Growing lemons indoors or in the garden can be a rewarding experience if you know about the basic things required to grow and take care of them. Tips provided here under can help you in this regard.
Growing lemons in the garden
Though lemons are citrus but, as compared to others in this class, they are more sensitive to cold. So you should plant lemon trees in the southern side of your home due to their sensitive nature. You can also protect them from frost buy growing them near your house. Moreover, for the sufficient growth of your lemon trees, they must have full sunlight.
In order to grow a lemon tree in your garden you can preferably use slightly acidic and well drained soil as it can grow well in any kind of soil, even if it is poor in quality. You only have to set lemon tree a bit higher than ground level.
While growing a lemon tree in your garden you need not dig a deep hole as a shallow hole than the length of the roots of the sapling can be enough for planting it. You will have to pack the sapling firmly with the soil, as much as you can, after putting it in the hole. You should add some mulch in its soil and water it sufficiently so that the soil can retain moisture for long.
After planting your lemon tree in the garden, you can prune it from time to time to maintain its height and shape. It should be deeply watered once a week for its best growth.
Growing lemons indoors
Lemon tree is an outstanding houseplant as it can be grown comfortably in a container, if you can provide it enough space for growth and proper drainage. The expected height of the lemon trees grown indoors is up to 3-5 feet.
They can grow well if the soil used to plant lemon trees indoor is slightly acidic and can drain excessive water adequately. But the soil must be fertilised and watered evenly to get the best growth of indoor lemon trees.
The normal range of temperature required for the best growth of indoor lemon trees is nearly 21 degree C or 70 degree F during day time and 13 degree C or 55 degree F during night. At this stage, you should keep in mind that its temperature should not go less than 13 degree C of 55 degree F as in this condition the physical growth of your plant can stop, though temporarily.
In order to improve the growth of your lemon trees, especially during winter, you will have to arrange fluorescent grow lights as they need lots of light for their proper growth.
During warmer days you can also put your lemon plants outdoors to provide them enough heat and light as it can also increase their fruit bearing chances. They also get chance to be pollinated by certain insects like bees etc. which may not be possible indoors. So you should either arrange such insects to pollinate your indoor lemon trees or put them out on the open during hot weather conditions.
Aftercare of indoor lemon trees
Pinching and pruning a lemon tree grown indoor at proper time, especially during February and March, can improve its growth considerably. But while pruning you should cut only dead or deceased branches as it can affect the crop of its fruits if you prone it excessively as it stores its food in its leaves. However you should prune it immediately when you see a sucker on it.
Your lemon tree will grow properly if you use right type of fertilisers to fertilise it. Like other citrus plants, lemon trees also need fertiliser especially designed for citrus plants for their proper growth. You can also use NPK fertilisers in 12:6:6 ratio or the fertilisers containing manganese, zinc and iron or water soluble fertilisers at least once a month, if specially designed fertiliser is not available.
In order to save your lemon trees grown indoor from pests like spider mites, bugs, scales and aphids you can occasionally use organic pesticides.
The time of harvesting fruits from your lemon trees depends on the weather conditions in your region and the variety of the plant. You should harvest ripe fruits as they stop ripening after removing from the tree.