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Lemon Tree : From Seeds To Present

Hello Fruit Forum!

I'm in need of some help/advice, so let me give some background.

I started off with a few lemon seeds straight out of a lemon. Removed the hard outer shell on the seeds, and planted them in a small pot with topsoil. Put outside in the sun, watered and not too long after, they sprouted. Out of the 3-4 sprouts, I took the best one and transplanted into a larger pot with gravel bottom, fresh soil, light fertilizer and again out in the sun and watering as needed. This sprout which started around 5cm.

A few months later, it was already 20-25cm, had a few "branches" growing off the main stem and leaves plentiful. Winter came, the leaves fell off, but the main stem looked ok. When Spring came back around, the top 1/3rd of the stem looked dead, but below that was still healthy looking. I wasn't sure what to do, so I cut off the top dead portion about 1-2cm into the healthy part. And from that day, maybe in April 2015, with lots of sun, water, and food, the growth has been ridiculous.

So my question(s) is this:

1) This original main stem (that was cut) has not grown or done anything. It basically just looks like a stick supporting the rest of the "tree" as it grows. Is there anything I should do about it or just leave as is? It has bark on it, even though only about as round as a chopstick.

2) Coming out of the main stem, on both the left and right side of the stem (at about 1cm up the stem from topsoil ground level), are two new, super tall, super healthy new growths. They are both about 3-4 times taller than the main stem, are green stemmed and plenty of leaves. Should I just let them do their thing, or anything I can do or shouldn't do?

All I can do is take over from the current position I am at with this tree. Everyone who's seen it says it looks good. But not sure if I should be doing anything to it other than food, water and sun. When I lift the pot up to empty any water collected in the drain pan, I see what appears to be long, spaghetti-like white-ish roots. So don't know if I need to transfer it to a bigger pot?

Any help or advise you can give would be great. I'll add a photo.

Posts: 13906
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

try citrus food twice a year. You cut the main leader because it was dead so it suckered. That is what it does to survive so don't worry about the old terminal bud. It sounds like it is not going to rot any more. Citrus for the most part are not winter hardy so they should be hardened off to the outside when it is sunny and brought inside before it gets frosty with as much light as you can give it.

From seeds you will have a 5 to 7 year wait for fruit unless you have it grafted.

Otherwise it looks really good.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 801
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:20 pm
Location: Canada zone 8b

Great tree! :) How old is it? Mine is a tad less than maybe 3 inches and it's 1 month old.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 921
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:19 am
Location: Gardening in western U.P. of MI. 46+ N. lat. elev 1540. zone 3; state bird: mosquito

I think I might try this too! The tree really looks nice. I don't think I would care too much about actually getting fruit, I just like the look of the plant. I have some south facing windows that would work well for winter. I guess you could keep it inside all the time if you wanted?

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1030
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:12 pm
Location: central Ohio

My potted seed grown lemon tree has never flowered and I've had it for more than 10 years. The seed grown tangerine tree has flowered a couple times but never produced fruit, even when hand pollinated. The store bought lemon tree produced a couple lemons for me last year but didn't flower this year. I'm still trying to hit the right combination of light and chill to get the trees to flower.

On the pruning, I personally would trim the shorter branch back to the main stem. As the tree grows the little stems will branch out and you'll always be fighting cross branching with the tree the way it is now.

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