Asked on Jul 01, 2013

Hometalkers: Advice for growing my own lemon tree(s), indoors?

I am seriously considering growing my own lemon tree(s), indoors, in a climate-controlled sunroom that is mostly windows (including ceiling), with southwest exposure. I live in what was previously zone 6, now rated as zone 7a. I would like to harvest my lemons, so what variety would you recommend, what source would sell one that might produce quickly, either with maturity of plant for sale or fast-growing/producing? Any other advice is appreciated. Ok, go Hometalkers!
q hometalkers advice for growing my own lemon tree s indoors, gardening, Meyer Lemon Tree
Meyer Lemon Tree
  16 answers
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jul 01, 2013
    I would definitely buy a Meyer lemon, Rita. Their flavor is exceptional. While I have one growing outside, I have friends who grow one in their New York City apartment, and it produces lemons they use. Any plant you are likely to get by mail order is likely to be small, but here is a list of companies offering Meyer lemons, via Dave's Garden web site: You can check out their reputations here:

  • Peggy Davis Peggy Davis on Jul 01, 2013
    Myer Lemon's are going to be the easiest to find and they are known for their flavor. I also like Eureka Lemons.

  • Rita C. - Panoply Rita C. - Panoply on Jul 01, 2013
    Thank you, @Douglas Hunt & @Peggy Davis. I'm sifting through the web address provided - it's like an internet clearinghouse, for plant purchasing - nice! I should have done this years ago....I have a small fortune invested in my lemon purchasing from the grocery.

  • Ligia Bello Ligia Bello on Jul 01, 2013

  • Tracy Boyle Tracy Boyle on Jul 02, 2013
    I also have just purchased a Meyer Lemon tree and it's sitting on my deck in full sun. The lemons were already budding, but they don't seem to be growing since I purchased the plant and transplanted it in my container. Do they grow slowly? Should I see the lemons getting bigger at this point? Any thoughts? Rita, I think we are in the same boat and I'm hoping my little tree is fruitful. Good luck!

  • Pat C Pat C on Jul 03, 2013
    I've been growing a Meyer Lemon tree for about 4 years now and this is the first time the lemons are actually growing so I am very excited. Here in New York, 20 min. north of NYC, the plant summers outside and winters inside next to a sunny window. It has produced numerous flowers which have a wonderful scent. Teeny-tiny lemons begin to grow and usually fall off when reaching about 1/2" in length. This winter, I pruned the plant for the first time and now there are 3 lemons growing and one is over 2" long. I can't wait for the fruits to ripen and taste my very first Meyer Lemon. Dave's Garden website has been a good resource over the years.

  • Rita C. - Panoply Rita C. - Panoply on Jul 03, 2013
    Oh thank you, @Pat C! I'm looking so forward to doing this - the advice to prune for better fruit is great!

  • Barbara Moss Barbara Moss on Jul 03, 2013
    I used to have a Meyer lemon in a pot (outside all year round) and it suffered terribly from 'drop off' when the fruits were really small. Then someone advised me that it needed more 'food'. Problem solved.They need heavy watering, too. Lots of water, not too often, is best, I believe, so that the deeper roots are forced to develop. I guess I was leaching a lot of the food I was giving it out with my watering. Live and learn. lol. Good luck though, there is nothing better than having lemons and limes on tap.

    • Kendra Illingworth Cote Kendra Illingworth Cote on Aug 01, 2016
      Can I ask what zone your in? I'm in 7 but I'm pretty sure our winters can be cater fixed as an 8 most of the time. I had a lot of plants come back that were never supposed to. Im wondering if my lemon, grapefruit and clementine trees would make it?

  • Rita C. - Panoply Rita C. - Panoply on Jul 03, 2013
    @Barbara Moss, what kind of food do you give a plant that you plan to consume?

  • Donna Shipley Donna Shipley on Jul 03, 2013
    I have a Meyer lemon in a pot in an unheated greenhouse and it seems very happy. I got it from a local nursery. We (the tree and I) struggled the first year finding the right spot for it. It gets too cold outdoors in the winter here. It blooms and produces fruit year-round. It does seem to require frequent feeding and regular water. In addition to food for citrus trees, which I get from the nursery, I was advised to give it occasional feedings of an iron supplement, also available from the nursery.

  • Barbara Moss Barbara Moss on Jul 04, 2013
    I would leave a few inches of "emptiness" at the top of the pot to leave room for mulching with a good quality, preferably home-made compost. It also makes watering a lot easier. For extra zing, you could use worm tea or compost tea if you can get it. There are many good commercial fertilisers on the market, too, in NZ where I came from. I do not know about the US, though. Most recommend feeding twice a year, but as I said, if your tree is in a pot, that just does not seem often enough. In the growing season, I gave a dose of citrus granules every 3 or 4 weeks.

  • Rita C. - Panoply Rita C. - Panoply on Jul 04, 2013
    Thank you @Barbara, I will keep all your suggestions handy once I get my plant. :))

  • Barbara Moss Barbara Moss on Jul 04, 2013
    A pleasure, Rita. Good luck! Just one more thing, if you are buying a Meyer lemon, get one that has been grafted on to a dwarf root stock. Easier to grow in a pot.

  • Rita C. - Panoply Rita C. - Panoply on Jul 04, 2013
    Yes, thank you very much @Barbara ....I actually had that question in my mind as I was reading about them online, and now you've answered it too! Appreciate it!

  • Inf196826 Inf196826 on Jul 09, 2013
    lemon trees need lots of sun... My advice is to keep it outdoors or by a large window with direct sun and airflow. Good luck!

  • Barbara Moss Barbara Moss on Aug 02, 2016
    Sorry, don't know the zone. I was in New Zealand - Auckland, in the North. No frosts to speak of, which is why outside was OK all year.