Lemon trees are quite frugal when it comes to water and fertilizer. However, for your lemon to grow healthy and strong, it still needs a sip of water and a portion of nutrients on a regular basis. This is something to keep in mind when watering and fertilizing your lemon tree.
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Watering and fertilizing lemon tree: This is what matters
In their native country, lemon trees grow in rather poor, stony and nutrient-poor soils. Accordingly, they do not need too many nutrients and are very sensitive to waterlogging. Lemon trees do not tolerate frost, which is why we can only cultivate them in tubs here in Central Europe. As a result, they have less soil available than outdoors, which is why they need a little more attention than, for example, a free-standing apple tree.
Watering the lemon tree
Lemon trees don’t need a lot of water, but they do need to be watered regularly. They do not like waterlogging, but they must not stand dry for too long either. Here it is necessary to find the golden mean with a little feeling.
The right dose
In general, you can remember that the warmer and sunnier the lemon tree is, the more water it needs. Between the end of March and the end of September, you can water your lemon tree about 1 to 2 times a week. In very warm and dry summers, you may even need to water daily. You can rely on your intuition: when the top 2 to 3 cm of the soil is dry, it is time to water.
Be sure to water the tree sufficiently so that the entire root ball can soak up water. When water drips from the drainage holes in the soil, it is just right. After a few minutes, pour excess water out of the pot to prevent waterlogging.
Watering lemon trees: The timing
If you find that your lemon needs water, early morning is the best time to do it. The soil is still relatively cool and gradually warming up. This allows the lemon tree to absorb the water without it all evaporating first.
Do I need to water my lemon even in winter?
In winter it is much darker and cooler, which is why the lemon tree almost completely shuts down its metabolism. Accordingly, you will have to water your lemon tree much less often than in spring and summer. Reduce the amount of watering from October onwards, but never let the lemon dry out completely for a longer period of time. The more light it gets during this time, the more you can water it (though “more” here is still significantly less than in summer).
Watering the lemon tree: The right water
Lemons generally find rainwater best. However, if you don’t have any available, regular tap water is absolutely fine. Only if you have extremely chalky and hard tap water, it is recommended to let it stand a little overnight. This allows the excess lime to settle to the bottom and the water is not quite so hard.
What fertilizer for my lemon tree?
In specialized stores there are both mineral and organic fertilizers. Where is the difference?
Mineral or artificial fertilizer & blue grain.
Very roughly speaking, mineral fertilizers consist of salts, which have an immediate effect because they can be absorbed particularly quickly by the plants. Mineral fertilizers are usually in liquid form and are administered via the watering water. However, there is also the so-called “blue grain”, which is sprinkled on the soil.
Organic slow release fertilizers
Organic fertilizers consist of organic material and release nutrients to the soil only gradually. As a result, the nutrients are not available to the plant as quickly, but they are available for a much longer period of time.
Since mineral fertilizers are very harmful to the environment both in their production and in their application, you should rather use organic fertilizers. Since you also have to apply them much less often, you also save a lot of money. But you may get the best and most sustainable fertilizer for free: lemon trees love compost!
The only important thing is that the compost is fully rotted. It’s best to take compost from the lowest layers of the compost pile. So if you don’t have compost on hand, you can look for special citrus plant or slow-release fertilizers in stores. Our Bloomify slow-release fertilizer in organic quality is also ideally suited for your lemon.
When and how often do I need to fertilize my lemon tree?
Your lemon only needs additional nutrients during the main growing season. As soon as the first new shoots appear in March or early April, it’s time for a dose of fertilizer.
If your lemon also happens to need a larger pot or new soil, you can take the opportunity to fertilize it at the same time as repotting. It is best to use compost or slow release fertilizer and mix it with the soil. With slow-release fertilizers, the dosage is indicated on the packaging, which you can use as a guide. If you use compost, a generous shovel or a ratio of 1:3 to nutrient-poor potting soil is sufficient. If the soil is already pre-fertilized, use a little less compost.
After that, you have peace for now. A second fertilizer application can be made only in August. Simply work a little compost or fertilizer into the top layer of soil. With liquid fertilizers you have to fertilize about every 1 to 2 weeks. After August you should no longer fertilize your lemon, because then it begins to prepare for winter.
I have 30 years of experience and i started this website to see if i could try and share my knowledge to help you.
With a degree a Horticulture BSc (Hons)
I have worked as a horticulture specialist lead gardener, garden landscaper, and of course i am a hobby gardener at home in my own garden.
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