PlantFiles: Meyer Lemon Tree, Meyer's Lemon Tree, Valley Lemon Citrus x meyeri 'Meyer'
It's time to read and vote for your favorite article in the 2013 Write-Off Contest! The four finalist's articles are featured in the May 13 newsletter and can be found through this link. Hurry! Voting ends May 18.
Hardiness: USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F) USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun Sun to Partial Shade
Danger: Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
Bloom Color: Pale Pink White/Near White
Bloom Time: Blooms all year Blooms repeatedly
Foliage: Evergreen Shiny/Glossy-Textured
Other details: This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds Flowers are fragrant Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse By grafting By air layering
Seed Collecting: Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible
On Mar 7, 2013, proudshamrock from Helotes, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I have recently purchased a Meyer Lemon tree and planted it in a container. I noticed many people asking the same questions I have about this tree but not many responses. Am I in the wrong place on the site to view the answers? Thanks for your time.
On Jul 4, 2012, tonyinOBA from Orange Beach, AL wrote:
This is a wonderful tasting, heavy fruiting tree from my experience with it. The fragrance of the meyer lemon is fantastic. I planted mine in our backyard and it has been doing great. Can hardly wait to get another one in the ground near the back deck so that we can enjoy the blossoms while sitting on the deck.
On Feb 21, 2012, esteve59 from Annapolis, MD wrote:
This is not a tree for growing indoors..Although I do put it out in the summer..I have a nice sunny porch that I keep warm all year in Maryland.
Every year it drops its leaves and has only produced 2 lemons so far.
I believe this tree needs ALOT of sun and very warm temps to produce.
On Feb 17, 2012, barbhei from Port Saint Lucie, FL wrote:
I live on the west coat of Florida, Zone 9.
2 years ago I bought 2 Meyers lemon trees, small but nice.
Planted in back yard and both grew very, lots of blooms, lots of fruit. Fruit on 1 tree is so juicy and sweet tasting. The other tree, planted 30 feet away is very juicy but No taste at all, just like water.
Is it common for some Meyers trees to produce lemons with no taste or sweetness?? These two tree are my first experience. Don't know if I should remove tree and replant another or wait another year or two. They are both starting to fill with buds and blooms.
I have other citrus trees in my yard and they produce well with good tasting fruit.
On Jun 22, 2011, msbooch809 from Gulf Hills, MS wrote:
I have a dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree that is in its first year. It is potted, sitting on my patio with daily full sun. So far it has blossomed with at least 12 blooms that smell so sweet. Now I have 6 very green fruit which is great for the first year. Here in the Gulf Coast we are experiencing a serious drought and I water at least every other day. Miracle Grow is my fertilizer for now as I am learning as I go along. I am very anxious to have the fruit mature and need an answer as to how long does it take my little greenies to ripen. I have read all the comments for this forum and hope I can add something along the way.
On Apr 8, 2011, queenlee from Barry United Kingdom wrote:
We live in Barry by the coast of South Wales in Great Britain and we love to grow citrus trees! We used to live in Spain, when it was easy of course, but now we have had a Meyer's Lemon Tree for a few years. This winter we brought in indoors to our very sunny bedroom where it looked a lot happier - produced large glossy green leaves, flowers and the odd tiny lemons that fell off. Hopefully it will settle in back outside soon.
Have also just ordered small Eureka Lemon, Navelina Orange & Bears Lime trees. Any advice welcome!
On Jun 30, 2010, ogon from Paradise, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
In response to the cutting question below, citrus grown from cutting should be true to the parent plant. The only reasons a cutting would turn out differently from it's parent is if it was taken below the graft point, and is therefore not the parent but the rootstock plant; or if the parent plant has a week root system on it's own. Meyer Lemon reportedly has a quite strong root system, and in frost areas is often grown on it's own roots so that if frost damaged it will grow back from the ground. As long as the cutting was from the Meyer Lemon and not a different rootstock, it should flower eventually, though usually after two years of growth, not eight weeks in as stated below.
