The lemon tree (Citrus limon) is a member of the Citrus genus and part of the Root family. It is native to India, China and the tropical Pacific Islands. According to experts, the tree is a hybrid that was formed quite by accident in natural conditions. The lemon evolved and grew as a separate species of the genus Citrus. It was first cultivated in Pakistan and India in the 12th century.
After a while, the species became widespread in the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Europe. The tree is now widely cultivated in mild and warm subtropical climates. The annual yield of lemons is about 14 million tons. The leading cultivators of lemons are: Mexico, USA, Italy and India.
The lemon tree is also quite widespread in the indoor culture of various countries.
Its cultivation in domestic conditions began more than 300 years ago. The domestic lemon tree is very beautiful, and some varieties also form fragrant and very useful fruits that are as good in taste as those picked from trees grown in the open air.
Brief description of cultivation
- Flowering. Under room conditions, the lemon tree can bloom at various times of the year.
This crop grows and develops well with a short daylight period. It is recommended to put the tree on the east or west orientation window, and in the afternoon, when the sun is most active, it should be shaded from direct rays. In order to make the crown of the tree symmetrical, regularly once a week and a half it should be turned around its axis (to one side) by 10 degrees. In winter it needs extra light for 5-6 hours every day. During vegetation period it should be about 17 degrees, during bud formation it should not exceed 14-18 degrees, during active fruit growth - from 22 degrees.
In winter time the bush is kept in a cool place - from 12 to 14 degrees.
- The watering rules. Between May and early fall, the lemon is watered every day. After that, the soil in the pot needs to be moistened no more than once every 3-4 days.
- Humidity of the air.
The plant needs systematic spraying of the leaves from a sprayer with pre-boiled water, the temperature of which is slightly above room temperature. The most frequent moistening of the bush should be in hot summer days and in winter time, if the lemon stands in a room with working heating devices.
- Fertilizer. Such a tree is fed with a complex mineral fertilizer, and it should be applied to the substrate throughout the growing season. Mature bushes are fertilized 1 time in 20-30 days, and young ones - 1 time in 6 weeks.
From the second half of the autumn period a gradual reduction in the frequency of feeding is required: if the lemon is in a cool dormant state, then it is not fed at all, and if it stands in a warm room - fertilizer is introduced into the soil periodically once every 6 weeks. Fertilize the plant with a nutrient solution only after previous watering.
- Storming period. In wintertime, not pronounced.
In the springtime at the very beginning of the growing season. Young plants are subjected to this procedure once every 1-2 years. A mature tree is only transplanted when the root system becomes crowded in the container and the roots show out of the drainage holes.
- Propagation methods. Seed method, grafting and cuttings.
- Pests. Whiteflies, mealybugs, spider mites, common and root aphids, and scale.
- Diseases. Tristeza, homose, anthracnose, root rot, chlorosis, citrus canker, scab, leaf virus mosaic and melseko.
Peculiarities of the domestic lemon
The domestic lemon tree is an evergreen, low-growing plant that is a perennial.
Its powerful branches are covered with thorns. Young shoots have purple-purple colored tops. The green leaflets are leathery to the touch, have an oblong-oval shape and are serrated on their edges. There are numerous glands on the surface of the leaves, inside of which is essential oil. The lifespan of a single leaf blade is two to three years.
The process of bud formation takes approximately 35-40 days. The flower does not fade for 7-9 weeks after opening. There is a very pleasant fragrance from the flowering tree. It can take over nine months from the time the ovaries are formed to full fruit ripening. The shape of the fruit is ovoid, with the nipple located on top.
It is covered with a yellow rind, which has a knobbly or dimpled surface. It emanates a pungent, lemony-specific aroma. The juicy flesh is divided into 9-14 slices, it is yellowish-green in color and has a sour taste. Inside the slices of fruit are several white seeds of ovoid irregular shape. They are covered with a thick parchment-like membrane on top.
