How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed

How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed? 5 Useful Guides

Lemon trees are one of the easiest fruit trees to grow inside. They just need a window sill in the sun, the right soil, and a lot of time.

But first, there are a few things you should know before we talk about how to grow a lemon tree from a seed.

An indoor lemon tree may take many years to bloom and produce fruit, but the wait is well worth it.

Their shiny leaves and quick growth are fascinating to anyone who likes plants, and the taste of lemons grown indoors can’t be compared to that of store-bought fruit.

As was already said, lemon trees are some of the easiest and most beautiful plants to grow indoors. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore their seeding and spreading!

This article shows you how to grow a lemon tree from a seed, step by step.

First, we’ll talk about what you’ll need to make sure the lemon seeds sprout, and then we’ll talk about how to make sure the seeds grow well once they do.

Outline hide

How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed: What You Need

Before you do anything else, here are the things you’ll need to plant lemon seeds:

  • One or two lemons We recommend organic lemons that haven’t been treated with as many pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers.
  • For the paper towel method, you will need: citrus sterile soil mix OR peat, perlite, and vermiculite; organic fertilizer; and 4-inch pots (terracotta or plastic).

You’ll also need a warm, shady place to germinate the lemon seeds and a sunny place to grow the lemon trees once they’ve started to grow.

 How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed

I tried sowing lemon seeds on paper towels this winter and was happy with how easy and successful it was. I got 90% of the lemon seeds to grow when I put them on a paper towel.

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1. Gather the seeds

Cut the lemon in half and pick out the seeds that taste the best.

Keep in mind that some of them might not grow, so you’ll need more than one. I suggest starting with at least five seeds.

Take the pulp out of the seeds, then rinse them with warm water and dry them with a paper towel.

2. Peel off the white skin from the seeds (OPTIONAL)

  • This makes the sprout grow faster because it doesn’t have to break through the epidermis. Doesn’t that make sense?
  • But don’t cut through the seeds, or you might hurt the sprout inside.

Several guides on how to grow lemon trees from seeds say to peel off the second (brown) skin layer to speed up the process.

I didn’t do it, but I don’t think it would hurt as long as you didn’t poke, cut, or break off the cotyledons.

3. Wrap the seeds in a moist paper towel & seal them in a bag

  • Spread the seeds out on a paper towel about an inch apart, and then cover them gently with another paper towel.
  • Wrap them lightly in a paper towel and soak them in water.
  • Then put everything in a plastic bag and write the date on it.

It’s fine to leave some air in the bag. Most online guides recommend it, since seeds need water, warmth, and air to grow.

 How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed

4. Place the bag in a warm, shaded spot

At this point, your lemon seeds don’t need light, but, as we’ve already said, they do need a lot of heat and moisture. Keep them away from cold or drafty parts of your house to speed up the process.

After two to four weeks, or when the roots are at least 1.5 to 2 inches long, the seeds are ready to be planted in soil.

What to do When The Roots are 1.5 Inches Long

Here’s what to do about a month after using paper towels to sprout lemon seeds (when the roots are about 1.5 inches long):

  • The pots should have a diameter of at least 3 inches and a height of at least 5 inches.
  • The best mix of soil should have a pH between 5.5 and 6.5.

You can use the soil mix from Miracle-Citrus Gro or make your own using equal amounts of the things listed at the top.

2. Carefully separate the seedlings from the paper towel

It’s fine if they only have roots. The plants will grow if you give them the right care, as explained below.

Also, it’s fine if a piece of paper towel sticks to the roots. This happened to my seedlings, and it didn’t hurt their growth. Just because a piece of paper is stuck to a root, there is no reason to cut it off.

3. Plant the seedlings about one inch deep

When you dig holes in the ground, think about how long the roots are. Pat the ground down gently as you cover the seedlings with soil.

 How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed

If you push too hard, you might break the roots. Letting the soil be a little bit loose gives plants the best access to nutrients, water, and air and helps them grow strong root systems.

4. Keep the soil permanently damp until 4-5 leaves appear on each plant

Move the plants slowly to a bright window in your home during this time. The best place for a lemon tree to get the most sunlight is right in front of a south-facing window, so try to move them closer and closer to where they will end up.

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If you want the lemon tree to be your next best office plant for great interior design, move it around a lot until it finds the perfect spot.

But make sure you don’t burn them! My apartment doesn’t get direct sunlight, but mine has done well under a neon light.

5. Afterward, allow the first inch of soil (but no more) to dry out between waterings

If you let the soil in the whole pot dry out, your plant would die. Lemon trees are tropical plants that need a lot of water.

