The propagated lemon seedlings should have at least four hours of direct sun with temps between 60 and 70 degrees F. (15-21 C.). As the tree gets larger, prune it in the early spring and repot as needed to encourage new growth and fruiting. Cease fertilizing and reduce water in the winter and keep the tree in a draft free area.
Commercially grafted citrus trees are identical to the parent tree and fruit within two to three years. However, trees produced via seed are not carbon copies of the parent and may take five or more years to fruit, with the resulting fruit generally inferior to those of the parent. For that matter, your growing lemon tree seeds may never produce fruit, but it is a fun experiment and the resulting tree will no doubt be a lovely, living citrus specimen.
Yes, indeed. Propagating lemon seeds is a relatively easy process, although you may need to pack your patience and realize that you may not get the exact same lemon from your experiment in lemon seed propagation.
Keep your growing lemon tree seeds in an area that is around 70 degrees F. (21 C.); the top of the fridge is ideal. Once the seedlings emerge, move the container into brighter light and remove the plastic. When the seedlings have several sets of leaves, transplant them to larger, 4 to 6 inch (10-15 cm.) pots filled with sterile potting medium. Fertilize them with a water soluble fertilizer high in potassium every two to four weeks and keep the soil moist.
Fill a small pot with pasteurized soil mix or a mix of half peat moss and half perlite or sand and pasteurize it yourself. Pasteurization will also aid in removing any harmful pathogens that can kill your seedling. Plant several lemon seeds about ½ inch (1 cm.) deep to increase the chance for lemon seed propagation. Moisten the soil lightly and cover the top of the pot with plastic wrap to aid in water retention. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
Can You Grow a Lemon Tree From Seed?
The first step in propagating lemon seeds is to select a good tasting, juicy lemon. Remove the seeds from the pulp and wash them to remove any clinging flesh and sugar that can foster fungal disease, which will kill off your seed, by the way. You want to use only fresh seeds and plant them immediately; letting them dry out will decrease the chance that they will germinate.
I would venture to say that we all grasp the concept that seed planting yields produce. Most of us probably buy prepackaged seeds from the local nursery or online, but did you realize that you can harvest your own seeds from fruits and vegetables to propagate? How about citrus fruits? Can you grow a lemon tree from seed, for example?
There you have it; a lemon tree from seed. Remember though, it may take as long as 15 years before you are squeezing those lemons for lemonade!
How to Grow Lemon Trees from Seed.
Thought to be a cross between a lemon and an orange, the Meyer is a more compact, bushier tree that produces smaller, sweeter tasting fruit. A good one for the lemonade stand rather than setting jams and cooking, each lemon – which turns a deep golden colour when ripe – produces plenty of juice. More suited to cooler climates than the other lemon varieties.
Fruit: mid sized fruit that has a less acidic, sweeter juice with a thin rind. Tree characteristics: grows to 2m in height and as such is perfectly suited to growing in pots, even without dwarf root stock.
Somewhere along the way however you’ve had heartache, maybe even heartbreak, and definitely a deal of uncertainty at what you’re really looking for in a lemon tree. But now – at the peak of fruiting – we’re actually not far off the best time for planting a tree too and ensuring you don’t miss out again next season. Even those that hold memory like water, won’t have time to disassociate; lemons hold so well on the tree, there will still be a bunch of reminders dangling in front of you come spring.
Fruit: large acidic juice, also perfect for jam setting and cooking, with a thick rind and good quality skin. Tree characteristics: grows to 3-4m tall, with plenty of spikes. Best to choose dwarf root stock when planting in pots.
With very similar fruit characteristic to the Eureka, it is more tolerant of both the cold and hot, but it is less prolific in terms of fruiting – providing a heavy winter crop rather than multiple flushes. The negative is that it will become a large, prickly tree with its many spikes protecting it from would be rouge pickers, but not the possums unfortunately (although to clarify, possum favour foliage over fruit).
Widely accepted as the best all-round acidic lemon to grow, Eureka also has the benefit of having no spikes on the plant. This you’ll be pleased about come harvesting time. Although it grows well in temperate parts of the country, it will need some protection from the cold while establishing, but then will be more than happy. In sub-tropical parts of the country it will fruit virtually all year round, however in cooler parts it will mostly crop in the winter time.
It’s hard to ignore the colours of citrus during winter. The long fruiting run – that commences way back at the peak of summer (with a burst of white flowers and citrus scents) – is one of the most drawn out gardening processes. In fact it is so long winded that it’s almost forgotten about…. until the bright colours burst through the winter gloom.
Anyone without a lemon tree notices this phenomena more than most. For one, you should immediately commit it to the memory map of where to find free food (however a door knock for permission is preferable). But it’s also that seasonal reminder of the joy you should be experiencing, if only you had planted that tree when you intended.
Fruit: large acidic juice, perfect for setting jams etc and for cooking purposes, with a thick rind and shiny yellow skin. Tree characteristics: grows to 3-4m tall, no spikes, good for pots but best to choose a variety with dwarf root stock.
The Lemonade tree is a cross between a lemon and mandarin that has plenty of sweet tasting fruit that can be eaten fresh. A heavy winter fruiter, it can also produce a second summer flush in warmer climates. Another good one for the lemonade stand however the kids will need help harvesting the fruit as the tree tends to have a number of sharp thorns throughout.
So what are the lemon options? Lemons, just ain’t lemons. Let’s look at the differences in terms of their juice, skin, tree characteristics, along with the climates they grown in best.
Fruit: mid sized fruit, bright yellow in colour when ripe, with a thin rind much like the Meyer. Perfect for the lemonade stand or eating fresh like an orange. Tree characteristics: an upright grower that is not as heavy with foliage as the other varieties, it grows to 4m tall.
This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry, MPH. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. He has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
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Lemons can be easily grown from seed and are a wonderful looking plant. You can propagate the seeds directly in soil, or in a plastic resealable bag with a damp paper towel. This article will show you how to plant lemon seeds using both methods. It will also give you tips on how to choose the best lemon seed, and how to take care of your seedling.
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There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
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To plant a lemon seed, first cut open a plump, juicy lemon and extract the seeds from the pulp. Choose an undamaged seed and rinse it under cool water. Then, find a small pot with drainage holes on the bottom and fill it with pasteurized soil mix. Push your seed ½ inch (1 cm) below the surface. Lightly moisten the soil with lukewarm water and cover the top of the pot with plastic wrap to help the soil retain its moisture. Place the pot in a warm spot that gets indirect sunlight. Lightly water your lemon seed every day to keep the soil moist but not soaked. Once seedlings appear, move the pot into direct sunlight and take the plastic wrap off. Transfer the seedling to a large pot or well-draining area in your yard when the first leaves appear. If possible, do this in the spring right before the growing season. Keep your lemon tree indoors if your local temperature ever drops below 45°F (7°C). Water the plant as needed to keep the soil moist, but not soaked. Fertilize the soil once a month between April and August with a water-soluble fertilizer that’s high in potassium and nitrogen to encourage growth. Keep reading to learn how to sprout seeds in a plastic bag!