Meyer lemon tree austin

4 Meyer Lemon Tree Indoor Care Tips You Need to Know

Meyer lemon tree indoor care is important if you want more fruits when harvesting. Meyer trees are also easy to care for! Below are valuable tips you can use.

A lemon that won’t cause your mouth to pucker, smells like a dream, and provides 187% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C?

Count us in.

Meyer lemons are sweet, fragrant and endlessly edible. They’re also easy to grow in your living room.

If reaching over from the couch and grabbing one for your sweet tea sounds like a dream, read on.

Today, we’re sharing our guide to Meyer lemon tree indoor care, so you can bring this gorgeous fruit home.

Ready to learn more? Let’s go!

1. Fine-Tuning the Lighting

As a rule, citrus trees require eight to 12 hours of light per day to thrive and produce fruit. Ideally, this will be by a south-facing window.

If your preferred growing spot doesn’t get as much natural light, you can supplement with low-energy LED grow lights.

Before potting your tree, leave it in the designated indoor area for two weeks. If it responds well and appears to be growing, it’s happy there. If it’s dwindling, find a spot with better light and try again.

2. Potting the Tree

When you’re ready to pot your lemon tree, fill a saucer with small rocks. Pour in just enough water to cover the bottom of the rocks but leave a dry portion at the top.

This way, your tree will still soak up the water, but it won’t be sitting in it, which can lead to root rot.

3. Watering Well

Resist the urge to sprinkle your Meyer lemon tree with water every time you’re in the room. Citrus trees prefer deeper, more infrequent waterings, instead.

Aim to moisten the soil without oversaturating it or making it soggy. If the top two inches of the soil feels dry, it’s time to water again via the method explained above.

4. Routine Maintenance

An important part of Meyer lemon tree care is keeping up with your plant’s daily, monthly and yearly needs.

Once a week, rotate your Meyer lemon tree one-quarter turn to make sure it’s getting an even amount of sunlight on all sides.

Every two weeks or so, you can also spray down your foliage to keep the leaves clean and healthy. After two years have passed, you can prune your tree’s roots and re-pot it to make sure it doesn’t become root-bound.

At around the three-year-mark, keep a close eye on your tree. It should begin to flower and fruit two times a year starting now!

Once it does, you may have more fruit on your hands than you know what to do with. If that happens, this post on 100 things to do with a Meyer lemon should come in handy!

Ace Your Meyer Lemon Tree Indoor Care

Fresh citrus by your television can be a reality if you practice these Meyer lemon tree indoor care tips!

Full of both flavor and possibility, it’s one fruit you’ll want to want to keep on hand.

Now that you know how to properly care for one, are you ready to bring a tree home today? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

We’re citrus fanatics bringing you helpful tips on how to find and care for your new favorite plants.

When you’re ready to bring a little sunshine indoors, hop over and buy a Meyer lemon tree for yourself!

Meyer Lemon Tree

Botanical Name: Citrus limon ‘Meyer’

You can count on Meyer lemon tree to produce an abundance of sweet lemons every year, with good care.

This perennial shrub is actually a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. The fruit is rounder than a true lemon, with a thinner skin. It is also sweeter and less acidic, making Meyer lemon a favorite among cooks.

The woody stems of this dwarf citrus tree are densely covered with oval, glossy green leaves.

You can expect clusters of small, white flowers to appear in late winter and spring on Meyer lemon trees that are 3-4 years old. Highly fragrant flowers are followed by fruit that turns from deep green to bright yellow as it matures.

Let the sun shine in. Indoor citrus trees need as much light as you can give them. Place your plant directly in front of a window where it will get several hours of direct sun each day. You can move it outdoors for the summer, if you want. Just be sure to bring it back indoors before the first frost.

Pollinate your plant. A lemon tree that is grown indoors will need to be hand-pollinated to trigger fruit production.

Use a small, dry paintbrush to dab each flower. Wiggle the brush around the center of each flower, moving from flower to flower. This carries the pollen from male to female flowers, just like bees do it.

