Growing Meyer Lemons in Containers

By on November 30, 2011

Tricia picks a basket of fragrant Meyer lemons.

Say the words Meyer lemon and people either throw back their shoulders and proudly announce, I have a Meyer lemon tree!  or they get a sad expression and sigh, I wish I had a Meyer lemon tree.

You can be part of the proud crowd, no matter where you live. In our video Tricia shows how to plant a Meyer lemon in a container and grow it indoors in the winter—moving it outside when the weather warms up enough in the spring.

Follow Tricia’s planting and care steps and in a few years you could have your own harvest basket full of Meyer lemons.

Meyer lemons are prized for their sweet flavor. They actually are different from other lemons, since they are said to be a Chinese cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. The Meyer lemons on the market today are called improved since they are not carriers of a citrus virus.

Here are some additional tips to help your citrus tree thrive and produce fruit indoors.


Bees and other flying insects are the natural pollinators for citrus. Our window screens keep the insects outdoors, so if your tree is flowering while it is still inside you should give it an assist. Meyer lemons often flower and fruit twice a year. When the tree is blooming, take a cotton swab and transfer pollen from one blossom to another.

Supplemental Light

Place the tree in the brightest part of your house, near a south-facing window. If that is still not enough light, add some low-energy LED Grow Lights.


Meyer lemons are heavy feeders and the easiest way to meet their needs is with a special citrus fertilizer. We recommend E.B. Stone’s Citrus & Tree Food and Citrus and Avocado Fertilizer Plus Calcium from California Organic Fertilizers. Did we mention they are hungry? Follow the directions for their multiple fertilizings each year.


Moving the Container

It’s easy for us to talk about a tree in a container and breezily say, Move it outside when the weather warms up. With all your fertilizing and good care the citrus tree is going to grow and need larger containers over the years. Get help from a friend or use a moving dolly to move the pot outdoors.

Try These Citrus Too

Tricia picks a mandarin orange from her outdoor tree. In addition to Meyer lemons, many citrus grow well indoors too.

*  Bearss lime (also known as the Tahitian or Persian lime)
*  Lisbon lemon
*  Washington navel orange

For more information try the popular book The Bountiful Container, with learned advice about growing citrus and other fruits, vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers in containers. Authors are the well-known Rose Marie Nichols McGee (yes, that Nichols) and Maggie Stuckey.

  Comments (100)

Brenda, Fruit drop is not unusual in citrus, according to UC Davis or it could be the result of a sudden change in temperature or irrigation. The blemishes on the lemons are probably just a cosmetic issue. But the holes near the stem are a concern; they might be thrips or orange worms. Look at this diagnostic chart and see if either one of those pests causes damage like that on your lemons Here are photos to help you too if you had any leaf damage

Posted by on Aug. 07, 2013 at 4:22:56 PM


Hi, I have a small dwarf lemon tree I purchased from a local home and garden center in the early spring. We’re in central Louisiana so it’s spent most of its time outside where it gets direct morning sun all morning, then shade. When I first got it, I though I’d over watered it. The leaves quickly turned yellow and all the lemons dropped. Then it budded again and now there are 2 lemons that are growing well. It had one spurt of new growth then started dropping all the new growth and many of the green healthy leaves. Now it drops a healthy green leaf on occasion and it’s getting pretty bare. What would cause this? The trees that sat next to mine at the nursery are still there and have grown twice my tree’s size and have many large growing lemons, as well as all their leaves…. Why is mine so sad?

Posted by Kelli on Aug. 14, 2013 at 6:19:07 AM

Keill, Sorry about your lemon problems! First of all, the tree needs 6-8 hrs of direct sun so it may not be getting enough with just morning sun. Fruit drop and leaf drop are common citrus reactions to stress (moving home with you, a change in irrigation, a hot spell of weather). Dose the plant with Thrive Alive, which contains kelp, as a tonic for these things. To see if your tree has a pest or disease, consult these photos from UC Davis and compare them with the appearance of your lemon leaves Here is excellent information about caring for lemon trees in Louisiana

Posted by on Aug. 14, 2013 at 2:01:37 PM


Thank you thank you thank you! Based on the link you provided it’s likely my little tree has a nitrogen deficiency. What would you recommend using for nitrogen deficiency? It might have also gone through a bit of shock. The first month or so that I had it, it was inside. After thinking that I’d overwatered it I put it outside where it gets extremely hot. It does get a solid 6 hours of sunlight a day at least. For the longest time I thought it was doomed. Luckily it’s coming back, i found a little new growth yesterday.

Posted by Kelli on Aug. 14, 2013 at 2:17:49 PM

Kelli, Yay that this info was helpful! For nitrogen, use some Citrus Food like this one

Posted by on Aug. 20, 2013 at 12:43:16 PM

Barbara, Yes, there is hope of your citrus surviving with diligent care.  Using Agribon fabric and create a tent so the fabric and the leaves are not touching, or just barely touching.  You can also add the old-fashioned large Christmas tree lights and turn them on during the cold nights. The fabric should be removed during the days unless there is snow or frost.

