How To Grow A Lemon Tree From Seed No Matter Where You Live

Garden 8

They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, but you really should do a whole lot more than that. Lemons are great for balancing the acidic levels in our body, and contain a whole bunch of benefits for our entire body.

While this citrus is well known for its high level of vitamin C, it also contains riboflavin, thiamin, iron, magnesium, pantothenic acid, fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, copper, calcium, and folate.

What lemons do to your body if you eat them every day?

  • Boost your immune system immune system
  • Keep your body’s pH in balance by reducing overall acidity, which helps to lessen pain and inflammation
  • Lower your cancer risk. Research has found that citrus fruits, including lemons, contain compounds called limonoids which have been shown to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon)
  • Improve your mood and focus while reducing anxiety and depression – the scent alone has been found to boost energy and lift one’s mood
  • Protect against rheumatoid arthritis
  • Support the liver
  • Improve digestive health
  • Support weight loss efforts

What you’ll need to get started:

  • First and most important thing is to get an organic lemon. If you live in a cool climate, or maybe have space restrictions, Meyer lemons are the most suitable for growing in an indoor container. Otherwise, any type of organic lemon will do. It is not advisable to save money and go conventional, yet, as non-organic lemons often contain seeds that are incapable of germinating.
  • Potting soil. Citrus does best in potting soil that has a blend of peat, perlite, vermiculite and organic fertilizer. Make sure that the soil is light enough to drain water well. If it’s too heavy, you should add hardwood bark chips to the mix, in order to increase the amount of air spaces.
  • A container. Begin with a small container because it is  easier to maintain the right soil moisture than in a larger one. If the soil stays too wet in a big container, a young tree, with its small root system, is likely to rot and dry. It is recommended to start with an 8-inch diameter container, and then after your tree is 2 or 3 years old, you can move it to a 10- to 12-inch container. As it continues to grow, you may need to upgrade one more time. Choose one that’s made of wood, terra cotta or plastic, and keep in mind that it must  have adequate drainage holes.
  • Light. Lemon trees need a lot of light, whether we talk about sun or artificial light, especially when sprouting, because they need ten to fourteen hours of it every day. If possible, set it up where it can get full sunshine from a southern exposure. If that’s not an option, you can supplement sunlight by installing 40-watt fluorescent shop lights above your plant. It is financially affordable and will pay off in the long run for sure.
  • Moisture. One of the most important things is to keep your soil evenly moist. If you’ll be growing indoors, as most interiors tend to be dry, you’ll need to mist your growing tree on a daily basis. Citrus prefers infrequent, deep water. It is advisable to water when the soil is dry to six inches deep – if the leaves begin to yellow and don’t perk up after you water, then you’ve been overwatering. If they’re wilting and begin to perk up after watering, then you waited too long between watering. Generally, watering once or twice a week works well, but it is good if you are able to adjust that depending on the time of year and weather.

Sprouting your lemon seed:

Once you have everything on hand, it’s time to plant.

  • First, put some of the soil into a bucket and add water until the soil is completely damp, all the way through.
  • Now, fill the container you chose with the pre-moistened soil. Allow about an inch of space below the rim of the container.
  • Cut your lemon in half, and choose the largest, best-looking seed you can find. Remove the flesh by placing the seed into your mouth and sucking on it until all of the lemon flavor is gone. It is important to not let it dry out – the seeds must remain moist in order to germinate. So, keep it in your mouth until it is ready to be planted.
  • While the seed is still moist, plant it about a half-inch below the soil level and then completely cover it with soil. Spray the soil, or slowly water it using a watering can.
  • Then, cover the container with breathable plastic to keep it moist.
  • Place your container in a warm area and keep an eye on it for couple of days, and don’t forget that it needs to stay warm and moist in order to germinate.
  • In about 2 weeks, you should see a little sprout emerge from the soil. Once it arrives, you can remove the plastic and place your growing tree in a warm location that gets lots of direct sunlight, supplementing with 40-watt fluorescent shop lights, if necessary.

Caring for your growing tree

Now the fun part, you get to nurture it and watch it grow. The following tips will help ensure that it grows healthy and strong.

  • A growing tree requires nutrients in order to stay healthy. Feeding it an organic fertilizer like vermicompost or compost after it’s developed a set of leaves is a great way to do that. You only need to feed it once or twice a year, by digging a small trench around its base and then filling it with the compost and watering it well.
  • Make sure that the soil is moist at all times, especially when the tree is young.
  • Remember, your lemon should get plenty of sunlight. When growing indoors, it should be somewhere that it will get at least 8 (and preferably 10) hours of direct sunshine every day (or artificial light as a supplementation).
  • Many gardeners believe that paying attention to the tree, talking to it, gently feeling it and observing its growth, helps it to become an especially strong, healthy adult tree. Of course, spending time with your lemon will make it easier for you to notice if any problems develop, such as browning leaves or pests.

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