The lemon tree belongs to the citrus family, and citrus is one of the easiest fruit trees you can grow in your garden and as well as pots. In this article, we will be talking about lemon tree care outdoor. The plant you buy from the nursery starts fruiting within 2 years. Lemon is one of the low-maintenance trees in the garden. There are around 30 varieties of lemon trees grown around the world. The lemon tree is hardy it can grow in warm and cold weather easily. In winter frost can affect the leaves of trees.
Tip:- it is recommended to buy lemon plants from the nursery and then grow them from seed. In my experience lemon plant grown from seed takes 6 to 8 years to start bearing fruit!
Table of Contents
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THE LEMON TREE IN THE GARDEN?
Lemon tree care outdoor required choosing the right place, and watering properly. Pruning, fertilizing, pests, and diseases control and harvesting.
CHOOSING RIGHT PLACE
When you plant a lemon in your garden choose the right place where the full-day sunlight reaches the lemon. Full-day sunlight increases the process of photosynthesis. Without proper sunlight, the tree cannot bloom and grow properly. So choosing the right place is very important
LEMON TREE WATERING
Lemon tree care outdoor requires to understand watering needs. Only water the lemon tree when the soil is completely dry. Soil should have moisture all the time. When your tree starts flowering overwatering and less watering also can cause the flowers to drop. You can easily check the moisture of the soil by inserting a finger 2 to 3 inches into the soil you can feel the moisture or dryness.
LEMON TREE PRUNING
Pruning is main factor in lemon tree care outdoor or indoor. When your tree reaches the age of about 11 to 12 months you can start pruning. It is important to keep your tree in shape. Before the start of the spring season, you can prune your lemon tree. Cut the branches which cross each other. Cut the branches that grow below the grafted area these branches are called suckers. Remove the dead branches. Sunlight and air can pass through the tree easily. Do not over prune it can kill the tree. You should prune once a year. Use sharp shears to prune and disinfect the shears with alcohol pads before using.
Note: Pruning increases fruiting
LEMON TREE FERTILIZING
Understanding how and when to fertilize is important for lemon tree care . The lemon tree needs both macronutrients and micronutrients for its good growth and fruiting. Fertilizing lemon trees boast the fruiting and fulfill the nutritional requirements of a tree. Nitrogen phosphorous and potassium are the three vital nutrients required by any plant
Nitrogen is required for leaves and new growth
Phosphorus is required for roots growth
Potassium is required for flowering and fruiting
You can use a balanced diet of 20-20-20 NPK for lemon trees. When your tree starts flowering then decrease the nitrogen and increase the potassium. You can use 5-15-45 NPK. You can spray and use it in roots also.
LEMON TREE PEST AND DISEASES
Controlling pest and diseases is also one of the main factors in lemon tree care outdoor. Some serious pests and diseases do not attack lemon trees easily. Some common pests can attack your tree but they can easily be controlled by using organic pesticides neem oil or for the instant result you can use pesticides of any well-reputed brand. If you are a beginner I would suggest you use chemical pesticides because neem oil or any other organic pesticide takes time and a beginner can be disappointed. Read instructions properly before using any pesticide.
Common pests and diseases:
Aphids attack at the start of the spring season. Aphid sucks sap from newly growing leaves and weakens the plant. It is a tiny insect that spreads very quickly. Aphids can be spotted under the leaves. You can check the undersides of leaves and if aphids are there spray pesticide timely so it does not spread more.
The leaf miner eats the plant tissue. It is a tiny insect. When leaf miner eats plant tissue it can weaken the plant because the process of photosynthesis is affected. You can use neem oil to get rid of the leaf miner.
If you see some white cotton like something on leaves, stems, and fruit also it is called mealybugs. There are many ways by which you can rid of mealybugs. It can drop the fruiting.
Spraying neem oil is very effective for mealybugs.
Spraying soap water is also very effective.
You can use chemical pesticides which can give you instant results.
Whitefly which is also known as citrus whiteflies can attack lemon tree. Whiteflies attack the leaves of the tree. It feeds on the sap of the leaves. You can easily control the whiteflies by using soap and water liquid. You can add a few drops of shampoo/ liquid hand wash in 1 liter of water (take the amount of water according to your tree size). For the best result, you can mix a few drops of neem oil. Whitefly are spotted under the leaves while spraying keep in mind that spray reaches the underside of leaves.
When the lemons or any citrus fruit is ready to harvest I would suggest you always harvest using the sharp pruning shear or any cutter than hand picking. Harvesting with the shear method increases the fruiting from where you will cut the branch/shoot to harvest the fruit from there two more new branches will start to grow. Harvesting with hand picking method can decrease fruiting.
Taking care of a lemon tree outdoors can be both satisfying and productive. By reading this article, you can properly take care of your lemon tree , and harvest lots of lemons. From choosing the best spot for your lemon tree, watering, and protection from bugs, each step is important for the tree’s health. Regular pruning and disease prevention are also essential for successful growth of lemon tree. With bit of knowledge you can harvest large amount of fresh lemons from your own garden.
How do I take care of a lemon tree in my garden?
Lemon tree care includes choosing the right location where tree receives full day sunlight, watering when the soil is dry, regular pruning to shape the tree, balanced fertilizing with nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and addressing common pests and diseases.
What’s the importance of choosing the right location for my lemon tree?
Choosing a spot with full-day sunlight is crucial as it promotes photosynthesis, essential for proper growth and blooming. Without adequate sunlight, the tree may not thrive or bear fruit effectively.
How should I water my outdoor lemon tree?
Water the lemon tree when the soil is completely dry. Ensure that the soil remains consistently moist, but avoid overwatering. When the tree is flowering, both overwatering and underwatering can lead to dropped flowers. Check soil moisture by inserting a finger 2 to 3 inches into the soil.
How and when should I prune my lemon tree?
Pruning should begin when the tree is around 11 to 12 months old. Prune before spring starts, removing branches that cross each other, those growing below the grafted area (suckers), and dead branches. Pruning helps sunlight and air circulate, increasing fruiting. Prune once a year using sharp shears disinfected with alcohol.
What’s the right way to fertilize my lemon tree?
Fertilizing is crucial for lemon tree care. Use a balanced 20-20-20 NPK fertilizer. Adjust nitrogen and potassium levels as the tree transitions from flowering to fruiting. Nitrogen supports leaf and growth, phosphorus aids root development, and potassium encourages flowering and fruiting. Spraying or using fertilizer at the roots can help.
How can I address pests and diseases affecting my lemon tree?
Control pests like aphids, leaf miners, mealybugs, and whiteflies by using organic neem oil or reputable chemical pesticides. These pests can weaken the tree and hinder photosynthesis. Regularly inspect your tree’s undersides for signs of infestation, and follow instructions carefully when using pesticides.
When and how should I harvest lemons from my tree?
Harvest lemons using sharp pruning shears or a cutter, as this encourages new growth. Cutting a branch to harvest will lead to the growth of new branches. Avoid hand picking, as it can reduce fruiting. Harvesting with pruning shears is more productive and maintains the tree’s health.
What are the key takeaways for caring for a lemon tree outdoors?
lemon tree care outdoors involves choosing a sunny spot, maintaining appropriate watering practices, regular pruning for shape and air circulation, balanced fertilizing with necessary nutrients, and vigilant pest and disease control. Following these steps will result in a productive lemon tree with abundant fruit.