Indoor Lemon Trees
How To Grow A Dwarf Lemon Tree Indoors
Indoor Lemon Trees, especially the Meyer Lemon Tree, are easy to grow and very satisfying. They are perfectly sized to grow in a container inside during the colder months then love to be outside in the warmer months on a patio or deck.
The juicy, full-sized lemons are delicious in drinks and all of your favorite recipes. The fruit is a light orange-yellow color, with juice sweeter than that of most lemons. For its size the Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree is one of the hardiest and one of the most productive of all dwarf citrus trees. Fun to grow and rewarding - never buy lemons from the store again!
Of all the indoor fruit trees available, we recommend an indoor lemon tree the most! They're a particularly good choice if you've never tried to grow citrus indoors before ... the trees are beautiful, very prolific, and quite hardy!
Read on for more info, pictures, and how to buy a dwarf lemon tree for your home ...
Indoor Lemon Tree Growing Tips - Follow These 5 Points For Happy Trees
1. Pot in a container using a well-drained, light potting mix ...
2. Place near your sunniest window indoors. South or southwest window exposure is best ...
3. Do not over water. They dislike wet roots. Over watering is the #1 killer of lemon trees.
4. Mist every day since the trees like humidity ...
5. Prune by cutting spindly branches from top. Leave most bottom branches since they produce the most fruit!
Where to Buy A Meyer Lemon Tree
Local Nursery or Online Garden Center?
Meyer Lemon Trees are the most popular indoor citrus tree. We have successfully grown them for ten years now and are very happy with the results: a large crop of tasty lemons and a delightful, tropical aroma from the blossoms. Meyer Lemon Trees are prolific and easy to maintain as houseplants.
Every once in a while, you can find an indoor lemon tree (also called a dwarf lemon tree or dwarf Meyer lemon tree) at a local nursery. Typically, the tree will be about two years old, possibly a bit younger. The only issue is the cost will be much higher ... we saw an indoor fruit tree for sale at a local garden center for over $100!
While we love supporting local businesses, that's a bit too much. You can buy several different varieties of indoor citrus trees, including indoor lemon / dwarf lemon trees for under $20 delivered. Here's a link:
How To Pot A Meyer Lemon Tree
Get Your Lemon Tree Off To A Great Start!
When you purchase your tree, it will arrive in a suitable container - usually a plastic one. At some point, it's likely you will need to change containers. Mostly this is due to root crowding. If you notice yellowing leaves, for example, your tree might be pot bound and telling you it is time to replant into a larger pot.
To do so, first fill the new pot halfway up with potting soil. It doesn't matter what kind - any bagged potting soil should suffice. Place the tree in the new pot at the same depth of the old pot, meaning the roots should extend as far down in the soil as the height of the old pot.
Then, make sure the roots are spread out to facilitate growth. Fill the container with soil to three or so inches below the top. Firm the soil around the tree with your hands, and water generously. Be sure you do NOT fertilize until you've noticed some new growth, as fertilizing right after replanting will shock the root system and may burn the tree.
Top off the pot with a little bark or mulch to help retain moisture.
Meyer Lemon Cookies
A Tasty Family Favorite!
1 Â½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 Â½ tbs freshly grated Meyer Lemon rind - about 3 lemons
Â¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 Â½ cup all-purpose flour
1 Â½ tsp baking powder
Â½ tsp baking soda
Â¼ tsp salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Using an electric mixer bowl, cream together well the butter and the sugar. Add the vanilla, the rind and the lemon juice, beating until smooth. Add the flour, the baking powder, soda and salt and blend well. On a piece of wax paper, form the dough into a log 1 Â½ inches in diameter, using the paper as a guide. Chill the log, wrapped in the wax paper for 2 hours. Cut the log into 1/8 inch slices with a clean sharp knife and bake about 2 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are just golden. Transfer the cookies with a metal spatula to racks to cool. Then sift the confectioner's sugar lightly over them.
Yield: 30-50 cookies
Indoor to Outdoor Lemon Trees
Winter inside and Summer outside!
Your Meyer Lemon Tree can be kept on a protected area outside such as a patio or deck in warm weather. Move inside in the fall so your dwarf lemon tree can winter inside so it doesn't freeze.
Place the tree in partial shade for a couple of weeks to transition from full sun - before bringing indoors. Repeat this process after danger of frost is past and adjust watering as needed. Check for insects on the leaves before taking your tree indoors for the cold months.