Watering during the winter months needs to take into account the dormant state of the plant.  Usually a young plant will be watered once every 2-3 weeks and mature plants between 3-4 week with a deep watering.

We explain the kinds of Agribon fabric and their uses here

Posted by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 3:32:55 PM

Dianne, That was a brutal heat wave you had! Glad it is over. Here are some thoughts about why your tree is ailing.

Citrus can be very susceptible to temperature extremes.  Given care, they usually respond relatively rapidly. You can either prune down the branches, or leave them as is and continue to water and lightly feed.  You should begin to see new leaf growth within the next few weeks. It will take a while for the new flowers and then fruit, but temperature extremes (both heat and cold) are conditions that must be considered when growing citrus. It is rare for these extremes to kill the tree if it is healthy and well rooted prior to the onset.

Whenever you see the leaves begin to curl or change in color, also look for pests such as mites or scale which can have the same effects. Pruning or washing these off as soon as you detect them will keep the damage at a minimum.

Posted by on Sep. 16, 2013 at 11:05:42 AM


I just got a small lemon meyer plant - trunk diameter about 1/4”, 2 1/2” feet tall, in a one-gallon container.  From what I have read, a 5-gallon pot would be good for a mature indoor tree.  Is there any reason why I shouldn’t go straight to a 5-gallon pot vs, incrementally increasing the pot size over time?  Thanks so much!

Posted by Amy on Oct. 11, 2013 at 7:12:13 PM

Henri, Light is an essential for citrus, but they can survive on less than optimal conditions during the cold months if you realize you will now be dealing with a dormant or partially dormant plant. You can eliminate food until around February and then feed lightly until you are able to move outdoors. Under variable conditions, it is difficult to define how many hours are necessary to maintain health, but 8 hours would be minimal.  Keep the bush away from any heat sources or fans as that will create stress. Ideal temperatures to maintain are 70 degrees during the day and 50 degrees at night.

Citrus will show signs of stress whenever moved or transplanted. They are hardy and recover well even if the majority of the leaves fall.  Defining the stress is the key. Water, heat source, lack of air circulation, light and pests can all be factors. Not to be discouraged though—the idea is to pay attention if leaves begin to curl or discolor. Do not expect quick leaf recovery until more favorable conditions are available since the plant should not push new leaf growth until it is strong enough to sustain it.

Posted by on Oct. 15, 2013 at 11:24:58 AM

Amy, It is fine to start with the larger pot. Growing in pots does present issues with replenishing the soil after 3 years. Therefore, if you wanted to work with a smaller pot initially and then switch to the larger size after 2 to 3 years, that would be timely. Citrus stress easily, so expect some shock when transplanting or repotting. This can be helped by giving a soil soak of either PVFS Organic Liquid Kelp or Thrive Alive B-1 at time of the transplant, or during any other stress.

Posted by on Oct. 16, 2013 at 12:14:31 PM

Colette, Citrus fruits can take up to a year to ripen, so the bloom and fruit do cross over. You do not want a young bush to carry excessive amounts of fruit or the blooms will drop of their own accord. Citrus are rather good at self-thinning so you usually do not have to be concerned about removing blooms or fruit. If you do see fruits starting to yellow or drop, check over the bush for pests to be sure that is not the cause and keep the soil just moist and not saturated.

Posted by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 3:23:26 PM

Henri, More about how to fertilizer your tree: You will need to renew the soil every few years and topdress and amend with compost. You should be able to get aged chicken manure, bloodmeal, and kelp meal from some source in Finland and if you need potasssium use a small amount of wood ash. Those are all basic components that you could add to your compost in small amounts and see how the tree responds. You should use caution in using small amounts.

Posted by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 3:27:37 PM


Hi Charlotte,
I’m on Vancouver Island, mediterrannean climate, occasionally reaching freezing in the winter. Last year I left one green lemon on the tree and put it in a shed. In the spring I brought it out and the lemon was full size and grew and ripened in about July.
This year I have 12 full size green lemons and have brought it onto a sunny screened in porch. I will protect it if the temp goes below 40 degrees, but when can I expect them to ripen?

Posted by Judy Hudson on Oct. 22, 2013 at 4:25:17 PM

Cristin, Yes, citrus left on the tree will continue to grow larger but will reach a point were it doesn’t taste so good.

Posted by on Dec. 20, 2013 at 8:25:41 AM

Judy, Lemons can take up to one year to mature, so I would be watching them from about 10 months after blossom.  They will hold on the bush for quite some time, so it is not crucial that you harvest immediately.

