20 Masterful Tips for Growing Lemon Tree in a Pot

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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Follow these Masterful Tips for Growing Lemon Tree in a Pot to enjoy a healthy citrus plant with fresh, juicy, and healthy fruits!

Masterful Tips for Growing Lemon Tree in a Pot

If you love citrus trees and want to watch them thrive, then take note of these Masterful Tips for Growing Lemon Tree in a Pot!

Here are all the basics you need to know about growing a Lemon Tree

Masterful Tips for Growing Lemon Tree in a Pot

1. Do not Grow the Plant from Seeds

Though you can grow lemon from seed, it will be a long process. Also, you won’t be able to get a grafted variety that will offer you more yield, which is why it’s better to get a plant from a reputed nursery than seed sowing.

2. Pick the Right Variety


Almost all lemon varieties are suitable for container growing. One of the best is Meyer lemon, it’s a naturally smaller tree and lasts long in pots.

You can go with any other mature grafted lemon cultivar as they begin to yield early. In comparison, a plant propagated from seeds takes about 4-6 years to start fruiting.

Check out different types of lemons with pictures here

3. Give Proper Light

Place your lemon tree where it receives 4-6 hours of sunlight. If growing indoors, a south-facing window will be the most optimum spot to place your potted lemon tree. A well-lit balcony near a room will also be an awesome place for it.

4. Selection of Pot

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Take a 12-14 inches pot or a container for the lemon plant. As a thumb rule, always go for a size that’s about 25 percent bigger than the root ball of the plant. Just make sure that the pot has ample drainage holes at the bottom.

5. The Right Soil Mix

Citrus plants prefer rich, loamy, and well-draining soil, which is why a quality potting medium is necessary. Mix plenty of aged manure to improve soil texture and fertility.

6. Recharge the Soil


Twice a month, turn the top layer of soil around the base of the plant gently using a shovel. This will improve the porosity and aeration. Also, if you see the soil level drop, replenish your planter with fresh soil mixed with organic matter.

7. Water Appropriately

The newly potted lemon tree requires deep and regular watering. But before watering again, always check the top 2-inches of the soil for dryness by poking your finger in the potting media. You may have to water the plant more frequently on hot days.

8. Fertilize Right

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Cirus plants are heavy feeders and need fertilization to produce lush foliage, fragrant flowers, and juicy fruits. Use a liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for citrus species for best result once in 3-4 weeks. Apart from that, don’t forget to side-dress the plant with rich compost or well-rotted manure at least one time in the growing season.

9. Re-Pot Timely

The lemon tree will outgrow the original pot in several years. It is essential to re-pot the plant timely before it gets root-bound. The best way to identify the need for repotting is when the plant outgrows the current pot and you see roots reaching drainage holes and topsoil.

10. Pruning and Pinching

You can boost the plant’s growth by pinching the tips when they’re 5-6 inches long. Also, snip away dead or diseased branches if you see them.

A Tip: Whenever you notice suckers, prune them immediately.

11. Keep an Eye on Weeds

Weeds will take all the essential nutrients away from the plant. Remove unwanted grass and weed along with their roots from the pot when you spot them.

12. Avoid keeping the Tree in Shade


Citrus loves to be in the full sun, and keeping the plant in a shaded or dark spot will reduce its chances of flower and fruit abundantly.

13. Keep the Plant Away from Cold Drafts of Air

Well, lemon trees are quite resilient to cold, but they won’t survive the exposure to the intensely cold air or weather so keep your plant protected from freezing conditions.

14. Use Buttermilk and Yogurt

Apply a cup or two of plain yogurt or buttermilk around the base of your potted lemon plant during the growing season, once in 4-6 weeks. It will aid in lush growth and promote fruiting. Here are more amazing yogurt uses in the garden you should know about!

15. Give Plenty of Air Circulation

Keep your lemon tree away from cramped places or with too many plants. Locate it where it can get good airflow. Good air circulation will save the plant from potential diseases and pest problems and increase pollination.

16. Keep Track of Pollination

Most lemon tree varieties are self-pollinating, but you can expedite the process by keeping the potted plants together outdoors. You can also hand pollinate the flowers to improve productivity by following this tutorial video here.

17. Keep the Plant Away from Strong Winds

Exposure to a strong gust of wind will make the plant lose its flowers. It will also result in deformed fruits. It is a good idea to stake your potted lemon when it is young.

18. Use Plant Caddy

Using a plant caddy will allow you to move the plant around easily. This comes especially handy when you want to keep it safe from cold temperatures or want to change the location for some sunlight exposure.

19. Use Epsom Salt

Mix one tablespoon of Epsom salt in a gallon of water and use it to water the lemon plant at least once a month during the growing season. As Epsom salt is a form of magnesium, it will boost growth and help in fruit production.

20. Use Fish Heads and Scraps

Mix fish scraps and plant them in the soil. You can also bury a fish head in the pot at the time of planting. It will aid in lush growth, reduce flower drop, and promote fruiting.

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