Prune branches. Prune your plant back when new growth starts in spring. Pruning citrus trees’ long branches will encourage new branches to emerge from just below the cut. Cut at an angle just above a leaf node (where a leaf stem attaches to a branch).

Did you know…

Meyer Lemon Tree gets its name from Frank Meyer, a USDA employee who discovered the dwarf citrus tree growing in China and brought it back to the U.S. in 1908.

By the 1940s, Meyer lemons were commonly grown in California. Unfortunately, the trees became carriers of the citrus tristeza virus and were destroyed.

In the 1970s, a virus-free selection: Improved Meyer lemon tree (C. limon ‘Improved Meyer’) was offered to meet the demand for growing these sweet, juicy lemons at home.

Meyer Lemon Tree Care Tips

Origin: China

Height: Up to 6 ft (2 m)

Light: Full sun. Turn the plant a quarter turn every week to give all sides equal light for good growth. You’ll get more flowers on your lemon tree if you put it outside for the summer and fall. A few months of hot, sunny days followed by cool fall weather will promote flowering.

Water: Water thoroughly, allowing the surface of the soil to dry between waterings.

Humidity: Moderate humidity. Put the container on a tray of wet pebbles and mist the foliage to increase humidity.

Temperature: Average room temperatures 65-75°F/18-24°C.

Soil: Any good potting mix

Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks in spring and summer. I highly recommend this organic fruit tree fertilizer. It contains all the nutrients citrus trees need for healthy root growth and promotes flowers and fruits.

Propagation: Take stem cuttings in early summer. With a sharp knife or razor blade, take 4 in (10 cm) stem tip cuttings with at least 2-3 leaf nodes without flowers or fruit. Dip cut end in hormone rooting powder before inserting in moist potting mix, then enclose in a plastic bag to maintain humidity. Stem cuttings will root in about 6-8 weeks.

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Meyer Lemon Tree Care – Learn About Growing Meyer Lemons

Growing Meyer lemons is popular with home gardeners and for good reason. Properly caring for a grafted Meyer lemon tree facilitates fruit production in as little as two years. Seed grown trees fruit in four to seven years. Attractive, evergreen foliage and sporadic, fragrant flowering are among the reasons people like growing Meyer lemons. Production of the lemon fruit is an added bonus.

Meyer lemon growing can be grown outside in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11. Those in more northern areas successfully grow Meyer lemons in large containers that are overwintered indoors, away from freezing temperatures.

Caring for a Meyer lemon tree is simple when you follow a few basic steps. We’ll list them here for those who may be having difficulty growing these lemons and for those new to Meyer lemon growing.

What are Meyer Lemons?

You may be wondering, what are Meyer lemons? Today’s Meyer lemon trees are a hybrid released to the University of California in 1975. Before that, the Meyer lemon tree was imported from China. While it became increasingly popular in the United States, it was highly susceptible to disease and actually banned because of its penchant for spreading a devastating virus to healthy fruit trees.

Today’s Improved Meyer Lemon dwarf is something of a cross between an ordinary lemon and an orange. The thin-skinned fruit is sweet and grows readily in the right conditions. The tree reaches 6 to 10 feet (2-3 m.) in height. Pruning keeps it more manageable with a fuller appearance. It is self-pollinating, which means you need only one tree in order to get fruit.

Meyer lemon tree care is basic, but don’t deviate from the rules if you want to be successful.

Basics of Meyer Lemon Growing

Meyer lemon tree care includes finding the right location for your tree. Whether grown in a container or planted in the ground, Meyer lemon growing requires at least six hours of sunlight. In the hottest summer areas, morning sun and afternoon shade are best for growing Meyer lemons.

Start with a healthy tree, grafted onto a hardy rootstock. Seed grown trees are often unhealthy and may not reach the point of flowering or producing fruit.

Soil conditions when growing these lemons should be well-draining; however, the soil must hold enough water to remain moist. Allow soil to dry out only slightly between waterings.

Fertilize regularly when growing Meyer lemons. A high nitrogen fertilizer, such as one designed for citrus trees, is best fed monthly between April and September. Withhold fertilizer during autumn and winter months. Yellowing leaves indicate the need for either water or fertilizer.

