Grow Citrus Fruit

Citrus plants prefer to grow outdoors in the summer and need frost-free conditions to see them through the winter. With a little care, they flower and fruit well.
Lemon Trees Love the Outdoors

Lemon Trees Love the Outdoors

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Growing lemon trees from seeds is fun, especially for children, and although they flower as quite young plants, it takes a number of years before they fruit. In the meantime, they make attractive, highly fragrant container plants.

When to Start: Spring
At Its Best: All year round
Time to Complete: 30 minutes

Materials Needed:

  • lemon pips
  • pots
  • seed potting mix
  • soil-based potting mix

Prepare to Plant

Cut open a lemon, remove the seeds and dry them. Plant several seeds per pot, 1/2 inch deep in seed potting mix. Water them in and put the pots in a warm spot. Keep them well watered.

Planting Lemon Seeds

Planting Lemon Seeds

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Pot On

Once the young seedlings are growing well, remove them from their pots and carefully tease their roots apart. Pot them on individually into their own small pots in soil-based potting mix, and water them in well.

Transplanting to Containers

Transplanting to Containers

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Aftercare

Place pots in a sunny spot outside and keep well watered. Grow in a cool room indoors, or in a greenhouse, over winter; place outside in summer and early fall until the first frosts are forecast. Water with rainwater, if possible, and watch out for aphids, scale insects and mealy bugs.

Place Lemon Trees in a Sunny Spot

Place Lemon Trees in a Sunny Spot

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Growing and Caring

Citrus plants offer a fabulous variety of fruit color and texture, and many of these beautiful plants can be grown fairly easily. Some may survive the winter outdoors in milder areas, but they grow best with a little protection.

Citrus plants need plenty of water during spring and summer, less during winter. Use rainwater where possible, particularly in hard-water areas. Feed with a specially formulated citrus fertilizer throughout the growing season. Indoors, mist daily with rainwater to keep humidity high and to help ward off spider mites. A little warmth in late winter and spring will encourage the citrus to flower, and then, hopefully, fruit.

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