Posted by on Dec. 20, 2013 at 12:05:24 PM

Hello Amanda,

Congratulations on your new tree. Is the tree in a pot or in the ground? As far as fertilizer we highly recommend that you get an organic fertilizer formulated for citrus and follow the instructions, citrus are fairly heavy feeders so the like regular fertilization. Compost can be used as a mulch, or it can be worked into the soil. If you set it on top it can act like a mulch, worked in it helps loosen the soil. Mulching is beneficial to help conserve water, make sure you keep the mulch six inches from the trunk to avoid disease. For more information on growing and pest solutions these fact sheets from UC Davis are wonderful

Posted by on Feb. 10, 2014 at 10:40:14 AM

Hello Melysa,

That sounds like it could be a zinc deficiency. Take a look at these pictures of foliar diseases on citrus and look for the one that looks most like your leaves. There are several disorders that can cause what you’re describing:

Posted by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 9:24:43 AM

Hello Kathleen,

I’m sorry to hear about your trees! You can do a scratch test to see if the trees are still alive. Gently scratch an area of bark and see if it’s green underneath. If it’s green the tree is still alive and they might come back. If it’s brown then they’re gone…

Posted by on Jun. 02, 2014 at 10:41:25 AM

Hello Pla,

Everything I read said watering, so I’m wondering if possibly the tree has gotten rootbound. Even though you’re watering evenly it’s not getting to the tree evenly, maybe?

Posted by on Jun. 17, 2014 at 8:17:57 AM

Well, my first question would be, how big is the pot the two trees share? Next did you just transplant from a smaller pot to a bigger pot? If so, they may be experiencing a little shock. You can give them some Vit. B12 or a product like Thrive-Alive or another great product, Kelp.

The trees have basic needs: full sun, moisture (well drained soil and don’t overwater), fertilizer. There are good mixes of citrus and fruit tree fertilizers such as the E.B Stone Citrus and Fruit Tree Food. Hope this helps.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jul. 25, 2014 at 12:11:05 PM

A couple of questions would be, how long has the tree been in the pot and how often do you fertilize the tree. The tree will naturally abort any fruit that it cannot support. So if the soil is depleted of nutrients then the fruit will fall off. Also, 6 hours of sunlight is the minimum amount of sun the tree requires. So you might try repotting in a larger (not too large) pot with good potting soil and keep the tree on a regular feeding schedule. You can use a fertilizer such as E.B Stone Citrus and Fruit Tree food. Also try moving the pot so the tree will get more light. Keep in mind the tree may not put fruit on after moving into a new pot.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Aug. 19, 2014 at 9:47:17 AM


Hi, I bought Meyer lemon seeds about four years ago, question I have is that my tree is about 2 feet tall with lots of leafs but never had a flower on it. what could cause this? Thanks.

Posted by angela on Nov. 01, 2014 at 3:29:07 PM

Well your tree may not be mature enough to start flowering. But don’t give it too much nitrogen. This will cause the tree to just grow leaves. Is it getting enough sun? You can give it a fertilizer with more phosphorus than nitrogen, the N-P-K rating will reflect a larger middle number. Try this and maybe give your tree more time to mature.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Nov. 07, 2014 at 11:24:02 AM


I have a dwarf Meyer lemon tree in a pot.  it has several lemons on it and seems to be doing fairly well. We’re entering the winter months here in Las Vegas Nevada and I’m wondering if I should need to cover the tree with burlap at some point?... Perhaps when the temperature approaches freezing? Not sure in any advice is appreciated. Thank you.

Posted by Tim on Nov. 17, 2014 at 9:24:33 PM



I bought a meyer lemon tree this past Spring…along with a clementine and a key lime. I’m in central NJ so all three are in pots. My meyer lemon has been full of buds a few times…and had them bloom but I never got a fruit. I bought the trees at 2-3 yrs. they were about 3’ tall. I brought my trees in and the meyer is full of buds that are starting to blossom. I’m concerned because I don’t have any windows that have good light. I’m going to need to get some grow lights and would like to know what to get. Also, how should often should I fertilize and water the meyer and the other citrus trees while they’re indoors. Thanks!

Posted by Lucy on Nov. 24, 2014 at 12:14:03 PM

How cold does it get in Las Vegas? The tree will not withstand freezing temperatures. If you have a garage with a large window, the tree can be brought inside. If not, it will need to be protected with frost fabric/cloth, create a tent so the fabric and the leaves are not touching, or just barely touching. To insure the tree will not get too cold during the night, you can also add the old-fashioned large Christmas tree lights and turn them on during the cold nights. The fabric should be removed during the days unless there is snow or frost.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Dec. 01, 2014 at 3:52:41 PM

Well I think the biggest challenge to growing citrus indoors is supplying enough light. In order for the trees to produce fruit, they need at least 8-12 hours of light. If you do not have a bright window, use a full spectrum florescent lights or a professional grow light. Next, they are heavy feeders, so use a well balanced fertilizer for citrus trees. For watering, use deep infrequent watering. You can use a saucer under the plant filled with rock to help increase the humidity. Good luck.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Dec. 01, 2014 at 4:32:04 PM


Hi, I brought in my Meyers Lemon tree for the winter and it started to get a little sticky sap on it and now all of the leaves have dropped. I coated it with a homemade water, garlic soap solution to clean all of the sap off. It has not grown back any leaves. I’m not sure what to do now. It did get one blossom on it which was beautiful and fragrant which was odd to see with very few leaves left on it. Any advice would be helpful.

