Potted lemon: growing secrets

Bright yellow, fragrant lemons against a background of dark green leaves will decorate the simplest home or office space. It is generally accepted that lemons grow only in the garden. However, many varieties of indoor culture of this citrus are known today. Growing a lemon at home is not too easy. But as a result, the tree, surrounded by attention and care, will bring joy to the beauty of snow-white flowers and bring delicious aromatic fruits.

Growing lemon at home

Lemon is a southern culture, moody, loves the abundance of sunlight and heat. Like most citrus fruits, it grows mainly in the subtropics of the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, the countries of the Mediterranean and Southeast Asia. And the inhabitants of the more northern regions have only to dream of growing fragrant bright fruits in their gardens. Fortunately, solving this problem is not so difficult at present. Varieties of lemons designed for growing in greenhouses and heated greenhouses were developed. They can be successfully grown in indoor conditions.

Photo gallery: lemon varieties of house culture

Pavlovsky is a variety of folk selection that is best suited for indoor cultivation: unpretentious, grows well and bears fruit even on northwest windows, tolerates shading and dry air

Lunario lemon is a small (1–1.5 m) tree with numerous small spikes; the variety is unpretentious in care, fragrant fruits have high taste

Ponderosa variety - a natural hybrid of lemon and citron; resistant to high temperature and drought, tall (1.5–1.8 m) and a dense spreading crown

Variety lemon Yubileyny shade tolerance, easily adapts to environmental conditions, quickly grows and develops; 100% fruit setting is observed even with low humidity and lack of moisture in the soil

Variety Meyer (Chinese) - the result of natural hybridization of lemon and orange; among other varieties stands out for early flowering (March - April), abundant fruiting and early ripening

Of course, you will have to make some efforts, be patient and gain relevant knowledge. After all, lemon requires the creation of comfortable conditions, and by itself, without satisfying its immediate needs, it will not grow. But the result of efforts and labors will be a holiday tree, fragrant and beautifully flowering, surprising and pleasing with its fruits.

Attempts to grow a houseplant, not supported by knowledge and thoughtful care, are doomed to failure! And, on the contrary, homemade lemons gratefully respond to proper care with good flowering and fruiting.

V.V. Dadykin, agronomist, Moscow

Gardens of Russia Magazine, Issue 1, January 2011

A room lemon can bloom and bear fruit from one to four times a year, filling the surrounding space with a delicate aroma and delighting the eyes with delicate white flowers

Features of growing lemon from seed

If you are going to get a lemon house culture, the easiest way to get an adult tree in a flower shop. But it should be borne in mind that it was grown in a greenhouse, which is not always possible to provide the plant in a city apartment or in a private house. It is much more interesting to grow lemon yourself. The fruiting tree will correspond to your tastes and conditions of your home, and after a certain time it will bloom and give you wonderful fruits.

From your homemade lemon you can get the freshest, most delicious and fragrant fruits.

There are several options for growing lemon seedlings at home: from seed, from cuttings, as well as root cuttings. The most effective and short-term method is to grow a seedling from a semi-lignified shank taken from adult citrus. In this case, the first crop can be obtained already in the third year of the plant’s life, i.e. 2 years earlier than from his brother, who grew out of the stone. However, it is far from always possible to find or buy a cuttings of a suitable variety. In this case, they choose the simplest and most affordable way - growing lemon from seed, when after a year and a half or two you can get a very attractive tree with dark green shiny leathery leaves. The only, but very large drawback when growing lemon from seed is that such a tree will not begin to bear fruit in a natural way until after 8-12 years. There are many ways to make a lemon crop earlier. One of them is to grow stock from a bone and then be vaccinated with a bud by an eye or a cut in a split from a fruiting plant.

The most favorable period for planting seeds is the end of spring - the beginning of summer (April-June). At this time, daylight hours already last 15–18 hours (lemons need it for at least 12 hours) and maintain a stable positive air temperature, i.e. there is no need for additional illumination of seedlings and dry air in the room due to the operation of central heating is excluded.

Preparing Lemon Seeds for Planting

Having decided on the lemon variety for cultivation, they choose the most ripe, large and healthy fruit. Depending on the initial variety of citrus, the seeds in it can be from 6 to 20 pieces. For planting, you need to take two dozen seeds, taking into account the fact that some of them will not sprout. It is believed that it is best to take seeds from a freshly cut fruit for planting. They should be large, regular oval, without damage. The dried bones can also be used, but their germination is not guaranteed. To accelerate the process of further germination, it is recommended to pre-soak dry bones for 10-12 hours in a nutrient solution of Kornevin or Zircon preparations.