Care and Mistakes When Growing Lemon
Home lemon from seed
Growing lemon from seed is quite easy. You don't have to look for seeds for a long time, because you can get seeds from fruit bought in a regular store. To do this, you should choose a well matured fruit, the color of which should be uniform and yellow. In doing so, you should select those pips that are well formed and fully ripe.
For planting seeds, a certain soil mixture should be prepared.
To do this, take ready-made flowering soil bought in a store and combine it with peat (1:1). The substrate should be light and well-drained and have a pH of 6.6 to 7.0.
How to plant lemon
Get a small container and make a good layer of drainage at the bottom.
Then fill it with the soil you prepared. Take the pips out of the fruit and immediately place them 10-20mm deeper in the potting soil. Put the container in a well-lit place, the optimum temperature is 18 to 22 degrees. Make sure the substrate is slightly moist all the time. The first shoots should appear about half a month after sowing.
Water the lemon seedlings that have emerged from seeds using water that is close to room temperature. Remember to regularly loosen the surface of the substrate in the pots, and this should be done very carefully. Once the seedlings have formed two true leaf plates, choose the most developed and strongest little plants, and plant them in individual pots, across 10 centimeters. Do not forget to cover them with a glass jar on top to maintain the necessary microclimate for better rooting. The seedlings should be ventilated daily by removing the cover once a day for a short time.
The next transplant in a larger container is carried out only after the height of seedlings will be 15-20 cm. Transplant bushes should be very carefully, trying to keep the lump of soil intact. The method of transferring is very good for this.
When choosing a new pot, remember that it must be about 50-60 mm bigger in cross-section than the old one. If a larger container is used, moisture will accumulate in the substrate that will not be occupied by the roots and this will cause it to sour.
At the bottom of the container make a good drainage layer, for this you can use pieces of Styrofoam, expanded clay, pebbles or charcoal. For transplanting you can take ready-made flower soil, bought at a specialized store, as well as garden soil, mixed with a small amount of humus. When transplanting the bush, make sure that its root neck remains at the same level as in the old pot. If it is too deep, it may end up with rotting.
How to grow a lemon from a sprig VIDEO RECEPT
Home care for lemons
Growing a lemon in a room is quite difficult but you will be generously rewarded for your hard work.
The first thing to pay attention to is to create the right conditions for this plant.
As mentioned above, the lemon tree is a short-daylight plant. Therefore, it can tolerate a lack of light quite well. If the daylight hours are long, this may cause the lemon tree to grow vigorously, but it may cause a delay in fruiting.
This crop does best in an east or south-facing window.
But do not forget to protect the bush from the scorching rays of the sun in the afternoons. To keep the crown neat and attractive, you should turn the tree around its axis by 10 degrees every 1.5 weeks. If the shrub is kept warm during the winter and is growing actively, additional light of 5-6 hours per day should be provided.
Are the leaves actively growing, you should keep it cool (around 17 degrees).
During budding, the plant is comfortable at 14 to 18 degrees. If the room will be warmer, it can cause the buds and ovaries to fall off. But during the period of active growth the tree is recommended to be moved to a warmer place (from 22 degrees and above). Once the weather gets warm outside, the plant can be moved to a balcony, garden or patio. But be careful because the tree reacts negatively to temperature changes.
That's why you should cover it or wrap it up every evening and take it off in the morning.
In winter, the best temperature for a lemon tree is 12 to 14 degrees. And it is placed away from working heating devices. This way, the plant can enter a dormant state and rest well before the next growing season.
Home lemons should be watered every day from May to early fall.
Moisten the potting soil at other times about once every 3 to 4 days. When watering, the soil mixture should be well saturated and before the next moistening its surface should definitely dry out slightly.
Appropriate water for watering should be well stale (at least 24 hours), but it is better to pass it through a filter. Its temperature should be close to room temperature. Make sure there is no stagnant water in the soil mixture.
