Meyer Lemon Trees are the easiest citrus plants to grow indoors and they offer sweet scented blooms and fruit up to 4 times per year. Meyer lemon plants require no chill hours to fruit so they can be grown indoors all year-round. Sweeter than traditional lemons, Meyers are a cross between a mandarin orange and a lemon or a citron and a mandarin x pomelo depending on your source. Whatever the true origin is Meyer Lemons are amazingly delicious and are sweet enough some people eat even eat them fresh like an orange. Okay fresh is probably a little intense for most people. They still have that pucker we all want in our lemonade, just with a little less of the bitter beer face. Growing, harvesting, and utilizing your own fruit is super fun and educational for the whole family. Read on to learn how to Grow Meyer Lemons.
Meyer Lemon Tree Care
Natural sunlight is best for growing citrus and the more the better. Be sure your Meyer Lemon Tree gets no less than 6 hours of full sun.
Southern or south-western windows or glass doors will provide the ideal spot for growing citrus trees indoors.
I have experienced some success with good quality full spectrum grow lights. If you use just a basic lamp with a single bulb you will likely need one per tree when growing multiple citrus trees. I hung mine about 12 to 18 inches from my trees. But your Meyer Lemon Trees will be happiest in natural sunlight.
The key is making sure your ground soil or your potting mix drains well. Our basic potting mix is a great option for container Meyer Lemon Trees. PittMoss Organic Potting Mix is also an excellent choice and has added benefits like increased nutrient absorption and water retention. Citrus plants do not like wet roots so be sure the soil has dried down to about 2 inches before watering. This is especially critical for potted Meyer Lemon Trees.
Meyer Lemon Trees like humid environments. In fact, this is one of the main reasons I see citrus trees struggling indoors. Mist the leaves once or twice daily depending on the humidity level in your home. This is especially crucial in winter when we are running heat. You can also keep your pots elevated on saucers that are lined with rocks and filled with water to add humidity to the air. Just be sure the water line is below your pot so you avoid saturating the soil. Another option is a humidifier.
If you are growing your Meyer Lemon Tree outdoors in a dry environment you can just soak the leaves with a hose once a day or so.
Meyer Lemon Trees love fertilizer. Citrus trees planted in the ground should be fertilized in early spring and late summer with a slow release fertilizer.
When Meyer Lemon Trees are grown in containers the fertilizer leaches out of the pot when you water so you need to feed them more often than plants in the ground. Feed your potted Meyer Lemon Tree with our balanced slow release fertilizer when planting, the end of winter, early summer and again in the fall. Espoma Citrus tone is a great choice if you want to find something locally. They even have specific instructions on the bag for container grown plants.
Where Do Meyer Lemon Trees Grow?
It is a great option in most areas of the United States to grow Meyer Lemon Trees outdoors until temps begin dipping below 40 degrees. Once this occurs move you plant indoors until temperatures begin to warm up again. Since your tree will be use to the protected indoor climate shoot more for around 50 degrees when moving them back outside or slowly transition them by moving them outside during the day and back in at night. This slow reintroduction to the elements can get your tree outside sooner. After a week or so if the temps are staying around 40 at night go ahead and leave your tree outside.
Zones 8 to 10 can grow Meyer Lemon Trees in the ground year-round. Growing zones 9 and 10 can grow citrus plants in pots outdoors year-round.
Pollination Tips for Indoor Lemon Trees
Hand pollination isn’t necessary to get fruit but it definitely can increase and improve fruit production.
Meyer Lemon Trees are self fertile which means you only need one plant to get fruit. When you grow fruiting plants inside you can have a reduction of pollination because you tend to have stagnant air and a lack of insects. The way to remedy a lack of fertilization is to BE THE BEE! Simply take a paint brush or even a Q-tip, whatever you have on hand and gently brush from flower to flower. You are moving the pollen from the stamen to the stigma, but don't get caught up in the specifics and the terminology. It's easy. Gently brushing from flower to flower is going to do the job. Do this once daily while your tree is flowering for best results.
Ripening of Meyer Lemon Tree Fruit
Meyer lemons are actually green until they are almost ripe. Many customers have called thinking they got a lime tree instead of a lemon tree! Look for the fruit to turn completely yellow before picking. Lemons do not continue ripening once picked. I have learned that putting them in bright spot allows them to soften up and even yellow if they are picked a bit early. They will not continue to sweeten, but will still be great for seafood dishes or in anything you would use more traditional lemons.
Meyer lemons take anywhere from 4 to 7 months to mature. YES I know! That is a painfully long time. The good news is you will have fruit ripening in different stages so once you get started and through your first crop you won’t be waiting months for lemons. The Meyer Lemon Tree is a prolific bloomer allowing you to almost continually have ripening lemons when grown indoors or out in tropical climates.
Now you know how to Grow Meyer Lemons. Go ahead treat yourself or a friend to a Meyer Lemon Tree. It won’t be long before you are kicking up your feet with a cool glass of homemade lemonade. Throw in a shot of vodka if it’s been a grown up kind of day! Check out our Tropical Trees Collection for more options.
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