Growing lemon in pots on your terrace garden can be a rewarding experience. This vitamin C packed fruit plant is not only used in your kitchen but also has a strong citrus fragrance in your home garden.
If you are planning to grow lemon plant at home in pots, then do consider the dwarf variety. Though more than 50 varieties of Lemon are found .
One can grow lemons with seeds or direct from the small plant seedling. Growing seeds directly into the soil will take at least 2 to 3 years for fruiting.
While Sowing Lemon plant in the pots may take 7 to 8 months before fruiting.
Basic requirements for growing Lemon in the pots
1) Pot selection:- too small or narrow pot will not be good choice for growing lemons in containers. Rather select a medium size pot minimum 15 inches size with good drainage.
2) Soil :- Lemon plant needs organic and well drained soil that does not retain too much water. pH of the soil should be slightly acidic around 6 to 6.5 .one can make soil acidic by adding vinegar with water or just by mixing some drops of lemon juice to the soil.
For preparing potting mix take half part of garden soil, and make remaining half part with 20 percent sand, 10 percent coco peat and add 20 percent of kitchen compost to it.
Sand is added to the garden mix because roots of lemon plant requires airy soil and coco peat is used to retain the moisture to the roots.
3) Sunlight :- Lemon plant grow well in full sunshine. They need At least 5 to 6 hours of sunlight daily. Less than 4 hours of Sunlight is not recommended to plant the lemon tree.
Though lemons can grow indoor also but they will require growing lights to absorb the maximum photons.
In cooler climate and winters it is better to place the plant in south direction and near to some heated walls.
Lemon plant requires maximum sunlight during fruiting period . Optimum temperature for lemon to grow in pots is 22 to 25 Celsius. Below 10 degree celsius plant will go in dormant stage and stop growing further.
4) water :- consistent and deep watering is key to success when growing lemon plants in pots. Give them water as soon as lemon is planted in the pot. In summers try to water the plant everyday. In winter season it is good to water them thrice a week.
Look for water need everyday morning by checking top 2 to 3 inches of soil with fingers . If soil feel dry to touch ,water the plant at same time and if soil is still moist then first wait for water to dries out.
Too much or too little water both can harm the lemon plant . Always water them according to requirement of soil.
5) fertilizer:- lemons are heavy feeders of fertilizer. they always require good amount of macro nutrients like potassium, phosphorus and magnesium with some micro nutrients including copper ,iron and manganese. Both organic and chemical fertilizer can be given. In organic fertilizer compost , kitchen wastes, banana peels, orange peel and seaweed can be used.
For inorganic fertilizer combination of nitrogen ,phosphorus and potassium is used.
Inorganic fertiliser like npk is given with mixing in water mostly in rainy season. feed the plant with organic compost and phosphorus in December to march months.
6) Mulching :- mulching of lemon plant is necessary to stop the water evaporation from the soil and save the plant from being water deficient.
7) Pruning:- pruning of plant should be done after the harvesting of fruits. It helps to remove leaves and gives plant space to take more oxygen from outside.
8) Pest control :- pests and bugs are very common to lemon plant . It is always advisable to use non chemical pesticides like neem oil or garlic spray. Mix neem oil in the water and spray it every 2 days directly over the plant leaves.
8) Repotting :- repotting of lemon plant should be done after 2 to 3 years once it begins to produce fruit.