Many people would love to grow their own fruit but feel they don’t have the outdoor space to get started. If you live in an apartment without a garden, for example, you might think you have no way to grow fruit. However, it is not impossible. The Meyer lemon tree could be the answer you’ve been looking for.
These Meyer lemon trees are grafted onto a dwarf rootstock rather than grown from seed like regular plants. This means that these lemon trees blossom young, as early as one-year-old. The modern Meyer lemon tree is a hybrid created and released by the University of California in 1975. Meyer lemon trees were imported from China before then.
Meyer lemons were always popular, but they were susceptible disease – so much so that importing them was banned. The improved Meyer lemon dwarf made by the University of California is something of a mix between an orange and a lemon. Meyer lemons grow quickly in the right conditions and can reach up to 10 feet tall if taken care of. They are also self-pollinating, meaning you only need one tree to get the fruit you want.
What Makes Meyer Lemon Trees a Good Indoor Plant?
Meyer lemon trees grow well in USDA Growing Zones 9-11 and do fine in cold climates. However, if you live somewhere colder than that, you can bring the plant indoors for the winter. Some people choose to grow them indoors year-round for their versatility. Ensure that you keep the tree by the southernmost-facing window so that it soaks up enough sun to produce and bear fruit. The more a Meyer lemon tree matures, the more fruit it bears.
Watch for color changes as your lemon tree ripes. It will turn yellow over time. Meyer lemons tend to be sweeter than the lemons you find in the grocery store and are an excellent choice for lemon juice. One reason they are great for growing indoors is that they are overbearing, meaning they continue to produce fruit all through the year when taken care of. They are also well-suited to changing environments and can live for up to thirty years, producing fruit all that time.
Lemons are among the most versatile fruits around. They are a good fit for drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and are ideal for the kitchen. Meyer lemon trees are a great way to get all the lemons you need and are tough enough to be grown indoors with a limited amount of space and sunlight.
While lemon trees can do okay in the cold, they aren’t as tough as you might think. In really cold areas, you should consider growing your lemon tree inside a container. Make sure that the container has enough drainage holes for the plant to thrive. Water the lemon plants according to the “little and often” method. They need a small amount of water on a regular basis; ensure your plants get the right amount of humidity and regular feeding to ensure they have the nutrients they need to thrive in any environment.
Meyer Lemon Plant Care
The main challenge of keeping fruit trees like this indoors is ensuring that they get proper sunlight. Some fruit trees can require up to 12 hours of direct sunlight per day to grow healthy. You have no chance of growing fruit indoors if you can’t guarantee they will get unobstructed light from the south or west. Look for dwarf citrus trees that grow sour fruits, as they need less sunlight than other fruit trees. Your Meyer lemon tree should be kept in the right space, whether you keep it in a pot with soil or in a container.
The good news is that Meyer lemon trees require a relatively low amount of sunlight – needing just six hours of sunlight. If you live in a hot climate, your plants will grow best under the morning sun and in the afternoon’s shade.
Start your growing adventure with a healthy tree on a hardy rootstock. Trees grown from seeds tend to be unhealthy and may not last until they flower and produce fruit. The soil you use for our plants should be well-draining while still having the ability to stay moist and nurture plant life. This is one reason you need to water the plants so often. Let the soil dry out a little bit between watering sessions.
It’s good to use fertilizer while growing your Meyer lemons. Use a high-nitrogen fertilizer, in particular one made for citrus trees. Feed your tree fertilizer monthly between April and September for the best results. Don’t fertilize your tree during the autumn and winter. If the leaves turn yellow, it means your plant lacks water, fertilizer, or both.
Pruning is an essential part of the growing process. Prune the lemon clusters, so only one or two fruits are growing when they are roughly marble-sized. Not only will this help keep your tree healthy, but it also means you get bigger lemons.
Good luck with your Meyer lemon tree!