Posted by vanessa on Dec. 14, 2014 at 12:27:34 PM


We received a 3 yr old meyer lemon in a pot in September.  It is doing well, although none of the flowers grew fruit.  There are very small gnat like bugs that seem to come out of the soil or near the root/trunk.  Any ideas?  thanks

Posted by glenn on Dec. 15, 2014 at 12:41:54 PM

First thing that comes to mind would be insect infestation that produces the sticky solution on the leaves. Have you seen any aphids, mealy bugs or white flies? The other thing to look for would be ants “farming” the aphids. Citrus tend to drop their leaves under stress, so make sure the dropped leaves are cleaned up and give the tree a shot of fertilizer to help it through the stress.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Dec. 16, 2014 at 4:14:23 PM

The bugs coming up out of the soil are most likely fungus gnats. You can use yellow sticky traps hung on the tree to capture the flying insects. Here is a link to a website that has a lot of information regarding the gnats,

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Dec. 16, 2014 at 4:19:49 PM


Should I use thrive alive red or green on a meyer lemon tree?

Posted by Diane on Dec. 29, 2014 at 11:08:56 AM

The basic difference between the red and green Thrive-Alive is that the red has additional minerals. We carry the green because it is OMRI-listed. If you are needing for giving your lemon a boost, then the green version is just fine. Both products have vitamin B-1, that is what the plant needs for transplanting.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Dec. 29, 2014 at 12:22:57 PM


I have a Meyer Lemon in a container and hand water it twice a week.  It is in a south facing area.  I do not fertilize.  The leaves are turning yellow and signs of leaf curl.  Please help

Posted by Allison Krivoruchko on Feb. 05, 2015 at 7:33:46 PM

If the leaves are turning yellow and you do not fertilize, sounds like the soil is depleted of nutrients. Lemons are typically heavy feeders so I would give them a balanced citrus fertilizer. Also you do not want to over-water. I would allow the first couple of inches of soil to dry before watering again and water deep. But my first plan of action would be to fertilize.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Feb. 06, 2015 at 9:06:19 AM


Hi, I just bought a small (12” high in a 8” pot) Meyer Lemon. Flowers keep coming (smell heavenly!) It is February. I think it has two or three little lemons forming (not pea-size yet). The last ones did not get pea-sized and fell off. When should I transplant to a bigger pot, what size pot and what kind of soil would it like? We have it in our sunroom, so it gets direct morning light for a few hours and bright indirect light all day. We plan to leave it in a pot and move it outside in late spring (GA). Thank you!

Posted by Anna on Feb. 19, 2015 at 6:05:04 PM

You can move it to a larger pot anytime. Use a good potting soil and don’t over water. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Also remember that they are pretty heavy feeders, so feed often, especially once they put on flowers. A well balanced citrus fertilizer is fine.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Feb. 20, 2015 at 9:55:04 AM


Thank you for the information above regarding lemon trees.  I have a question, is it safe to place my meyer lemon tree in direct sunlight for several hours a day?

Posted by Rebecca on Mar. 07, 2015 at 12:50:05 PM

Yes, your lemon will enjoy direct sun. If the tree is just putting on leaves and has been in lower light you might want to acclimate slowly to the direct light.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Mar. 10, 2015 at 5:15:57 PM


I have had a Meyer Lemon tree for about six months now. It is an indoor container plant since I live in Massachusetts, I keep it near a very sunny window and it has done pretty well. I had one fruit that I picked, and there are a few more that are growing. Recently, I was away for couple of weeks, and my neighbor did not water it enough I think, because it dropped a lot of leaves. It has been a month since I came back, and under my care it did not drop any leaves, I fertilized it, and it has many many flower buds, but no new leaves. In other words, I have an almost leaf-free tree full of flowers. Is this common with these trees? Is there a way to encourage new leaves to grow? Thanks, AK

Posted by AK on Mar. 16, 2015 at 12:16:08 PM


I am in FL and have a Meyer lemon in a pot. It has flowered and fruits started to appear. But a lot have turned yellow while still small and have fallen off. It is outside in full sun and gets watered every day. What is going wrong.

Posted by Alan on Mar. 20, 2015 at 9:02:08 AM


I just got a Meyer lemon tree two weeks ago.  Some of the leaves look like someone got sizzors and made a slice in them I’m in California any ideas of the problem and a fix?

Posted by Eliza on Mar. 21, 2015 at 8:18:27 PM

The trees will drop their leaves when stressed. So sounds like your tree went through some stress during your absence and reacted by dropping its leaves. You can feed it with a good citrus fertilizer and if you have any liquid with some nitrogen give it a feeding. The liquids are available right away so sounds like it could use some feeding. Then just give it some time.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Mar. 25, 2015 at 11:16:42 AM

Usually trees will abort their fruit when the nutrients are not sufficient to support growth. Lemons are heavy feeders and you will need to keep up on feeding it. I would also not water it every day, you may be washing out the nutrients. If you don’t know the nutrient levels, try doing a soil test to find out where your levels are (NPK).

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Mar. 25, 2015 at 11:50:03 AM

I am not sure about the leaves getting trimmed, maybe just trimmed off a damaged leaf. Your new tree will naturally drop old leaves and grow new ones. So I would not worry. Remember that the lemons are heavy feeding trees, so keep up on the fertilizing.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Mar. 25, 2015 at 12:06:34 PM


hi the lemons from our tree have what look like little brown seeds on the outer skin that come off easily.  It isn’t something that we have dealt with before with our lemons.  Can you explain what this could be?

