How to Plant a Meyer Lemon Tree in a Container

How to Plant a Meyer Lemon Tree Container

On Friday, Gustav my handsome UPS driver delivered a Meyer Lemon Tree to our house. Sadly, I wasn’t home so I didn’t get a chance to thank him. I have mail ordered strawberry plants and blueberry bushes before, but never trees, so I was a little apprehensive even after I received a glowing recommendation about Fast Growing Trees from a friend.

meyer lemon tree in box fast growing trees

After drooling over the picture of Erin’s Lemon Tree she sent in, I knew I didn’t want to start with an itty bitty one. So I took the plunge and ordered a 5-6 foot tall tree and crossed my fingers. I placed my order on a Monday, and it arrived on a Friday. How’s that for fast shipping.

The tree arrived in perfect condition, and I was amazed.

meyer lemon tree flower buds

Not only did the tree arrive in perfect condition, there were tons of lemon buds.

meyer lemon tree root ball

The root ball was even perfect. Seriously. I don’t think I am going to be hauling fruit trees in the back of my car anymore. This online ordering stuff is totally the way to go.

green pot

I picked up this handsome pot at the Home Depot this afternoon.

DIY How to Plant a Meyer Lemon Tree in a Container

Did I mention I named my tree Lemon {after Tina Fey’s character in 3rd Rock}?

How to Plant a Meyer Lemon Tree in a Container

Once my tree was shipped, Pam over at Fast Growing Trees sent me an email with planting instructions.

Cool Container + Soil + Meyer Lemon Tree = Lemons.

Let the count down begin!


P.S. Do you name your plants too? Or is that just weird?

How to Plant a Meyer Lemon Tree in a Container Indoors

Planting in a container

Begin by selecting a container with drainage holes in the bottom.
Do not plant in containers that are too big for the tree because it makes the soil moisture levels harder to control with smaller trees.

Choose a sandy based potting medium that might contain perlite or vermiculite and is well drained.
Add water slowly to your container a make sure it is draining well.
During the warmer months when temperatures are above 40 degrees, place outside in an area with full sun. Citrus trees prefer at least 8-12 hours of direct sunlight.
Make sure to avoid shocking your tree by slowly transitioning it to less sun before you bring it inside. Place the tree in partial sun for a week or so; this helps it transition from the outdoors to indoors. Conversely place the tree in shade for a week before transitioning to outdoors in the spring.
When temperatures begin to drop below 40 degrees, bring your inside and place near a sunny window.
Citrus trees will drop their leaves if the humidity grows too low in an indoor environment – ideal humidity should be 45-50%. Use a humidifier if necessary.

Fertilizing, Mulching, and Watering
Do not fertilize until new growth appears. After, fertilize once per month between February and October.
Choose a fertilizer that is specifically suited for citrus trees. Use a fertilizer that is higher in Nitrogen, such as a 2-1-1 ratio. Follow instructions carefully on the packaging.
Do not mulch your citrus trees. This will cause mold to form on the trunk of the tree.
Give your tree frequent “deep” watering for at least the first year – 1/4 – 1/2 gallon every 5-7 days.
Water at ground level. Make sure you check the wetness of the soil at root level before watering.
Do not over-water. Allow the first two to three inches of topsoil to dry out between watering times. Check it with your finger. If it’s still wet, don’t water.

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  1. Evonne says

    Okay – so I went to look at the Nursery site as I know have lemon envy. Then I side tracked down to the avocado tree. Now I have a question about the zones. It says “Growing Zones: 4-11 patio / 9-11 outdoors”. I’m in Zone 7b according to Does this mean I should grow it inside or outside? What’s confusing me is the outdoor portion. HELP!!!

  2. Lindsi says

    I love meier lemons. I have have a lovetime connection w/ them. My maiden name is Meier but it doesn’t stop there. My grandpa use to have seven meier lemon trees that lined his hillside driveway in Southern CA – that is until fire season 2004 to took them all. Every time I went to visit him, I would sneak a few home on the plane. Recently, my grandpa was placed in an adult home. I took my family down to visit him this summer and made a stop by his home. At the top of the driveway was a meier lemon tree in a pot next to the garage. So of course the kids and i had a kodak moment and watered the tree. The pictures are now framed and will go on the shelf next to my tree when it arrives and is inside during the winter months. I love Meier lemons not only because they are so good but for the memories they give me each and every time I have one.

    • Akashi says

      I had a thought Lindsi, is it possible for you to bring an established, potted Meyer Lemon tree to live with your grandpa
      in the adult home. It could be so very healing and possibly bring him back to those memories. :) Just a thought. Plants are great companions, especially in a new place.

  3. Carol says

    Great job, Mavis! Lemon is going to be very happy in her container. You did a really nice job centering (balancing) the tree, the branches and the container. I’m a retired steel mill mechanic, and seeing things out of balance (out of square in mechanical jargon) just makes me crazy!
    Thanks for going all out in your projects…they inspire me to try doing more for myself!

  4. Mari says

    Are you copying me?? Lol. I brought a small lemon tree weekend before. Mine is a tiny one compared with your monster. I’m jealous.

    Did u know it is advised to remove all flowers and fruit when u buy your plant? That way, it puts its energy to new growth and prevents plant shock – regardless when u buy it and how u plant it. Same thing when u shift it form indoors to out and visa versa.

