Meyer Lemon Trees are the easiest citrus plants to grow – especially indoors when their sweetly scented blossoms and fruit can be available up to four times yearly!
Given that you can grow a Meyer Lemon Tree indoors or outdoors, you must make several decisions before planting your new fruit tree.
However, the cultivation climate in your residential area will guide your decision.
How to Properly Grow and Care for the Meyer Lemon Tree
Here are the main concerns for adequately growing and caring for the Meyer Lemon Tree: Sunlight, Soil, Water, Temperature and Humidity, Fertiliser, Pruning, Propagation Requirements, and information about Picking and Plant Diseases and Common Pests.
To ensure that the lemons you choose from your tree are ready to eat, you should wait until the fruit has reached full maturity before plucking it.
Unlike many other vegetables and fruits, Citrus fruits do not mature once they leave the tree.
The Right Way of Growing & Taking Care of Meyer Lemon Tree
In warm areas such as Florida or California, Meyer lemon trees require little in the way of upkeep, which is why they are so popular as low-maintenance container-grown plants outdoors and indoors.
Although they are slightly more cold-resistant than Eureka and Lisbon lemon trees, they still require a protected and sunny location to reach their full potential.
Since these trees do not thrive in wet environments, it is essential to plant them in a location with good drainage.
If you are concerned about water pooling around your tree, you may either plant it on a slope or construct a large mound of earth around it to place it on.
It should not be surprising that citrus trees, like the Meyer Lemon Tree, have a strong affinity for warmth and bright sunlight.
All the citrus fruits—oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes—enjoy their time in the sun. They also favour warmer temperatures, particularly between 50 – and 80 – degrees Fahrenheit.
When temperatures drop lower than acceptable, growers of lemon may be caused to move their Meyer Lemon Trees indoors for the winter.
Cloudy or rainy regions may also require their plants to be provided with artificial sunlight to receive the necessary sun.
In most cases, this is not necessary; nevertheless, using a greenhouse or greenhouse lighting fixture to assist in the growth of your Meyer Lemon Tree is recommended since it has the potential to boost both the tree’s growth and its yield.
Clay, silt, sand, and loam are the primary kinds of soil that are most often distinguished from one another.
The Meyer Lemon Tree requires a sandy-loam soil type with an acidic pH between 5.5 and 6.5 and prefers an acidic pH between 5.5 and 6.5.
This will provide the optimum drainage possible while preventing the soil from drying up too rapidly.
If the earth in the garden is not suitable, you should use potting soil instead.
The amount of nutritional matter in the soil might affect the overall development of the tree. Growing a Meyer Lemon Tree requires soils with a relatively high nitrogen level.
Before you begin planting, it is essential to get your soil examined so you can decide whether it needs any amendments.
If required, you can adjust the pH of the earth by adding lime to raise it or sulfur to reduce it.
An essential aspect of cultivating a citrus plant, especially in a container, is providing it with the appropriate amount of water.
The soil around your Meyer lemon tree should be damp but not always saturated with water.
To find out if it is time to water your plant, put a finger in the soil up to the second joint.
It should indicate to you how much water the plant needs. If you feel the moisture on your fingers, you should wait until you have some water.
If the soil around your plant appears to be dry, give it a good soaking until you see water dripping out of the bottom of the pot.
A particularly effective way of maintaining the Meyer Lemon tree’s health – if it’s indoors – is to mist the leaves of the plant with water, particularly in the winter when the heaters are on.
If you have ‘feet’ or a stand at the bottom of your pot, it will assist with drainage and keep the plant healthier as it helps water drain out of the pot and prevents the plant from getting waterlogged.
Temperature & Humidity Requirements
The ideal range of temperatures for Meyer lemon trees to thrive is between 50- and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you do not reside in the USDA growth zones of 9 to 11, you should ideally bring your tree inside as soon as the temperature drops below this range consistently.
The tree must be covered when temperatures go below freezing, even in the zones of 9 to 11. It is essential to use a covering that extends to the ground to assist in retaining heat from the bottom.
A humidity level of at least 50 per cent is ideal for citrus plants to thrive.
If you cannot find a location within your home that has adequate humidity, fill a tray with rocks, pour water on the pebbles until it has not quite reached the top of the stones, and then lay your pot on top of the rocks.
This will cause the humidity surrounding the plant to increase. Consider putting a portable humidifier in the area.
A slow-release all-purpose fertiliser or a high-nitrogen fertiliser should nourish your Meyer lemon tree during the growing season, which begins in early spring and continues until October.
In most cases, three treatments spread out equally throughout the growing season should be plenty to keep your plant content, growing, and producing fruit or vegetables.
Compost tea, liquid kelp, or fish emulsion are all examples of liquid fertilisers that may provide additional nutrition to citrus trees.
However, doing so is typically unnecessary and does not improve the quality of the fruit produced.
The frequent practice of feeding lemon trees with used coffee grounds serves two purposes: it acidifies overly alkaline soils and provides some minor nutrients.
The method achieves both benefits.