If the roots of the tree regularly suffer from water stagnation, it may be necessary to transplant it urgently and change the whole soil mixture. And the water should be boiled and warm beforehand. If in winter the bush is in the heat, and even more so in a room where the air is overheated by working heating appliances, then spray its foliage more often. But do not overdo it, because excessive moisture can cause the development of fungal disease. If the plant is dormant and left in a cool place in winter, there is no need to moisten it.
Home lemons need systematic feeding. Compound mineral fertilizers are excellent for this purpose. As long as the shrub is young, fertilize the soil mix regularly once every 6 weeks. A mature tree needs more frequent feeding: in spring and summer, a nutrient mixture is applied to the soil 1 time in 15-20 days. A couple of hours before fertilising, the soil mixture in the pot should always be well moistened with normal water suitable for watering.
From the second half of October, fertilising should definitely be reduced. If the mature tree is still actively growing in the winter as it was in the summer, then it should be fed once every 4-6 weeks. However, if it is dormant, then make fertilizer in the soil mixture is not necessary.
From organics lemon tree best responds to the feeding of ash extract, and even infusion of fresh manure, which is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:5 or 1:6. Also suitable infusion of birch leaves or quinoa.
For its preparation, ½ glass jar is filled with finely chopped leaves, then pour in so much water that the container was full. The remedy will be ready after two or three days. Apply organic fertilizer to the soil mixture should be with the same frequency as the mineral complex.
Often flower growers have this problem: the tree actively builds up green mass and at the same time does not set fruit. In this case, the fertiliser should be changed.
It should contain a minimum of nitrogen and a maximum of phosphorus.
Home lemon should be systematically pruned. Its crown can be shaped in many ways, this one depends on what it is being grown for. If you only need it for room decoration, then shape the crown in such a way that it is small and compact. However, if you want to get fragrant fruit from the tree, then its crown should be shaped differently.
A fruit-bearing tree should be left with a certain number of main branches and growing shoots. Most of these shoots, however, must be of fruiting wood.
In order to give the crown the right shape, the method of pruning should be resorted to. When the first zero shoot reaches a length of 20 to 25 centimeters, it should be pruned. After a while you should remove the older shoots by 15 to 20 centimeters.
Make sure that there are four well-developed buds between the two strokes. After some time 3 or 4 main stems will emerge from them, which should grow in different directions.
First order pruning stems are carried out after 20-30 centimeters. And once these shoots have matured, they will need to be pruned, with about 50mm of space downwards from the pruning point. You should also remember that each preceding stem should be about 50 mm longer than the following one.
The crown formation should be completed on the shoots of the fourth order.
In case no pruning is done, then the tree will grow very long branches, while the formation of the third and fourth order stems will be delayed indefinitely, and it is on these that the ovaries form and later the fruits grow.
Lemon trees are cut not only for crown formation, but also for sanitary purposes. In this case, all weakened branches should be cut out, as well as those that point inside the crown.
How to form a room lemon and other citrus
Lemon turning yellow
It is not unusual for flower growers to face a problem such as yellowing of the house lemon.
It is possible because of many different things, for example:
- Trees need urgent nutrition;
- Lot of spider mites;
- Lots of low humidity in the room;
- Heat in a very warm room during the winter.
Try to understand and correct the cause of this problem. To get rid of spider mites you will need to treat the plant with Acarine, Actellic, Fytoverm or Toxhevit. If the tree is kept in suitable conditions both in summer and winter and you feed and moisten it regularly, it will be hardy and its leaves will stay green.
Foliage fall is a problem faced by many flower growers as well.
This is usually caused by sucking pests - spider mites - settling on the plant. They suck the sap from the leaf plates, and they die and fall off. To get rid of such a pest, you will need to treat the tree with a solution of pesticides (see previous section). However, there are also folk ways to combat the spider mite. For example, an onion tincture can be prepared: mix 200 ml water and 1 tsp grated onion, ready in 2 days.
