Lemon trees in pots are the perfect plant to have in the garden. Besides the fact that you grow wonderful fruits that you can use in your culinary experiments and already proven recipes, they will make your home more beautiful thanks to the beautiful white flowers blooming in spring and early summer. But what is the best way to take care of lemons in pots?
Here are some tips: from how to water them, to how to protect them from the cold in winter to get great results.
How to plant them
If you want to get a good lemon tree at home, you don’t necessarily need to buy it, you can also plant lemon seeds. Do this in a 30 cm diameter pot with soil rich in mineral nutrients. Once the soil is prepared, sow the seeds regularly and water while waiting for the plant to germinate. Depending on the outdoor temperature, it may take from 4 to 6 weeks. As soon as it reaches a height of 15 to 20 centimeters, it will be time to transplant it.
Where to place them
Lemons need light and moist air to prevent the leaves from drying out. Place it in a part of the house where they can receive sunlight for as long as possible and, especially in summer, make sure that the plant is exposed to light for at least 6-8 hours a day. The plant should also be protected from wind and drafts. To do this, it is preferable to place it near the exterior walls of the house, along the sunny sides.
What to do in winter
When winter comes and it gets cold, it is good to protect the plant from frost. You can put it under the roof or close it in a real greenhouse. Nevertheless, it would be good to expose it to the south so that it receives as much light as possible. Avoid heated and dry rooms: this plant needs humidity. Young plants can be placed indoors near the entrance, only in a place where the temperature never drops below 12 C. Another way to protect lemons is to put on appropriate tarpaulin covers.
For the health of all citrus fruits and, consequently, lemon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are necessary. Fertilization is crucial at the time when the fruits ripen, regularly at other times of the year and especially in spring. Therefore, fertilizers should contain the basic elements that this plant needs, and bind compounds of animal or plant origin with compounds of mineral origin, such as iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. In addition, if you produce it, you can also use your compost to fertilize plants, but it should not exceed 10% of the total.
Sometimes, a lemon plant must be transplanted into a large container, which ensures the development of roots and, consequently, plants. Transplanting is also important because it also involves replacing the earth, which is fresher and richer in nutrients useful for the development of the plant. The best time for transplanting is the end of spring and the beginning of summer: June. If the plant is young, the operation should be repeated every two or three years, and if it is an adult, it is enough to transplant every four years. Do not buy too large pots: the correct transplant occurs when purchasing a pot with a diameter of 70/80 cm. It is strongly not recommended to use plastic pots, it is better to buy clay pots.
The lemon plant can be pruned only once a year, before flowering. Therefore, the ideal time for this is the end of winter and the beginning of spring, from February to March. It is enough to do not vigorous pruning, but simply thin out the branches, removing non-bearing, double, and dry parts. The important thing is that at the end of the pruning, air and light circulate from all sides.
Potted lemon is a type of plant that should be watered regularly, but avoids the formation of stagnant water. Empty the saucer, and fill the bottom with expanded clay balls. Moisten the plant every day, making sure that the ground is always moist, but without exaggeration. During the period of flowering and fruit formation, you will have to increase the intensity of watering, because the plant will need more water. How to understand that lemon has little moisture? The presence of yellow leaves: this phenomenon indicates a lack of water, so adjust accordingly.
To get more flowers and fruits, it is advisable to vaccinate. Spring is the best time for this. However, if you are not an experienced gardener, it is advisable to invite a specialist or take it to a flower shop: if you do not want to ruin it, leave the plant in the hands of an expert!
The most insidious parasite for lemon is a fungus that infects it, making its branches and leaves dry and yellow. To save the plant, it is necessary to trim the branches and remove the diseased leaves. There is also another type of fungus that infects the bark of the lemon plant, generating dark gum formations, that extend to the roots, causing them to rot. To eliminate them, you must remove parts of the diseased bark and apply a little copper sulfate to the wounds. Also, to defeat mealy bugs, you must remove the patina that forms on the branches and wipe it with alcohol with a cotton swab.
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