I bought this plant last year on clearance due to it almost being dead. I brought it home and replanted it, watered it, fed it etc. and had tons of flowers and new growth. I even got lemons. My problem is that it got so cold here in southern Oregon this winter that even with protection my plant lost almost all it's leaves. Well it's warming up, and I have new growth, but only on the area's that grew last year with thorns. (Large thorns at that!) Everything else looks dead, no leaves etc. The trunk still looks green and healthy. Any ideas as to what I should do to help it along? I am afraid if I prune I might damage it more than I already have by not bringing it all the way inside the house. Any input would be appreciated!
On Mar 28, 2009, nyloracreeps from Seattle, WA wrote:
I've had an "Improved Meyer Lemon" for nearly 4 years now. I keep it outdoors in a pot on the south side of my house, next to the house, in full sun. I bring it indoors only when I know our nighttime temps are predicted to drop below 38 degrees for more than one night. If we are due for a light frost, then I just throw a couple of layers of Reemay over it. It blooms year-round and lemons are always ripening. Right now it has two ripe lemons left on it, and about 12 green ones. I prune it lightly during the summer and give it a little Miracid once or twice a year to keep the leaves from yellowing. Other than that, just a little organic fertilizer scratched lightly into the top 1/2 inch of soil in spring and summer, and I keep it well-watered during the summer months. Have never had any trouble with scale or spider mites. It seems to love being outdoors--even in wet, cold, gray Seattle! I suspect I may have to think about repotting it this spring just to give it some fresh soil.
On Jul 26, 2008, LittleLily from Hilton Head Island, SC wrote:
I was given a cutting from a mature producing tree, 4-5 years of age, about 8 weeks ago. The cutting was already potted in clay like soil, about 14 inches high with a "Y" shape approximately 4 inches above the soil line (resembles a sling shot base). The cutting had 4-5 leaves the size of a woman's small hand, which wilted and dropped off. I repotted into a 3 gallon pot with potting gravel in the bottom and used bags of citrus/palm potting soil and fertilized w/citrus fertilizer. Since then it has grown approximately 4 dozen leaves all dark green and has dropped none. It is now about 18-20 inches tall above soil. I see no sign of blossoms and am concerned going forwarded because I was told that some cuttings, depending on where the cutting occurred, can grow into healthy, large trees and never blossom or fruit. Can anyone provide info on the validity of this? If this is factual, is there any way around it? When can I reasonably look for blossoms/fruit? (Time after repotting/size of cutting)
On Feb 26, 2008, docgipe from NORTH CENTRAL, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:
Purchased from Lowe's with one lemon on. We are in zone 5 Northcentral Pennsylvania. The lemon ripened indoors while several others set for the second year crop. I let it have only one in the second year to favor the tree development. We are approaching our third spring tree movement to the outside for this great little tree. It will have two lemons after setting many that dropped or were culled in this its third year. Because of the culling they grow huge.
My TLC consists or minor trimming and monthy application in rotation of kelp, fish, bat guana tea and my own aerobic compost tea once a month skipping January. We spray with Neem Oil following the label instructions as needed but always upon moving back into our home for the winter months. Its winter window is facing Northeast.
The Improved Meyer Lemon Tree is a great grow for us.
On Jan 20, 2008, Blex from Amsterdam Netherlands wrote:
To those whose trees suffer from brown scale I have the following suggestion that works well for me.
My plant also suffered from a serious soft brown scale infestation, so I sprayed it to keep it from dying, and then cleaned the leaves one at a time... it took me forever.
I found out that the main culprit for the infestation of soft brown scale is the ant. Ants are attracted to the soft brown scale because it produces honeydew, more in fact than other species such as aphids and mealybugs.
The ant then protects the scale against its natural enemies. I sometimes wonder if the ant will also allow scale to hitch rides, and therefore assist in the infestation of other plants.
