Lemon Tree Growth Stages for Optimal Cultivation
Before discussing detail lemon tree growth stages, it’s better to know that citrus fruit is native to Asia and has been introduced to all continents with mild climates. Botanical name: Citrus Limonum.
There is another variety: the prickly lemon tree. The 4-season lemon tree is a cultivar (Citrus Limonum ‘Eureka’) created in 1860 and which bears fruit at the same time as the flowers. Whatever the variety, it is a fruit tree evergreen. The leaves are shiny with a waxy tendency, oval in shape, and slightly embossed, possessing a short petiole and a prominent midrib. They are green in color (variegated forms. Limonum ‘variegated pink Eureka’and pink-fleshed fruits).This shrub measures up to 3 meters or even a little more. In pots, it will stabilize around 2 meters high. Its port is quite compact forming a ball or a large stopper rod. This small tree is unfortunately not very hardy to frost (-5 ° C for short periods).
The lemon tree can be planted in the ground in very sheltered areas of the coast. It is most often grown as an ornamental plant in a large pot or in the ground in the Mediterranean basin.
Good to know!
It is often sold as a green plant when it is almost impossible to keep it in our much too dry interiors. The solution is to winter it in a cool place. It can be installed on a sunny balcony, taking care to protect it sufficiently.
Lemon tree growth stages: The flower
Flowering occurs most of the year with often peaks of flowering in late summer and mid-spring. It is not uncommon to see flowers at the same time as the fruits.
The flowers are in the shape of a starry bell and very flared with very yellow pistils. They are white and slightly fragrant.
They pollinate on their own with the help of insects and wind. It is during this period that the lemon trees will be installed outside for a maximum of fruit.
Planting and multiplication
This plant likes ordinary, light, well-draining, and above all non-calcareous soil.
The lemon tree thrives in full sun as long as it gets used to it gradually, especially after wintering. The first rays could burn the foliage
Planting period: for those who are lucky enough to live in a mild climate (Mediterranean rim) it can be planted in the ground). The ideal time is spring but it can also be introduced at the end of summer.
Sowing is carried out in a warm place (20 – 25 ° C) in spring in soil mixed 50% with sand.
Very fresh seeds germinate much better. It is not uncommon to find sprouted seeds inside a lemon.
To read other seedlings of stones and seeds.
Growth is very slow, for this reason, the purchase of a lemon tree remains expensive.
Professionals perform an escutcheon graft, often on a grapefruit or poncirus basis.
Cultivation and maintenance of the lemon tree
In the ground, in summer, you can water the lemon tree copiously. Young people must be sheltered from frost because -5 ° C for several nights can destroy them.
Cultivation of lemon trees in pots
You need to get as much direct sunlight as possible. In summer, you can water abundantly without letting the water stagnate in the saucer. Rainwater is preferable to tap water (often too hard). At this time, a fertilizer of the NPK 1 1 2 ratios should be applied every 3 weeks for good growth. In winter, watering is reduced to a strict minimum. The pots will be brought in at a low temperature, frost-free but cool (garage, veranda, and of course orangery …). The lemon tree absolutely needs a winter rest (temperature between 5 and 12 ° C). Without this truce, the foliage may turn yellow, dry out, and fall off. When overwintering in a cool, poorly-lit room, the green leaves fall. It does not matter, he will do it again in the spring. In summer, there is often another period of dormancy when it is too hot.
Lemon tree pruning
Rules to be observed: -it is practiced 2 to 3 times a year by pinching and mainly at the end of winter;-more particularly at the end of fruiting and before flowering.- we will try to ventilate the center;-on size very short if it has suffered frost;-in a pot, the shape should be that of a large ball. It can also be pruned on a stem.
Repotting the lemon tree
Grown in pots, the soil will quickly run out and the roots will colonize the entire space, so it is imperative to report it, especially the first year after purchase. The containers are often too small because they are grown to the extreme for better profitability. The ideal period of citrus repotting is from late winter to mid-spring. The soil used will be rich, light, and above all drains because if the lemon tree likes humidity, it does not like having stifled roots. You can buy in the horticultural trade ready to use or make your own soil with non-calcareous garden soil, a draining material such as coarse sand, and especially a very well-decomposed compost. It’s important in lemon tree growth stages when we want to keep the tree growing well.
The harvest period is generally in February, March but depending on the type of climate, the origin of the variety, and the method of cultivation, it can be done all year round. To know if a fruit is ripe, you just have to turn it a quarter of a turn and if it comes off, it is ripe!