Grow Lemons in Containers. You can have fresh lemons at your fingertips even if you don’t live in a tropical climate. Lemon trees make great houseplants and will thrive indoors in any location when grown in a container. There are few tricks to successfully growing lemons and these tips will give you the knowledge to be successful.
Dwarf varieties of lemon trees are the best choice for growing in container. Choose from Meyer, Ponderosa dwarf or Lisbon for best results. Standard varieties of lemon trees will grow okay in containers and will not reach their full height, but results will vary.
Minimally 2 feet by 2 feet should be the size of the container. Even dwarf trees have long roots that need space to grow. The container will need 4-5 drainage holes, so add more with a hammer and nail if needed.
Lemons are heavy feeders, so start with a good quality potting soil and mix in compost at a 50/50 ratio. Add to that a slow release fertilizer formulated specifically for fruit trees.
Place coffee filters over each drainage hole, then place 1 foot of potting soil mixture into the bottom of the container. Gently remove lemon tree from its original container by turning it upside down and sliding the tree out. Don’t tug on the limbs of trunk to avoid damaging the tree.
Place root ball of tree in the center of container and add or remove some of the potting soil mixture to get the root ball at the same height as was at in the original container. When the height is right, finish filling the container with the potting soil mixture and water tree thoroughly. Place tree in a bright location away from exterior doors and vents.
Container grown lemon trees have a tendency to develop ‘suckers’ at the base of the trunk. These suckers must be pruned off to prevent them from sucking the life out of the tree. To remove, snip them off close to the trunk with sharp shears or scissors. Feed regularly with a water soluble plant food formulated for fruit trees.