Anyway, after I had cleaned off the scale, I purchased a plastic saucer to place under the lemon tree pot and filled it with water. As lemon trees do not like 'wet feet' I placed a concete tile in the saucer for the tree to stand on, so that it would be out of the water. I made sure the saucer was large enough to ensure that there was no 'bridge' between the saucer and the concrete tile. In over a year since doing this I have not found a single scale, or indeed ant on my tree. This simple idea has proved a cheap, environmentally safe, and very effective solution. I hope this helps.
On Oct 22, 2007, drsanderson from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
MY 4 YR. OLD TREE IS PLANTED IN A RAISED BED, IS 15FT. TALL, ALWAYS HAS 100 PLUS LEMONS; NO BLOOMS OR LEMONS THIS YEAR YET (10/22/07); HAS THE USUAL SHINY DISEASE ON CURLED LEAVES, SPRAYED IT WITH NEEM, BLISTERED THE LEAVES. I USUALLY PINCH OFF EXTRA LEMONS TO GET LARGER FRUIT. WHAT HAS GONE WRONG THIS YEAR?
On May 4, 2007, SooBee360 from Hudson, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:
I planted a Meyer Lemon tree about 5 years ago, it was a decent size maybe already 3 to 4 yrs. old. This last winter season ('06-'07) there were at least 70 to 75 huge lemons; used wood supports for lowest branches to keep fruit off the soil. The tree is about 5' tall and about 6'-7' diameter. It is 15' to the east side of the house, but protected by a wood fence to the north about 5' away. It is partially shaded by a large deciduous tree to the east. I was worried about that initially, but the Meyer seems to take to partial shade during the hot summer, although some sooty mold at times I spray hose it off. Very juicy, delicous taste, thin rind. I squeeze them put them in ice cube trays then in plastic bags for later use. PS- Extreme freeze or cold, I put Christmas lights spread out under tree and cover with blankets, works every time.
On Jan 17, 2007, mmmitchell from vancouver, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:
I bought a Meyer Lemon at a plant show about three years ago. It had huge lemons on it when I bought it and we enjoyed eating about eight or nine lemons from it that year. We live in the Pacific Northwest, so I kept it mostly inside all year in a container, by a sunny window. The next year, the leaves began to drop and it almost completely became denuded. It had heavy scale all over the branches. I had tried to treat it by dabbing with alcohol, but it was too much. I was about to throw it out, but then called some local nurseries to find out what to do. One said to throw it out and another said to use rose fertilzer with systemic pesticide. But, she said she'd throw out the first crop of lemons from it. Well, since it was a last resort, I did use my rose food and son-of-a-gun, it worked! The leaves returned and it flourished. I put it outside all summer and I had big, green leaves. In the fall, I took it in and I had lots of buds and now, I'm seeing lots of fruit. The only problem is that I'm afraid that the pesticide might have seeped into the soil and has poisoned the plant. I'm thinking that any fruit might be dangerous to eat. I'm sure I'll throw out the lemons this year, but am not sure about the future crops. Any one know what I should do, or if I should be worrying about this?
On Oct 9, 2006, lozzanol from Rockingham Australia wrote:
Hi all you Yankies! I live in Shoalwater Bay, Western Australia and I love reading all your positive comments about the Meyer lemon. Yes, we do have it here "down under" also and it is very popular. The trouble with mine, which is in a very large clay pot, is that it flowers abundantly but does not then fruit. Is this a "bee" problem or am I not doing something? Regards to you all, Nola
On Sep 25, 2006, servicegenie from Brookshire, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I bought 5 Meyer Lemons (lucky enough to live where wholesale nursery grows for Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc). Planted May 20 2006, 9-25-2006 each 2 1/2 to 3 foot tall (tripled size in 4 months). I fertilize with Miracle Grow all purpose hose end sprayer (has bottle refills that just screw on). I planted in ground & will winter protect with tents & light bulbs if we get a freeze warning. I have posted a picture which should be published in a couple days.
I bought my Meyer's lemon tree this Spring and it is loaded with fruit which is just now beginning to turn yellow. I am getting ready to bring it in the house for the winter and want to know if any or all parts of the plant can be toxic to cats. Does any one know?