Leaf fall can also be caused by watering too infrequently or sparingly and low air humidity. Remember that the lemon needs regular watering and hydration, especially on hot summer days.
The house lemon has shed its leaves. How to help?
Lemon is drying out
Sometimes the tips of the leaf plates begin to actively wither, with them turning a brown hue. This can be due to too little moisture or too little watering.
It also happens that the foliage shrivels up and curls. This is due to a lack of maintenance. Before you take any action, you need to understand what your mistake is. Remember that the tree needs plenty of bright light with shade from the sun in the afternoons, it also needs systematic moderate watering and timely feeding. Also remember to give it a suitable overwintering environment.
Aphids, midges, whiteflies or mealybugs can find a home on your lemon tree in addition to spider mites. Garlic infusion is often used to get rid of such pests. To prepare it, combine 1 liter of clean water and 150 to 170 grams of finely chopped garlic cloves. The container tightly closed, and the mixture is left for 5 days. Then the infusion is filtered and diluted with water: 6 mg of remedy per 1 liter of water.
It should be sprayed on the tree. However, such an infusion can help only when the pests on the plant are few. If there is a large accumulation of pests, use an insecticide solution to kill them.
The house lemon will not be sick if..
About growing a house lemon from seed was described above. It is also often propagated by cuttings. To begin with, they should be harvested. To do this, cut stems about 10 centimeters long and not less than 0.
4 centimeters thick. Make the upper cut above the bud and the lower cut below the bud. Also note that each cutting should have 3 or 4 fully developed buds and two or three leaf blades. The cuttings should be treated with a root-stimulating agent. They should then be submerged ½ of their height in a container of water, with the bottom cut at the bottom.
After three days, they will need to be planted in pots filled with substrate, which included: humus, coarse sand and flower soil mixture (taken in equal proportions). Deepen the cuttings into the substrate should be 30 mm. Since the planted cuttings have no roots, they cannot absorb moisture from the substrate. That is why they should be moistened with a sprayer several times a day, using settled water at a temperature slightly above room temperature. Also make sure that the soil mixture in the container is always a little damp.
The most rapid formation of roots in the cuttings is when the air temperature is between 20 and 25 degrees. If everything is done correctly, the cuttings will take root after 30-45 days. After that, they are planted in individual small pots.
How to graft a lemon
To graft an indoor lemon successfully, you must find a quality rootstock. You can grow it yourself from a stone.
The nursling must be 2-3 years old and no more than 15mm across. The rootstock of other citrus plants can be used for grafting.
A fully healthy, mature lemon tree should be selected for grafting. To do this, cut off a fully mature one-year shoot that has not yet become woody. Cut off all the leaf laminae from the scion, leaving the petioles and taking care not to injure the buds in the axils.
If necessary, store the cut scions in a cool place for two to three days by wrapping them in a damp cloth. And if you put them in the refrigerator on the shelf for vegetables, they can last from 15 to 20 days. However, experts recommend that grafting be carried out before grafting.
The lemon is grafted during the growing season, and spring is considered the best time for this. You will need a grafting knife for this procedure.
This can be replaced by a very sharp knife, which must be disinfected beforehand.
- First, a T-shaped bark cut is made on the stem of the rootstock. Very carefully bend back the corners of the bark.
- From the scion you should cut out the bud together with the petiole and the shield (this is a small part of the bark with a thin layer of wood). The scape should be large enough to fit easily into the cut on the stem.
- Take the scion by its petiole and insert its scape inside the T-cut. Do not touch the cuttings with your hands.
- The bark is pressed very firmly and the grafting point under and over the bud is secured with a normal plaster or special budding tape.
Many growers are over-insured and graft 2-3 buds at once. If all goes well, the bud should take root after about 20 days.