Prune lemon fruit clusters to one or two fruits when the little lemons are marble-sized. Pruning before fruit develops, removing all but one bud in a cluster, is also an effective way to grow larger lemons.

Eight Steps to Grow Meyer Lemon Trees in Containers

By: Ron Skaria

Every serious garden in the United States should have a Meyer lemon tree. Why? Because it is readily available, easy to grow, very attractive, and produces delicious fruit!

The Meyer lemon tree is naturally a smaller tree, achieving a dwarf size of 7 feet, so it can be grown nicely indoors or on your patio. The lemon tree can be kept in decorative and very attractive pots. With pruning, the tree can be contained to the size of a shrub ~4 feet with plenty of fruit production of incredible lemons year-round!

Meyer lemons are not quite as tart as the lemons you typically find in a grocery store from a Eureka lemon tree, and they are also sweeter. With Meyer lemons, you could enjoy your own fresh homemade lemonade, and have your own fresh lemons, harvested by hand for all of your desserts and dishes!

The Meyer lemon was a variety discovered in China between the 19th and 20th centuries. It is likely a cross between a traditional lemon with an orange or mandarin, giving this variety’s characteristics a sweeter and more subtle acidic flavor. The fruit of a Meyer lemon has a thin skin, and it is very juicy with a bright yellow-orange. The lemon has a distinctive flowery fragrance and flavor.

Key Takeaways for Growing Lemon Trees in Pots:

  1. Grow your tree in containers using regular potting soil
  2. Maximize sunlight
  3. Use our watering and fertilizer schedules to grow your citrus
  4. Bring your tree indoors or in a garage below freezing temperatures

Now that you have realized your egregious mistake of not having a Meyer lemon tree, how do you get started on growing one?

(My rangy lemon tree in West Texas has been through a lot, including very high wind gusts. It’s in need of a good pruning, but I am enjoying all the growth I’ve seen in the 10 months after planting!)

Where Do Meyer Lemons and Citrus Grow?

With proper citrus care, having a citrus tree such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat, calamondin or orange tree will produce decades of delicious fruit. However, the growing regions in the United States where citrus can be planted into the ground are California, Arizona, South Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

If you do not live in those regions, we do not recommend planting citrus in the ground. However, we consider this a good thing, because it’s going to make your citrus growing a lot easier.

Growing Citrus Outside of Growing Zones

So how do you grow citrus outside of these growing zones? You do so by planting your tree in a container. You can use a plastic barrel, a wooden planter, a nice decorative pot, or really any sort of container that has adequate holes on the bottom for drainage.

Another option, which we enjoy, are fabric smart pots which do not have holes, however, the entire container is made of a fabric mesh which allows proper drainage and aeration of the soil.

The Planting Process for Growing Citrus Trees in Pots

The actual planting process of our trees in pots is very straightforward, with standardized use of potting soil and watering and fertilizing schedules.

You can keep any citrus tree pruned back, but the Meyer lemon is naturally a smaller dwarf type variety which gets to be about 4 to 6 feet, but it will still produce an abundant harvest.

Step 1: Container for Meyer Lemon trees

The keys to an appropriate container are having sufficient drainage through the material either being some sort of mesh cloth or having a few holes on the bottom of your planter.

Secondly, the size of the pot should be at least 1-gallon to 15-gallon, with our favorite size recommend being 5 gallons. We find that anything above 25 gallons is quite difficult to physically move with only one person.

Step 2: Soil for Meyer Lemon trees

Choosing soil for your Meyer lemon trees is simple. All you need is any sort of potting mix. We do not recommend gardening soil or topsoil to use for container gardening. This is advantageous because even if you lived in a citrus growing region, you would have to take into consideration the type of soil.

For example, US Citrus is based in the Rio Grande Valley, and we have a wonderful sandy loam type soil which drains very well. Other types of soil such as different types of clay soils especially with limestone mixed in will have a very difficult time draining and this will adversely affect the root health of your tree.