I bought my first tree this year it has a few buds on it
will those buds produce fruit? I have my lemon tree in a container outside. Should I be fertilizing my tree> If so with what kind of fertilizer?
On May 25, 2006, knolan from Sugar Land, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
I bought this tree about 4 years ago and went against everything I had read for the care and planted it directly in a flower bed facing west, close to my house. It grew very well but became infested with a leaf burrowing pest, leaving scales and leaf curl. I purchased an oil of some sort and sprayed the plant all over. Unfortunately I made the mistake of spraying on a hot August afternoon and the oil practically burned the entire tree. (Only spray this stuff at dusk). I trimmed all of the burned parts and was left with a very unhappy plant. The following spring, I had TONS of blooms but again was infested with the pesky bug. This time I sprayed it correctly, waited 24 hours, and pruned off all noticable infested leaves (and bagged them up and threw them away). The tree became so happy that it produced about 8 lemons that year.
However, it would appear that in those first few years I was just a bad lemon mom. The tree grew to big for the spot it was in (by my back door). It was about 5' x 5' and very healthy. So, what did I do? I dug it up and planted it in the northeast corner of my back yard. It went into shock for about two months, produced about 20 lemons the following year and, at this time, I have well over a hundred lemons growing. It's about 6'h x 8'w. It had even more baby lemons but they dropped. My guess is there were too many lemons growing and it used it's own "natural selection" to determine who was staying. It does still get an infestation every year but I haven't aggressively tried to attack with oil or cutting and appears to tolerate the "bug" or whatever it is, better than my trying to eradicate it.
On Mar 5, 2006, happygardening from Fox, AR wrote:
I just went to the Arkansas lawn and garden show, and at it bought an improved meyer lemon tree in a two quart pot, a few inches over a foot tall, and covered in the sweetest smelling blossoms I've ever smelled. They smell just like Jasminum sambac blossoms. Plus it's covered in tiny green lemons. I also have a small (four inch) unknown lemon tree. You have to have a good draining, porous soil mixture, use iron fertilizer, and acidic plant fertilizer. Highly reccomended!
On Feb 13, 2006, Tir_Na_Nog from Houston United States (Zone 9b) wrote:
Wow, this is the most commented about plant I have seen on this site!
For good reason too. I just bought one and the fragrance is incredible! It smells so sweet!!! The one I bought is an "improved" version and has no spines. Guess I should have posted my opinion on the link for the improved.
On Nov 23, 2005, plw8130 from Rochester, NY wrote:
Here's a suggestion for your scale problem. While it wasn't on a lemon tree, I did have scale bugs on my kaffir lime tree. I used a toothbrush to take as many of the scales off the plant as I could, and then used horticultural spray oil on the plant. Horticultural spray oil is natural, so no worries. This helps keep them under control much better than soap would.
On Nov 17, 2005, DSinc from Ottawa, ON (Zone 2a) wrote:
I live in Ottawa, Canada so I MUST leave my lemon tree in a pot and bring it indoors every winter. I purchased the tree with 2 lemons on it 1 1/2 years ago. The first year, I brought it inside in Oct and the fruit ripened for Christmas. It also produced a tremendous number of blossoms with an absolutely heavenly fragrance. I put it outside in early May and by last summer, we had over 20 lemons and just finished the last one a couple of weeks ago. The tree is safely indoors again in our sunroom with a south-eastern exposure. It has lost a number of leaves but I am hoping it will recover. I had quite a problem with brown scale last year and ended up bathing each leaf (individually) with a soap solution to get rid of it. Any and all hints would be greatly appreciated. Overall we are delighted with the tree for both the fruit and the fragrant blossoms.
On Jun 30, 2005, Novicea from Flower Mound, TX wrote:
This is my first time to grow one and it is in a pot. I planted it last summer & now have 16 lemons of various sizes. I read online elsewhere that the branches need to be staked to prevent breakage. Does anyone have any suggestions about staking? Also, I've had to use alcohol to remove occasional scale.
