How Long Does it Take to Grow a Lemon? Tips and Tricks for Growing and Care!

Of course, it is also possible to grow tropical plants at home, for example, a lemon tree. The lemon tree is a perennial plant that loves warmth and sufficient moisture.

Not only do these trees look beautiful, but they will also fill the room with a deliciously fresh fragrance when they bloom. It has a lush, dark green crown and bears fruit well even when grown in a pot. And the main question: How long does it take to grow a lemon? Lemon tree at home can be grown in two ways: from seeds or seedlings. The first option develops faster, it is more unpretentious and healthier, but it begins to bear fruit in 8-10 years. A tree grown from a seedling grows less actively, but you can collect lemons from it after 3-4 years.

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Lemon not only enlivens the interior, but also has useful properties:

Healing smell. Lemon leaves are able to release more than 80 useful substances. They have a positive effect on human health, relieve nervous tension, improve sleep and fight colds. And lemon is a great way to increase blood pressure at home.

Against pests. Citrus aroma cleanses the room from pests and bacteria. This is a kind of home disinfectant that sanitizes housing from fungi, insects and viral infections.

Calming effect. People who are affected by stress, fears and anxiety, it is especially useful to have a lemon tree at home or at work. It has a calming effect, improves mood, relieves depression and relieves fatigue.

Charge of vitamins. Citrus fruits are a treasure trove of vitamins A, C, E, PP, B, as well as trace elements. They are an invaluable source of essential substances for the health and functioning of the body.

3 Ways to Have a Lemon Tree in Your Home:

  1. Buy an adult tree. Gardening stores are full of fruit-bearing lemon trees that you can enjoy today. But gardeners do not recommend buying an adult plant. Lemon reacts very painfully to changing conditions and may refuse to bear fruit. Yes, and the cost of such a purchase is rather big.
  2. Propagate lemon from cuttings. If your friends have a fruit-bearing lemon tree growing at home, ask them for a shoot or leaf of the plant and plant it in a pot. Lemons grown by cuttings retain all the useful qualities of the parent tree. The first “harvest” can be harvested after 3-5 years, while growing a lemon from a seed at home will not work so quickly. How long does it take to grow a lemon from a seed? We will consider this question in more detail later in our article.
  3. Plant a bone. The most affordable way is to plant a lemon seed. Seeds can be bought at the store or obtained from a fresh fruit.

To grow a lemon tree at home, you will need a pot. Its capacity depends on the size of the plant. It is not necessary to plant the seeds in a huge 10 or 20 liter pot, as they will be uncomfortable in it. Start small and then change as you grow. The container must have holes to drain excess water. Drainage should be placed down, for example, large gravel or expanded clay. When transplanting, follow this rule: the width of the pot should be at least 4 centimeters larger than the width of the root system. As soil for lemon seedlings, you can purchase a ready-made mixture for indoor plants. You can also cook it yourself using earth, humus and sand. Lemon trees love light, so you need to provide a place in your home where there will be constant lighting. However, it should not be placed next to a radiator or where there are drafts, as it will begin to lose leaves.

Image credit pavlovolimon

Lemon Trees are Relatively Easy to Care For, so You Can Grow Them at Home

Consider the basic rules:

  1. Plants love watering. The soil in the pot should be constantly moist. Don’t let it dry out because the lemon plant may die. But you don’t need to fill it up. In summer it is watered every day, in winter – every 2-3 days as needed.
  2. Feed once a month. To do this, use organic and mineral fertilizers. They are introduced into the soil in turn along with watering.
  3. Make sure that there are no insects or mites on the leaves or in the base area. At the first sign, you need to process the tree, and then feed it.

Care also involves removing damaged leaves or dried twigs. Growing a lemon tree is not difficult, the main thing is to water it and monitor the condition of the plant. If you still decide to grow a lemon tree yourself from a seed, then we will consider this issue in great detail, and give all the important and useful tips and recommendations. How Long Does it Take to Grow a Lemon From a Seed? Read below!

How Long Does it Take to Grow a Lemon From a Seed?

Be patient, as a lemon tree grown from a seed will bear fruit only after 8-10 years. But if you want to grow this beautiful tree not only for future lemons, but just as a wonderful green plant in your home, let’s start with where can we get a lemon stone? Of course, you can buy ready-made seeds, or you can grow a tree from a lemon bought in a store. Ideally, only freshly harvested lemon seeds should be used. They must be selected from mature fruits that do not have signs of disease. But lemons come to us from supermarkets and markets, and they are definitely not freshly picked. Dried, and still lain for a month at room temperature, the seeds significantly lose their freshness, but still germinate. To completely grow a lemon at home, you need to stock up not with one or two seeds, but with a much larger number of them. Out of a dozen seeds, several sprouts must necessarily appear.