With a standard potting mix for your container gardening, you do not need to worry about any of these factors. You also don’t have to worry about the pH balance of the soil. We have just removed a large part of the headache of growing citrus by having all customers grow their citrus in containers and using any standard potting soil which is available at your local nursery garden center supply store.

Step 3: Watering for Meyer Lemon trees

Watering is crucial, typically when citrus is planted into the ground there is a worry of proper drainage and overwatering your tree. Citrus trees planted in the ground prefer to have their roots a bit on the dry side. We have found that if there is proper drainage in container gardening it is difficult to overwater citrus trees.

See our watering schedule for our citrus trees based on their size and the outside conditions.

The best way to figure out how much water your citrus tree needs is to actually look at the tree. If the leaves are wilted and dry, your tree needs more water. After watering, the tree’s leaves should perk up.

Overwatering Your Potted Citrus Tree

Overwatering is a possibility and we find that this especially happens when the trees are indoor and there’s a garden saucer used underneath the pot. When there’s a garden saucer there is impeded drainage, which is helpful while you’re on vacation and cannot water your tree for a week, or when you have your trees indoors to prevent water seeping onto the floors and causing damage.

However, if trees are over-watered, the plant leaves will wilt and may turn a bit yellow and look sad. Watering more will not improve the condition of the tree obviously, and you will likely notice that the soil is waterlogged at this point.

Giving your tree a break by taking it outside if possible or letting the soil drain without a garden saucer in the bathtub for a day is a good solution. Afterward, you can adjust your watering schedule appropriately. Our watering schedule also has a section for indoor planting.

Step 4: Fertilizer for Meyer Lemon trees

Your Meyer Lemon tree will need both macro and micronutrients, just like a human. The macronutrients that all plants need are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. You have likely seen fertilizers and soil which state three numbers together, this is the N – P – K system which shows the concentration and relative amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium respectively.

These machinations are very important for the development of the root system, the color of the leaves, appropriate photosynthesis, the growth of the trunk of the tree, proper flowering, fruiting, and taste of the fruit. See our blog article on nutrition for more information.

Micronutrients are also very important – think of these as vitamins for humans. They are needed much in smaller quantities and plants can have characteristic symptoms if they have a micronutrient deficiency. We will detail out micronutrients and symptoms of deficiencies in later articles.

However, our promise to you is that we make this simple. Between regular potting soil and the fertilizer we recommend, you will have all the macronutrients and micronutrients that your tree needs and a simple fertilizing schedule for easy and effective fertilizing when you get your tree and for every February, May, and August. See our fertilizer schedule below for amounts that we recommend.

Fertilizer Schedule

Ounces to use every Feb, May, and Aug

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3+

Nelson Plant Food – Citrus

Step 5: Sunlight for Meyer Lemon trees

Sunlight is crucial to citrus trees, especially citrus being a tropical plant. In most areas of the United States, you want to maximize sunlight with full sun exposure. If you are planting indoors, make sure that it has full sun next to the window, but we would also recommend having a grow light.

Citrus does best when it has six hours of sunlight a day. If the temperature is consistently above 90° especially for younger trees, there may be some wilting of the leaves. This wilting will reverse however and at this point, it would be advantageous to keep your tree by elementary and partial shade.

Step 6: Winter Protection for Meyer Lemon trees

Meyer lemons are more cold-resistant than traditional Eureka lemons, withstanding temperatures in the mid-20s. However, we do recommend that under freezing temperatures, you move your citrus tree into a warmer area such as a garage or indoors for the entire winter. This point you can utilize a grow lights for continued growth.

There is nothing more frustrating than losing years of work and future decades of fruit than losing your citrus tree to a freak cold-snap which occurred while you were vacationing out of town! Citrus can diet with exposure to temperatures in the teens for even up to 12 hours.

Important Considerations for Meyer Lemon trees


Again these are tropical trees and they enjoy higher amounts of relative humidity. This is important, especially in arid desert-like conditions. When keeping your Meyer Lemon in a pot, one the best things you can do to increase local humidity around the plant is to keep the soil moist by following appropriate watering schedules.