On Feb 14, 2005, jestelleoan from Tyler, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I have 2 Meyer's lemon trees and a lime. They are in pots and I have to bring them in in the winter. They are three years old and last year I got 57 lemonds off the two trees. I have a bad time with White Flys. I do not like to spary them becouse of the bees and other bugs that come for the nector. If any one knows what to do please let me know. They are great fun to grow.
On Feb 13, 2005, WillowWasp from Jones Creek, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
I love this plant, this is my first year to have one and I can't wait to get another. I love the fragrance of the blooms and all the tiny lemons I have on it now. I have never tasted one so I am in for a treat.
On Feb 5, 2005, fishfryerone from Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom wrote:
We have a pot grown shrub one, inside in the winter, as it gets to minus 10, but outside in the summer, garden gets to 85 / 95, it is covered in blossom and has a cluster of 5 lemons, can't wait to try them especially after reading what everone says about them,
On Oct 6, 2004, BUBBANALL from Hitchcock, TX wrote:
This tree does very well here in Galveston County.
It grows very fast and is it very productive. The lemons
are large and very tasty. This is the third Year for the one I planted here and there are about 15 lemons on a five(5)
feet tall tree. Before I retired to this house I had a four(4)
year old tree that gave me about a bushel of lemons.
Hated to leave that tree..............
I asked my local nurseryman to order two for me. The price was a shock. I wasn't expecting 4' tall trees. The lemons are just wonderful. But I would like to prune one to change it's shape. There is a low graft, so that it will never be "treelike" but I don't know how to prune them.
This is our first year. Right now they are still in the large plastic buckets but I will repot them before I bring them in for the winter.
I live inland, ten miles from Galveston, Texas. I bought my first locally-grown Meyer Lemon in March 2004, loaded with buds. I carefully transplanted it to my backyard where there is no shade. Ia m so impressed with it still being alive (I have a brown thumb.)
The fruit is coming along nicely and I am getting even more thrilled to have this little tree do so great, but there is a black soot-like something growing on this little tree, and I'm trying to figure out what it is and what to do.
We purchased a Meyers Lemon tree from Lowe's in Slidell, LA earlier this year. We put it in a large pot and keep it outside between two veggie gardens. It has produced about 12 good size lemons so far. I have fed it twice with a portion of a fruit tree stake that I bought at a local feed and seed store. The aroma is breathtaking. We can't wait for the fruit to ripen. We have noticed over the past month or so that some of the leaves are turning yellow. After a closer inspection today we are seeing a few tiny webs on a couple of leaves and also on some of the fruit, especially those that are touching. Any ideas on what this is and what to do for it?
On Jun 1, 2004, Waxhawabbitt from Waxhaw, NC wrote:
I purchased 4 of these little plants last year and have had great luck with fruit so far. Hardest part for me is waiting for them to ripen though. Had one die off about 45-60 days after I got them and haven't been able to replace it yet. Came back from spending Feb. in Kauai and all three in the house were in full bloom and the aroma was incredible. There must have been 25-30 blooms on each plant. I'm loving it.
On Apr 25, 2004, Span_teacher from Rosalia, WA wrote:
Does well in Eastern Washington as a container plant. I'm having luck with a large clay pot with a quick draining soil. Winters over best so far in an eastern window.
Flowered twice this year while wintering over indoors. I've noticed more pollen-bearing flowers than "female" flowers. First blossoms produced no fruit (no insects indoors to carry pollen) so I used a paintbrush to pollenate the second time, and now have golf-ball sized young fruit. I'll move the whole tree outdoors once danger of frost has passed (can be as late as May here).
Spidermites have just now shown up with spring, and I used a chrysanthemum-flower based spray last weekend. After the mist dried, I water-sprayed off the residue so young leaves would not be damaged. Removing the webs allows me to quickly notice if they return and treat affected areas. So far this is working well.
I have seen so many posting on how the Meyer Lemon will do over the cold weather, but does anyone know how it will perform in extreem heat? I live in Nevada and we have summer temp that reach 115+. Am I better off having the tree in a planter so I can bring it inside when it gets too hot? I have heard that some people paint the tree trunks white to avoid them spliting from the heat or the sap boiling?
