When to Plant a Lemon Tree?


Lemon trees are a citrus variety that are sensitive to cold temperatures. The lemon is a good indoor tree for cold climates, or outdoor tree in a climate with mild and warm winters. There are several methods of planting a lemon tree including starting the tree from seed, planting a seedling or transplanting a small tree into an outdoor garden.


  • Start a lemon tree with seeds by planting them indoors any time during the year. Seeds are available for purchase at specialty gardening retailers, or you can save one from a fresh lemon. Plant a seed extracted from fresh fruit immediately to increase the success rate with seed propagation. A sprout appears two to three weeks after planting when placed in the appropriate conditions for seed germination. Lemon trees started from seed produce fruit five to 15 years after planting.


  • Plant lemon tree seedlings in a growing container and keep them indoors until the trunk establishes and the tree is over 12 inches tall. Lemon seedlings are available at fruit tree retailers, through mail-order companies or by growing one from seed. Seedlings fewer than 12 inches tall have thin bark and young root systems, making them susceptible to rodent and animal damage.


  • Lemon trees produce the majority of their fruit during the winter season. The tree goes through a short dormant season in early spring, and again in early fall. Transplant a small lemon tree outdoors during the dormant season in spring to give the tree time to establish before the winter fruit-producing season. It is possible to plant the tree in the fall dormant season, before the blossoms begin to appear on the tree for the winter fruit production.


  • Select the method of planting that meet your needs. Grow a lemon tree from seed if you want a fun project for the kids and are not concerned about how long it takes the tree to grow. Select a tree for transplanting outdoors if you want to have a fruit-producing tree in your home garden. Trees grown from a lemon seed extracted from fresh fruit may not be the same lemon variety as you expect. Most lemon trees have a graft of hardy rootstock to increase tree strength and performance.

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