Growing Guide

Where to plant

Full sun. Well Drained soil.

Sow depth


Space between seeds / seedlings


Row space


Size of pot needed (width / depth)


Seedling Sow Depth


Best practice


Germination (days)


Maturity (days)


How to Grow

From seed

While any viable citrus seeds you sow can become beautiful, productive plants, hybrid plants—if they produce fruit—the fruit will not be the same in taste or appearance as the one it came from.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just different.

Satsuma tangerines are one of the few citrus plants that bears fruit similar to the parent when grown from seed.

Taking cuttings from parent trees is another great way to speed up this process and ensure you will enjoy the fruit.

Full sun.

Water regularly.

From seedling

Follow the row space and seedling sow depth instructions.

Water in your seedlings well.

In a pot

When planting in a pot, choose a dwarf lemon variety (i.e 'Lots a Lemons', or 'Dwarf Eureka'.) Choose a pot at least 50cm wide and deep.

Position pot in full sun, and fill with quality potting mix.

Consider placing the pot on wheels if you live in a cold area, so it can be moved to a protected spot during winter.

Dig a hole in the pot twice the size of the root ball.

Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.

Position in the hole in the pot and gently backfill, firming down.

Water in well.

Water deeply 2-3 times a week, depending on the weather conditions.

Feed your citrus three times a year with fertilizer or compost (early spring, summer and autumn).

When the tree starts producing, feed weekly with citrus food.

From Plant

Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil.

Enrich with fertilizer.

If the soil is clay-based, add gypsum and fork in well.

Dig the planting hole twice as wide, and to the same depth as the root-ball.

Gently tease roots from the container, and position in hole.


Form a raised ring of soil around base of tree, and dig a well around the trunk, so that the mound it shaped like a doughnut.

This allows the water to go to where it's needed.

Water in well.

Mulch around the base but away from the trunk.

Water in deeply.

Feed your citrus three times a year with fertilizer or compost (early spring, summer and autumn).

When the tree starts producing, feed weekly with citrus food.

Ready to harvest

Harvest when the lemons turn yellow.

This is usually during winter time.

Collect seed

Begin by obtaining a couple of the fruits you wish to propagate.

This is to increase the chance of getting seedlings.

Carefully remove the seeds from the citrus fruit, taking care not to damage the seeds and squeezing them out gently.

Rinse the seeds in water to separate them from the pulp and remove the sugar that clings to them; sugar encourages fungal growth and will jeopardize potential seedlings.

Place them on a paper towel.

Sort out the largest seeds; those which are more white than tan with a shriveled outer skin are the most viable.

You may now plant the seeds or prepare them for citrus seed storage.

To store the citrus seeds, place them on a moist paper towel.

Keep about three times the amount of seeds that you want to plant in case some of them are not viable.

Wrap the seeds in the damp towel and place them inside a plastic Ziploc type bag.

Place the bag in the refrigerator.

Citrus seed storage in the fridge will last for several days to several months.

Unlike other seeds, citrus seeds need to stay moist.

If they dry out, it is very likely they will not germinate

When to Grow


Zone 1 - Cool

July , August , September , October


Zone 2 - Temperate

June , July , August , September , October


Zone 3 - Subtropical

May , June , July , August , September

Companion Planting

Tips for Care

Feed your citrus with fertilizer or compost three times a year; in early spring, summer and in autumn.

When the tree starts to produce fruit (usually it's 3rd year), feed weekly with citrus food.
In heavy clay soils, it is best to put time into soil prep.

To check if your soil needs work, dig a hole and pour a bucket of water into the hole.

If it takes more than 30 minutes to disappear, then you will need to improve your drainage.

Consider raising the level of the bed as much as possible with free-draining garden soil, dig in gypsum to help break up the clay and add plenty of compost or fertilizer.
Remove any small fruit that develops in the first two years - thinning excess fruit when their small will encourage good early branch, stem and foliage growth, and promote better sized and better-tasting fruit in the coming years.
Eureka lemons produce fruit almost year-round in warm areas, the fruit is virtually seedless and has a thin skin.

However, as lemons go, Eureka isn't very cold tolerant.

Villa Franca is a relative of Eureka that does better in inland areas, as well as in the subtropics.

Lisbon develops into a large, hardy, prickly tree that produces a heavy winter crop, and is more tolerant to Eureka than both the cold and heat.

Meyer is a small grower (almost a cross between lemon and orange), it is small-sized so suited to pots, and its cold tolerance sees it used widely in frosted areas.

Lots A Lemons is a dwarf form of Meyer (to guarantee perfect draining, Lots A Lemons should be grown in a pot)
Lemonades are sweeter than lemons.

Lemonades don't grow much taller than 2.5m, and produce lots of fruit which can be peeled, segmented or juiced.

These plants are also happy to grow in a pot.
For top-notch growth and production of flowers and fruits, lemon trees require certain basic conditions for the best development.

The tree tolerates a wide range of well-drained soils with a preferred pH of 5.5 to 6.5 and should be grown in a location away from other trees and structures that shade the tree and thus lower amounts of blooming and fruiting.

Pests & Problems