On Mar 20, 2004, lemonboy7 from New Orleans, LA wrote:
I live in New Orleans, Louisiana and have a beautiful Meyer Lemon tree. This will be it's 4th season planted outdoors in the ground. I purchased it in a gallon pot and put it in the ground the following spring. It gets absolutely filled with flowers in early spring (late Feb.-early March here). The flowers are deep lavender and white with yellow centers, and the fragrance is incredible!
Last November, I harvested 39 lemons! Each year the number of lemons increases. The tree is about 5 feet high now,and about the same in width. As I write this on March 20th it is full of flowers which the bees love. It is planted in the front yard which gets afternoon/evening sun.
I first discovered the Meyer Lemon when I lived in San Francisco where my friend Mario has a huge tree in his backyard. I went to help him pick lemons one day and we filled big brown grocery bags with fruit--the branches were hanging from the weight of the lemons. When I tasted the flavor I was hooked. He would give away bags of lemons to friends.When I returned to live in the south I had to have one. All my neighbors comment on it. I highly recommend this lemon.
The skin is thin and the yield of juice is much more than the store variety which has a thicker skin and less juice. The smell of the cut fruit is sweet and perfumey. When you see it in your yard in full bloom, then taste the superior flavor of this lemon, you will know why it is considered the " King " of all lemons. Good luck to all in your gardening, and go buy your Meyer Lemon tree now!
On Mar 15, 2004, Jeannep from Piney Point, MD wrote:
Looked up Meyer Lemon on Google and your site came up first. Thanks for the comprehensive information on this little tree. I live in Southern Maryland- 30-40 degrees in winter. I bought my Meyer Lemon tree in South Carolina, 'South of the Border' tourist stop, at the end of November 2003; thought I was buying an orange tree and didn't notice til I was in Va. that it was a lemon :) , really felt stupid. It was a small 10"X20". It sits in a window with full morning and afternoon sun and has happily sprouted lemons and blossoms that smell wonderful!! from Dec. til now, March 2004. It's grown steadily to 20"X24" and looking bushy but symmetrical. There are 9 good sized lemons and at least 10 new tiny ones. I'm keeping the soil moist as there is a heat vent under the table it's on and use Miracle Grow twice a month. I now think the orange tree wouldn't have made it, but this little tree is giving me some much needed confidence and for $20 it comes highly recommended, as does your site.
On Feb 14, 2004, Thaumaturgist from Rockledge, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:
The Meyer Lemon Tree is a hardy variety and the best lemon tree for sub-tropical climates.
It is a cross between a Lemon, a type of Orange and a Mandarin. While it retains most of the characteristics of a lemon, it has a bit less acidity, less bitterness, more sweetness and thinner skin. The skin of the Meyer Lemon lacks the typical zest of a real lemon. It has gained favor because it bears a heavy crop and it is a relatively hardy plant.
The Meyer Lemon bears heavily when mature. Its crop size increases as the plant matures. It may bear 10 or more lemons even at 3 years old. The fruit is green in color until it matures. When mature on the tree, the Meyer Lemon changes to a yellow-orange color. That will take longer than you expect. Here in Zone 10a in Florida, it bears fruit nearly all year long.
It is named after Frank Meyer, who brought it to the United States from China in 1908 while working for the USDA. The tree became very popular and was widely grown until a virus attacked the trees in the mid-1940s. Meyer Lemon Trees were banned in the Untited States in an effort to insure the safety of other Lemon varieties from the virus. A new virus-free Meyer Lemon Tree was developed and was reintroduced in 1970.
Last year I planted a Meyer's in my back yard here in Auckland, New Zealand and have had mixed success with it. Over the winter all of the leaves dropped off but this spring the tree sprouted lots of new leaves and blossoms. Unfortunately most of the blossomes dropped off after the petals had faded. From looking at the other comments this seems to be normal. At the moment it is early summer and I have three small lemons and a slow but steady trickle of new blossoms.