Posted by Liz on Apr. 12, 2015 at 8:20:07 PM

Liz, I have not found any images that might match what you are describing. Here is a website with some common problems with citrus, Maybe you will find the image there, or try searching the internet for images and citrus disorders.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Apr. 13, 2015 at 11:31:40 AM


Hi I’ve been trying to grow a meyer lemon tree which I received as a gift at Christmas 2013.  I live in Southern California and we are growing it in a pot.  It came as a 2 year old tree, but it has not grown much, though it has become bushier and more tree like on the top, it is about 2-1/2 ft. tall. We had a large sucker branch take off towards the bottom and after learning what they were we snipped them off.  I have had problems with small brown caterpillars eating the leaves, also a year ago all the leaves turned yellow and dropped off.  It has flowered twice, but no lemons.  What are we doing wrong.  It gets plenty of sunlight, it is watered about once a week and the base of the tree is beginning to get bark on it which is a hopeful sign for us.  We so very want a fruit bearing tree, is there a chance and what might we do to bring it to fruit?  Any suggestions will help.

Posted by Tania on Apr. 16, 2015 at 6:30:18 PM

Sounds like you are doing everything right except for maybe not fertilizing enough. They are heavy feeders and I would suggest giving them a good organic fertilizer. How much sun does it get? Dropping of its leaves is a sign of stress. So maybe not enough fertilizer, not enough sun, a sudden change in weather…

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Apr. 23, 2015 at 1:32:48 PM


Hi there! My brother purchased a Meyer lemon tree from you and had it shipped to me as a gift this past December. It had dark green leaves when I received it, but now the leaves are turning yellowish. When I look closely, they seem to have tiny yellow dots. I transplanted it in January into a larger pot with well drained (meant for cactus) potting soil. I don’t overwater, and I have fertilized it twice (in January and April) with a citrus fertilizer according to the instructions. I live in Portland, Oregon, where we’ve had a very mild winter this year. I kept the tree in my apartment at first, but moved it outside in March when the nights were consistently in the 40s or warmer. It’s now on the south side of my building and gets plenty of sunlight. It’s also under an overhang so it doesn’t get wet when it rains. I feel like I’ve followed all the advice, but it’s still turning yellow and I’m mystified. Do you have any idea what might be causing it?

Posted by Emily on Apr. 25, 2015 at 6:20:34 PM

The tree may just be undergoing some stress from shipping to a new location. I am not sure about the potting soil that you used. I would have used a regular potting soil. But the trees are heavy feeders so keep it well fed with a citrus fertilizer, give it plenty of sun and not too much water. Allow it to dry some between watering. Give it some time to rebound from all of the moves.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Apr. 28, 2015 at 11:56:27 AM


Some of my meyer lemon and lime trees lost most of their leaves while in the garage for the winter. They have since bloomed like crazy but are still without but a few leaves.
Any suggestions.

Posted by Grayson Henrico, Va. on May. 12, 2015 at 7:55:21 AM

Grayson, lemons are heavy feeders so I would feed them, especially during flowering and putting on new leaves. Are the trees getting enough sun? They need at least 6-8 hours of sun as well to really thrive.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on May. 12, 2015 at 10:26:14 AM


Question? I bought some organized Meyer lemons from Cali and I planted one of the seeds in a small pot. This was at the end of June 2014. Besides a couple of leaves fallen of every now and than, its been growing great. Just watching it grow has been a treat to me. Since then I’ve transfered it to much bigger pot and placed it outside right at the beginning of spring. It took it a few weeks to adapt to the new pot and it picked up right where it left off. With it being outside in Texas, it gets more than enough sun light and I keep it watered regularly. I been using Miracle Grow for food and a citrus insect killer to try and keep ants and spiders away. With that I have two questions. With proper care do you think eventually it will produce fruit? I know starting from seed lessens the chances. Also, can you give me any additional recommendations? Its almost a year old and I want to make sure that I continue to care for it properly? Thanks

Posted by CedWill on May. 24, 2015 at 8:32:21 AM

It can take several years for a lemon tree to produce fruit from seed. It sounds like you are doing everything right (except the Miracle Grow). Keep up with the nutrition, but maybe switch to an organic fertilizer, give it water, plenty of sun and it should continue to grow.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on May. 26, 2015 at 12:49:16 PM


When I did a Google search on “Meyers Improved Lemon very small yellow lemons falling off way too prematurely”, your site came up with this in the short text: “Now some of the leaves are turning yellow and dropping. ... My Meyer Lemon tree is just covered in small lemons. ..... which usually develop in to teensy lemons which then fall off, very prematurely”  I have yet found the post that addressed this. I just had the exact same thing happen.  This tree has produced lotes of fruit for the last 3 years. Please help.

