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PlantFiles: Meyer's Lemon Tree, Valley Lemon
Citrus x meyeri 'Improved Meyer'

Family: Rutaceae (roo-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Citrus (SIT-rus) (Info)
Species: x meyeri (MY-er-eye) (Info)
Cultivar: Improved Meyer

34 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Edible Fruits and Nuts

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

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

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
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


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:
Unknown - Tell us

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
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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7 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive purjess_08 On Mar 20, 2014, purjess_08 from Westover, WV wrote:

So I bought my improved Meyer late last summer and it has been doing fine until recently. I bought it with 6 green lemons and at the beginning if fall ended up getting 21 blooms but they all fell off. The six were still healthy so I didn't worry with it. A couple months ago my leaves started falling off but the lemons were starting to yellow. About 2 weeks ago I saw that 2 of the six were turning brown at the base and fell off. Now a third one is turning brown but hasn't fallen off yet.
I use all purpose potting mix and fertilize with miracle grow tomato plant food b/c I was told the potash and nitrogen levels were good for citrus. I water ever 7-10 days. What's going on with my lemon tree and how can I fix it?

Positive BayAreaTropics On May 2, 2013, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

This tree has a worldwide cult. And where it thrives-like here in California- everybody plants it. And few lemons go to waste unlike other edibles.
No special advice..sun,water,rich soil. They can grow in large pots for decades...but the return in fruit is much smaller.
Pests? biggest are the Argentine ants..get rid of them and the tree can defend itself.
Meyer Lemon,numero uno for the connoisseurs,

Positive MrsMarbles On Feb 17, 2011, MrsMarbles from Los Alamos, NM wrote:

This is a very nice small tree for container gardening. I purchased a 2 yr old tree several years ago, from Four Winds Growers. It grows outside in the summer. Every winter when I bring it indoors, I prune it back to 4 feet tall. Since it blooms in spring while it is still indoors, I hand-pollinate the flowers.

It grows well in its 20" pot, seems not at all fussy, and makes fruit every year. The fruit makes wonderful marmalade.

Neutral walter13 On Jul 14, 2010, walter13 from Lutherville Timonium, MD wrote:

Purchased this plant in the spring and it has produced a long non-thorny branch (in July) that grew faster than the remaining shoots, which have small thorns. The thornless shoot is above the rootstock and the leaves are single, not tri-foliate like the other shoots. Should I leave it alone? Entire plant is now only about 1 to 1-1/2 ft high in a large pot.

The reason for concern is that I also have some ornamental orange trees that never bloom on the thornless branches.

Positive DannyJoe On May 16, 2008, DannyJoe from York, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

The only time I've seen these leaves start to curl (or droop) is when they start to get too dry. This can happen very fast in a container grown tree -- especially in hot weather. Some of your leaves may have been permanently damaged by drying out or sun scald. They do shed older leaves on a seasonal basis anyway (even pine trees do this), so no big deal.

These trees are actually very tough and will recover nicely from all kinds of abuse.

At 28dF, you will start to lose the more tender new growth.
The thorns (like most citrus) might give you a scratch, but these thorns are NOT that bad when compared to the other thorns out there (don't snag or break off and are easy to prune off).

Positive salice On Nov 1, 2006, salice from Ithaca, NY wrote:

I live in upstate NY. This spring purchased a plant (that I re-potted) that I kept outside till very recently when cold weather dictated I move it inside. It has grown very well, w/ several green fruit slowly maturing, & continues to send out new blossoms.

Positive Tir_Na_Nog On Mar 10, 2006, Tir_Na_Nog from Houston
United States (Zone 9b) wrote:

The smell is intoxicating and I think the plant is beautiful, I love that it is evergreen. Ours is about 2' tall and has several small lemons already started on it!!!

Positive trifunov On Nov 8, 2004, trifunov from Brandon, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have two one year old plants in containers. They have grown from 12 inch high single sticks to around 36" high and wide in a single season. They are currently in 10in pots. The leaves became yellowed when I overwatered. A dose of Epson salts and iron helped.

They should be repotted every 1-3 years. A 1yr old tree should be in a 6-9in pot, a 2-3yr old tree in a 10-16in pot.
The minimum temp they can tolerate is 32F, Xmas lights on them will help in winter in marginal zones. Otherwise bring them inside (gradually) when night temperatures reach 40F or below. Like acidic fertilizer at least once per month (eg: 2:1:1 or miracid). Spray with water and mild dish soap for aphids and scale. Keep ants away as they will farm the aphids. Allow the top of the soil to dry out between watering. Do not let first year plants fruit (will sap energy). Fruit takes 6-9 months to form after flowering.

My little trees are gorgeous, the leaves and flowers smell wonderful, and I can't wait for fruit next year.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Ceres, California
Chowchilla, California
Cypress, California
Folsom, California
Hayward, California
Oakland, California
Pacifica, California
Redwood City, California
San Anselmo, California
San Francisco, California (3 reports)
San Jose, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Venice, California
Visalia, California
Woodland Hills, California
Blountstown, Florida
Homestead, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Miami, Florida
Navarre, Florida
Nokomis, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Port Orange, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Bonaire, Georgia
Richmond Hill, Georgia
Wailuku, Hawaii
Newton, Illinois
Portage, Indiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Monroe, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Vidalia, Louisiana
Youngsville, Louisiana
Natchez, Mississippi
Las Vegas, Nevada (2 reports)
Los Alamos, New Mexico
North Augusta, South Carolina
Okatie, South Carolina
Memphis, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Converse, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
El Paso, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Houston, Texas
La Porte, Texas
Leander, Texas
Little Elm, Texas
Mcallen, Texas (2 reports)
Mission, Texas
Plano, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring, Texas
Newport News, Virginia
Marysville, Washington
Morgantown, West Virginia

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