Growing Meyer Lemons in Containers | How to Grow a Lemon Tree

Hi my name’s Byron Martin here at Logee’s, and today we’re going to be talking
about the Meyer lemon- ‘Citrus Limon.’ The Meyer lemon is a hybrid
between the table lemon and the sour orange, and originated in
China and came to the US at the turn of the last century. In order to grow Meyer lemons, we need to look at their
cultural requirements; the first being light. And, like all
citrus, they really prefer a bright, sunny exposure. In
a home situation, we would grow them and a south window, east or west window– and during the
summertime, put them outside in full sun exposure. They, also, are quite tolerant, as far as lemons go, to temperatures– meaning that they can
take it colder than many lemons, even below freezing a little bit.
Generally, our recommendation is to grow them above freezing, into the sixties as a
night-time temperature. The next thing we look at in growing
lemons, is what kind of potting mix are we going to plant them in. And, generally, for most citrus, Meyer lemons included, a
standard soilless potting mix works fine. And that’s peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, oftentimes
bark, a little compost is added. Most of our citrus are grown in what we
consider a soilless mix. And this mix is very well-drained, has good air porosity to it– and that leads us
to the next part growing citrus, which is
keeping our roots healthy. And, root health is the primary objective
in growing citrus, once we have the proper light level,
because most citrus that collapse in pots, or die in pots– it’s due to either lack of watering, a
complete lack watering, or it’s due to root disease. Next in growing Meyer lemons, is fertilizer. And plants that are grown in containers, or plants that grow in the ground–
but, plants that are grown in containers do need to be fertilized by the gardener.
And, it is really a seasonal process.
Generally, starts in the Spring, when we get a flush of
new growth. Much of this, on this plant, right here, the new
growth has started to flush, so, the root system is active, the
plants going back into a flowering cycle; it’s time to start feeding. And
fertilizer could be given as a liquid in your irrigation water, where you give
a small amount of soluble salt fertilizers, or it can
be done by top-dressing either a slow-release fertilizer– which
is the pearls that we often find, or, my favorite is using
organic granular, which, you’ll take a handful of that is simply
sprinkle it on the top of the pot, and allow that fertilizer to
leach in. On organic fertilizers, it might be done once a month. On soluble fertilizers, you might do once
a week or every two weeks. And this is carried on through the entire growing season, until we hit late summer, early fall, and then we start
restricting it, and that restriction is what’s going to allow the plant to
harden up. The growth itself, on the foliage side is
gonna harden up, but also the root system will harden up, as well, which will give you better wintering under the home
condition. So, Springtime is generally the time when
citrus flower. Meyer lemons are no different, although
they are different, in that they can flower off season, also. We see flowers on most of our lemons
throughout the year, but in the Spring time they come to a
heavy flush of bloom. Here’s a cluster of flowers up here. We often get asked do they
need to have cross-pollination? The answer is No. Do they need to be pollinated by an
insects in order for them to set fruit? The answer is No. Certainly, air movement, or if you want to take the time, you can rub the
tips of the flowers with your fingers. And in fruiting citrus, the strength of the
plant; the health of the plant, and the strength of the plant is what will determine how many fruit this plant will
actually hold. So, if our root system is healthy, and we
have good light conditions on it, and we have our fertilizer, and our water’s regulated right, then plants like this, which is one of our old stock plants, can
hold many, many lemons over a period of time. Meyer lemons can be grown in most areas, either inside or in subtropical areas outside in the ground. And here in
Connecticut, we’re in zone 5 – 6; that gets much too severe winter for
growing Meyer lemons outside. In areas where there’s only a
little bit of frost, that would be zone 9, they do fine as outdoor plants. Thank you for watching this video on Meyer lemons. There’s a little bit of information on how to grow them successfully. If you
have any more interest you can go to our website at

52 thoughts on “Growing Meyer Lemons in Containers | How to Grow a Lemon Tree

  1. Thanks. I just received my 5 3 n 1 citrus dwarf trees and they are healthy but small less than 1 foot. I purchased 32 gallon containers however after viewing many videos i see most pots are smaller than mine. Should I plant any way or get smaller pots?

  2. My tree came in a 7" pot and is about 16" tall. Should / can I put it in a larger more permanent pot?  At what point do you recommend transplanting to a larger pot?

  3. I'm growing one from seed for about 3yrs now. It's big and so pretty looking. How long until it can start bearing fruit?

  4. Love the videos. especially the Citrus… Can you recommend where I can get my hands on the larger, coarse perlite? Also, I have a 3 year old Owari Satsuma that has several leaves that have an almost varigated look to them? Veins appear to be darker green with surrounding area lighter green? I believe I have read this could be a Manganese deficiency? I have watered the plant twice now with a sea kelp solution, any other thoughts as to what it could be and a remedy?

  5. I recently purchased a Dwarf Meyer which is finally growing a few new green leaves. I recently notice that the older leavers are spotted with yellow and dropping off the plant along with the bud stems. Base on your information. Can I re-pot my plant again to fix the soil mixture? I don't think it is draining properly. But I don't want to shock the plant any further. Also, I've notice gnats.

  6. My dwarf meyer lemon has many branches, but only 8 ins tall.  How do I get it to grow taller. I first planted in the ground, but all the limbs laid on the ground.  So I potted it in a large pot about 16 ins across.  I used garden soil, but now I know to use soilless mix.  It is 4 yrs old.  Last year it gave me 20 lemons, this year there are 8.  Any advice is appreciated.

