How to maintain a dwarf lemon tree?

The dwarf lemon tree requires various care

When you don't have much room to plant trees, one way to get fruit without having to go to the supermarket is to buy dwarf varieties. These, unlike conventional ones, are much smaller in size so they take up less space. In fact, it is even possible to grow them in pots, as is the case with the dwarf lemon tree for example.

The dwarf lemon tree can be the perfect plant for the terrace or patio, since it smells very good and, in addition, it is very productive to the point that, depending on which one we choose, we can have lemons almost all year round. But, What are its characteristics and how is it cared for?

What is a dwarf lemon tree?

The dwarf lemon tree is a perennial plant

Image – Flickr/RBerteig

A dwarf lemon tree, or any other dwarf fruit tree, is one tree grafted onto another. In order to be able to keep them in pots, what is done is to graft branches on a trunk that serves as a rootstock and that is also a dwarfing rootstock.. This means that the rootstock is actually a variety of fruit tree that has been selected for growing much less than what would be normal for its species. For example, to obtain dwarf apple trees whose maximum height is 1,50 meters, what is usually done is to use rootstocks of the apple variety Geneva 11 or 41.

Now, It must be clear that the size of the fruit does not vary, but the quantity does. For this reason, a dwarf lemon tree will never be able to produce as many lemons as a normal one, but they will be just as big. In addition, so that you have the opportunity to harvest them for a long time, it is usual to choose to graft 4-season lemon trees, since these are more productive than the rest of the varieties.

How much does it grow?

Our protagonist is a fruit tree that it will hardly exceed a meter and a half in height, which is why it is one of the most recommended to grow in a container to decorate patios, terraces or even balconies.

In any case, it tolerates pruning very well, so in the event that it reaches its maximum height (2 meters) and you would like it to be shorter, you do not have to worry since you will only have to trim its branches in autumn with previously disinfected anvil scissors.

How do you care for a dwarf lemon tree?

If you dare to have one, then we will explain how to take care of it. In this way, you can enjoy it without problems:

Location

It is important that it is kept abroad. Likewise, it must be given direct sunlight, since it needs a lot of light to grow, flourish and produce fruits. For this reason, it cannot be kept in the shade, since its health is weakened: the leaves fall, the flowers do not open, and it is not capable of bearing fruit.

Pot or soil?

The dwarf lemon tree can be in a pot

Image - Flickr / Plant Right

where you prefer Since it doesn't grow much it is possible to have it both in pots and in all kinds of gardens, regardless of how big or small these are. But it is convenient that if you choose to have it in a container, check once a year if the roots come out through the drainage holes, since if this is the case, you will have to plant it in a larger one.

And if you are going to have it on the ground, its roots are not invasive, so you can put it wherever you like, although we recommend that it be far from the pool because if water falls on it, if it has chlorine, it would burn its leaves.

Soil or substrate

  • Garden: the dwarf lemon tree can grow without difficulty in fertile and slightly acid soils. Like the conventional lemon tree, it can suffer from iron chlorosis in clay or alkaline soils. Therefore, if you see that the leaves turn yellow from the edge inwards, and the nerves remain green, you will have to lower the pH of the soil either by adding blonde peat or coconut fiber, and/or watering with water whose pH be low between 5 and 6 (if it is higher, that is, if it is alkaline, you can acidify it with oil or vinegar).
  • Flower potFruit: it is important that it has drainage holes at its base, since it is a fruit tree that does not resist waterlogging. Likewise, it must be filled with a light substrate, specific for citrus fruits, such as this of Compo.

Irrigation

We have said that it does not resist waterlogging, but the lack of water is also a problem for the dwarf lemon tree. So, during the summer, and especially during heat waves, we will have to be a little aware of it since it would not be good if the land was dry. Therefore, during this time we recommend watering it every 2 or 3 days, depending on the weather. The rest of the year, as it is cooler and the soil takes longer to dry, it will be watered more spaced.

In any case, you have to pour water until the ground is well wet, since if we moisten only the most superficial layer, many roots will be left without being able to hydrate.

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It is advisable to pay it while the good weather lasts, from spring to summer. For this, you can use specific fertilizers for citrus fruits such as Flower that you can buy here!, or other organic ones like the guano you have here!. The indications specified in the package will be followed, so it will be able to grow correctly.

Pruning

If necessary, you can prune it in the fall after fruiting.

Plagues and diseases

The lemon tree can have mealybugs

Image - Flickr / Katja Schulz

Unfortunately, it has the same pests and enfermedades than the traditional lemon tree. For example, in regards to the pests, may have mealybugs, aphids, or red spider mite; and if we talk about enfermedadesCommon are those caused by fungi such as alternariosis or penicillium, and viruses such as psoriasis or the sadness virus.

Rusticity

The dwarf lemon tree resists frost up to -5ºC.

Where to buy?

If you want to buy a dwarf lemon tree, click here:


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