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How to Grow Lemon Trees

Updated on February 16, 2011

Growing lemon trees in your home landscape will make lemons available for use in your iced tea or fresh-squeezed lemonade. You can plant the lemon tree in your yard or in a container if the temperature in your area goes below 50 degrees in the winter. If so, you can move the lemon tree to the garage, basement or screened in patio.

 Step 1

Select a location on the south or southeast side of your home that provides full sun for the majority of the day. Horticulturist Julian W. Sauls of Texas A&M Extension says, “lemon trees require full sunlight for optimum growth and production.” Make sure the location is not at the bottom of a hill and soil is well-drained.

Step 2

Conduct a soil test to verify that the soil pH level is between 5.5 to 6.5 for best growth results. Add in lime to raise the acidity level if necessary. Refer to your test results for the correct amount of lime to add.

Step 3

Transplant the  lemon tree from the nursery container to a hole the same size as the root ball, at the same depth as it was in the container. If planting in a container, use a 5-gallon container, making sure the root ball is as deep as it was in the nursery container. Backfill with soil half way and then add water to settle the soil around the roots.


Step 4

Continue firmly backfilling around the root ball and water deeply. Space the next lemon tree 25 feet apart if planting more than one. TAMU Extension recommends watering slowly and deeply every two days for the first two weeks after planting and every seven to 10 days afterward to establish the root system.

Step 5

Fertilize the first year with 1 cup of ammonium sulfate divided into three applications using 1/3 of a cup per application. Add another cup each year, still dividing it into three applications. Fertilize at the beginning of spring, summer and fall except for winter. Scatter the fertilizer in a circle around the tree away from the trunk and water deeply.


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