  7. Hi, very informative video. I'm in zone 8a with a last frost date about a month earlier than your nursery,so it is encouraging to see that many lemons on your tree! is it out in open air, greenhouse,greenhouse in winter only,etc?
    I purchased two,one for myself and one for a 93 year old neighbor. several pea sized fruits on each.In good sun how long to mature into rip fruit?
    Again thanks for the care tips

  8. I have a potted dwarf Meyer lemon plant that I have placed in full sun (I live in CA). The tiny lemons have been prematurely going yellow and falling off the plant. How can I correct this? I still have some blooms and I would love to see them develop into healthy fruits. I use an organic fertilizer once a month and water the plant daily. I have noticed tiny bugs in the soil. Could these be causing the problem and do I need to get rid of them?

  9. Could you please address root pruning? I have an old Meyer lemon that is in the largest pot I can reasonably carry in and outdoors each year. Can I keep it in this pot by root pruning or will it eventually die without a larger pot?

  10. I have a meyer lemon tree in a large container which I brought indoors for winter here in NY zone 7. I upgraded the pot this year and it made a difference. The tree looks very healthy. It is now loaded with flowers but how can I make sure they won't drop off? I suppose I should touch the flowers to help pollinate? I've been using the fertilizer spikes for citrus trees. I have one small lemon so far but hundreds of flowers. I have a very bright fluorescent light. Is this good enough? Thanks for the great video.

  11. hi , I also live in NYC. I have few questions:
    It is december and my tree is full of flowers. Shoud I fertilize Now?
    Also, do I need to change the soil and trim the roots ? if yes, when?
    PS, my tree is 3.5 ft high and 5 years old.
    Thanks, Michael

  12. Excellent video, Byron, thanks. We have a Meyer about 4 years now in the original pot/soil. Do you recommend re-potting in a soilless mixture? If so, when might be the best time of year? FYI, we're in the Ozarks, zone 6b. Appreciate the advice.

  13. Hello from Oregon and thanks for the video. I have one meyer lemon that is 3 years old now. Last winter when I brought it inside it dropped all of it's leaves. This winter I set it in a mostly shady area for a few weeks outside before I brought it in. It hasn't dropped leaves this winter and is looking great. Just one idea that worked for me, happy gardening 🙂

  14. help Help needed; today i bought 1 gallon Meyer lemon in RONA store, it's small, It is from Record Buck Farms. I do not know is it grafted or cutting rooted? I do not know should I transplant it in another container or to keep it in this one that I bought it in?. I was looking around the stem to see graft but everything is the same i couldn't see graft? Also, is it dwarf or regular (what is regular) size Meyer?. Thank you all

  15. I've had some pest problems and some blister do to overwatering. Now the lower leaves are gone and I'm left with a very unsightly Meter lemon! What do you recommend I do with it?

  16. Thanks for the vid. Started some lemons from seed 2.5 years ago. I live in Central VA. I have 12 plants that are all doing really well. I figure they'll flower and set fruit next year.

  17. I want to add humidity to my sun room. I am considering placing my potted (clay) citrus plants on self watering trays like these. But I am concerned about root rot. Can you advise?

  18. Why doesn´t the fruit of my Lemon ripen? I bought my lemon in the spring with 2 very large green lemons on it. The whole summer it has been outside in full sun. Plant got larger, produced beautiful flagrant pink flowers (Loved the sent.) and got a bunch of little lemons. But the 2 large lemons did not ripen. I picked off the new little lemons because I thought that would encourage the large lemons to finally ripen off but with no result. Now I took the plant inside in a bedroom. It does great but still, the fruit won't ripen. Otherwise, the plant is in great shape.

  19. No info about growing in the Southwest like California. A huge part of the population. Also no trouble shooting info. What to do if leaves turn yellow. Very superficial info.

  20. Hi I really like to grow lemon. And my home and the Philippines. But cannot grow like you did. How please help me. I think my country it's hot. Or maybe I don't know how to take care of it. Please add me on my Watz up. Or line. Here's my number+66839091983. THANKS so much God bless.

  21. I have a Meyer Lemon, which I grew from seed. I live in Manitoba, Canada, so the plant has never been outside. Each winter, it drops its leaves. Any ideas why? Also, what can I do to encourage it to grow? I do intend to keep it pruned to a reasonable size. Thanks!!

  22. Hello. I have grown a lemon from a seed and i placed it near my kitchen window. It's growing healthy i guess but it keep growing tall and i am scared to cut to bonzai it because it might die. Can you pls teach me how to and when to cut or prune. Tnx. I live here in Hong Kong.

  23. I like growing these lemons but i dont care to eat them. I dont care for th taste at all. I do enjoy giving them to friends. I always keep regular lemons in my frig

  24. I got a semi-dwarf meyer lemon tree from 4Winds Growers. Since arrival about 6 of the lower leaves were tightly curled upward. Since transplanting from the starting pot into its container, those tightly curled leaves yellowed and 2 have dropped off. The top portion of the tree looks fine and is putting out new growth (leaves, buds, even branches), but those leaves near the graft line continue to yellow. I've tried to be very careful with watering. Any ideas for what's going on? Is the rest of the tree in danger?

  25. Can anyone recommend an organic granular fertilizer to use?! I have a Meyer Lemon tree and Key Lime tree in the same pot (came that way). I’ve read a 5.5ph is preferred for water…

  26. Hello, I bought a meyer lemon last year. I was told to remove all the blooms the first year so the roots could develop. It made a ton of blooms. This year it started to bloom, then dropped them all. The tree is very healthy and covered in green leaves. In sun and I have fed, but not a single bloom has returned. What am I doing wrong.? Sad in SA

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