To clean the lemon bones of the pulp and juice, they should be washed in a small amount of warm boiled water and slightly dried on a napkin

Planting lemon seed

Before planting seeds, you should first prepare containers for planting and soil. For germinating seeds, you can use any suitable small-sized container (plastic cups, food containers with a lid, plates or small ceramic pots). Each tank used must have openings in the bottom to drain irrigation water. It is advisable to purchase ready-made soil for future seedlings (Lemon, For citrus crops, etc.), it contains all the components necessary for young citruses in an optimal ratio. If it is not possible to use the finished soil, you can make it yourself by taking in equal amounts garden soil and humus and adding river sand in an amount of about 1/3 of the total soil mass. Ready soil mixture should be loose, light and porous. For additional loosening, depending on the density of the original soil, a little vermiculite can be added to the soil (in accordance with the instructions).

At the bottom of the flower pot, you need to put drainage from pebbles, fine gravel or expanded clay, fill it with prepared soil from the top, not reaching the edges of 2-3 cm

Planting lemon seeds is as follows:

  1. Moisten the soil in a pot by spraying with warm water from a spray bottle.
  2. Spread prepared bones over the surface, deepening them by 1-1.5 cm.

    In moist soil, make indentations and put lemon seeds in them

  3. Sprinkle the wells with 1 cm dry soil.
  4. After planting, slightly moisten the soil with spraying and put the pot in a warm, bright place.
  5. The best temperature for seed germination is + 18–22⁰С. To maintain constant humidity and temperature on the soil surface, the pot must be tightly covered with cling film, polyethylene or a transparent lid.
  6. Crops need to be aired daily, opening a film or a cover for 1-2 minutes. With the advent of the first sprouts, the airing time is gradually increased to 10 minutes.

    The first seedlings of lemon seedlings appear about a month after the planting of seeds in the ground

  7. Once every two to three days, the seedlings should be sprayed with warm soft water, it is advisable to do this during ventilation.

With the first leaves appearing on small lemon seedlings, the film can be removed from the pot

One of the main conditions for the normal development of citrus crops is light. Lemons need a twelve-hour daylight. Therefore, containers with seedlings should be placed on a window with the best illumination, optimally south or southwest orientation. In summer, from the sunshine, plants need to be shaded with a light curtain or net. And in the autumn-winter season, from the end of October to February, it is recommended to turn on powerful fluorescent lamps or phytolamps with a special spectrum (Reflex type) daily in the immediate vicinity of lemons. Additional illumination should be carried out for at least 6 hours.

Getting plenty of daylight and air, the lemon grows healthy and strong, so the pot should be placed close to the glass

Lemon reacts negatively to moving and changing orientation with respect to the window. You should not twist and move the pot with a tree, especially when it blooms and is about to bear fruit, because lemon can lose fruit.

I want to share my own experience with lemon seed germination. Last spring, after watching a video about the method of planting lemon with bare seeds (without an outer shell), I decided to conduct my experiment. I had collected a number of lemon seeds for planting. I planted one part of the seeds (10 pieces) in the generally accepted way - in a peel. And with ten other seeds, I took off the shell, after moistening them with water and carefully cutting the surface. I folded several layers of gauze in the form of a sandwich, moistened in a Kornevin solution and put the resulting bare seeds inside. Gauze with seeds laid in a flat plastic container and identified on the windowsill of the south window. To germinate the seeds in the peel, I did not use containers, but peat tablets. I placed one bone in each water-soaked pill, placed the tablets in a tightly closed transparent box and put it on the same sunny windowsill. The heat received from the sun for 6–7 hours was enough to heat the crops, and tightly closing boxes provided them with constant humidity. After 5 days, tiny white sprouts hatch in six out of ten bare seeds, and within the next two to three days all had sprouts. I planted the germinated seeds, one at a time, in small disposable cups filled with lemon. The seeds in the peat tablets sprouted for three weeks, then, together with the tablets, I transplanted the seedlings into plastic cups with nutritious soil. In the future, she looked after all the seedlings in the usual way. As a result, after a month and a half, all ten seedlings grown from bare seeds were on average 15 cm tall, had 3-4 real bright green leaves, and looked completely happy. Six seedlings survived from the second batch, the rest gradually wither away. In development, they lagged behind their counterparts for about two weeks, although the care for all the plants was the same. Over the course of the year, the seedlings somewhat leveled out in development and now they are wonderful strong young lemongrasses who are waiting - they will not wait for vaccinations to become real fruiting lemons.

Video: growing lemon from seed

Transplant and transshipment of indoor lemon

In the process of growth and development, seedlings, and later on, lemon seedlings require more and more space for their root system. When the roots of the plant completely fill the entire container in which it is grown, it should be transplanted into dishes with a 3-5 cm larger diameter than the previous one. The signal that the lemon needs a transplant is the roots of the plant protruding from the drainage holes of the pot. You can also carefully push the stick away from the walls of the pot and see if the roots touch the walls of the pot. If the root system of the plant extends beyond the earthen coma, this means that the pot has become cramped and it is time to change it.

