Lemon tree

There are lemon bushes, tall trunks and trellis plants. Citrus plants bloom up to three times a year in the optimal location. It is particularly great that flowers and almost ripe fruits hang on the plant at the same time. The only flowers that are not fragrant are those of the bitter lemon. The lemon tree is actually easy to cultivate, only the wintering of the non-frost-hardy plant sometimes causes difficulties. If you love your lemon tree and have no suitable winter quarters available, you should take the tree to a nursery for maintenance in winter.

Location, plant substrate, plants

It is best to cultivate a lemon tree in a pot or bucket. This belongs outside in summer. Year-round housing is not impossible, but difficult. In autumn, before the first frosts, it has to be given in. A citrus plant cannot tolerate frost.

  • Outside in summer, only after the ice saints
  • Protected (from rain and wind) and sunny location
  • Bright in winter and up to 10 ° C
  • It is important that the plant is not in the train, it doesn’t like that at all!
  • Special citrus plant soil is suitable as a plant substrate
  • This contains peat, bark humus and expanded clay or limestone
  • In this soil, the roots are well supplied with oxygen and excess water can drain off easily
  • Otherwise, the citrus plant likes a slightly acidic soil
  • Drainage am Topfboden!
  • Repot when the roots pull through the soil like a mesh or grow out of the bottom of the pot.
  • Do not repot often!

Watering and fertilizing

You have to water a lemon tree with dexterity. He neither likes too much nor too little water. Rainwater works well because it is not as calcareous as most tap water. In addition, rainwater is nice and stale.

  • Always keep the bales evenly moist, never wet!
  • Finger test before pouring again!
  • The top layer of soil should be dry!
  • Water more on hot days!
  • Fertilize from March to September
  • You can use special citrus plant fertilizer and dose it exactly according to the instructions
  • Fertilizer should contain a lot of nitrogen and little phosphorus!
  • Fertilize about every 4 weeks.

Lemon tree cutting and wintering

Cutting and wintering

You don’t have to cut a lemon tree, but you can. If you want to give it a certain shape, you have to cut. This is particularly important with tall trunks until the appropriate trunk height is reached. Otherwise you cut to stimulate the growth of the tree and the branching of the branches.

  • Pruning is done either before the flowering period or after the main flowering and harvesting seasons.
  • Pruning before flowering is said to encourage growth
  • Second cut stimulates the formation of new buds.
  • You cut a somewhat rounded shape.
  • Cut out sick and dead branches!
  • Cut out branches that are too thin and cannot hold fruit!
  • The aim is to have a few strong branches with few branches.
  • Do not cut branches with fruit still hanging on them!
  • Cut branches at an angle!
  • Use sharp and clean secateurs!
  • Apply tree sap to larger wounds!

During the winter, it can happen that the leaves of the lemon tree fall off. That and a mold on the earth’s surface usually indicate that the plant substrate is too wet. The tree needs little water in winter.

  • Make sure to be very bright!
  • If the location is too dark, help out with special light lamps!
  • At least 6 hours of “sunlight” required!
  • A bright winter garden is ideal.
  • Do not turn or move the tree too often!
  • Pour little!
  • The cooler the lemon tree is, the less water is needed.
  • Temperatures below 10 ° C are ideal.
  • Do not fertilize!
  • Keep the rest phase!
  • Ventilate regularly!
  • Put it in a light but warmer place from February!
  • Propagate (breed), refine

You can easily grow a lemon tree from a seed (kernel). Usually it is enough to simply stick it in the ground, keep it warm and water it from time to time so that the ground never dries out completely. However, you only attract a wildling like this. These plants take about 8 to 15 years to bloom.

The lemon trees offered in stores are grafted. You do this mainly because you can choose a mat that is not so sensitive, especially to the cold. In addition, the willingness to flower, the quality of the fruit and the speed of growth can be influenced.

