How long does a lemon tree take to grow, depends on whether you plant lemon seeds or grafted lemon trees. The weather conditions and the environment also affect the growth of the lemon trees and how soon they can reach maturity.
How Long Does A Lemon Tree Take To Grow?
A grafted lemon takes about 2-3 years from the time of planting to reach maturity and produce lemon fruits.
A lemon tree grown from seeds can take between 5-10 years to reach maturity and produce citrus fruits.
The difference in years required to reach maturity differs significantly because of different factors especially temperature and water management.
Lemon trees grow best in USA hardiness zones 9 through 11. If you are anywhere in these regions and have some space, you can try growing some lemon trees.
Seed-started Vs Grafted Lemon Trees
If you want to grow lemons, you can choose between establishing a seed-started lemon tree or a grafted lemon tree.
The choice is guided by the owner’s aim and intentions. If you want lemons in the earliest time possible similar to what commercial growers want, you should go for a grafted lemon tree.
Grafted lemon trees already have established rootstocks and leaves and will just continue growing after establishing them in your garden.
Benefits of Grafted Lemon Trees
Grafted lemon trees are made by grafting a scion onto a rootstock. The scion and the rootstock are selected because they contain traits that lemon growers desire.
These traits include:
Improved cold hardiness increases the lemon tree’s ability to tolerate cold temperatures. This allows the trees to grow and well in regions where they previously would fail.
Improved disease resistance allows lemon trees to fight diseases and grow healthy. It is important to note that the trees can still get attacked by diseases but they are fewer and less severe.
A dwarf habit that allows the lemon trees to reach maturity while they are shorter. The aim is to have lemon trees produce fruits when they are short and not grow into full blow trees before they can flower.
Short lemon trees are also beneficial because it is easier to pick the fruits compared to picking citrus fruits from tall trees.
How To Buy A Grafted Lemon Tree
When buying a grafted lemon tree choose one that is 1-2 years old. The majority of the trees at this age will be about 1-3 feet tall.
You might be tempted to buy an alder tree hoping that it will reach maturity faster and produce flowers and fruits. However, there is no guarantee, the older trees might be rootbound and take longer to take off after transplanting.
Also, look at the position of the grafting scar. It should be at least 6 inches above the soil level. Although the lemon tree has already healed, the scar should be large and visible.
Also, check for the general health of the lemon tree. It should have dark-green healthy leaves that are free from any diseases and pests.
Seed-Started Lemon Trees
Growing lemon trees from seeds are mostly undertaken by hobby growers who enjoy the process more rather than the result of citrus fruits.
Lemon seeds have a relatively high germination rate. Even lemon seeds removed from store-bought lemons germinate and grow with a high rate of success.
You can purchase viable lemon seeds online or from suppliers. You can also purchase lemon and remove the seeds. If you use fresh lemon seeds, make sure to place them in a bowl of water and discard all the ones that float. From those that sink, choose the largest.
Establish the seeds in good compost about 1 cm deep. Also, keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
The germination is highly affected by the temperature of the soil. If you simply place them on a window seal, they can take up to several months. If the temperatures are cold, you run the risk of the seeds rotting.
If the temperatures are maintained at around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) the germination will take 3-4 weeks.
You can raise the temperatures to around 80-82 degrees Fahrenheit and get the seeds to germinate at around 2-3 weeks. Just remember to lower it down to 68 after they germinate.
How Long To Harvest Lemons
When your lemon tree reaches maturity, it will produce flowers as it prepares to produce citrus fruits.
The period that a lemon tree requires to have ready fruits after producing flowers can vary widely.
The period depends on different factors including the care the tree is receiving, the plant’s cultivar, the air temperature, as well as the size of the crop.
The period can vary from four months to a year. In the meantime check this post on the 12 best herbs for countertop container gardening.
Growing your lemons can be exciting. The process may take a while before you can begin harvesting any lemons, however, it’s rewarding.
It will only take one or two modest crops and the tree will reach maturity and produce up to a thousand fruits every year.
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