I didn’t try this method first because the paper towel worked so well for me, but a lot of people swear by it.

Unlike the paper towel method, germinating seeds right in the soil may give them a better chance of survival because they won’t have to deal with the stress of being moved.

1. Gather the seeds

Pick out the lemon’s biggest, healthiest-looking seeds, take out the pulp, rinse, and dry the seeds with warm water.

2. Peel off their skin (OPTIONAL)

If the sprouts don’t have to break through the seed’s skin, it will take the seeds less time to grow. Another way to speed up germination is to soak lemon seeds in warm water overnight.

3. Prepare the pots and soil

One seed needs a pot with a diameter of 3–4 inches and a height of 5–6 inches. The best soil mix for planting lemon seeds has a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. With the things listed at the beginning of this article, you can make your own soil.

The sharp point should be facing down. The seeds should be covered with dirt and lightly pressed down. The soil should be porous enough to let air and water move through it.

5. Seal the pot with cling wrap and poke a few small holes

This will help keep the soil and seeds moist and warm while still letting them breathe.

6. Remove the cling wrap when sprouts come out of the soil and place in a warm, sunny location

Keep the soil moist until the plant has 4 or 5 leaves, and then water it once a week. You should only let the top inch of soil dry out.

You can move the plants after about a year or when many roots have grown through the drainage holes in the pot.

Before we end our tour today, let’s look at the most common questions you, our wonderful community of casual gardeners, have asked us.

How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed: FAQs

The answers to the questions below will also help you get a clear and simple picture of how to grow a lemon tree from a seed.

1. Can I plant lemon seeds from store-bought lemons

Yes. You can get cheap lemon seeds from store-bought lemons, which you can then grow inside to make lemon trees.

But we think you should get a few organic lemons. Because of how they are treated, the seeds of non-organic lemons often don’t sprout.

2. Does a lemon tree grown indoors from seeds produce lemon fruit?

Most often, no. When you grow a lemon tree from a seed, the best thing you can hope for is a lush tree with beautiful flowers.

 How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed

If the seed is of good quality and you follow all of the instructions for germination, sprouting, and taking care of the lemon tree, you may be pleased to find that you can also eat the lemon fruits.

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To avoid being disappointed, you need to be patient and keep your expectations low. As our expert on citrus plants said, your lemon tree would like to spend most of its time outside.

If you can only grow it inside, follow the care instructions to the letter, and soon you’ll be able to taste fresh lemon juice from your own produce.

About three years after you plant your lemon tree, you should be able to pick and eat lemons from it.

No matter how you grow a lemon tree from a seed, it will take between three and six years before it can produce fruit that you can eat. The key is to pay full attention to your lemon tree.

4. Can I grow a lemon tree from dry seeds?

We don’t recommend this method. If you plant the seeds as soon as you take them out of a fresh lemon, you have the best chance of growing a lemon tree. The seeds are less likely to grow if they are dry.

5. Can you grow a lemon tree from cuttings as well?

In general, lemon trees and other citrus plants grow well from cuttings. But if you do this instead of buying a professionally grown lemon tree, yours will definitely be less resistant to the common diseases that affect lemon trees.

6. Which is the best fertilizer for lemon trees grown indoors?

In order to grow well, a lemon tree needs a lot of nitrogen. Experts say that you should feed your lemon tree every 6–8 weeks all yearthat you should feed your lemon tree every 6–8 weeks all year. Here, you can learn more about how to water and feed a lemon tree that is kept inside.

7. Can I feed Epsom salt to my lemon tree?

Epsom salt is a great way to get magnesium into the soil of a lemon tree that needs it. A lemon tree’s ability to make fruit depends on how much magnesium it has.

 How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed

But before you start conditioning and adding to the soil of a lemon tree, you should take a look at it and find out what it needs.

Their glossy leaves, white flowers, and small to medium-sized trees make them great for small to medium-sized gardens. Lemon picking can be a fun family activity, and the trees produce fruit almost all year.

Not to mention that lemons are rich in vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium. These minerals are important for building strong bones, keeping a healthy heart, and avoiding cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Final Thoughts

You now know how to grow lemon trees from their seeds. I hope you had as much success growing lemon trees and planting lemon seeds as I did.

In fact, I can’t wait to hear how you’ve used these strategies! Please tell us about your experience in the comments section of the article.

Also, Darren Sheriff’s, aka the Citrus Guy, full care guide for lemon trees has more information on how to take care of a lemon tree indoors.

We know it might be hard to grow them inside, but if you know what they need and can give it to them, you should be fine. So, if you want to find out how to take care of a lemon tree, keep reading!

See more articles in this category: Outdoor Plants

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