If you're wondering when to bring your indoor lemon tree inside for the winter ... it's best to bring them indoors when evening and nighttime temperatures get down to 45 degrees. Your tree can tolerate even lower temperatures, but it's best not to risk it.
We live in the Midwest and our rule of thumb is to keep our indoor citrus trees out on the patio from after Mother's Day to the end of September. Of course, your weather conditions may vary!
Indoor citrus trees, no matter the variety, seem to flourish a bit better when they spend some time outdoors. It's certainly not mandatory, but that's been our experience over the years ...
Watering & Care Tip
A wilted tree means too little water. A tree with yellow leaves or folded leaves can indicate too much water.
Indoor Fruit Trees: Other Varieties
There Are Lots of Indoor Fruit Trees!
In addition to indoor lemon trees, there are about a dozen different varieties of these handsome little trees. You'd be amazed what type of fruit you can grow indoors!
Further, new varieties are being introduced all the time - right now there are about a dozen indoor fruit trees and we're quite sure there are more on the way ...
Pruning Your Meyer Lemon Tree
They Don't Require Much Pruning - Follow These Guidelines
You may need to prune your tree every once in a while, especially if it's a prolific grower. There are two ways to tell if pruning is necessary.
First, if you're getting a growth of spidery, twiggy branches, prune a few of these off and not just for aesthetic reasons. This will direct energy to the more solid branches of the tree, thereby helping ensure you'll get a bountiful fruit crop and strong branches to withstand the weight of the lemons.
Second, sometimes a Meyer lemon tree will get a little top heavy. Watch for excessive growth at the top of tree and not much outward growth. If this is the case, you will typically notice higher than normal leaf shedding and possibly some branches dying off.
If so, prune the tree back. Cut off the dead branches and any branches that are shedding an excessive amount of leaves.
But bottom line, don't worry too much about pruning. It is highly unusual to have to prune an indoor fruit tree more than once a year. That's the beauty of these dwarf little powerhouses. They are easy to maintain and very rewarding!
Meyer Lemon Ice Recipe
So Refreshing on a Warm Day!
1 Â¾ cups sugar
1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind
Â¾ cup lemon juice.
Bring 3 cups of water to boil and stir in the sugar until it is dissolved. Cool and then add the lemon rind and juice. Freeze in a hand cranked ice-cream freezer.
A wonderful light dessert after a heavy meal!
Lemon Tree Care Tips
Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Delicious and Light on Salads and Grilled Vegetables
1 Meyer lemon
1 large shallot, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chervil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Grate zest from lemon to equal 1 tablespoon; squeeze juice to equal 2 teaspoons. Combine lemon juice, zest, shallot, salt, and vinegar. Let stand 15 minutes. Slowly whisk in remaining ingredients. Makes 1 cup.
My Favorite Things To Do With Meyer Lemons
* Squeeze Into Your Favorite Drink
* Make Refreshing Lemon Ice
* Bake Lemon Bars For Friends
* Mix Up A Batch of Lemon Cookies
* Serve With Fresh Fish and Veggies
* Freeze Juice Into Ice Cubes: Great with Iced Tea, Gin & Tonic, or good 'ol Water
Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake
Martha Stewart's Delicious Recipe
FOR THE STREUSEL
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
6 ounces ( 3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter
FOR THE CAKE
5 Meyer lemons, cut into paper-thin slices, ends discarded
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest (from 4 to 5 lemons)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
FOR THE GLAZE
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
1.Make the streusel: Mix together flour, brown sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter into the flour mixture until small to medium clumps form. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 3 days).
2.Make the cake: Cook lemon slices in a medium saucepan of simmering water for 1 minute. Drain, and repeat. Arrange lemon slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
3.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch angel food cake pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest with a mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, add eggs, 1 at a time, then the vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream.
4.Spoon 1/2 of the batter evenly into cake pan. Arrange 1/2 of the lemon slices in a single layer over the batter. Spread remaining batter evenly over the top. Cover with the remaining lemon slices in a single layer. Sprinkle the chilled streusel evenly over the batter.
5.Bake until cake is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack set over a baking sheet, and let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, and remove outer ring. Let cool on rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the center tube. Slide 2 wide spatulas between the bottom of the cake and the pan, and lift cake to remove from the center tube. Let it cool completely on a rack.
6.Make the glaze: Just before serving, stir together confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Drizzle over cooled cake, letting excess drip down the sides. Let glaze set before slicing, about 5 minutes. (Cake can be stored for up to 3 days. The lemon flavor will intensify with time.)