Having a potted Meyer lemon tree at home is wonderful, although can be a little challenging when growing from seeds. In this article, I summarize all the tips you need to learn how to grow Meyer lemon tree in a pot, when is the best time to grow it, and how to grow it from seeds. Also, a few pieces of advice for choosing the right pots.
Before we talk about how to grow Meyer lemon tree in a pot let’s learn some facts about this fruit. The Meyer lemon (Citrus meyeri) is an evergreen tree that is sensitive to long periods of cold and frost. This member of the Rutaceae family can grow between 6 to 10 feet (2 to 3 m).
The Meyer lemon or Citrus × meyeri is a hybrid of lemon and sweet orange native to China. The flavor of its fruit is much sweeter and less acidic than most lemons, making it much more palatable.
The Meyer lemon tree is one of the most widely grown lemon trees in pots around the world because of its ease of growth and good lemon production.
When to Grow Meyer Lemon Tree in a Pot?
When to Grow Potted Meyer Lemon Tree? As all plants have an ideal habitat for growth, we must keep in mind that we cannot plant Meyer lemon seeds at any time of the year.
All plants have an optimal period where nature encourages the growth of the plant.
When is the best time to grow Meyer lemon tree from seeds? The best time to plant Meyer lemon seeds is in the weeks leading up to early spring or fall. However, if we grow Meyer lemon indoors it can be any time of the year.
Where to Grow Meyer Lemon Tree in a Pot?
Where to Grow Meyer Lemon Tree in a Pot? It is important to know that not all plants can grow everywhere. Depending on their characteristics, the climate can be a crucial factor when it comes to the germination of our seed. It is important to know a little about the plant or tree we want to plant in order to know which are the most favorable environments to grow.
For Meyer lemon seeds, our ideal climate should be tropical. But this is not a problem because if you grow Meyer lemon in pots you will be able to protect it in the winter.
What Is the Pot Size for Planting Meyer Lemon?
What Is the Pot Size for Planting Meyer Lemon? If you buy a Meyer lemon tree, it may be in a small pot and need to be repotted. Although Meyer lemon trees in the soil can reach up to 4 or 5 meters in height, it is suitable for growing in pots because it tolerates pruning very well.
Pot Size for Growing Meyer Lemon Tree. The minimum size for a Meyer lemon tree will be a pot of at least 8” (20 cm) in diameter, and another 12” (30 cm) deep.
Considering that every few years you will have to change the container, this is a good size to start with. But if you have space, you can also start directly with a 20×20” (50 x 50 cm) pot. Here you can get an idea with a 16×28” (40×7 0cm) pot.
The best material for potting Meyer Lemon Tree. If possible, we recommend that the pot for the Meyer lemon tree is made of clay instead of plastic. In any case, it is very important that the container has a pot saucer underneath to help maintain the humidity that lemon trees need.
- The look of ceramic or stone in a lightweight and durable high density resin
- Indoor or outdoor use - weather resistant - UV coated finish protects color from fading
- Delivered without drainage holes; if needed, holes are easily drilled in bottom of planter
How to Grow Meyer Lemon Tree from Seeds
How to Grow Meyer Lemon Tree from Seeds. There are 3 main elements that every Meyer lemon seed needs in order to germinate. These elements are sunlight, soil, and the right temperature.
These are the things you will need to grow Meyer lemon tree in a pot:
- Seedbed, pots, or containers
- Substrate suitable for Lemon Trees
- Meyer lemon tree seeds
Prepare the Meyer Lemon Tree Seeds
Prepare the Meyer Lemon Tree Seeds. We explain the steps to follow to successfully germinate lemon seeds since citrus seeds germinate with difficulty if you do not do what we explain in this article.
If you have lemon with seeds inside, you should know that you can use them to produce new lemon tree plants and that it is not at all complicated to achieve this.
You could actually sow them just like any other seed, but it might take months before you see a plant grow from them. You might even get tired of waiting and forget about them altogether.
That’s why you have to read this article to the end because in it I will give you some very valuable tips which if you follow, you will find it very easy to germinate Meyer lemon seeds or any other citrus tree.
Eventually, you can even graft the tree you get to produce oranges, lemons of different varieties, limes, tangerines, grapefruit…whatever you want.
But let’s see how to perform germination step by step.
- Obtaining the Meyer lemon seeds
- Take a ripe Meyer lemon of good size and cut it into two parts, but be careful, here comes the first tip.
- Do not cut the Meyer lemon down the center, but towards one of the sides, so that one of the two parts is larger than the other, this way you will not damage the seeds.
- Pick the seeds and select the biggest and most swollen ones, and discard the ones that are too flat or too small and the ones that have been damaged, as those will surely not germinate at all.
