Indoor lemon tree – you might didn’t know that but actually you can grow lemon tree as houseplant, Lemons are extremely sensitive to cold and do well in a frost free environment. If you are living in a place where winter is too cold, you may plant it in a pot and have an indoor lemon tree. There are a few types of lemon trees such as Ponderosa but if you plan to have an indoor lemon it is recommended to choose the Meyer lemon variety. The Meyer lemon is sweeter than the fruit of other lemons and even their thin skin is tasty and great for cooking. And it is smaller than the other varieties making it perfect for indoor planting.
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Growing lemon tree Indoor
- When planted on the ground, a Meyer lemon tree can grow up to 8 to 10 feet tall. In pots, however, your plant will be smaller. For indoor planting, you can start with a 2 to 3 year old healthy tree that is grafted onto a hardy rootstock. Seed grown trees are often unhealthy and may not reach the point of flowering or producing fruit. To grow an indoor lemon tree you would need the following:
- Weather – lemon trees are the happiest in temperatures between 50-80F. Mimic this by placing your indoor lemon tree in a bright room or you may supplement with a low-energy LED growing lights. However, do not compare the growth of indoor grown lemons to outdoor grown ones because they tend to grow slower.
- Soil – for your indoor lemon, a slightly acidic all purpose potting mix can be used. Lemon trees love well-draining soil but it still need moisture to thrive. Make sure to use a clay pot with draining holes to avoid water retention. You may add peat moss to retain soil moisture.
- Watering – keep the soil moist but not wet. Make sure your pot has draining holes because lemon trees do not like having “wet feet”. Wait until the soil is dry to touch before watering. If your plant is indoors, particularly in winter when the heat is on, misting the leaves with water can help keep your lemon tree healthy.
- Feeding – during growing season, feed your tree regularly with high nitrogen and high phosphorus fertilizer. This will encourage blooming and fruiting. It may also respond well to foliage fertilizers. Withhold fertilizers during autumn and winter seasons when the tree is dormant.
- Pollination – Since your plant is indoors, bees and other insects cannot pollinate it. You would need to use a paintbrush or cotton swab to rub pollen within the flower. Although at times, lemon trees would produce without this step, it is still a good idea to increase your chances of yielding crops.
- Harvesting – wait until the lemon fruit is ripe before picking as citrus fruits tend to continuously ripen while still on the tree. Meyer lemons, in particular, are egg yolky yellow and slightly soft to touch when they are ripe. Use a scissor or knife when picking the fruit to avoid damaging the plant. You may also pick the lemon before it ripens depending on your intended usage.