Dwarf Meyer lemon trees are shrub-like, but they can be pruned and made to look like a tree. The beautiful blossoms of this lemon tree are white and delightfully fragrant much like blended citrus with jasmine. The fruit is sweeter, has less acidic flavor & reduced bitterness compared to Lisbon or Eureka lemons.
Dwarf Improved Meyer Lemon Tree or Citrus Meyeri is a favorite among home gardeners and home cooks as it brings in the taste of tropic within their reach; it is so hardy it grows indoors and outdoors. Growing this dwarf citrus tree can be fun and rewarding as it is always either blooming or fruiting.
The Meyer lemon citrus tree, which is a natural hybrid between an orange and lemon, originated from China and was introduced in the US in 1908. In 1975, the University of California released improved glossy-leaved Meyer lemons that are virus-free and disease-resistant.
Meyer lemon trees are shrub-like, but they can be pruned and made to look like a tree. When planted in the ground it could grow as high as 6 to 10 feet high and 2 ft wide. When grown in garden pots, the tree remains smaller in size.
The beautiful blossoms of the Meyer lemon tree are white with a purple base and are delightfully fragrant. The scent is very much like that of blended citrus with jasmine and would definitely smell wonderful to many homes. The flowers also self-pollinate so you can be assured that it will bear fruits even with just that one fruit tree.
Dwarf Improved Meyer Lemon Tree, just like all other citrus trees, love the sun. They are the happiest in temperatures between 50 to 80 °F but can survive down to 32 °F temperature. If the temperature drops below that, you need to take them inside or protect them from frost.
Meyer lemon trees need 6-12 hours of direct sunlight per day. Outdoor trees can tolerate partial shade, but are best grown in full sun. If taken indoors during winter, place the tree near a window facing the south to get the most direct light. The potted plant should also be rotated every 3 weeks to ensure that the entire tree gets sunlight.
Uproot any grass under the lemon tree’s canopy as it takes away the nutrients your tree needs to grow properly.
Be it in-ground or potted, this dwarf lemon tree favors soil that is slightly acidic with pH between 5.7 and 6.5. It does well on soil that is well-drained and not compacted. If the lemon lime tree starts looking stressed, try using fresh potting soil. Take note though that peat moss is too acidic for citrus trees and could impede the plant from setting fruit. On the other hand, soil that is too alkaline can inhibit the plant from getting nutrients from the soil which could result to deficiencies and yellowing of leaves.
Proper watering is crucial in growing dwarf citrus, especially those grown in pots. Under watering or over watering the tree is detrimental to fruit production so keep in mind that when watering the tree you need to keep the soil moist but not saturated. Generally, in-ground Meyer lemon trees need to be watered every one to two weeks, but during dry season you need to water it more often. To determine if your potted lemon dwarf tree needs to be watered, stick your finger in the soil up to the second knuckle. If your fingertip gets damp, wait to water. If your fingertip feels dry, water the lemon tree until you see the water run out of the bottom of the pot.
To ensure that your newly bought Meyer lemon tree is healthy and fruitful, make sure that it gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs. For potted Meyer lemon tree, use a 2-1-1 slow-release citrus fertilizer in early spring as soon as you see new growth. Administer your tree with a balanced liquid fertilizer for citrus trees with micro-nutrients once in 4-6 weeks while it is growing. For outdoor Meyer lemon tree, you can only start feeding it fertilizer after 2 years on the ground, which is when they start needing a large amount of nitrogen. 2 year old lemon trees need 1/3 cup of 21-0-0 ammonium sulfate in January of February when new growth springs. Start fertilizing from the trunk to the drip line and make sure to water the area thoroughly. Repeat the process once between April and May, and once again in August or September.
Keep your lemon tree happy by pruning branches that are growing straight up and removing the damaged or crossing branches. To promote growth, cut should be made on a 45 degree angle facing upward. You should also cut out branches that blocks sunlight from the center of the tree to enhance air circulation and increase the amount of branches getting exposed to sunlight.
Fruit & Harvesting
This Dwarf Improved Meyer Lemon Tree with evergreen foliage is a prolific fruit bearer even when young. The Meyer lemons are rounder than the regular lemon and have thin yellow skin that is absolutely fragrant. The fruits are sweeter, have less acidic flavor and reduced bitterness compared to Lisbon or Eureka varieties found in supermarkets, and contain around 10 seeds per fruit.
