Are Lemon Trees Male and Female?

Lemon trees are monoecious, so they have both the male and female reproductive organs in the same tree. There are no independent lemon trees. Lemon trees can produce bisexual flowers that have both male and female sex organs in the same flower.

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How it Works

During the blooming season, as the lemon tree blossoms and the flowers open up, both the male and female reproductive parts are revealed. The pistil, the female part, is composed of the stigma, style, and ovary which are grouped. The stamen which is the male portion of the flower includes the filaments and anthers.   

Self-pollination happens when the powdery pollen inside the anther is released. It then falls onto the female stigma. You can tell if a flower has successfully pollinated itself when the flower closes and begins to wilt.

Container Grown Lemon Trees

Because a lemon tree is self-pollinating, it is a perfect candidate if you wish to have a fruit-bearing tree but have limited garden space. Lemon trees have several varieties that are suitable for container growing. The Meyer Lemon and Dwarf Eureka lemon are two of the best. However, since lemon trees don’t usually grow too big, you can grow almost any variety in a container.

Growing Lemons Indoors

All citrus plants thrive in full sunlight (7 to 8 hours per day). When growing a lemon tree indoors, place your tree in a location where it can receive ample sunlight. Make sure that all sides of the tree receive sunlight by turning the container around every now and then. 

Can You Manually Pollinate a Lemon Tree?

Indoor grown lemon trees lack natural pollinators like wind, bees, and other insects. But you can achieve pollination manually. All you need is a small paint brush (the kind used by kids in school) or a cotton swab. Hand pollination is the best way to ensure that your indoor lemon tree bears fruit.

How it’s done

To achieve successful pollination you need to get pollen onto the stigma. Use either the paintbrush or the cotton swab. Locate the anther in the blossom and gently brush against it to pick up some of the pollen. Transfer the pollen to the stigma. A stigma is sticky when it is receptive to pollination. You’ll know when you have successful pollination when the flower closes into itself and wilts. If the flower falls to the ground then pollination didn’t occur. 

Additional Potted Lemon Tree Tips

  • Unless you are willing to wait it out (4-5 years), buy a lemon plant that is at least 2-3 years old from the nursery.
  • Repot your young lemon plant every couple of years in a container that is one size bigger than the previous container.
  • You can use artificial grow lights as a substitute for the lack of direct light.
  • Too much or too little water can lead to blossom and fruit drop, so drainage is the key.
  • Lemon trees dislike strong winds, but make sure to provide good airflow.
  • You can graft 2 or more varieties of lemon onto a single tree.
  • Freezing temperatures can kill citrus trees.