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When the roots of the lemon are completely covered with an earthen lump, then the time has come to transplant it into a larger pot

Throughout the winter, from November to February, the lemon tree is in a state of organic rest and practically does not grow. With the onset of spring heat, if citrus growth does not resume, then one of the possible reasons for this is an illiterate plant transplant. It is advisable to transplant (or transship) a lemon at the end of winter (February-March), as necessary. Young citruses are transplanted quite often - two to three times a year, usually in spring and autumn, and also in summer between two growth waves. Starting from 5–6 years, lemon is transplanted less frequently, once every three to four years. There are transplantation and transshipment of plants. When transplanting, the soil in the pot is completely replaced, and the cramped pot is changed to a more spacious one. During transshipment, the root lump of land is completely preserved, the pot is left the same or replaced with a larger pot.

Lemon transplant

The reason for the transplant may be:

  1. The plant was bought in a store and is located in the so-called "Transportation" pot. As a rule, such a pot has a small size and is intended for temporary stay of a seedling in it.
  2. Lemon leaves wither and turn yellow, and the smell of rot is felt from the pot. This means that as a result of excessive watering, the water in the pot stagnates and the roots of the plant rot.
  3. Pot damage due to falling or splitting. The broken roots of the tree should be carefully cut and try to maintain maximum soil around them.

If the lemon leaves turn yellow and fall, be sure to check its root system and find out the cause of the phenomenon

The transplant process is as follows:

  1. In order to free the lemon from the pot, you should thoroughly wet the earthen lump, watering it abundantly with water. Then you need to pinch the stem of the tree between the ring and middle fingers of the hand and, pressing your palm to the ground and holding the crown, carefully turn the pot over.
  2. Gently tapping the pot, shake the plant out of it along with an earthen lump. The room should have good lighting in order to be able to carefully examine the roots of the lemon. If the plant needs a transplant, then it is necessary to produce it as soon as possible.
  3. Since the roots of the lemon have virtually no suction hairs and are therefore very vulnerable, it is highly undesirable to rinse them and try to straighten them during transplantation.
  4. The earthball should be carefully loosened with a sharp wooden stick. If when examining the root system, sick, damaged and dry roots were identified, they are removed. This should be done very carefully so as not to touch the healthy parts of the plant. For the speedy restoration of the roots, it is allowed to lightly dust them with the root stimulant Kornevin or Zircon.

    During the inspection of the roots, if necessary, remove the sick and damaged

  5. It is necessary to transplant the lemon into a new pot (or container), the dimensions of which do not exceed the dimensions of the previous one. Drainage in the form of expanded clay, fine gravel or pebbles, broken shards, sand and the soil mixture corresponding to this plant (substrate) should be prepared in advance.

    The pot should be taken 3-5 cm larger in diameter than the previous one

  6. Ready-made soil is sold for citrus plants and, if it has a good composition, it is advisable to use it. The soil for lemons should consist of a mixture of turf land, humus, leaf soil and sand. If only peat is indicated on the soil bag, then it must be mixed with river or lake sand and with leafy soil (for example, from birch).

    Ready-mixed soil For citrus or peat-based Lemon, it is recommended to use for young lemons; for adult plants (from 5 years), the soil can be prepared independently from the following components: garden soil, sand, rotted manure in a ratio of 5: 1: 1

  7. The new transplant pot must have openings at the bottom for draining excess irrigation water and protrusions so that air can pass between the pot and the pan.

    At the bottom of the pot there should be several holes for draining the water and legs so that the pot is raised above the pallet

  8. A layer of broken shards and expanded clay (or pebbles) is placed at the bottom of the pot for drainage, so that the water does not stagnate in the region of the roots. Sand and a little prepared substrate are poured over it.

    The bottom of the pot must be covered with a drainage layer of at least 2-3 cm

  9. A plant with a treated root is placed in the center of the pot, after which planting soil is added to the pot. It is important that there are no voids in the ground. To do this, shake the lemon pot slightly so that the soil is compacted, and then carefully press the surface of the soil around the stem with your hands. The soil should be 2-3 cm below the top edge of the pot.

    The root neck of the lemon is placed at the level of the edges of the pot or slightly lower

  10. After transplanting, the plant is abundantly watered with warm, settled water. When the water is completely absorbed, you can slightly loosen the ground for better air access to the roots. Then the leaves are sprayed from the spray gun and placed in a warm, shaded place, protected from drafts. The transplanted plant should not be fed under the root for a month after transplantation.