Posted by Hal Whitis, East Texas on Jun. 07, 2015 at 9:00:43 AM

Usually when the tree aborts the fruit, this means stress. Either from environmental (heat, lack of water, transplanting) or from not enough nutrients. Lemons are heavy feeders and especially when they are producing fruit. My suggestion is to give it (regularly) a high quality fertilizer.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jun. 08, 2015 at 11:30:21 AM


Hi i just bought a meyer lemon tree that i think is at least 3 years old since there was a tag on it of 2012. It it approximately 2-3 feet tall and has many flowers and much pea size fruits on it . I transplanted it in a 12 in. Diameter pot and noticed the rootball wasnt that big .. Maybe a 6 in diameter ball or so . My question is should i remove fruits ? Some of them? All of them ? None? Is my tree mature enough to let it flower and harvest the fruits or if i should remove them to develop more roots ..? Thanks

Posted by Yan on Jun. 17, 2015 at 7:36:27 PM

Your tree will automatically drop fruit off that it cannot support. But it is not a bad idea to remove them so the tree’s energy can be directed to growing a healthy structure. Lemons are heavy feeders, so don’t forget to feed it a well balanced fruit tree fertilizer.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jun. 18, 2015 at 10:59:57 AM


I live in Northern California and growing dwarf Meyer lemon tree in a container with over 8 hours of direct sunlight. It has several green lemons for over 2 months. However, none of the older green lemons are turning yellow, whereas new tiny lemons are turning yellow and dropping off. Why are the older lemons not ripening and the tiny new ones dropping?

It has bloomed a couple of times and there are no signs of yellow leaves.

Any tips/suggestions will be greatly appreciated smile

Posted by Tahera on Jun. 22, 2015 at 8:13:58 AM

Tahera, sounds like your tree is doing just fine. It will take until the Fall for your lemons to ripen, so they will stay green for some time. The new lemons dropping off may be due to a lack of nutrients. Make sure you are fertilizing enough, they are heavy feeders.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jun. 25, 2015 at 10:28:07 AM


I just purchased a Myer Lemon in a 2 gal pot and replanted it into a 10 gal pot. Is there any small, ground-cover like plant that I can co-plant with it?  Thanks!

Posted by Jody on Jul. 16, 2015 at 6:15:50 AM

Jody, everything that I have read says to not plant anything around your lemon tree. Lemons are heavy feeders and the ground cover could potentially rob your tree of nutrients.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jul. 16, 2015 at 10:47:34 AM


Four months ago (in April), I purchased an 18” Meyer lemon tree and an 18” Key lime tree which were in small pots when I purchased them.  I immediately transplanted them to larger pots and they have been outside getting plenty of sun ever since.  They seem quite happy and healthy, but no flowers yet. My question is this: can these trees be pruned to keep them around 4 feet tall?  If so, how should they be pruned?  Will pruning prevent fruit from developing? (The trees will be coming inside during the winter.)

Posted by Lisa on Aug. 05, 2015 at 7:40:15 AM

Lisa, I don’t see a problem pruning your tree to keep it the size that you want. I would prune it after your lemons are ripe but before new growth begins. Clip off branches that are crossing, remove water shoots (those that grows straight up from a strong branch), prune to encourage an open center, and remove any growth coming from below the graft. Lemons are heavy feeders so make sure they are getting enough fertilizer and plenty of phosphorus to encourage flower and fruit production.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Aug. 21, 2015 at 11:07:06 AM


I started 50 Meyer lemon trees from seeds and was shocked to see every single one of them sprout and start to grow. Right now they are about 4-6” tall and 2-6 leaves. They are just in a miracle grow seed starting mix sitting in south facing windows. While they all seem happy and healthy, I am very new to gardening so I have no idea when to move them to larger containers or start fertilizing. I live in very hot and dry west Texas so they will likely be indoor babies for a while. Based on reading this thread, I think I know what to use as fertilizer but I’ve heard you don’t want to do it until they are old enough. Any guidance would be much appreciated.

Posted by Josh on Aug. 21, 2015 at 4:57:49 PM


I have a Meyers lemon in a pot that I purchased in April. It has grown well and had 12 healthy lemons on it. They are about fist size and looked very healthy and very green. Suddenly several turned yellow almost over night and have a brown spot on them about the size of 2 quarters and fell off tree… Help!

Posted by Alecia on Sep. 22, 2015 at 6:42:59 AM

Alecia, sorry to hear about your lemons. Lemons are very heavy feeders and not sure how much you feed them but sounds like their nutrients were depleted and that caused the fruit to drop. I have a lemon growing in a pot and I fertilize it, especially when it is heavy with fruit, about once a month.

Try keeping up with the fertilizer, use a good (preferably organic) tree fertilizer. I use EB Stone Citrus & Fruit Tree Food 7-3-3. So far so good on my little lemon tree.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Sep. 24, 2015 at 1:04:16 PM


I see lots of suggestions about fertilizing “regularly”. Exactly how often is recommended for a Meyer lemon in a container in Oregon?

Posted by Francie on Oct. 25, 2015 at 1:11:31 AM

I have a Meyer lemon in a pot, it has about 5 lemons on it and I fertilize about every other month. They are hungry trees so a good organic fertilizer is the way to go.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Nov. 02, 2015 at 9:29:01 AM


We recently got a 2-3 year old Meyer Lemon tree. It appears to have transitioned well after shipping and transplanting—glossy deep green leaves but no flowers or buds. It’s had about a month to settle in - is it time to fertilize to encourage it to flower, or should we wait until spring? It’s indoors now but we’ll probably have it outdoors 6-8 months of the year.

