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Growing Lemon Trees

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I love lemon trees for the fruit, but the real reason I grow it is because of its fragrant flower.

My greenhouse is one of my favorite places to be in winter because that's when my lemon tree is in bloom. The fragrance is just heavenly. I love growing lemons, particularly the Meyer lemon, which is a cross with an orange. The fruit is rounder with a thinner skin like an orange.

What's wonderful about lemon trees is you don't have to have multiple varieties for cross pollination. You can encourage fruit set with hand pollination. All you need is a cotton swab. Just brush pollen from the stamens onto the center of each flower.

Lemon trees need to be fertilized 3 times per year – February, then again in May, and in September. As we move into fall and winter stop feeding because the plants are not in an active growth phase so don't need the nutrients. Feed them with a fertilizer that's blended for citrus. They like a slightly acidic soil. My lemon trees are growing in containers and I apply about ½ cup to each.

Lemons can take temperatures down to about 26 degrees F, but it's not ideal. Especially for extended periods. Unless you live in a mild climate, bring them indoors or a greenhouse for winter. As soon as the last frost date passes move them back outside. They are a beautiful accent on patios or pool side. They are very stylish.

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