How to Successfully Grow Lemons Indoors
When you’re trying to eat healthier one of the best things you can do is drink lots of water. Obviously it keeps you hydrated, but that’s not the only reason – water also helps to keep you feeling full longer so you’re not tempted to overeat.
The problem is drinking nothing but water can a little dull after a while. It doesn’t have much of a flavor and many people quickly grow tired of drinking nothing other than water. There’s a simple solution to this problem
Adding a touch of lemon will give it a lot more flavor and make it more palatable. It’s a trick our family has been using since I was a kid and I have my mother to thank for that. She always insists on fresh lemons though, not that artificial flavoring.
If you want to give this a try but you find lemons a bit expensive you could always trying your own. It doesn’t matter if you live in a warm climate or not. Citrus fruit such as lemons can be grown indoors of you carefully nurture it. Below you’ll find the steps you need to follow if you want to start growing your own lemons.
Choosing the Right Tree
There are many different varieties of lemon trees, but not all of them do well when grown indoors. If you want the best results the Meyer lemon tree is your best option.
This tree doesn’t normally grow as large as some of the other common types and will not be negatively impacted by being confined in a pot. You can be successful growing a lemon tree indoors, but if you choose the wrong type you’ll end up extremely frustrated.
Big is Sometimes Better
When it comes to growing a lemon tree indoors bigger is absolutely better. Remember, this is a tree you’re trying to grow in your home. It needs as much room to spread its roots as you can give it.
A friend of mine has a couple of lemon trees growing in his sunroom and the pots he has them in or about 2 feet in diameter – they’re also quite deep. This gives those lemon trees plenty of opportunity to take root and that’s why they’re both around 6 feet tall. It makes for quite a spectacle seeing trees that large in a home and the aroma is absolutely amazing!
A Tree with A Head Start
Before we go any further we need to clarify one thing. You do not want to try growing a lemon tree from a seed. Is it possible? Sure, but unless you have the patience of a saint you’ll become completely disheartened with the process.
It will take two or three years before your lemon tree is close to mature enough to provide you with the tasty lemons you’re looking for. A much better idea is to find a home and garden center that carries them a buy one that’s already two or three years old. This is a much better starting point and you’ll stand a better chance of success.
A Large Spacious Room
A big tree needs a big room. Lemon trees can easily grow as tall as eight feet so you don’t want to place them in a room with short ceilings. Not only will they look completely out of place, but you can also limit their growth potential.
The best place for an indoor lemon tree is a nice spacious, wide open room – preferably with cathedral ceilings. In such an environment your lemon trees will look right at home and will really create a positive addition to that room.
Higher PH (6 or 7 acidic)
The soil you plant your lemon trees in should be fairly acidic. Look for a potting soil mix with a PH level of somewhere between 6 and 7. This will give the trees the nutrition they need to get a good head start. Your soil will need to be topped up from time as well to replenish the nutrients.
A Saucer full of Pebbles
It’s a good idea to place a large saucer under your pots with a layer of pebbles. The pebbles act as a good holding container for water and if you place some water in the saucer will keep your soil moist and your trees in the humid conditions they’re used to.
A Gravely Bottom
It’s also a good idea to line the bottom of your pots with a bit of gravel as well. The gravel helps to improve drainage (as long as it’s not blocking the drainage holes) and prevent the roots from drowning. If the lemon trees roots are exposed to so much water that they begin to drown in it the roots will rot and you’ll soon be left with a dead tree.
Regular Water and a Little Mist
Lemon trees are used to a humid tropical environment. You have to water them every few days making the soil always remains moist without drowning the trees.
It’s also a good idea to spray the lemons with a misty water solution on a daily basis. This helps to simulate the natural conditions the trees would be exposed to in their tropical environment. You may also want to consider a humidifier for the room they’re in.
The last thing you want to do is let your lemon be exposed to cold conditions. As tropical trees they need to be in temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees. As long as you keep the rom slightly above 70 you should be fine. There’s no need to turn your home into a tropical rainforest.
Lots of Light
Lastly, it’s important to make sure your lemon trees get lots of light. The sunny climes they’re used to expose them to a lot of sun. Typically they need between 8 and 12 hours of sun each and every day.
If that’s difficult to accomplish with natural light you’ll need to add an artificial sun lamp to compensate. Growing lemon trees indoors is challenging, but not impossible of you follow these guidelines.