However, for the coffee grounds to be valid, they need to be composted appropriately and not just thrown onto the soil surrounding the plant straight after being removed from the coffee maker.
Do not use coffee grounds that have not been composted, as they contain excessive caffeine, which can harm trees.
Pruning of Meyer Lemon Trees
You have complete control over how you trim your Meyer lemon tree because its overall form does not influence the capacity of the tree to produce fruit.
Others might rather cut the tree in a way that gives it a conventional appearance with an exposed trunk, while many gardeners like giving it the formation of a hedge.
Even if the thorns produced by Meyer Lemon Trees are less severe and more delicate than those made by other thorn trees, it is nevertheless uncomfortable to get pricked by one of these thorns.
When you are pruning, wear gloves and clippers that are both sharp and clean.
1. When Should You Prune your Meyer Lemon Tree?
The pruning will assist in fostering healthy development and should be done either just before the tree flowers or after all the ripe lemons have been taken from the tree.
Pruning here and there will be beneficial, but you should stay moderate.
When trimming citrus trees, gardeners might easily get carried away and do permanent harm to subsequent generations of fruits.
If you are cultivating the tree indoors, the ideal time to trim it is straight after you have relocated the tree.
2. What Should You Prune?
First, remove any wood that is infected, damaged, or dead.
Cut these branches at the point where they meet the main component of the tree, whether the main unit is central to the tree or one is an auxiliary branch.
Some gardeners need to learn how to assess whether a component belongs to one of these three groups.
A hollow sound and a lighter touch are also characteristics of dead wood.
Wood infected with a disease will have blemishes or fungal remains. Along the length of the branch, damaged wood will exhibit features such as cuts, abrasions, and fractures.
Get rid of any suckers that are on the tree. The Meyer Lemon Tree will exhibit them as brilliant green shoots that emerge between the root ball and the graft site.
Even though they may have a healthy appearance, these suckers will strip the tree of its essential nutrients and prevent it from producing any lemons.
Prune the tree as follows:
- Eliminate any branches that are too frail to withstand the weight of a lemon.
- Additionally, it would be best if you prune the tree’s interior.
- Examine the area under the outer branches and prune away any dense inner growth you see.
By eliminating this growth, you may assist the tree in directing its resources toward generating healthy fruit.
Without these steps, the plant will likely not receive enough sunlight to produce viable fruit.
You may also prune the tree to give it a form that is more visually pleasing to the eye.
After pruning the tree, make sure that you remove any cuttings or dead leaves that may have fallen from the soil beneath the tree.
Fungi and pests will have a more challenging time spreading thanks to this measure.
Propagation of Meyer Lemon Tree
When compared to other citrus plants, lemon trees are among the easiest to propagate.
You can accomplish this task any time during the year by using cuttings from semi-hardwood trees.
However, the procedure has the best chance of success if the cuttings are collected when the tree is actively growing.
This indicates that cuts should be made in the late spring or the early summer.
The cutting should be from fresh, healthy growth, and it should not have any blooms or fruit on it at the time of harvesting.
Following are the steps that need to be taken to root a Meyer lemon tree cutting successfully:
- Please ensure the cutting you take is at least 3 to 6 inches long, and get it from a mother plant that is fully developed and free of any diseases.
- Take off any leaves, blooms, or fruit attached to the cutting, save for the top four leaves still on the wood.
- In order to stop root rot or disease from happening, take the cut end of the branch and dip it in a powdered rooting hormone.
- Put some well-watered, high-quality potting mix in a pot of medium size (approximately 1 gallon), then set the pot in a sunny location.
- When placing the cutting into the soil mixture, bury the cut-off branch’s end so it isn’t visible.
- Place the pot and the cuttings inside a plastic bag, cover completely and place in a well-lit area so that the moisture will be preserved.
It should take around two months for the cutting to produce new roots, during which time the soil should be kept damp without becoming soaked, and you should spray misting on the cutting regularly.
When the plant’s roots have been established, remove the plastic covering and continue to care for it as you usually would. Store the plant inside or in a protected place until the following spring.
Picking of Meyer Lemons
Lemon trees cultivated inside usually do not produce fruit until spring, but lemon trees grown outside in warm areas typically have fruit throughout the year.
Because citrus fruit can only continue to mature while still on the tree, it is essential to wait until your Meyer lemons have reached full maturity before plucking them.
When they are ready, Meyer lemons will have the colour of egg yolk and will feel somewhat rubbery to the touch.
Obviously, you want to remove the fruit from the branch without risking injury to the plant, so take out sections that are larger than planned; you should use a knife or scissors to cut.
Plant Diseases & Common Pests of Meyer Lemon Tree
When you develop your own Meyer lemon tree, there is a chance that it will have one or more of the common issues in Meyer lemon trees.
If the leaves on your tree begin to turn yellow, the tree’s development becomes stunted, the fruits drop off the tree prematurely, the leaves develop spots, and the tree itself becomes weak, you will know that your tree is suffering from pests and illnesses.