I have fertilizing and watering at the recommended intervals so it will be interesting to see how the tree responds over the summer.
On Sep 7, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:
I grew a Meyer lemon in my backyard in St. Petersburg, Florida, for years. Of course in Florida you can just buy bags of citrus fertilizer and follow the directions, so I had no trouble with either flowering or fruit production.
I now live North central Florida, in zone 8b, but think I will buy and keep a Meyer lemon in a big pot and overwinter it in a cool greenhouse, as after last winter's record cold--the coldest in a 100 years, for the longest time--and now the wettest summer--I don't really trust the zone recommendations anymore. I only need a few lemons at a time anyway, and in the right conditions these small trees bear a lot of lemons--more than even a few people could ever use--so I should get enough lemons for my own use by growing in a pot instead of in the ground. In St. Petersburg I used to give a lot of my lemons away, and before I moved my neighbor dug up that little lemon tree and put it in her back yard, where it is still happily growing and fruiting nearly all year round.
December 5, 2003: Local gardeners are telling me that both their Meyer lemons and Satsuma orange trees actually survived last winter's abysmally cold temps in the ground, with heavy mulch, so perhaps I will try a Meyer lemon in the ground instead of in a pot after all. Our local plant nurseries begin carrying citrus plants in late winter, so I'm hoping to find a nice one then.
On Mar 14, 2003, whitebear from Pensacola, FL wrote:
The fruit of the Meyer Lemon is a wonderful, if patience requiring, delight. It often is a good idea to remove some of the smaller, less ripe fruits to encourage the ripening ones to grow larger and sweeter. I have found that the unripe fruits are not bad when used in iced tea, or even as lemon juice to keep fruits and vegetables from darkening.
On Mar 13, 2003, smileonetime from Florence, MS (Zone 7b) wrote:
I live in the lower range of zone 7, so I have my lemon tree as a container plant. I picked 7 very large lemons off it the first 2 months I had it.
It lost all it's leaves as it over-wintered in my den, but I was able to set it out on the patio Feb.10- and now a month later, it has grown and leafed out again. I feed it a very diluted water & all purpose plant food at each watering, and gave it some iron, and it is beautiful. The fruit took a long time to turn yellow, but even when they are half green they are very mild and juicy.
Our tree arrived with 2 green lemons which never matured. After flowering it bore 4 lemons all of which matured and were lovely to eat. Because I am in North Texas I brought the tree into the house while we were out of town over Christmas for fear we would have a cold snap that would damage the tree. When we arrived home the tree was budded out. I wonder if it's normal for the tree to bud out so soon or if I've messed up it's cycle by putting it in a warm house.
On Dec 11, 2002, jkom51 from Oakland, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
Meyer lemons aren't as acidic as common (Eureka, Lisbon varieties) lemons, and rind becomes very orange-colored once picked, as they age. Very fragrant, aromatic, they are outstanding when used to flavor ice water or in certain recipes that take advantage of their more delicate flavor (lemon sponge pudding cake is fine, but lemon bars need a tarter variety). Blossoms are incredibly fragrant. Sets fruit at an early age, is a big shrub (6x6' or more) but can be trained as a tree.
One of my Meyers is mature, almost 10 yrs old. From Dec 2003-March 2004 I've harvested approx. 75 lbs. of fruit and the bush has a smaller, secondary harvest coming along as well.
With regular summer water it would bear year-round, but I usually let it rest for the summer season.
Found this 1/5/03 in the paper: Growing lots of lemons by Kathy Huber, Houston Chronicle
To encourage flower and set fruit, provide a fertile, slightly acidic, well-draining soil and sun. Apply a nitrogen fertilizer monthly from March through August on young trees. The amount depends on the age of the tree and the size of the trunk. A 1-year-old tree, for example, would take 1/4 cup of ammonium nitrate per inch of trunk diameter. A 3-year-old tree would take 1 cup per inch of trunk diameter a foot off the ground. At maturity (4 years) apply nitrogen in March (1 cup per inch of diameter). Water well--not often, but deeply each time.
