Today I will show you how to grow potted lemon plants. Turning our balconies or terraces into beautiful citrus gardens is not as complicated as you may think. In fact, it is not necessary to be an expert gardener to produce excellent lemon cultivation at home to be used in the kitchen in a thousand different ways. If we don’t have a vegetable garden or a garden and we don’t want to give up a fragrant lemon plant, we can grow it in a pot. It will be necessary to take small steps and we will be able to grow healthy and luxuriant lemon cultivation trees at home! Let’s see which plant to choose, how to plant it, how to fertilize it and the necessary care for its growth.
LEMON CULTIVATION-VARIETY OF LEMONS TO BE CULTIVATED AT HOME
Here are some of the lemon varieties most suitable for growing in pots. Florentina is the Tuscan lemon and is one of the most widespread species for its generosity in producing fruit; in fact, it is not uncommon to find flowers and fruits on the plant in different stages of ripeness. Salicifolia lemon is another widespread species and, in addition to its fruits, it is cultivated as an ornamental plant. Lunario lemon is also very widespread, also called “lemon of the four seasons”, and its peculiarity is to flourish with each new moon and therefore to produce fruits practically all year round. The varieties of lemon are still many, so get advice from your trusted nurseryman … he will help you with your choice!
First of all, when purchasing, make sure that the plant is strong and luxuriant, with green leaves and that it does not contain pests. If we bought a lemon plant in a nursery, remember that we have to re-pot it. Repotting is essential for the well-being of the plant, as it offers another growth substrate for the roots and new micronutrients. Lemon plants, like all citrus fruits that are grown in pots, need periodic repotting; this will allow the roots to develop better and therefore to obtain more fruits. Arriving at home, we proceed to re-pot the lemon tree. First of all, let’s get a vase that is suitable for the size of the base of the plant’s earthen bread.
Generally, it must have a circumference and double height of the earthen bread that surrounds the roots. For the first repotting and for all the following repottings, we add specific citrus soil and we prepare a layer of expanded clay of about 3 cm on the bottom of the pot. The clay will absorb the water avoiding water stagnations while keeping the soil moist longer.
WHEN TO RE-POT LEMON
The lemon tree must periodically be repotted based on its natural growth. Usually the first repotting takes place after two years and must be done in the spring period. The pot must be 15-20 cm in diameter larger than the previous one. When the lemon tree is adult, the repotting can be done every 3 – 4 years. The final repotting will take place when the plant is fully grown, in a 70-80 centimetres diameter pot.
LEMON CARE AND FERTILIZATION
Lemon is a very resistant plant that needs few but essential care. First, it is essential to understand when to water the plant. As a rule of common sense, it is always better to give water to the plant when the soil is dry. To evaluate with absolute certainty, just sink a finger into the soil at a depth of 10 – 15 cm and if it is dry and dusty to the touch then it will be time to water. Different speech when the plant is in bloom or is producing the firstfruits; in this case, it is necessary to water more frequently. Another fundamental aspect of Lemon cultivation care is its fertilization.
This is important for it to grow well and must be done in the spring when the plant resumes its vegetative cycle from the winter period. To fertilize you can use a chemical fertilizer based on nitrogen to be dissolved in water or, as I do, a very effective natural fertilizer which is ground lupine.
Ground lupine is a fertilizer that is obtained from these specific legumes and can be found very easily and at a low price in gardening shops or nurseries. Thanks to its high quantities of nitrogen which it releases slowly into the soil, it favours the growth of plants in an optimal way and is very suitable for the cultivation of citrus fruits. Using it is very simple! Just sprinkle it on the soil evenly, proceed with normal watering and you’re done! Try the ground lupins and you will be amazed how your plant will grow lush and resistant!
WHERE TO PLACE THE LEMON PLANT
Choosing the right location for the lemon tree is very important. The advantage of pot cultivation is to be able to move the plant according to your needs but above all to seasonal climate changes. In the winter period, the plant must be sheltered from the cold and frost.
We can place it under a canopy, but never in a too hot place because the heat would dry the leaves. If we do not have the possibility to move the plant, we can cover the crown with a special breathable sheet, called non-woven fabric, which will protect it from the cold and frost. We also pay attention to too windy days; the lemon tree fears wind gusts that can break its branches or destroy its buds and should, therefore, be placed in a more sheltered area of our terrace or balcony. Not only the cold is an enemy of the lemon but also the excessive heat. Although lemon is a plant that loves the Mediterranean climate and therefore mild, it suffers torrid temperatures that exceed 30 degrees. Also, in this case, we move the plant to a more shaded area and remember to increase the watering.
WHERE TO PLACE THE LEMON PLANT-LEMON CULTIVATION
Another advantage of growing a lemon tree in a pot is being able to easily control any pest and mealybug infestations. Mealybugs can be easily removed manually, if the infestation is large we can “wash” the affected parts with water and Marseille soap. If we notice the problem promptly, removing the mealybugs is really easy! If, on the other hand, the leaves appear yellowed or wrinkled and the plant shows signs of suffering, I advise you to contact your trusted nurseryman, he will be able to tell you the cause and what remedies to adopt. Tell me if you also love to grow Lemon cultivation in pots and if you have other tips to suggest to me.
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