Diseases Found Commonly in Meyer Lemon Tree
1. The Armillaria Root Rot
The Meyer lemon tree is susceptible to a fungus that can produce armillaria root rot, ultimately resulting in the tree’s demise.
The initial indications include a reduction in the plant’s height, a yellowing of the foliage, and an early falling of the leaves.
After penetrating the Meyer lemon tree’s root system and spreading through the soil via the tree’s roots, the fungus ultimately kills the tree.
The best way to control Armillaria root rot is to stop new trees from becoming infected with the disease.
Once a tree is afflicted, it isn’t easy to preserve it. If you have sick trees in your garden, you should remove the trees and their root systems.
In regions with previously sick trees, replanting should not occur for at least a year.
2. Greasy Spot Fungus
Lesions on the bottom leaf surface can range in colour from yellow to brown to black and are caused by greasy spot spores.
The lesions developing on the leaf’s bottom surface become darker as the development process continues, and they finally create a mark on the top surface of the leaf.
A tree infected with Meyer lemon drop disease experiences premature leaf drop, which weakens the tree and increases the likelihood that other pests and diseases will attack it.
Combine three to four litres of water with two to four teaspoons of copper fungicide, or do so according to the directions on the product packaging.
Once you see the first sign, give infected Meyer lemon plants a good stir and then spray them.
It is necessary to carry out the procedure once every week or two until the fungus has been removed.
3. Citrus Scab Disease
During wetter periods, there is a higher incidence of citrus scab. Lesions that are scaly and spherical first show up on young leaves, stems, and fruits and then spread to other parts of the plant.
The lesions start looking like pinkish patches, turning brown and dark grey.
Mix some copper fungicide with water and follow the guidelines on the package to treat citrus scabs.
The first spray should be applied when the first leaves of spring appear.
The second spray should be applied when the flower petals fall from the tree.
The final spray should be done at least three weeks after the second spray.
Insect Pests That Are Usually Seen in a Meyer Lemon Tree
1. The Thrips
Pests known as thrips feed primarily on the sepals of immature Meyer lemon tree fruit, forming a ring of scarred tissues around the fruit as it ripens.
Adult thrips are easily identifiable by their tiny size, orange-yellow colouration, and fringed wing margins.
Try utilising non-chemical alternatives such as natural insecticidal soap, neem oil, or trimming the blossoms to prevent boosting the proliferation of the thrips population rather than relying on chemical solutions.
2. The Aphids
Aphids are little, soft-bodied black insects that do more significant damage to young Meyer lemon trees than they do to adult plants.
You can find aphids on all Meyer lemon trees. They draw the sap out of the plant, which causes the leaves to wilt and turn yellow.
A sticky fluid known as “Honeydew” is secreted by the insect after it has consumed the sap. This material entices ants to feed on the plant, which harms your Meyer lemon tree more.
Due to resistance, pesticides are often not suggested. However, if a pesticide is used, the trees’ leaves will re-act by curling up.
Destroy Aphids by spraying water at a high enough pressure or by fostering the growth of natural predators like ladybugs.
3. The Citrus Leaf Miners
Young trees are particularly susceptible to various citrus diseases because of the damage and issues caused by leaf miners.
Examining how the insects affect the leaves can help determine whether they are present in your tree. You will notice a winding route that goes around the leaf taken away.
It is possible to place mesh at the base of the tree to make it challenging for the insect to finish its life cycle. You may also use neem oil to eliminate the pests plaguing your citrus plants.
An Abundance of Healthy Fruit
Regardless of where you plant it, your lemon tree must produce an abundance of healthy fruit.
Look for the deep yellow colour of an egg yolk – as discussed above. To get the best possible results, when removing the fruit from the vine, use scissors or clippers not to harm the plant.
The Meyer Lemon Tree is not typically plagued by pests such as aphids or borers, although there have been reports of these insects attacking the tree occasionally.
This brings up another interesting fact. Cleaning up the ground and pulling weeds are two of the most effective preventative actions to reduce the risk of insect infestation.
If pests become a problem, a standard insecticide purchased from a store may eliminate any problems.
Final Thoughts on How to Properly Grow and Care for the Meyer Lemon Tree
It’s interesting to note that both lemon and mandarin flavours blend in the lovely citrus fruit of the Meyer Lemon Tree.
Growing these plants in garden pots or in the ground is a gratifying experience.
They are prolific in their fruit production, and a bonus is that their beautiful snowy white blossoms are fabulously fragrant.
If you have cats and/or dogs as your family pets, use caution because, just like other citrus plants, the skin of this fruit – and plant materials – are toxic to dogs and cats.
The fruit of the Meyer Lemon tree is sweeter than any lemons from other types of lemon trees.
Even the peel has excellent flavour and is fantastic for cooking. These lemons are smaller than others, and they have a rounder shape.
This plant is self-pollinating, meaning you need only one tree to produce fruit! What a great plant this is!
The amazing Meyer Lemon tree – a must for every gardener who appreciates the best things in life!