Water Potted Lemon Trees

By Joshua Duvauchelle ; Updated September 21, 2017

Though traditionally grown outdoors in the ground, fruit trees like a lemon tree can be grown in a pot. Due to the contained nature of a pot, care must be taken to ensure the potted lemon tree has sufficient water at all times. In addition, citrus fertilizer should occasionally be administered alongside a standard watering session to ensure proper growth and lemon fruit production. With the right watering, you can enjoy your potted lemon tree for years.

Water the lemon tree with plain filtered water. Water until the soil is moist and spongy to the touch, but not so much that water pools or puddles on the surface. It may take a couple trial runs before you figure out how much moisture the pot can hold.

Water again every two to three days or as soon as the top inch of potting soil turns flaky or crumbly. Depending on your climate, you may find yourself watering more or less often.

Mist the lemon tree's foliage with water from a spray bottle on a daily basis if it's grown indoors. Lemon trees require a relatively high level of humidity, which is typically a problem in a home where dry air is prevalent. If the leaves turn yellow or brittle, your humidity levels may not be high enough and the number of daily misting sessions should increase.

Fertilize the potted lemon tree once each during the spring and summer with a citrus-specific liquid or granular fertilizer. Apply according to the fertilizer's guidelines, as potency varies by product. Administer the fertilizer after a watering session, then water again right after fertilizing, to prevent the fertilizer from burning the lemon tree's roots.


Things You Will Need

  • Filtered water
  • Spray bottle
  • Citrus fertilizer


  • If you're growing the lemon tree in a pot outdoors, bring it indoors to a sheltered area during the winter or you may end up with a cracked planting pot as the moist soil freezes and expands.

About the Author


Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.