The Citrus x Lemoncommonly called a lemon tree, is a Fruit tree that we all know for its tasty and aromatic fruits: lemons. This tree native to Asia can be grown without problems in most Mediterranean or tropical climates, in the ground or even in a pot.
So if you want to enjoy this fresh, organic citrus fruit at home, you’ll first need to learn how to germinate lemon seeds and their care. If you are interested in a basic gardening guide on this topic, join us in this EcologíaVerde article.
How to germinate lemon seeds step by step
To germinate lemons follow the next steps:
- prepare a pot or seedbed with substrate for seeds, preferably pasteurized soil, which will prevent the seeds from being attacked by bacteria. You can add some coconut fiber to give good drainage to the mixture. In this other EcologíaVerde article we tell you how to make coconut fiber for plants and its properties.
- Stir the soil with your hand while you water it to moisten it. It is important that it is not waterlogged, but only wet.
- Whether you use a pot or a seedbed, you need to have drainage holes.
- With your finger, make small holes of a little more than a centimeter in the soil. The seeds will go in them.
- You need organic lemon seeds so that they can germinate; the Meyers are a good option. Wash the seed carefully to get rid of any traces of organic matter and its sticky coating. To do this, you can leave them overnight soaking in warm water.
- Place the seed or several seeds in the holes you have prepared earlier in the ground. It is preferable to plant several in case some do not grow.
- Cover the pot or seedbed with a thin layer of transparent plastic or film, to which you have made small holes to keep moisture in but breathe.
- Leave the pot in a warm placebut where it does not receive direct sunlight.
- Water whenever you notice the dry substrate and you will see that they will grow.
How to germinate lemon seeds in water
It is also possible to do germinate lemon seeds in water during its first phase. The process is very simple, although somewhat less secure than the previous one.
- Put the seed in water after you have cleaned it completely, just like in the previous method.
- In this case, you can put it in a small jar or glass of water and change it every day to minimize the risk of harmful bacteria.
- In about a week, you should see how the seed has gained a lot of volume and is ready to put out its first sprout.
- At this point, plant it in a pot or seedbed and you will soon see the seedling emerge.
How to plant a lemon tree step by step
Once the lemon tree seedlings have some roots about 7 cm long, it is time to transplant them to their final location. The ideal is to do it between March and September.
- You can plant your lemon tree in the orchard or prepare a potted lemon tree. However, in either case, this time prepare a warm and sunny location for them. It is important that this time they do receive some sun, although if you live in an area with a very sunny climate, you can find a semi-shaded location for them.
- Make sure the soil has good drainage before placing the small lemon tree.
- Carry out the transplant carefully so as not to damage the roots of the lemon tree and covering it well with soil, to fix the seedling so that it is straight and firm and its roots well covered.
- Water after transplanting and continue to do so whenever you notice the dry substrate, about 2 or 3 times a week.
- When the seedlings already have 4 complete and developed leaves, space out the watering a little.
In case you have chosen to put the seedlings in a pot, we recommend this other gardening guide from EcologíaVerde on the lemon tree in a pot: how to plant it, care and diseases.
Lemon tree care – basic guide
Now that you have learned how to germinate lemon seeds and transplant the seedlings to their final location, here is a practical guide to lemon tree care for it to bear fruit:
Light and irrigation of the lemon tree
This tree needs light and moisture, but it is essential not to over-water or you could cause fungi to attack your plant. When caring for a lemon tree, knowing how to water the right amount is essential. You can help yourself by digging your finger into the soil: if you notice it is dry, it is time to water, but if you notice some moisture you can still wait a day before watering. Similarly, a soil with good drainage will help avoid problems with excess moisture.
This plant also appreciates receiving a good amount of sun each day, although in very dry or hot climates some semi-shade could be a good idea. The ideal temperature for the lemon tree is between 17 ºC and 28 ºC.
Lemon tree pruning
In each spring it is advisable to prune the lemon tree from its 2 or 3 years of age. It is a soft pruning that should not be aggressive, whose objective is to clean the plant of dry branches. In this other gardening guide from EcologíaVerde we explain everything about when and how to prune a lemon tree.
When to harvest lemons
Lemons must be picked when they show a bright yellow color. Thus, if the lemons still show green tones, they are not ripe enough. The lemon tree can flower and bear fruit several times a year, but the usual thing is harvest lemons between autumn and winter.
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