    Mt wee darling had lots of fruit on it and a few flowers. Reluctantly I removed ‘some’ of the tiny fruit but not the flowers. I have mine in a big pot in my sunny back door porch where it can remain sheltered all year around. Its in the perfect place to be talked to and watered regularly.

    Here is a delicate suggestion – Give the male of the household a jug to pee into, then fill it with water and pour around the drip line of the plant, once a month. Just make sure he wasn’t drinking alcohol the day before. This gives the plant the same nutrients as a citrus fertiliser does, and is free. We all like free don’t we?? Why male pee?? Well no added hormones or women medications.

  5. says

    My apple tree is named Dale. “It’s a Braeburn.” (I sincerely hope you all get that! If not, search online, “it’s a braeburn” for the explanation!)

    My son, now 31, on his high school graduation program mentioned how he lived at home with his parents, siblings, and the “spirit of an orange tree named Juan.”
    Strange thing was, we didn’t then have, nor have we ever had, an orange tree at all.

    Where are you keeping the tree in the winter? I live in Southern Oregon (Jackson Co.) and last week was so cold even the plants under cover died.

  6. Cynthia says

    Beautiful tree! I have a Meyer Lemon and some kind of dwarf Orange tree in one of my greenhouses. When they bloom the smell is heavenly!! I checked out and ended up placing an order for over $500. I needed to replace 3 of my apple trees and then I couldn’t resist buying another Meyer Lemon along with a Mexican Lime and an Orange tree. Thanks for the great tree lead!

  7. Marleen van Wijk says

    Thank you for showing us how to let surviving a lemon plant. I received last year a baby plant, I put the plant in a container and before the winter inside the house. There are a lot of new leaves on the plant. I wonder if the plant will produce lemons in our climate( Holland).
    And yes, I talk to the plants in my garden. ” Good morning Mdme Mouliere, you are so beautiful today……” Some plants have beautiful names.
    Have a nice garden day!

  8. Erin M says

    I’ll stop yelling now. You are going to have the best time with it. It is unbelievable to live as far north as we do and go out to pick lemons in the winter. I am so happy for you. Welcome to the citrus side.

  9. Tra says

    If naming your plants is odd- well, I guess I’m in that club. Some of them I have include Spike the Yucca plant, Cthulhu the aloe (and all the little Cs), Peter the Pretty Potted Palm, and Shelob the spider plant. I guess it works because I’ve had a bunch of the for about 15 years.

    I’m so jealous of the Meyer lemon! I love that pot too. One of these days…..

  10. Jamie says

    I really want a lemon or lime tree, but I’ve heard they need a south facing window which I don’t have. I’m jealous.

  11. Jamie (another one) says

    How do you know what size pot to get for these rad trees? I am going to get the Benjamin Ficus, comes with a built-in name. I can’t wait! I am 12 floors up without a balcony but full south facing windows for walls. I am pretty sure he will thrive right next to my sprout garden, if I can get him the perfect pot! Thanks for the tree tips!

  12. Lori says

    what height did you order? Since it is free shipping on orders over $99 I will be ordering both the lemon meyer and the clementine. I would like to spend less and purchase a smaller one but I don’t want to wait for it to fruit.

  13. melanie says

    I am so excited for you! As I live in Chicago, I don’t know if it would just be foolish to try and grow a lemon tree, but OH, how I want to!!
    I didn’t see the post when you bought it from! Just the one post on free shipping. Would you name the company again, please?
    Thanks !

    • Joanne says

      Melanie, just seeing this post now through Pinterest, so it’s been awhile since you left a post. I too live in the Chicago area and have been growing lemon trees in pots for more than 5 years now. I have a few grown from cuttings if you’d like them. If you’re near I can drop one off.

      I was looking for directions on pruning these trees. I haven’t had much success with trying to grow a straight trunk/terminal branch for a traditional standard tree shape, so I think I’m just going to try for a full bushy type shape last year I just left them all alone to grow naturally and that didn’t work well either… Any hints ideas??

  14. Rita Kerr says

    Jamie (the first one) ha ha, my Meier does awesome in one of my east facing windows all winter. I start all my seedlings in those window too. Luckily we have window seats in the east facing windows and they hold lots. I do a lot of joy squealing, my husband’s description, due to my Meier. Sweet smelling blossoms are the best. My green tea with lemon is heavenly made with our own lemons. I’d like to have another one, but don’t want Meier (the first one) to be jealous of Meier (another one). 😉

  15. shaneequa says

    Oh, Mavis, you’ve created a monster in me. I have spent the last 2-3 hours scouring that tree site and fantasizing about which fruit trees I want, how I want to set up my future garden, etc. Sounds great, right? Except I am a wheelchair-bound city apartment dweller and it seems likely I will stay that way for many years, if not forever, for reasons that are long and boring and out of my control. But hey, I guess we all need daydreams, right?

  16. Heather says

    Oh thank you for the helpful tips! I too recently had Pam mail me the same exact tree, same size as well! I name everything! Cars too! <3

  17. Daniel says

    I know your name… I think from Nantucket? Mrs Butterfield lived on Cliff Rd, had a pretty daughter. Might that be your Mom?

    Anyhow, I have a Meyers Lemon that never seems to do so well in the fruit department. Maybe I need to just pee on it once a month? Also have the Black Jack Fig tree which is one of the best for container growing and is doing excellent! In Southport NC I have Figs and Pomegranates growing outside and doing well. You might consider adding a Pomegranate to the lot!

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