Many gardeners can attest to the importance of having lemons, hence the need to grow lemon trees.
Lemon fruit is from the lineage of citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are highly versatile and are helpful anywhere around the world. No wonder they are the most traded horticultural crops in the world.
Although lemon trees are among the various types of citrus fruit, the tree has its unique features, and it is easy to grow compared to other citrus fruits.
In this article, we will look at the different lemon tree growth stages so you can best relate to every phase your tree transits to!
What is Lemon Tree?
First, a lemon is a species of a small evergreen tree from the family of Rutaceae. The lemon tree is native to Asia, especially India.
Let’s look at the scientific classification of lemon tree:
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Clade: tracheophytes
- Clade: Angiosperms
- Clade: Rosids
- Order: Sapindales
- Family: Rutaceae
- Genus: citrus
- Species: citron lemon
See Also: Different Growth Stages of Cabbage
Scientifically referred to as citron lemon, lemon trees are one of the citrus varieties that grow well with low maintenance, indoor or outdoor, provided they are in favorable condition.
Usually, lemon trees are planted from seedlings. Lemon trees planted from seedlings grow well like saplings and must, at this stage, be protected from the cold. Protecting the lemon tree from cold will prevent frost or disease that might occur due to cold.
Over time, however, without interference from cold, the trunks will grow more robust, and the foliage will grow thicker. At this point, they will also begin to develop thorns on their branches.
In two years, the seedlings have grown into mature plants and are preparing to transition into the flowering phase. And in that second year, although the lemon tree can begin to bear fruit since they will not be young for long, the fruit is likened to the usual primary fruit as they would need some time for the fruits to be safe for consumption.
Different Lemon Tree Growth Stages
1. Lemon seedlings
A good number of plants or trees begin their life cycle as seedlings. And in truth, this is the stage to play it safe, as even the slightest mistake could contribute to the unsuccessful growth of the plant.
And like other plants or citrus plants, a lemon tree begins the life phase as a seedling. Usually, these seeds are obtained fresh from lemon fruit. They are tiny and accompanied by pointed tips. The texture of the seedlings is relatively smooth.
If you are looking forward to planting the best seedlings, find white, green, or pale yellow seeds. Why should you be interested in lemon seeds? Remember, it is the lemon seeds that make up the lemon tree. So for best results, go with lemon seeds from a mature lemon.
How to get the best seeds for a lemon tree
If you are not careful enough, you might find it hard to have the seeds germinate on time. Do a little test on the lemon fruit before using the sources. It would help if you let the fruit ripen.
Ripened lemon fruit takes a yellowish color, and it will guarantee safe and quick germination if you plant its seeds now that you know how to get one and expect the best results.
2. Germination stage
If you have successfully planted the seed with the best quality, then you are ready to have the seed germinate. This is the second lemon tree growth stage.
Initially, it will take up to two weeks for you to notice the seeds germinate. However, some sources will take three weeks to grow, so it is essential to only go with ripened lemon fruit when looking for the best seedlings.
Pro tip: many experienced gardeners would choose hard lemon fruits as they guarantee premium quality.
If you cannot find fruits around, you can always get lemon fruits from grocery stores, and with careful consideration, you will begin to see the results. As the seed germinates, it begins to produce roots, and it develops leaves over time.
3. Youth lemon plant
Also referred to as the young seedling phase, the lemon tree has produced roots and leaves at this stage, which are now glaring. However, this is another stage to be more careful of as this stage could attract pests or even animals.
If you have children around your garden, then this is the time to pay close attention to your garden. Even interruption from winds can destroy the growth of the young plant.
This is the time to water the plant regularly, especially if you have them planted outdoors. Does this mean you can grow a lemon tree indoors? Yes, of course!
Furthermore, this is a great time to support the plant’s growth with some fertilizer. It is a guarantee that giving your plant what it needs will reward your effort by producing great fruits. And when it experiences challenging conditions, it can stand the test of time since it can thrive on its own.
If you have the lemon planted in a pot, then this is likely the right time to transfer them to your garden. Please ensure it receives proper lighting.
4. Maturation stage
Welcome to the stage where you can boldly stand and be amazed at your effort thus far. Besides, you chose the perfect tree for a start(lemon tree). Lemon trees grow faster compared to other citrus trees.
Expect that within two years, fruits are beginning to grow from the flowers. The lemon tree will produce more green leaves at this stage, and the stems will grow stronger.
You need to water the plant more. However, try not to overwater, as this is tantamount to destroying the plant. Overwatering can cause root rot.
Overall, overwatering will interrupt the growth of your lemon tree as it would encourage soggy soil. You can find out signs of overwatered plants, so you can best relate when you experience the characters.
5. Bud formation and flowering
This is the gift stage of a lemon tree growth. When the plant is about two to five years gone, it will begin to form buds that will turn into flowers.
As the tree begins to produce flowers, it would need closer attention to thrive. The flower comes in white.
Isn’t it amazing how most of these stages require more attention? You would still need to water and feed the plant with fertilizer at this stage. Always look out for pests if your plants are affected in anyways.
6. Lemon tree fruiting
Now that you have reached this stage, expect to see the lemon tree produce fruits. This happens to be the final stage the lemon fruit will go through. When the lemon tree begins to produce fruit naturally, the fruit will be slightly free; afterward, it will turn to dark green showing it is slowly transitioning to the ripening stage.
The lemon fruit will turn yellow when it is fully ripened. At this stage, the fruit will take a unique oblong shape, having this smooth texture.
If you did well in the previous stages, be a user to reap all the benefits.
Tips: the plant at this stage still requires optimum care. You can still water the plant but try to avoid the leaves, and you can still feed the plant with fertilizers but let it be moderate.
7. Harvesting stage
The reward for hard work is always mind-blowing; this is the time to enjoy the fruit of your labor. The lemon fruits are now ready to leave the tree, so be free to pluck your lemon fruit.
You would only have to ensure the fruits are fully ripened.
8. Drying stage
It all gets to a point where the plant’s reproductive organs begin to fade. They begin to make way for new growth. This is why it is essential to pluck your fruits. Otherwise, the fruits, alongside other parts, will decay and fall off the tree.
If care is not taken, the fruits can be affected by pests too. Amidst this, lemon fruits will not stop growing and will likely produce more fruits.
However, since the tree grows older, you should prepare your best seeds to experience a new phase again.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you grow a lemon tree?
Growing a lemon tree is easy if you have the right seeds. You can develop a lemon tree from seeds; with the right guide, you should easily transit stages. Hopefully, this guide made provisions for this stage.
How long does it take a lemon to grow?
Once you plant your lemon tree the right way, expect to see a term growth in three to five years, this is fast compared to other citrus trees.
What is lemon fruit good for?
There are a plethora of benefits lemon fruits offer. It helps with digestion, and it is an essential ingredient when it comes to weight loss.
It is excellent to have lemon trees around your home, and learning about the tree growth stages is essential so you know what to expect at every step.
The lemon tree produces good fruits when you leave them in good condition—watering them when necessary and feeding them fertilizers when needed would make a lot of difference.
In this guide, you should know what to do at every step of your plant growth. We hope it’s a bit of luck for you!