If the lemon tree is indoors, using a garden saucer and putting rocks around the tree pot will increase the relative local humidity around your lemon plant. Humidity differences occur between any growing region in the United States, and this affects their quality of certain characteristics of certain citrus varieties. However, your Meyer lemon should do well in the range of humidity conditions.

Step 7: Where Do I Buy My Meyer Lemon Tree?

First of all, if you live in the states of California, Arizona, Louisiana, or Florida, you will need to purchase your citrus tree locally as citrus cannot be imported into your state because of USDA regulations.

Otherwise, purchase your new Meyer lemon tree online.

Every single one of our citrus trees including our Meyer Lemon trees is Micro-budded. Micro-budding is a proprietary grafting technique invented by our founder, Dr. Mani Skaria. Micro-budding allows a small citrus tree to all-naturally grow at a very high rate and bear fruit in its second year of full growth instead of the typical 4th to 5th year of growth needed by citrus trees. This allows you to enjoy fruit from your Meyer Lemon tree much sooner!

At US Citrus, we always offer free shipping straight to your door. Also, since we are located in Texas, we can ship to any location in Texas as well. Other growers outside of Texas are not able to ship citrus into the state due to regulations.

Once you’ve purchased your Improved Meyer Lemon tree from us, we will send you detailed instructions including a planting video on how to specifically plant your tree. Afterward, we will send you regular email updates on helpful growing tips and reminders of watering, pruning, and fertilizer your citrus trees and more!

Step 8: Harvesting your Meyer lemons

Lucky for you, these Meyer lemon trees bear fruit year-round, with the main harvest being from the middle of November to the middle of April. All lemons are highly productive in cooler areas where the harvest is more spread year-round, and in warmer areas, the harvest is concentrated in fall to early summer. High humidity areas may produce a bit lower quality Eureka Lemon so an Improved Meyer Lemon is an even better choice.

We hope this information has been helpful, and we’re confident that you will soon be able to enjoy your own fast-growing, Micro-budded Meyer Lemon trees. You and your family and friends will have a blast harvesting your own fruit. Don’t forget to send us pictures when you do!

Meyer Lemon Bush

Effortless Growth, Kitchen to Patio

Why Meyer Lemon Bushes?

The Meyer Lemon Bush is a fresh favorite and new spin on your favorite must-have plant. And not only is it a prolific producer of sizable lemons, but it also fruits in one to two years.

And the aroma from this amazing plant is second to none, since its citrus blossoms fill your home or yard with a fresh scent. Plus, the blooms self-pollinate, so you can produce fruit and one-of-a-kind fragrance with just one bush (but more is more when it comes to ordering two).

Why is Better
Best of all? This bountiful bush is hassle-free because it’s easy to move indoors and out, and it’s ideal for container planting. Long-lived and wonderfully lush, it’s super versatile, whether it’s placed in your home or elevating your garden.

Furthermore, we’ve planted, grown and nurtured our Meyer Lemon Bushes meticulously for cold hardiness and disease resistance. The Meyer Lemon Bush arrives in its own container, with all of its roots intact. Is there anything better than instant luxuriance?

Order your own Meyer Lemon Bushes today for fresh fragrance and elegance, delivered right to your door!

Planting & Care

1. Planting: It’s best to plant your Meyer Lemon in a warm, sunny area where the soil drains well. Six hours (or more) of direct sun is best for the bush but planting it next to a house or under an eave will provide some frost protection.

Then, select a container one to two pot sizes larger than the shipped container to allow roots to spread. Fill the bottom of your pot with a 2-inch layer of crushed stone to improve drainage and fill a third of the pot of potting soil. Score the roots to promote growth and bury it at the same depth it was planted in its previous pot. Layer with 2 inches of compost for best results.

Water well and place near a South-facing window for adequate sun exposure.

2. Watering: Allow the soil to dry, down to around 2 inches, between waterings. Never let your Meyer Lemon Bush remain in standing water. Your plant will do best if misted daily, especially when you are running indoor heating during cooler months. You can also use a humidifier or fill your pot’s saucer with rocks and add water.

3. Fertilizing: We recommend applying 2 to 3 inches of organic matter to your soil to conserve moisture for best results.