    To relieve stress and restore vitality after transplanting, it is recommended to spray citrus with warm water with the addition of growth stimulants HB-101 or Epin-extra

Video: transplanting lemon seedlings

Lemon Transshipment

If during the examination of the root system of the lemon no problems were revealed, the plant is healthy and only the pot needs to be replaced with a larger one, transshipment of citrus is performed. Since this process is gentle and less traumatic for the roots, transplanting the lemon into a new pot is preferable to transplanting. Young seedlings are usually transshipped, starting from the first year of life and up to five years. This is due to their rapid growth and development of roots.

In the process of transshipment, the following operations are performed:

  1. The preparation of the pot (container), soil mix and drainage for transshipment is similar to that of a transplant.
  2. Release the seedling from the old pot in the same way as when transplanting. The difference lies in the fact that during transshipment, the roots are not cleared of basal earth, trying to preserve the earth lump as much as possible and not damage the root system.

    The seedling is freed from the old pot, as in transplantation, but retaining a root lump of earth

  3. Leaving the earthen lump intact, the plant is transferred to a larger pot (2–4 cm in diameter), setting it in the center of the bottom, then fixed by lightly pressing the earthen lump into the soil at the bottom of the pot.

    In the center of the prepared pot with drainage and nutrient soil at the bottom, a tree is installed along with an earthen lump

  4. The voids in the pot are filled with fresh citrus soil and compacted, as in a transplant. Then the tree is well watered and sprayed with warm soft water. You should not keep the pot of lemon in the bright sun for several days after transshipment, and you also need to protect it from drafts. Citrus should be fed no earlier than 10-15 days after transshipment.

    After transshipment, the seedling has new forces for growth and a powerful incentive for the development of the root system and crown

In case of urgent need, transshipment of lemon can be done during flowering. If everything is done carefully and correctly, then the roots of the plant are not damaged and this does not delay its development.

Video: transshipment of a young seedling

Inoculation of seedlings of lemon grown from seed

A seedling of lemon grown from seed is called root. Such a lemon, if it starts to bear fruit, only after 8-12 years. A solution to this problem was found. To make citrus bear fruit, it is inoculated with a bud (peephole) or in a split. For vaccination, the seedling (stock) must be two to three years old and have a stem with a thickness of at least 8-10 mm. The best period for vaccination is considered the end of spring (April) and the whole summer (ending in August), that is, the time when active sap flow occurs in the plant. For vaccination, the graft (peephole or stalk from fruiting citrus) should be cut immediately before it. In the case when the operation will be performed after a certain time, in order to avoid drying out, the scion is placed in a wet tissue and kept in it until the moment of vaccination. All tools for vaccination (secateurs and a garden knife) are carefully treated with alcohol. You should also prepare in advance FUM tape for dressing the vaccination site and a garden var for covering the surface of the bark.

The oculation consists in placing the eye (kidney) from the shoot of a fruit-bearing lemon in the context of a T-shape on the rootstock bark (seedling from the bone).

Vaccination technology looks like this:

  1. The peephole is cut directly with the shield (a piece of bark).
  2. Choose a place for budding - on a branch 5–10 cm from the soil surface.
  3. Make an incision across (≈1 cm), then along (≈2–3 cm). The cut is made by two incisions: 1 cm above the eye and 1.5 cm below the eye.
  4. Carefully pry the bark with a knife and slightly push it apart.
  5. Quickly return the bark to its place, while leaving a small hole on top. You will need to insert a peephole here.
  6. The cut eye, holding it by the leaf stalk, is quickly inserted into the incision made on the stock.
  7. Tie the place of vaccination with FUM tape.

The petiole of the cut leaf plate will serve as an indicator: if the petiole disappears after 2-3 days, then the vaccination is obtained; if it dries, the vaccine has failed and needs to be repeated

Split vaccination is a more preferred type of vaccination, as the impact on the tree is not so traumatic for him and easier to perform by a not very experienced gardener.

  1. From varietal fruiting lemon harvested stalk (part of the shoot with eyes).
  2. The top (or part of the skeletal branch) is cut off on the rootstock. The remaining stem is split.
  3. The end of the handle is sharpened with a “wedge”. The shank with the sharpened part is placed in the cleft of the stem and tightly wrapped with the FUM tape vaccine.
  4. 2–4 buds are left on the scion-graft, the rest are removed.
  5. To accelerate the fusion, the stalk together with the vaccination site is covered with a plastic bag, which is removed after the fusion of the vaccine.

After inoculation into the split kidney, left on the scion (fruit-bearing shoot) quickly give new sprouts

All types of vaccinations are recommended on a cloudy or rainy day, or in the evening after sunset.

Video: indoor lemon grafting

Having enough information about growing lemons at room conditions, you can easily grow this wonderful citrus. One has only to be patient and loving for your pet.


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