You can substitute cottonseed meal at the rate of 9 quarts per inch of diameter. It takes more, but it costs less and is organic. Cut back if the tree is growing too fast; excessive growth is weak. If you're growing the lemon in a container, make sure the pot is large enough for the plant and drains well. Place in full sun, and keep well watered. Flush excess salts if necessary, once a year.
Apply a soluble fertilizer twice a month during the growing season. Container trees are not as productive as those grown in the ground. Citrus requires minimum pruning. Remove suckers and dead or diseased wood as they appear. While you may want to shape your tree occasionally, heavy pruning may slow fruit production. If a tree becomes leggy, prune (preferably in February) to promote branching and give it more light. Trees produce heavier crops as they mature. Flower and fruit drop is common, and there's nothing you can do about it. Less fruit can mean larger fruit.
On Jul 27, 2002, darius from So.App.Mtns. United States (Zone 5b) wrote:
This would be a tropical or subtropical plant, but in my zone is a houseplant during the winter. Discovered in China in the early 1900's. Delightful fragrance, delicious flavor. I'm told they taste like a cross between an orange and a lemon, but my first fruit isn't quite ripe yet.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (4 reports) Mackenzie, Alabama Orange Beach, Alabama Theodore, Alabama Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports) , California Benicia, California Clayton, California Clovis, California Fresno, California Fullerton, California Hayward, California La Presa, California Lockwood, California Long Beach, California Marina Del Rey, California Nipomo, California Oakland, California (2 reports) Oceanside, California Pacifica, California Paradise, California Sacramento, California San Diego, California San Jose, California San Leandro, California Sunnyvale, California Bartow, Florida Boca Del Mar, Florida Bonita Springs, Florida Campbell, Florida Carver Ranches, Florida Gainesville, Florida Homosassa, Florida Hudson, Florida Jacksonville, Florida Lake Wales, Florida Merritt Island, Florida Navarre, Florida New Port Richey, Florida North Andrews Gardens, Florida Old Town, Florida Palm Harbor, Florida Port Orange, Florida Port Saint Lucie, Florida Rockledge, Florida South Daytona, Florida St Petersburg, Florida Summerfield, Florida Tallahassee, Florida Tildenville, Florida Venice, Florida Vero Beach, Florida Calhoun, Georgia Richmond Hill, Georgia Skidaway Island, Georgia Thomasville, Georgia (2 reports) Honolulu, Hawaii Honomu, Hawaii Moore, Idaho West Des Moines, Iowa Baton Rouge, Louisiana (2 reports) Belle Chasse, Louisiana Estelle, Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana Prairieville, Louisiana Slidell, Louisiana Piney Point, Maryland Maple Grove, Minnesota Gulf Hills, Mississippi Long Beach, Mississippi Las Vegas, Nevada Milford, New Jersey Croton-on-hudson, New York Bogue, North Carolina Fairfield Harbour, North Carolina Lucama, North Carolina Portland, Oregon Ashley, Pennsylvania Brookhaven, Pennsylvania Montoursville, Pennsylvania Norristown, Pennsylvania Landrum, South Carolina North Augusta, South Carolina Okatie, South Carolina Summerville, South Carolina Austin, Texas (2 reports) Bayou Vista, Texas Brazoria, Texas Brookshire, Texas Colmesneil, Texas Copperas Cove, Texas Crp Christi, Texas Desoto, Texas Donna, Texas Flower Mound, Texas Galveston, Texas Grey Forest, Texas Houston, Texas (3 reports) Katy, Texas La Porte, Texas Marion, Texas Missouri City, Texas New Braunfels, Texas Noonday, Texas Plano, Texas Reid Hope King, Texas Rowlett, Texas San Antonio, Texas (2 reports) Sugar Land, Texas Sunset Valley, Texas Colonial Heights, Virginia Henrico, Virginia Rosalia, Washington Seattle, Washington Greenfield, Wisconsin