4. Pollination: Our Meyer Lemons are self-fertile, but you can pollinate your indoor bushes by hand. Simply take a small, dry, fine-tipped paint-brush and stick it into the center of one bloom. Swirl it around and collect the pollen on the brush. Go to the next bloom and repeat the process until every bloom has been treated, completing this process once daily and refraining from washing the paintbrush until after the blooms have been pollinated. From there, the bloom will fall off naturally and the fruit will begin to form.

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Improved Dwarf Meyer Lemon Trees

Our Improved Dwarf Meyer Lemon (Citrus limon ‘Meyer Improved’) variety produces exceptional fruit on a smaller plant. It is expertly grafted onto semi-dwarfing rootstock. Often called the “perfect” lemon tree, Meyer Lemon is the number one citrus grown worldwide. It can be grown all across the United States with ease.

Adapted to a wide range of growing conditions across the United States, the Improved Meyer Lemon tree is one of the most versatile of all citrus plants and fruits. The trees are equally remarkable as houseplants, ornamental patio plants or as a focal point planted in the ground in growing Zones 9-11.

Did you know that Meyer Lemons are not reliably available in grocery stores? Even though they win taste tests, they just don’t ship well with their thin skin.

Fortunately, it’s easy to grow your own Improved Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree. If you live where winter temps dip below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, simply plant it in a container. You’ll bring the trees indoors, and put in front of your sunniest window during the winter months.

You’ll love the citrus fragrance that perfumes your home in late fall and early spring. It’s hard to believe how well those tiny white, fragrant flowers can freshen your home with the clean, crisp scent of fresh citrus. What a fabulous plant!

Improved Dwarf Meyer Lemon trees are said to have a Mandarin Orange parent. That’s why the fruit’s rind is more orange than yellow. It’s also why the ripe fruit is sweeter than a true lemon and has a hint of orange flavor. The Meyer is a winner for fresh eating and lemonade.

Meyer Lemons are rounder than traditional lemons and are slightly less acidic. They maintain their tart lemon quality while the skin is yellow. Once the skin turns light orange, they’ll get even sweeter.

The flesh, juice and rind are all highly prized by chefs. The Meyer Lemon is included with most all recipes requiring lemons. Good with fish, great in marinades, with tea and to make a fresh lemon pie. Many prefer the Meyer over the traditional lemon.

You, your family and friends will love having access to these amazing, delicious lemons with their tremendous depth of flavor. Order your citrus trees today!

How to Use Improved Dwarf Meyer Lemon Trees

Growers in Zones 9 -11 can plant the trees in the ground. Used as a shrubby plant, you’ll gain a wonderfully productive privacy screen or barrier. Block out unwanted views or plant several together as a hedge in a strategic location that hinders people from getting by.

Grown in the ground with lowest branches pruned up and back to a single trunk, the Meyer Lemon makes a great evergreen accent tree in the landscape. Site these trees to block out the hot afternoon sun. Plant some by your patio for easy access to its wonderful fruit. Or use it against a fence to easily add a few feet of height. It won’t take up too much yard space, and you’ll gain so much more.

You’ll love the compact, upright growth habit. Glossy, dark green evergreen leaves give a tropical flair to your landscape. The dainty white flowers will charm you with their delicate purple base, while their intense citrus fragrance will fill your home or yard with their captivating scent.

You can also plant your Semi-Dwarf Improved Meyer Lemon in a container and enjoy the fruit and the ornamental quality on the patio or as a container specimen in the landscape. The Meyer is one of the more dependably productive container fruit trees you can grow. For indoor/outdoor growers, the Meyer Lemon is the one to get started with.

The consideration to purchase an older and larger plant should not be based on cost alone. You are paying for the extra time and attention of our expert growers in a professional nursery facility. The reward is that older plants produce lemons faster for you.

Go for the largest plant you can afford. With older plants, you’ll save time and get to harvest sooner!

Our Dwarf Meyer Lemon Trees have some of the deepest root systems available. We take pride in delivering you the highest quality citrus trees with healthy roots and full, well-established stems and foliage. Have confidence in our time-tested quality and order yours today!