Do not be afraid to grow many seedlings at once. It is not a fact that all your lemons from the pit at home will live to bear fruit. Some will die due to diseases, others will suffer when you vaccinate them.

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Seeds Preparation

Carefully cut the lemon and remove the seeds from it. Select 12-15 large seeds with a smooth surface without deformation, otherwise they will either not germinate at all, or will not give healthy shoots. The pits must be washed to get rid of the mucous membrane: it can cause rotting of the seeds. It is best to leave the seeds in a glass of warm water overnight, this will not only clean them, but also help them germinate faster.

Lemons love medium acid soil rich in phosphorus. In the store you can buy a specialized soil for citrus fruits, which is designed for growing lemon at home in a regular pot. To mix the soil yourself, take equal proportions of peat, humus and soddy soil. Calcining the soil in an oven at 200 degrees or in a water bath will make the seeds more resistant to disease.

As a container, use a small container – plastic cups or pots. The main thing is to make a drain hole and form a drainage layer of charcoal or expanded clay.


It is better to plant a lemon from the stone in separate containers – this way the plant will receive less stress during transplantation. If you decide to plant lemons in one box, place the holes no closer than 1 cm from each other. After the appearance of the first 3 leaves, the plant will have to dive into different pots.

The ideal time for planting is the end of winter. Daylight hours increase and subsequently provide good conditions for seed development.

When the preparatory stage is completed, you can start landing:

  1. At the bottom of the container, lay out a drainage layer 2 cm high.
  2. Fill the remaining space with soil, not filling up about 2 cm to the top.
  3. Place the seeds in the ground to a depth of 3 cm.
  4. Cover the pot with cling film to create a warming effect.
  5. Place the pot in a warm place with plenty of light.

Immediately after planting, it is not necessary to water the seeds – the membrane will create a greenhouse effect and an optimal level of humidity. At intervals of once every 2 days, open the containers for 15 minutes so that the seedlings breathe.

In order for planting to accurately bring results, plant several seeds at once, as the seeds may not germinate. It will not be superfluous to take 10-15 pieces – one of them will definitely rise.

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Care Rules

The first shoots will appear in 2-4 weeks. If one pit gave two sprouts at once, remove the weaker one. Lemons are thermophilic plants. In room conditions, they take root well, but require some care, which includes:

  1. Watering. Do not overwater the plant, as it likes moderate moisture. Its regularity depends on the season. In winter, lemon is watered 3 times a month, in spring and autumn – 3 times a week, in the hot period – 1 time in 3 days. Check the soil regularly. If at a depth of 2 cm it is dry, it should be refreshed.
  2. Humidity. Even homemade lemon trees have “tropical genes”. Dry air is bad for the development of the plant, so try to keep the humidity in the room at 70%. But sometimes such an indicator leads to undesirable consequences – fungus, mold, so you have to think about how to get rid of dampness in the apartment. If you can’t create tropics at home, spray the leaves daily with a spray bottle.
  3. Temperature. In a cold microclimate, the tree will not grow. For full development, the optimum air temperature should be within 20-25 degrees in the summer season and 15-17 degrees in the winter.
  4. Lighting. Lemon loves light, but not direct sunlight – they can burn the plant. Place the tree on a sunny windowsill, but keep it out of direct sunlight. Turn the pot periodically to form a beautiful, uniform crown.
  5. Feeding. The first 2-3 months you do not need to feed the seeds. Fertilizers begin after the appearance of the first sprouts. Choose commercially available citrus blends that include zinc, manganese, and boron. In winter, lemons from the stone are fed once a month. In the spring, replace conventional fertilizers with potash or nitrogen, during the flowering period – with phosphorus.
  6. Pruning. Timely stopping of lemon shoots will help the plant form a dense crown and bring a good harvest. As a rule, you can cut the shoots in the first year, the optimal time for this is April. The upper shoots are pinched at a plant height of 20 cm, side shoots – 18 cm.
  7. Transfer. When the tree acquires 2-3 leaves, you can start transplanting it to a permanent “place of residence”. It is very important to choose a container of a suitable size in which the plant will feel comfortable at home. Young lemons up to 3 years old are transplanted twice a year into pots with a diameter of at least 20 cm. For 3-4-year-old plants, flowerpots with a diameter of 30 cm are suitable, for 5-year-olds – 40 cm. Adult lemons are transplanted less often – once every 3 years. A suitable container for them should be at least 45 cm in diameter.