Posted by Sandra on Dec. 07, 2015 at 3:38:32 PM

If the tree is starting to flower, you may want to give it some fertilizer. However, you need to be careful giving the tree a lot of nitrogen in the winter and stimulating new growth, which can be damaged by cold temps. So this being said, you may want to hold off until spring. If the leaves start to yellow, you should give it some food.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Dec. 10, 2015 at 11:50:44 AM


I have a Meyer lemon tree that has a ton of blooms on it and it is only December.  We have had warmer than usual temps.  I move it in and out during the winter,but want to keep the blooms happy. What should I do or feed it till spring when it can stay outdoors

Posted by Donna on Dec. 27, 2015 at 5:54:35 AM

Donna, not sure where you are located, but if you are needing to bring the tree inside in the winter, I am assuming that you live some place cold. I would not feed it over the winter, especially a fertilizer that has much nitrogen. You don’t want the tree putting on new growth over the winter. I would wait to fertilize until the spring.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Dec. 28, 2015 at 9:39:16 AM


Novice gardener, looking for some help and knowledge!
I live in Denver colorado (Zone 5b) and have a meyer lemon plant that just recently started ripening. However, I do not have any blooms to begin fruits for next season. Occasionally a bloom will form, but then turn black and fall off. Any suggestions on why this may be happening? Is this normal?


Posted by Josh F on Dec. 31, 2015 at 3:08:11 AM

Josh, are your lemon trees always kept indoors? Denver is a very cold place in the winter and unless your trees are indoors in a warm sunny place, they will not do well. They are very heavy feeders and will drop blooms or new fruit if they are stressed (either temperatures, water, nutrition).

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jan. 05, 2016 at 12:00:05 PM


I have had my Meyer Lemon tree for over 10 years, north Texas. It’s doing great, I leave it outside under the south/east porch. When it is below freezing I turn on my set of Christmas lights and cover with frost cloths. I also wrap the large pot with bubble wrap. I have a question about blooms. It started blooming and we will definitely have some cold winter days in the next two months. Should I remove the blooms? I don’t want to loose the opportunity to have fruit this next year.  Thanks

Posted by Nancy on Jan. 07, 2016 at 8:23:27 AM

Nancy, I would just leave the blossoms and allow the tree to decide whether or not to keep the blossoms.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jan. 07, 2016 at 5:16:45 PM


I have a producing Meyer dwarf tree. I can’t use all the lemons it puts out so what I don’t give away I juice and freeze it in ice cube trays for later use. This year I saved the seeds.I was thinking of planting some in small pots to hopefully grow and give out as holiday presents. I’m in SoCal so I will be growing them outside. When do I fertilize? and when will they start producing fruit?

Posted by ed peters on Jan. 19, 2016 at 1:15:36 PM


I am new at growing citrus so any info would be helpful. Bought a cocktail tree , two plants , lime and, meyer lemon in one container. So far things have went great, Bought in Oct. lots of blooms in Dec. and looks like five lemons are gonna stick around to mature. It is about 2 feet high.  No limes yet tho just blooms that eventually fell but it is quite abit smaller right now. I am in Toronto , Canada so it is indoor container plant. I was wondering if now lemons are maturing will blooms cease until they are done maturing ? Also do not know if blooms just come on new growth or not and if so when and how much to prune? I feed monthly with 15-30-15 , let dry out between watering and have in south facing window. Thanks in advance for any info you can pass on to me.

Posted by Steve on Jan. 22, 2016 at 6:41:12 AM

Ed, Are the trees growing outside or inside? I wouldn’t give them fertilizer until closer to spring. I am sure you are warmer in SoCal, so it may be earlier. Trees started from seed will take a couple of years longer than ones that you buy potted.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Feb. 01, 2016 at 11:01:55 AM

Steve, Usually you won’t get many if any blooms when your tree is producing fruit. I really wouldn’t prune your tree, only removed broken or dead branches. Sounds like you are doing everything right.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Feb. 01, 2016 at 11:17:14 AM


I have my very first Myer Lemon Tree.  I have it outside on my patio. It is starting to bloom.  I have several questions.

Does the blooms mean I will have lemons?
My tree is in a container and is about 3 feet tall.
When can I expect lemons on my tree?

Posted by Marcel Smith on May. 27, 2016 at 12:53:34 PM

Marcel, blooms are lemons to be. If the blooms do not abort, then you will have a lemon develop from the bloom. Your lemons will grow all summer long and should be ready sometime in the winter. They will turn from green to yellow and then keep getting bigger. Remember that lemons are heavy feeders, so fertilize like once a month.