- Wash the seeds with water until there are no remains of pulp or juice on them, as these could favor the appearance of fungi that would spoil them.
- Do not leave the Meyer lemon seeds to dry -as it is natural to do with many others-, since they will lose their germination power. They must be kept moist at all times for the process to go well.
The first stage is overcome. Now let’s see how the process continues.
- Removal of the outer layer
- The title above is pretty descriptive by itself, so I think you can already imagine what I’m going to say, right?
- You see, the lemon seeds are “blocked” and will not germinate – in a short time – unless you help them in the way I’m about to explain.
This is the third important tip.
- Remove the seed coat so that water can enter more easily and germination will take place much faster.
- You can use your fingernails, a sharp knife, razor, or cutter and the way to do it is as follows:
- Identify the pointy end of the seed.
- With your fingernails – knife, etc. – pinch the end and pull back on it. You will see a portion of “skin” peel off.
- Remove all or part of the skin, and you’re done with this step.
- You can also scrape away the inner seed coat in a small area, using sandpaper, a nail file, or with the very edge of the knife. Although this is not necessary, it also speeds up germination.
- This process of removing the outer layer of the seeds is a type of stratification, a process we discuss more extensively in this article.
- If you have already tried this method without good results, try it again but this time keep the seeds in the refrigerator, buried in moist sand or between moistened paper, for two weeks. This is another way to “wake up” the seeds.
Now the seeds are activated.
Gather all the materials: With all the materials ready, we will proceed to prepare each container by placing the soil in it, approximately at a height of 2-3” (5 to 7 cm).
Prepare substrate to grow a Meyer lemon tree from seeds. Then we will moisten all the soil to prepare it. We will place one Meyer lemon seed per container.
Having placed the seed in the soil, place 0.2-0.6” (1 to 1.5 cm) of additional soil to cover it. Some seeds may germinate better when moistened or cooled before sowing. In our case, we will place it dry.
Location to grow a Meyer lemon tree from seeds. It is important at the time of defining a place for the seeds, that they receive constant sunlight.
Although it is not necessary for the seed to germinate, it will be necessary for the sprouts.
Watering to grow a Meyer lemon tree from seeds. During this process, it is likely that the soil will dry out. That is why we must keep the soil moist, taking care not to flood the surface.
How to Grow Meyer Lemon Tree from Seeds
How to Grow Meyer Lemon Tree from Seeds. The time has come to put the seeds in a suitable medium so that they can germinate. And what medium to use? Well, whatever you want: from seedbed substrate, soil, sand, cotton, paper, etc.
- I recommend the method of pre-germination in paper or cotton since it is the one in which you will be able to verify that the seeds are germinating correctly since they can be observed daily.
- Pre-germination requires that the germinated seeds are finally transferred to soil -to a pot-, so if you want to skip this step, you can sow them directly in a container filled with seedbed substrate.
- You won’t be able to see what’s happening on a daily basis, but if you sow several seeds, at least one lemon tree will almost certainly be born soon after.
- Bury the seeds superficially, just enough so that they cannot be seen, since you will avoid unnecessary risks and shorten the process of emergence of the plant.
- If you opt for the substrate -sand or soil-, remember not to bury the seeds too much.
- It is enough that they remain a few millimeters below the surface. This is important because the deeper you bury them, the longer it will take to see the young plant emerge from the soil, and if they are too deep, they may not even reach the surface.
By following these steps, you will be able to grow a Meyer lemon tree in a pot. When this happens, small seedlings will sprout from the seed and you will start to see very thin green stems.
If after 1 or 2 weeks they have not grown firmly, possibly the seed was not very good and we should get rid of those sprouts in case we have planted them in the same container.
After one month of germination, we will have seedlings of Meyer lemon tree, ready to be repotted in a pot or in the garden.
Watering Potted Meyer Lemon Tree
Watering Potted Meyer Lemon Tree. The Meyer lemon tree is a fruit tree that needs frequent but not abundant watering.
You have to make sure that the substrate is kept moist, but never waterlogged, as you risk root asphyxia.
To check that the soil is still humid is as simple as putting your finger in and, if a little of the substrate sticks to it, it means that it still has humidity; on the contrary, if your finger comes out clean it means that it is time to water it.
In summer a reasonable watering of the potted Meyer lemon tree would be every two days, and in winter once a week. However, it will depend a lot on the climatic conditions of the area where you live, so it is better to check the humidity of the substrate as we have mentioned in the previous paragraph.
In any case, it is better to water the Meyer lemon tree a little several times than to water it a lot just once. The little saucer underneath that we recommended before will help keep the plant’s humidity.