#ProPlantTips for Care

Pruning Tips

These trees can be easily pruned to accommodate different landscape settings, as well. They can be kept to less than four feet tall, and still remain very productive.

For best fruiting, prune out any crossing branches, and non-fruiting branches that grow straight upwards. You can also prune off the lower side limbs to keep a single trunked tree from. Remove branches that grow towards the center of the plant. You’ll want to encourage enough air circulation in the middle of your tree.

Container Soil Mix

Citrus likes a lower pH soil around 6.0 to 6.5, so plant using an acid planting mix. Add Pathway bark at the rate of 25% of the total volume of your container. Adding acidic bark will support soil structure for the long time your plant will be in the pot.

If you’ll be growing it in a decorative container, please make sure the pot has plenty of drainage holes. You may want to drill additional holes in your pot, as Improved Dwarf Meyer Lemons will not tolerate sitting in standing water.

Care for Indoor Plants

While these trees are self-pollinating, you’ll enjoy growing several varieties of citrus trees. Create your very own citrus grove with help from Nature Hills.

Container citrus should be fertilized quarterly using an acid-based fertilizer like Dr Earth Acid Lovers Organic and Natural Premium Fertilizer.

For indoor winter care, be sure to transition your tree indoors and then back outside again. Watch our video on how to successfully bring citrus indoors for the winter.

Tips for Placement Indoors

For Indoor/Outdoor growing, create the most favorable conditions indoors to assist in fruit ripening and flowering. A bright, sun filled location is important, as is a location away from heat sources. Finally, be careful about overwatering when indoors. These conditions will help to assure a healthy fruitful plant.

1. Give your plant a sunny spot that receives at least 8 hours of sunshine a day.

2. Keep your plant away from heating vents. The right temperature is between 30 – 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Use a humidifier if your indoor air is dry.

4. Citrus trees prefer good air circulation.

5. Don’t overwater them. Keep it on the dry side indoors, and allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Check it every week and use the “Finger Test” to see if the soil is moist below the surface. Simply push your index finger into the soil. If it’s moist, skip watering that week. If it’s getting dry, give it a good water. Mop up any water that remains in the saucer. Don’t keep your citrus trees in standing water, the root systems will not tolerate that!

Tips for the Best Fruit Set

Fruit set is very dependent on the climate indoors. You’ll want to find a good spot indoors – greenhouses or sunrooms are very good. Bright sunlight, moderate temperatures, humidity, and proper watering play a big role in a successful crop.

The flowers are “perfect” and have both male and female parts. Pollination can occur indoors without your assistance, but you might want to give your indoor trees a helping hand. When in bloom, lightly shake the blooming branches. This will replicate the movement of outdoor breezes, so use a very gentle touch.

After the blooms pass, clusters of lemons will appear and begin to ripen. Heavy, dependable fruit production year after year is one of the biggest reasons for this tree’s popularity.

Enjoying a bumper crop? The first season, thin off excessive fruit set, which can interfere with the tree’s vegetative growth. Just leave a few fruits to enjoy and look forward to the larger crops in the future.

You’ll know when your lemons are ripe when the rind is bright yellow, but you can enjoy them until they ripen to a light orange. If picked at this time, your Meyer lemonade will require no additional sugar. Enjoy!

Home gardeners across the country love growing Improved Dwarf Meyer Lemons from Nature Hills. This is one of our most popular plants for sale, so order yours today!

CORVALLIS, Ore. – With their sweetly scented flowers and sweet-tart flavor, Meyer lemons are a no-brainer for container gardening in the Northwest.

Even though they are not cold hardy in any but the warmest climates (Zone 9-10), Meyer lemons have many fans. Actually a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, Meyers are sweeter than regular lemons and prized by cooks and bakers.

Other citrus that come in dwarf forms can also be grown in containers, but Meyer lemons are by far the most popular, according to Weston Miller, horticulturist for Oregon State University Extension Service. They’re also the easiest to find at nurseries and through mail order.