Posted by Suzanne at on May. 27, 2016 at 3:50:47 PM


In Dec.2015 I got a 2-3 yr old Meyer lemon tree. Due to cold weather in Dec. & warmth in rm. tree lost all leaves & blooms. I put mycorrhiza & something else on roots . They grew heavy roots & in 2 mo. Had green leaves. We had 5 wks. Of steady rain, no sun, soil wouldn’t dry out lost all leaves 2 mo. Later & checked roots i have only a sm. Mound under stick or roots. What can I do to grow. Fast healthy Roots ? Top tree turnin brown & dried cracked off. What can I ad to grow roots fast again & to stop drying of top tree maybe grow leaves?

Posted by Christine horan on Jun. 04, 2016 at 7:44:23 PM

Christine, Is your lemon tree in a pot indoors or outdoors. If it is in a pot it should have good drainage, especially if outdoors. I would give it a good organic fertilizer for citrus trees and make sure it has plenty of sun and don’t over water the tree.

Posted by Suzanne at on Jun. 06, 2016 at 3:43:31 PM


Can I use African Violet potting mix for my lemon tree or does it need soil specifically for citrus trees?

Posted by Jacquelyn on Jun. 17, 2016 at 4:12:51 AM

Jacquelyn, I would not advise using a mix that is specifically formulated for a different plant. I would just use a high quality potting soil.

Posted by Suzanne at on Jun. 17, 2016 at 9:14:02 AM


I have a potted meyer lemon that we winter indoors. It struggles to keep it’s foliage. Our sunniest location is still not that great. When I put it out this spring it has possibly 50 blossoms that are now developing into fruit. The tree is tiny. Should I thin out the fruit?

Posted by Kelly on Jun. 22, 2016 at 8:16:46 AM


Hi there,

Does anyone know where I can purchase organic Meyer lemon seeds?

Posted by Stephanie on Jun. 24, 2016 at 3:20:32 PM


Can I grow a dwarf Meyer lemon tree on a windy seaside balcony in zone 8b?

Posted by Karen on Jun. 25, 2016 at 9:24:00 AM


I live in a seaside 7th floor condo with a windy corner balcony on the Florida gulf coast in zone 8b. Can I grow a Meyer lemon tree on the balcony? Are there any special precautions I need to know?

Posted by Karen on Jun. 25, 2016 at 9:30:55 AM


Karen, you should be able to grow a lemon tree on the balcony, as long as it can get 6-8 hours of sun. Make sure you fertilize often, I fertilize my lemon tree that is in a pot about once a month during the active growing season.

Posted by Suzanne on Jul. 01, 2016 at 3:42:13 PM


I have had two meyers lemon trees for about 6 years and am looking for a “tree planter box” that breaks apart on the sides and is used for large trees in tree nurseries for large trees. I purchased a couple of maple trees this year who’s trunks were about 5 inch diameter. The planter boxes the trees were in are what I am looking for.  I have had to move my trees in and out of the garage every winter and had just purchased some very large pots for them but they were destroyed in a recent storm.  I need something square, rugged, and not so easy to turn over in the wind.  Any suggestions on where I can find something like I have described? I have a picture and would attach it if I was computer savvy enough to do

Posted by Barbara on Jul. 21, 2016 at 11:25:42 AM


Barbara, you might try a local nursery that sells large trees. They might have a source to purchase a planting box that you are describing.

Posted by Suzanne on Jul. 25, 2016 at 12:42:14 PM


Where can I purchase a Meyer Lemon tree?

Posted by Treasa on Aug. 04, 2016 at 5:31:12 PM


Hi, May I know what kind of fertilizers should be used for lemon tree growing indoor in a pot.  My lemon tree is now 2-3 years old, I put it at a place near the window with direct sunlight not less than 8 hours in summer time.  Noticed some of the leaves dropped recently.  I used to put artifical organic based fertilizer (like dried sands) once for every 2 months,  I did not see flowers on the baby tree, is this normal ?  Thanks,  Suna

Posted by Suna on Aug. 17, 2016 at 2:04:44 AM


Suna, lemons are heavy feeders. You can use a fertilizer that is labeled for citrus and I would feed it once a month, especially when it has fruit. I am not sure why your tree is not putting on flowers, most likely due to a fertility issue, since it is getting 8 hours of sun.

Posted by Suzanne on Aug. 23, 2016 at 12:41:36 PM


Treasa, you should be able to get a Meyer lemon tree at a local nursery. If they don’t have one in stock, they may be able to order you one.

Posted by Suzanne on Aug. 23, 2016 at 1:00:01 PM


I have a dwarf Meyers lemon tree.  I have had it maybe 3 years.  I live in East Texas and bring the tree inside during the winter.  I set it in front of a west window in the dining room. .lots of sun.  The problem with that is that tons of blossoms form and then fall off when I move the plant outside.  This last winter I tried a different tactic.  I left the tree outside on the west side.  I covered it up when a freeze was predicted:  we had a mild winter.  Blossoms formed and maybe 1/4 stayed on the tree.  I now have about 15 lemons that are looking good. The concern is that, although the other branches look healthy, the branches with the lemons have leaves that turn yellow and fall off. The good thing is that the fruit seems unaffected by this.  I did not realize I should have been fertilizing the tree so often.  Should I start now since I have fruit on the tree?  Thanks so much.

Posted by Nancy on Aug. 23, 2016 at 4:58:22 PM

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