Everybody knows of the high vitamin C content of lemons. This makes them especially useful for the cold winter months that cause a dip in your immune system. Generally, lemons are very nutritious. Having an easily accessible lemon tree is very useful for a couple of reasons. This way, you can have a quick source of vitamin C within reach, and you can easily pick one to use as an ingredient for cooking. The best part, of course, is the satisfaction of watching your own lemon tree grow and sprout its first yellow, juicy goodness, especially if you started growing it from the seed. It doesn’t even matter if you live in a hot or cold climate. You can grow lemon trees either outdoors or indoors. Here’s the right way to grow a lemon tree from the seed.
• Organic Lemon.
Most non-organic lemon seeds are incapable of germinating and organic lemons are a healthier option anyway. If you’re planning to grow the lemon tree indoors, opt for a specific variety called “Meyer” lemon, although any variety would still work. Meyer lemons are simply smaller and better suited for indoor conditions.
• Pot for sprouting.
A pot that’s 5-6 inches deep and a few inches in diameter is enough to allow the seed to sprout. It needs to be re-potted to a larger container as it grows, though.
• Pot for seedling.
A pot that’s 10-16 inches deep and 12-18 inches in diameter, or as long as the pot is wider than it is deep, would be used to re-pot the seedling.
• Potting soil.
A potting soil with one part mixtures of soil, peat, perlite, organic fertilizer, and vermiculite would work best for optimal plant growth.
• Grow light.
Grow light is only needed if you can’t find a spot with sufficient direct sunlight for your plant. Lemon trees will especially need a lot of light, about 10-14 hours each day, when it’s sprouting.
1. Prepare the pot for sprouting.
Start by moistening your potting soil in another container. Add enough water to dampen the soil all the way through. Use this dampened soil to fill up your pot for sprouting until there’s only about an inch of space left below the rim of the pot.
2. Prepare the seed.
After slicing open the organic lemon, choose the healthiest looking seed. Immediately suck on the seed until all the residue lemon flesh and flavour is gone. The seed needs to remain moist for it to germinate so it would be best to keep it in your mouth until you plant it.
3. Plant the seed.
Plant the seed about half an inch below the soil while it’s still moist. Pack the soil tightly all around it and squirt some water onto the soil directly above the seed. Cover the pot with a clear plastic bag and secure it in place with a rubber band. Poke some holes on the plastic to make it breathable. This will keep your seed warm and moist.
4. First maintenance.
Keep the pot in a warm place for the next few days. Always keep the soil moist. Make sure that the seed doesn’t get too much heat and moisture or else it will rot. Remove the plastic covering if you think the seed’s safest without it.
5. Second maintenance.
You might see the sprout already after about two weeks. Remove the plastic covering if it’s still on and move the pot to a place with sufficient direct sunlight. Add a grow light if needed. Keep the soil moist at all times.
If the seedling is growing out of its container, re-pot it to a larger one. Afterwards, just keep the plant in about the same conditions. Always keep the soil moist and make sure it receives about 12 hours of sufficient light. Use an organic fertilizer to keep the plant healthy as it grows.
It can take years before your plant becomes capable of producing fruit so just be patient and always make sure that your lemon tree is in a healthy environment for optimal growth.