How To Grow and Care for an Indoor Lemon Tree

Growing an indoor lemon tree is a pleasant way to bring natural fragrance and beauty into your home. They are cleaner than other plants because they require less frequent watering and do not have any messy fruit dropping all over the floor. The oils in their leaves help clean the air, removing unpleasant odors and reducing airborne pollutants.

indoor lemon tree

Lemon trees can be grown inside year-round with as little as a northern window or a semi-sunny area if artificial light is available. They require nearly no maintenance, making them the perfect choice for offices or other indoor spaces where maintaining plants can prove challenging. Here is a complete guide to growing an indoor lemon tree.

1. Prepare The Soil

There are many different potting mixes specifically formulated for indoor plants, so make sure you purchase one suitable for your particular plant’s needs.

lemon tree soil

You also need to ensure that your pot has drainage holes so that excess water can drain away as quickly as possible after watering has been finished and any fertilizer has been added. Lemon trees thrive in warm, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. Before planting, mix in some compost or manure to make the soil more nutrient-rich. This will help the tree to grow more quickly. You can plant the lemon tree in an indoor pot. The pot should be deep and at least three times the size of the tree’s root ball. If you do not have a pot, use a plastic container or a wooden bowl. Before planting, fill the container with potting soil and water it to saturate the soil.

2. Choose the Right Tree

Choose a tree with a compact root system. Trees with extensive root systems will not be able to fit into the space allotted for them. The other important thing to consider is the variety of lemon you want to grow as an indoor plant. Several amazing types of lemon are suitable for growing indoors, and each has different requirements. Meyer lemons are easy to grow indoors but do not produce fruit. You can also choose from citron lemons or mandarin oranges if you prefer fruits that do not need a lot of sunlight to ripen. The dwarf variety of lemon that is ideal for indoor growing is the Lisbon. They are smaller than traditional lemons and produce fruit in clusters instead of singly. They can be grown in pots of about six inches in diameter. Asian lemons are also a good choice. They produce fruit almost the same size as an actual lemon.

3. Potting Up

When you have chosen your lemon tree, you need to pot it up. You can first dig a hole and fill it with some of the soil you have prepared.

lemon tree potting up

Then, place the lemon tree in the center of the hole and fill it around it with soil. Ensure the tree is placed at least 2 inches above ground level to allow for good drainage. Water well to moisten the soil and then let it drain before watering again.

4. Feeding Your Lemon Tree

When feeding your lemon tree, you must choose a citrus fertilizer for indoor plants. Do not use a regular houseplant fertilizer as it may burn the leaves and the bark. Feed your lemon tree once every week for the first year and then once every month. This will help the lemon tree to grow more quickly and also help it produce fruit in time for Christmas. Fertilize with a high-phosphorus fertilizer. Although the plant will grow very quickly, it may not be strong enough to support its weight if you do not give it a boost. When choosing a fertilizer, consider the type of soil you have in your pot. If you have very rich soil, use a fertilizer with extra nitrogen. If the soil is on the drier side, use one that has extra potassium instead. The best time to fertilize is in the spring and summer before your indoor lemon tree starts producing fruit.

5. Pruning

Your lemon tree will need some pruning to keep it in shape. It is an excellent idea to do this at least once a year, but you should do it more often if the plant is growing poorly. Prune the lemon tree when it is not producing fruit in the spring and summer months. The best time to remove growth is during the dormant period between November and March. Do not cut off all its branches at once when you prune your lemon tree. This will leave more room for the plant to grow new branches, which will help keep it healthy and allow it to bear fruit in a shorter period. Instead, cut off some branches at a time until you are left with a single main trunk with many sides shoots coming out from it. This way, your lemon tree can recover from pruning and grow again quickly without wasting energy on regrowth.

6. Harvesting Lemons

If you have a lemon tree producing fruit, you should harvest the lemons when they reach the size of a tennis ball. If you are unsure how big they are, cut one in half and compare it to a tennis ball. If it fits into the palm of your hand, it is probably ready to be harvested. You can also use this method if you want to know whether or not your lemon tree will be ready for harvesting in the next few weeks.

harvest lemon indoor

Remove any leaves or fruit from around the base of each lemon so that it will not rot before you use it. Cut off the stem with a sharp knife so that there is at least an inch of stem on each end. Remove all outer layers of skin and pith until you are left with only the fleshy yellow part underneath. You can then remove all of these parts with your fingers or a vegetable peeler and place them in a bowl filled with water, so they do not decay too quickly.

Citrus trees are beautiful and aesthetic and can bring a lot of joy to people throughout the world. Taking care of your lemon tree is essential if you want it to thrive and bear fruit. Take care of its needs, and it will take care of you.