Tips on Caring for a Meyer Lemon Tree 

Any deck, balcony, or patio, big or small, can be transformed by a potted tree. A tree planted in a container can act as a focal point for your patio or garden, while multiple container trees can provide privacy screening or turn a hot, exposed area into a leafy bower. A potted tree can make a statement no annuals could ever match. And when you choose to keep a Meyer Lemon Tree in a pot on your patio, you get the added benefit of deep-green color year-round (citrus trees are evergreen), fragrant white flowers in the springtime, and – best of all – delicious, gourmet fruit grown right in your own backyard. A hybrid of a true lemon and a mandarin orange, Meyer Lemons are smaller than their conventional cousins, sweeter, and much coveted in recipes of all kinds from sweet to savory. They can also be used in any recipe that calls for lemons, and you’ll love using your own homegrown fruits instead of having to make a grocery store run!

If you’re already moving on because you believe you don’t live in a climate conducive to growing a lemon tree, hang on – the improved Meyer Lemon is the hardiest of lemon trees, and trees kept in pots can be brought indoors to overwinter when the weather turns cold.

When it comes to lemon tree care, Meyer Lemon trees are easier to look after than other citrus plants. This doesn’t mean you can just stick your tree in a pot and give it some water now and then and expect it to thrive. But with the right information and a little effort, your potted Meyer Lemon Tree can brighten your patio and kitchen for years to come.

Care Tips for Potted Meyer Lemon Trees

Meyer lemon trees can be planted in the ground in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11 (the southern coastal regions and deep southern half of the United States), where its maximum height (about ten feet tall) makes it ideal for smaller gardens. Even in tropical climates, however, your Meyer Lemon Tree will need help when the thermometer dips below freezing, but since Meyer Lemons love temperatures between 50°F and 80°F, most will do quite well in colder growing zones if they’re kept in containers that can be overwintered.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to keep your Meyer Lemon Tree healthy:

  • Choose a sunny location for your Meyer Lemon Tree. This is the most important thing to remember: full sun exposure, at least eight hours a day. (This is true in the winter, as well, so keep that in mind when planning on getting a Meyer Lemon to keep in a pot.) Not enough sun means little to no fruit.
  • Pick the right pot and soil for your Meyer Lemon Tree. The pot you keep your Meyer Lemon Tree in should be at least 12″-17″ in diameter and have plenty of drainage holes. The soil should be sandy and well-draining.
  • Don’t overwater your Meyer Lemon Tree. Depending on the season and the local climate, you should only need to water your Meyer Lemon once every one or two weeks. Newly repotted trees might need a bit more during the first few weeks after, but stick your finger up to the second knuckle to make sure the soil feels dry before you do it…overwatering your lemon tree lead to waterlogging the soil and causing infection in the roots.
  • Fertilize your Meyer Lemon Tree regularly. To ensure your citrus tree grows well, stays healthy, and puts out lots of blossoms and fruit, fertilize three times during the growing season – once in early spring, once during the summer, and once in the fall. There are high-nitrogen or slow-release fertilizers formulated specifically for citrus trees that are suitable.
  • Prune your Meyer Lemon Tree with caution. A citrus tree’s shape doesn’t impact its ability to bear fruit, so you shouldn’t need to prune your Meyer Lemon unless you want to shape it. If you do choose to prune, wait until the tree is at least three feet tall and do it in the wintertime, after the fruit has ripened and been harvested. Work up from the base, removing dead, dying, or fragile limbs, limbs that limit the flow of air to the center of the tree, and work from there to shape the tree the way you like.


When you buy Lemon Trees from Yarden you know you’re starting with a strong, healthy tree, and Meyer Lemons are relatively easy-care and especially resistant to disease. There are some common issues you may run into that will need to be addressed, however…here’s what to look for:

  • Yellowing leaves. This is a fairly easy fix – if you see some of the leaves on your Meyer Lemon Tree are turning yellow, you are very likely overwatering the tree. Let the soil dry out completely before watering it again, and keep your watering schedule to once every one or two weeks going forward.
  • Drooping leaves. Leaf droop (the abnormal sagging or downward bending of a plant’s foliage) is usually a sign of sudden stress. A change in environment could be the culprit…if you’ve recently moved your tree outdoors for the summer, watch to be sure the sudden light exposure doesn’t scorch the leaves. If you’ve moved your tree indoors for the winter, be sure the temperature is over 50°F and the tree is getting enough sunlight. Check for overwatering, underwatering, and be sure to fertilize your tree regularly so it gets the nutrients it needs.
  • Leaf damage. Meyer Lemon Trees are typical targets for a variety of pests, including whiteflies, rust mites, mealybugs, aphids, and scale. While established adult trees usually can withstand an infestation or two, smaller, more vulnerable trees can be decimated by any one of these issues. Signs of pest issues will typically appear on the undersides of leaves or on the fruit…to control and eliminate pests issues, prune away any dead, unhealthy, or infected areas of the plant, then spray it with diluted neem oil regularly until all signs of the infestation have vanished.