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In the warm period, lemons grown from the stone can be transferred to the balcony. Create a light shade for them and protect them from direct sunlight. In a particularly dry season, do not forget to spray the crown.

Proper care will help both grow a lemon from a stone and get a delicious home harvest.

Watch also interesting video:


Rules Depending on The Period 

The tree needs specific care, taking into account the period, which can be represented by flowering, dormancy or fruiting:

  • Flowering. At this time, the tops of the shoots acquire a purple color. Large flowers appear in the spring after the appearance of the first bud. The flowering period lasts about two months. Only after the petals fall does the fruit set. During the year, one tree may have small fruits, ovaries, buds and flowers. No need to pluck the inflorescences, as they become ovaries. When flowering, standard care is provided. The plant is protected from drafts, and is also regularly sprayed. There should be about 10 leaves per 1 inflorescence. The remaining ovaries are removed, otherwise many small and tasteless fruits will be obtained.
  • Fruiting. The fruit ripens after tying for 200 days. During this period, the plant needs nourishment and good watering. The number of fruits usually does not exceed 8 pieces. During this period, specific care is not required, so it is enough just to remove the fruits in a timely manner.
  • Dormancy. It falls during the winter period. It is necessary to create optimal conditions so that during active growth the tree fully blooms and bears fruit. Therefore, the plant is kept at a cool temperature. Before the dormant period, flowers and shoots are removed. The temperature is in the range from 12 to 17 degrees. Minimal watering is required, but the soil must not dry out. Spraying is carried out several times a week.


Lemon Tree Diseases: Everything You Need To Know

In the process of care, it is important to monitor the condition of the soil. If the plant is systematically transfused, mold may form in the soil, after which the roots will begin to rot. If you notice the first signs of white bloom or feel an unpleasant odor, immediately transplant the flower. Once a year, try to treat the plants with special agents against diseases and parasites.

At home, seeded lemons are quite resistant to pests and diseases. However, careless care and poor soil quality can lead to the development of some diseases.

  • Gommoz. With severe hypothermia, characteristic red-brown spots appear on the trunk, and gum flows out of the damaged areas of the bark. Homoz is difficult to treat, so it should be treated immediately. The damaged bark is removed, after which the affected areas are treated with copper sulphate. At the final stage, it is necessary to close up the “wounds” with garden pitch.
  • Chlorosis. Iron deficiency leads to impaired chlorophyll metabolism. First, the leaves fade, then the entire plant is affected. To save it, the leaves must be sprayed with iron preparations.
  • Tristeza. A viral disease that can be recognized by the white veins on the leaves. The growth of the tree slows down, the crown dries up and falls off. The danger of tristeza is that it can be transmitted to other indoor plants. It is impossible to cure the disease, the only way out is to destroy the lemon.
  • Root rot. Due to waterlogging of the soil, root rot appears, which can develop into more complex consequences – loss of foliage. Remove all affected roots, change the soil and disinfect the pot to cure the disease.
  • Late blight. Lemon is vulnerable to late blight. Its symptoms are similar to gommoz: dark spots appear, which over time can crack and emit an oily discharge. The process is accompanied by an unpleasant odor. For treatment, it is recommended to use products with a high iron content.
  • Leaf mosaic. The disease can be distinguished by white and light yellow spots that affect the foliage. Diseased leaves should be removed. To avoid re-infection, care must be changed.
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In addition to diseases, homemade lemon often attacks aphids, spider mites and scale insects. To avoid their appearance, treat the plant with special pesticides.

It would seem that all conditions have been created, but the lemon tree does not grow well, does not please with fruits and is “naughty”. Minor problems can be solved with careful care.

  • Yellowing and fall of leaves. Adjust the watering, the degree of lighting and humidity in the room.
  • Yellow spots and drying of foliage. Feed the plant with iron.
  • Drying of the tips of the leaves, spots of rusty color. Apply phosphate fertilizer.
  • Dropping the crown. Occurs due to too dry air. Spray the tree daily with a spray bottle.
  • Lack of flowering and fruit.  If the tree does not please with fruits, although the time has already come, it means that it lacks pollination.