Healthy Meyer lemon trees produce more fruit so it is wise to take care of them at all times. Fruits that have sprouted from Meyer lemon trees that are younger than 2 years old should be removed because the trees still need to develop strong root system. Furthermore, plucking the fruits from young trees will guarantee that they are healthy enough to produce a lot of fruit by the time they are well established.
Determining the ripeness of your Meyer lemon tree lemons by sight is not 100% fool proof because some lemons are brightly colored even if they are not yet ready to eat, while some are already juicy even when they are still slightly green. Since Meyer lemons will only continue to ripen while still on the tree, make sure that the fruits are already ripe before you harvest them. The best way to know if your lemons are ripe and ready to be harvested is by tasting them.
You can pick the fruit directly from the tree using your bare hands by holding the entire fruit with your hand and twisting it gently until it breaks free. To avoid the risk of damaging the tree while harvesting the fruit, use a knife or scissor to harvest the fruit to steer clear of accidentally pulling off a larger piece than planned.
If you have just bought a Dwarf Improved Meyer Lemon Tree, keep in mind that when planted on ground it could grow as tall as 6-10 feet, while those planted in a pot will be smaller. It usually blooms or bears fruit in Spring and Fall. Just like other citrus trees it needs to be protected from temperatures below 32°F, and although it can be taken in door during winter season, it is not best to keep your Meyer lemon tree indoors.
Pests and Diseases
Just like other lemon trees, Meyer Lemon Trees are susceptible to specific types of pests like citrus leaf miner, scale insects and aphids.
Type of Pest
Use one percent Horticultural oil solution mixed with water.
You can also use diluted rubbing oil.
Do not use oil sprays as they are not effective for this type of pest.
Make sure that the soil is moist before use.
Biological controls, including lacewigs and lady beetles
Horticultural oil solution mixed with water is also an effective treatment for problems with aphids.
Citrus Leaf Miner
Biological controls like predatory insects that are parasitoid.
Citrus leaf miner insecticide that you can directly put to the ground to be absorbed by the tree.
Horticulture oil with spinosad.
Is it true that I should cut off the branches that have thorns?
No. There is no reason to cut off branches because they have thorns. You can prune away some of the actual larger thorns if you wish, by using sharp side-cut hand pruners. The branches with thorns also produce valuable leaves and eventually fruit. Thorns are a normal part of the growing process for a healthy lemon tree. Thorns are a lemon tree’s natural defense against climbing pests.
Are your Dwarf Meyer Lemon Trees organically grown and shipped?
All of our Meyer Lemon trees are Non-Gmo. To prevent the spread of destructive insects between states and regions, and to comply with strict USDA plant shipping regulations, we are required to apply a mild chemical treatment to all trees shipped over state lines.
Can I grow my lemon tree inside?
Yes. Be sure to plant it in a large enough pot, and give the tree as much sun as possible by locating it in a south-facing window. You can also supplement lighting by using grow lights. Also lemon trees must be watered well and allowed to drain. A large basin under a pot with good drainage holes can help in this regard. If possible, you could also move the tree outside to water it.
What is the difference between a Meyer Lemon Tree and an Improved Meyer Lemon Tree?
The Improved Meyer Lemon Tree has been selectively bred to be more disease resistant. The growth habits, size, fruit size, and fruit taste are all the same for Meyer Lemon Trees and Improved Meyer Lemon Trees.
When should I plant my new Meyer Lemon Tree?
If you are planting your tree in a pot to live indoors, you can plant it at anytime. If you are planting it in the ground outdoors, then plant it in the early spring after all danger of frost has passed. In USDA Zones 8 to 11, a good time to plant is mid to late March.
When should I fertilize my Meyer Lemon Tree?
Fertilize your Meyer lemon tree once every 4 to 6 weeks from February to August. Follow the fertilizer manufacturer’s directions for the amounts based on the tree size. Always use a fertilizer formulated and designated as citrus fertilizer. Fertilizers that are made for citrus and avocado, or citrus and mango, are suitable as well.
Do I need two lemon trees for them to grow fruit?
No. Meyer lemon trees are self-pollinating and will grow fruit with no additional pollinators. But two trees grown together will usually produce more fruit than a single tree.
Julie Schrader (verified owner) –
I haven’t received my tree yet!!! I contacted customer service with no response
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