At a recent – and rather hygge – celebration at my home, friends were taken with my indoor lemon tree, whose lemons have started to turn a lovely yellow colour.
They were somewhat astonished that it was growing real lemons. But it was, and still is.
A lemon tree, I realised, makes something of a feature. The bright citrus fruits evoke images of Italy, summer and thirst-quenching drinks, while the dark evergreen leaves summon the cool placidity of a shady spot or a deep pool. Altogether, quite refreshing!
Where to put your lemon tree
Citrus need a bright, sunny position. I’ve put mine in a spot that’s visited by a daily trapezium of sunshine and it seems to be enjoying that.
I’ve chosen on a landing, away from radiators and the worst ravishes of central heating, which can be stressful for lemon trees! It’s also near a window that’s regularly opened, as they do like to be well ventilated.
Keep it somewhere everyone can see it though – it’s no shrinking wallflower and likes to spark joy.
Marie Kondo would approve!
7 simple growing tips
- Feed regularly from late March to October with a high nitrogen summer feed like liquid lawn food – don’t feed from late October to March
- Summer: keep well watered
- Winter: let the surface to dry out a little before watering, then water slowly and sparingly with tepid water – winter overwatering is a common problem!
- Keep humidity high by standing the pot on a large gravel-filled saucer or tray, with the water level just below the surface of the gravel
- Mist the leaves regularly
- Repot plants each March or replace the top 5cm (2in) with fresh compost
- February: reshape plants by thinning out overcrowded branches
Most lemon trees grow to 1–1.5m (3–5ft) tall in a pot but can grow larger – so keep this in mind when choosing a position for your tree. Read more citrus tips from the Royal Horticultural Society!
Fruits of your labour
Once your lemons are ripe and ready there’s no end to what you can use them for. From lemonade to cake, and even cocktails!