When Will The Lemon Tree Begin to Bear Fruit?

Subject to all the rules of care, homemade lemon will definitely please you with an intoxicating aroma and juicy fruits for 40 years! But how soon it will do this depends on the landing method:

  • A plant grown from a seed will give the first harvest only 8-10 years after planting.
  • We remind you that lemons obtained by cuttings bear fruit in 3-4 years.

Harvesting Fruit 

When clusters with fruits appear on the plant, remove about 2/3 of them. This will make room for the others and the lemons will grow bigger. In addition, a large number of fruits can overload the tree, leading to its exhaustion. To understand that the fruit is ripe, pay attention to its color: it should be bright yellow. You can also touch the fruit: a ripe lemon is soft to the touch. Once harvested, fruits can be stored for 1-2 months in a cupboard or refrigerator.

Image credit artofit

What To Do if The Plant Dries Out?

The lemon tree usually dries out with improperly selected soil or excessive watering, as this leads to rotting of the roots. When transplanting, the rules for gradually increasing the size of the container should be taken into account, otherwise the soil will quickly turn sour.

Sometimes the plant dries when exposed to pests that are located on the trunk or in the roots. The frequent movement of the pot from one place to another is detrimental. If the tree is watered too infrequently, then it simply dries out from lack of moisture.

To combat drying, the cause is determined, after which pest control preparations are applied, a special top dressing for citrus fruits is applied, or the plant returns to its original place.

What To Do if The Leaves Have Fallen?

The reason for dropping leaves is poor lighting. The lemon tree is depleted, so it cannot provide all the necessary nutrients to the available leaves.

Therefore, if the leaves begin to fall, then the pot is immediately placed on the windowsill on the south side so that the plant can get a lot of light. In cloudy weather, artificial lighting is provided.

Watering and Spraying

The longevity of the plant depends on the correct watering. If a lemon tree is bought by an inexperienced gardener, then it literally dies within a few weeks. The main reason is illiterate watering. Therefore, in order for the plant to be healthy and strong, the rules are taken into account:

  • the plant is watered only with settled water once a day;
  • it is allowed to water the tree every 2 days, but with the obligatory monitoring of the state of the soil;
  • in winter, watering is carried out 2 times a week;
  • the accumulating water in the pan is immediately drained, otherwise the root system will quickly rot;
  • daily the leaves are sprayed with settled and warm water;
  • it is allowed to increase the amount of spraying in winter if the air in the apartment becomes too dry due to the operation of the heating.

Beginners must find a balance between overflow and lack of water. If the plant does not receive enough moisture, then the leaves turn yellow. With excessive watering, the process of decay begins.

Why Are There No Fruits?

Lemon trees can bloom profusely, but the ovaries fall off without producing fruit. There are various reasons for this:

  • the absence of cross-pollination, which you have to do on your own with the help of a cotton wool disc or an ordinary brush;
  • the impact of pests, since even the slightest infection leads to a slowdown in growth and the absence of fruits;
  • the plant blooms even in winter, therefore, due to the lack of rest, forces for fruiting are not restored;
  • abundant flowering, which becomes an obstacle to the appearance of fruits, so you need to get rid of numerous flowers yourself;
  • lack of feed.

Why Lemon Is Useful For Our Health?

In conclusion, I would like to pay a little attention to the benefits of the fruits of the lemon tree. It is generally accepted that lemons have the following beneficial properties:

  • Lemon is an excellent antiseptic.
  • Lemon fruits are rich in vitamins. Lemons are especially rich in vitamin C.
  • The aroma of lemon awakens the appetite and has a beneficial effect on mood.
  • Lemon can loosen stools.
  • Lemons are useful during weight loss.
  • Fragrant bright fruits are considered a good diuretic.
  • Lemon peel is good for joints.
  • Lemon is an indispensable addition to various dishes and drinks.


Above is a small part of the beneficial qualities of the most famous and popular citrus. Lemon is not only healthy, but also delicious. It can be sprinkled with sugar or eaten with honey. With the help of this fruit, you can decorate any culinary masterpiece. The aroma of lemon is invigorating and inviting. Therefore, it is undoubtedly worth trying to grow a lemon at home.

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Vanessa Sharon

I am the founder of the Deep Nature Gardens website! I, along with the experts, want to provide you with our avid readers, with accurate and compelling knowledge about gardens, plants and design techniques.

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