If you notice that the petiole has turned yellow and has fallen off, this means that the grafting has been successful. Shorten the stem of the scion by pulling 10 centimetres upwards from the grafting point. Then remove the tape and cut off any stems that have grown on the stem below the grafting site.
Lemons can be grafted not only by bud, but also by cuttings and by grafting into the side-groove.
Grafting of indoor lemon, mandarin and other citrus
Home lemon varieties with photos
The medium and low varieties of lemon are usually selected for cultivation in indoor conditions.
Different varieties differ from one another in shape and size of the crown, size, appearance and quality of the fruit, as well as their adaptability to growing conditions. The varieties of home lemon that are most popular with florists will be described below.
This variety came into being as a result of what is called "folk breeding". It was bred over 100 years ago in the village of Pavlovo, near Nizhny Novgorod. This variety is most often grown at home.
The height of such a plant varies from 150 to 200 cm, and its compact rounded crown can reach about 100 cm across.
In 1 year, one adult tree can form from twenty to forty fruits, which are much tastier and of higher quality than those of lemons that grow on trees growing in the open air. Often the fruit has no seeds or very few. But there are also lemons with between one and two dozen seeds. Lemons have a glossy, smooth, rough or slightly bumpy rind on top, about 0.
5 cm thick. The flesh of the fruit can be eaten with the peel if desired. Lemons reach 50 to 70 mm across and about 100 mm in length, with an average weight of 120 to 150 grams. But there are also lemons that weigh about half a kilogram. The variety first came to America from China, where it became very popular, and is quickly spreading throughout Europe.
It is known for its very high yields. It is thought to be descended from the red-orange Cantonese lemon. Some experts believe it is a natural cross between orange and lemon. The tree reaches a height of about 100-150 cm. Its luxuriant ball-shaped crown has few thorns.
Average fruit weight is about 150 grams. They have thin, deep yellow or orange skin. The juicy flesh is slightly sour with a hint of bitterness. This plant is early maturing.
Tree grows up to 200 cm in height and even more.
The sprawling crown has a large number of thorns. The elliptical or round yellow fruits weigh about 150 grams. They are covered with a glossy thin peel and their flesh is very tasty. If well cared for, the plant can yield 100-200 fruits in a year. Its unpretentiousness and low maintenance make this variety very easy to grow.
This variety originated in Portugal. But it did not become really popular until it ended up in Australia. It is characterized by its rapid growth and can reach a height of two meters. Its powerful branches have dense crowns and many thorns. A full-grown tree develops about six dozen yellow fruits, weighing about 150 grams on average, in one year.
However, sometimes the fruits grow up to 0.5 kg. They are oval, with the top slightly slanted, and covered with a thick slightly ribbed rind on top. The flesh has a sour but rather pleasant taste. The variety easily adapts to new growing conditions and can grow normally in a room with dry air.
This crop plant, created by breeders from Italy, came to the middle latitudes from the USA. Its height is about 1.3 m. The lush crown is almost devoid of thorns. Elongated shape small (about 120 grams) fruits are covered with yellowish-green rind rough to the touch.
The flesh is juicy and fragrant. About 180 lemons are formed on the plant during the year.
The unpretentious and productive variety is about 1.3 m tall. It has several forms.
The oblong, oval-shaped fruits weigh about 150-170 grams and have a small thickening on the underside. The glossy thin skin has a ribbed surface.
The variety is native to Uzbekistan. It is created by crossing the Tashkent and Novogruzin lemons. The plant is shade-loving, unpretentious and early maturing.
The rounded, large lemons are covered with a fairly thick yellow rind. They average 0.5 to 0.6 kg.
This hybrid between lemon and citron is a natural.
It is very unpretentious, and tolerates high air temperatures and drought. The height of the spreading crown varies from 150 to 180 cm. Rounded or oval lemons are covered with a rough, thick, deep yellow skin and have an average weight of about half a kilogram. The tasty, sour, juicy flesh is greenish in color. This early maturing plant is demanding of soil composition.
