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Growing Meyer Lemons in Containers

By on November 30, 2011

Tricia picks a basket of fragrant Meyer lemons.

Say the words Meyer lemon and people either throw back their shoulders and proudly announce, I have a Meyer lemon tree!  or they get a sad expression and sigh, I wish I had a Meyer lemon tree.

You can be part of the proud crowd, no matter where you live. In our video Tricia shows how to plant a Meyer lemon in a container and grow it indoors in the winter—moving it outside when the weather warms up enough in the spring.

Follow Tricia’s planting and care steps and in a few years you could have your own harvest basket full of Meyer lemons.

Meyer lemons are prized for their sweet flavor. They actually are different from other lemons, since they are said to be a Chinese cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. The Meyer lemons on the market today are called improved since they are not carriers of a citrus virus.

Here are some additional tips to help your citrus tree thrive and produce fruit indoors.

Pollination

Bees and other flying insects are the natural pollinators for citrus. Our window screens keep the insects outdoors, so if your tree is flowering while it is still inside you should give it an assist. Meyer lemons often flower and fruit twice a year. When the tree is blooming, take a cotton swab and transfer pollen from one blossom to another.

Supplemental Light

Place the tree in the brightest part of your house, near a south-facing window. If that is still not enough light, add some low-energy LED Grow Lights.

Fertilizers

Meyer lemons are heavy feeders and the easiest way to meet their needs is with a special citrus fertilizer. We recommend E.B. Stone’s Citrus & Tree Food and Citrus and Avocado Fertilizer Plus Calcium from California Organic Fertilizers. Did we mention they are hungry? Follow the directions for their multiple fertilizings each year.

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Moving the Container

It’s easy for us to talk about a tree in a container and breezily say, Move it outside when the weather warms up. With all your fertilizing and good care the citrus tree is going to grow and need larger containers over the years. Get help from a friend or use a moving dolly to move the pot outdoors.

Try These Citrus Too


Tricia picks a mandarin orange from her outdoor tree. In addition to Meyer lemons, many citrus grow well indoors too.

*  Bearss lime (also known as the Tahitian or Persian lime)
*  Lisbon lemon
*  Washington navel orange

For more information try the popular book The Bountiful Container, with learned advice about growing citrus and other fruits, vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers in containers. Authors are the well-known Rose Marie Nichols McGee (yes, that Nichols) and Maggie Stuckey.

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