Plant the core

  • The seeds must be pulp free
  • Use KokoHum as a plant substrate (germ-free, stores water well)
  • Rather choose a small pot with a drain hole
  • Only one seed per pot
  • Insert the core about one centimeter deep into the substrate.
  • Moisten!
  • A warm, bright place without direct sunlight is ideal
  • Keep Substart moist, not wet!
  • Do not transplant until the container is too small, grow roots out below!
  • Do not fertilize in the first few months!

Refining / ooculating

There are several ways of grafting lemon trees. Inoculating is the most common of these. You only need a bud from a noble rice, so it is an economical variant. In addition, such high growth rates are achieved. The necessary cut is not easy and should be practiced on other woods beforehand. It is important not to touch the interfaces except with the knife! A suitable base and a good noble rice are necessary.

  • Clean the pad in an eyeless place!
  • Make a cut, 2 to 3 cm long, vertically in the bark!
  • At the end of the cut, make a small horizontal cut, about 2 cm wide.
  • Detach both bark wings from the wood (bag)
  • For noble rice, place a knife about 1 cm above the eye.
  • Cut the eye out of the branch with a flat cut under the bud up to about 2 cm above the eye (see www.steffenreichel.homepage.t-online.de/Citrus/VEREDEL.html
  • The inoculation knife must not penetrate deeply.
  • Now slide your eyes between the bark lobes!
  • Everything has to be tight.
  • Cut off the protruding rest of the eye!
  • Wrap the bark tightly around the eye and wrap it with PE finishing tape.
  • About 6 weeks to grow on.
  • Eye must stay green. If it gets dark, the refinement has failed.
  • If it has grown, it still has to be “forced”.
  • Bend the crown of the base. This promotes growth substances for noble rice.
  • The eye begins to drive out.
  • Connect the noble rice shoot to the rest of the base so that it grows upright.
  • At some point the pad will be thrown off.
  • Now only the remaining cone has to be removed in such a way that it can be overgrown by the noble rice.

Diseases and pests

Diseases and pests usually occur with improper care, especially if the plant substrate is too damp or wet. Both diseases and pests occur more frequently in winter quarters. That is why the lemon tree must be checked regularly.


  • Light green to yellow leaves
  • Mostly deficiency symptoms because nutrients cannot be absorbed through the roots
  • Causes – waterlogging, drought, soil compaction, care mistakes, cold
  • The plant needs to be nursed – set the wrong conditions

Scale insects

  • Especially common in winter quarters
  • Sitting on the underside of the leaf and the twigs
  • To be recognized by sticky secretions that shine on the leaves
  • If you discover the infestation in good time, collect the pests!
  • In the case of severe infestation, use oily agents and coat animals with them.

Spider mites

  • Also usually occur during the winter
  • To be recognized by the thin nets at the tips of the shoots
  • Usually only an appropriate insecticide can help.


  • Aphids occur both outdoors and in winter quarters
  • Outside you can rinse it off with a jet of water, inside you can wipe it off with your fingers.
  • Otherwise, spray the plant with a mixture of washing-up liquid and water (cover the soil).

Lemon Diseases and pests

Citrus tree is losing leaves / yellow leaves

Yellow leaves on a lemon tree can have several causes. There are individual sheets every now and then. That is normal. If more and more yellow leaves appear and many of them fall off, then research into the causes must be carried out.

  • Plant substrate too wet or too dry
  • Too high a pH value – too much lime in the soil
  • Too old shoots – too little strength (cut out the oldest shoots)
  • By changing the temperature when setting up for winter quarters
  • Lack of sunlight
  • Brown leaf margins indicate too much fertilizer

The lemon tree is a great container plant. It is quite easy to grow except for the winter. The right location in the winter quarters is important. It has to be very bright and cool, it should be well ventilated and there should be enough space. Then it is optimal. In worse conditions, pests and diseases often show up. Regular checks are important. If you find it difficult to water, you should rather water a little too little than too much. It is better to leave out coasters and planters right away so that all excess water can run away. Otherwise, a lemon tree is quite undemanding.

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