This hybrid between lemon and papeda is high yielding and ornamental. It was born in Sicily in the 19th century. It was so named because its flowering begins on a new moon. The small tree (about 50 cm) is covered with many small prickles. The oblong-elliptic or ovoid lemons are covered with a glossy, smooth peel of a bright yellow hue.
The fragrant yellowish-green flesh is faintly juicy with 10 or 11 pips.
The variety originated in America. The tree is about 1.3 m tall and has few spikes. The lush foliage is colored in an emerald green hue.
The wedge-shaped oblong-oval fruit with a blunt nipple is smooth to the touch. The yellowish flesh is juicy, tasty and fragrant, and protected by a dense peel. The average weight is about 100 grams.
This variety was not so long ago bred in Russia, it is light-loving. The medium-sized tree has a crown that does not need to be shaped.
The fruits are not too thick and have a scalloped surface. Their average weight is 0.7 kilograms, but there are specimens up to 1.5 kilograms.
Homeland of this variety is Russia.
It was bred using the variety Novogruzinskii. This plant is tolerant of drought, cold and shade, and it is early maturing and high yielding. The height of the tree varies from 1.5 to 1.8 m.
Covered with a thin rind, the lemons weigh about 130 grams.
The variety originated in Italy and is very popular here. It is a high yielding variety. The medium-sized tree with a lush crown has small thorns, of which there are comparatively few. The oval large fruits have tender, fragrant, juicy flesh that tastes strongly acidic.
They have very few seeds. The surface of the not too thick rind is a little bumpy.
Besides these varieties, the following are also widely cultivated at home: New Zealand, Tashkent, Moscow, Mezensky, Ural indoor, etc.
Promotional properties of lemons: health and benefits
The lemon fruit contains many health benefits: malic and citric acids, pectin, potassium, manganese, iron, copper, iodine, sugars, phytoncides and flavonoids, vitamins A, B, P, D, C and B group (B2, B1, B9), and cellulose. It is said to have a refreshing, anti-microbial, toning and anti-fatigue effect thanks to its richness.
The juice also contains Citrine. Together with vitamin C, it regulates the redox and metabolic processes and reinforces vascular walls. This fruit contributes to the recovery of the body with the flu. But only if consumed with a herbal tea of plantain, sage, mint and horsetail.
This citrus fruit helps to normalize the digestive processes, while clearing the body of toxins.
It is also used for infections of the mouth and respiratory tract. It also helps to clear the skin from boils and rashes, and completely eliminate or alleviate the pain of migraine. Lemon has a diuretic effect and reduces the acidity of gastric juice. Both peel and juice have a powerful antimicrobial property. At the same time, the leaves are often used to lower body temperature.
It also strengthens the immune system because of the large amount of vitamin C.
Lemon is included in a large number of drugs that have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antihelminthic, wound healing and immunomodulatory effects. It is also found in those drugs that help reduce the appearance of sclerosis. In case of lung diseases, avitaminosis, atherosclerosis, poisoning and hypovitaminosis it is advisable to include this fruit in your diet.
If you rinse your mouth with lemon juice, it will help strengthen the enamel of your teeth and gums.
Baths with this juice help with tired legs and severe sweating. Systematic consumption of this citrus in food is a prevention of the following diseases: colds, tonsillitis, sore throat, avitaminosis, urolithiasis and cholelithiasis, gout, atherosclerosis and diabetes, as well as many others.
Limon should not be eaten if the stomach is too acid, with gastritis, hepatitis, and also with inflammation of the gall bladder, kidneys and intestines. Also be careful with pancreatitis and hypertension. Because of the chemicals that are often treated fruit suppliers can develop allergies.
Sometimes this citrus causes heartburn attacks and may also cause irritation if the mucous membranes of the nose or throat become inflamed.
Where to place a room lemon in winter