Improved Meyer Lemon Is Our Choice for Containers

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Lemon trees are happy in containers, provided they have enough root room and good drainage. We recommend 'Improved Meyer' (USDA Zones 9–11) as one of the best varieties to grow in a pot, because it is naturally dwarfed. It will mature to just 3 to 5 feet. Grow it in an all-purpose potting mix, in a 10- or 15-gallon container, in full sun.

'Improved Meyer' is the best lemon to grow in a container.

'Improved Meyer' is the best lemon to grow in a container.

This plant can be grown successfully where it is not hardy, provided it is kept inside for the winter. Keep it outdoors only when nighttime temperatures are reliably above 55˚F. 

Inside, give this plant the sunniest location available. When taking it outside in spring, move it into full sun gradually, setting it in a shaded location for a few days, then partially shaded, then full sun. This way the foliage will not be scorched. Although the tree was placed in full sun indoors, the intensity is lessened by window glass.

Water when the soil begins to dry out, giving it a deep, thorough drink. You may need to water every day when the tree is outside for the summer. In winter, increase humidity by clustering several plants together and/or setting the pot on a tray of moist pebbles.

Your lemon tree will produce fragrant white flowers. Pollinate the tree by dusting a small paint brush or a Q-tip from flower to flower.

Image credit: Mark Bonica/CC BY 2.0