When choosing a pot for your plant, lean toward larger rather than smaller, but keep in mind you’ll be dragging it and out of the house or greenhouse. Miller suggests starting with a 5-gallon container and then repotting up to first a 15- and then a 25-gallon pot as it grows.

The most important factor to growing Meyer lemons – or any citrus – is to bring them inside when danger of frost looms, usually around Halloween. In spring, aim for mid-April to take them out again. You don’t want big temperature variations for your tree, Miller said, so spend a few days hardening it off by taking it out during the day and returning it to its indoor spot at night. Keep the tree in shade for the first week, but remember citrus need full sun to bloom and fruit.

Inside, place near a bright window with six to eight hours of sunlight. A south-facing window will usually provide that. A temperature of 65 degrees at night is best. Don’t locate the tree near a vent; they don’t like hot air blowing on them. Always give your tree a bath before bringing it inside for winter to help prevent pests.

Meyer lemons, which grow in the 3- to 4-foot range in containers, are self-fertile so don’t need another tree for pollination. However, they do need insects or wind to move that pollen around so if you keep your tree inside too long, you’ll likely get fewer fruits. Hand pollination is an option. Just use a small paint brush and run it over each flower.

The tree won’t need much pruning, but it’s a good idea to cut out dead or crossing branches, Miller said. If the foliage is inhibiting air circulation, thin out the center of the tree a bit.

Meyers don’t like to have too much or too little water. In summer when your tree is outside, water once a day. Let the water drain through so that the roots don’t sit in water. Give it less irrigation in winter. Stick your finger in up to the second knuckle; if it’s dry you’ll want to water.

Fertilize in summer with a citrus fertilizer or one labeled for rhododendrons and blueberries. All three like acidic soil. Check the label for amounts. Cut back or discontinue feeding during winter.

People are distraught when they see flower, fruit or leaf drop. That can be a function of too little or not enough water; too cool nights; or too great of temperature variations. Meyers are usually disease free, but there are three pests that plague it: scale, aphids and spider mites. Aphids are the easiest to control by washing them off with soapy water and a spray from the hose. For spider mites, look for a houseplant insecticide that is labeled for food crops. Always follow the instructions.

Scale is more problematic because their clam-shell coverings make it difficult to get to them with any sort of control method. If you catch it early, crush them with your fingers, wash them with soapy water, rinse it and take off the top soil. Once they get established, it’s a more difficult proposition. You can try rubbing alcohol, but you have to reach every insect. During spring when they are in the crawling stage, spray with soap spray. However, many people discard their plant at that point and start over.

— Kym Pokorny, OSU Extension Service

Ask a Master Gardener: Caring for a Meyer lemon tree

Q: I overwintered a Meyer lemon tree in my house. Now it is filled with flower buds. Will I get fruit if there are no bees inside to pollinate them? Do I need another kind of lemon to cross-pollinate, like with apples?

A: Meyer lemons are self-fertile, meaning they can produce fruit without another tree nearby. They do need something to pollinate them, which just means moving the pollen from the flower’s fuzzy side pieces called stamens to the center sticky part called the pistil. You can easily do that yourself by using a small paintbrush or cotton swab. Lightly touch the stamens on an open flower. This will put some pollen on your tool. Touch the pistil and some of the pollen will stick. Don’t worry if most stays on your brush; the plants don’t need much. Keep going, without cleaning your brush, to the other flowers. You may want to do this every couple of days as the flowers open.

The petals of the flowers will fall off with age and those that were pollinated will form small fruits. Once they get about the size of a marble, it is usually recommended to remove all but one or two fruits per cluster. This will give your lemons a little growing room and increase their size. They start out looking like limes and will be ready to pick once they turn an orangey-yellow. This takes several months.

In the meantime, watch for insects. Spider mites, whiteflies and scale can be problems, especially this time of year.

Q: My Christmas cactus has gotten huge. Can I cut it back?

A: Yes. They are easily pinched or cut back at a joint. You can root some of the pinchings in vermiculite if you want additional plants. For best plant health, reduce by no more than about one third at a time. You can do this at any time, but stopping around June will give you the most flowers next year.

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