How to Grow Lemon Tree from Seed at Home: Easy Guide

How to Grow Lemon Tree from Seed
11 min reading time

Are you interested in growing your own lemon tree but not sure where to start? Look no further! In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to grow lemon tree from seed in the comfort of your own home. We will also share some valuable tips on lemon tree care to ensure the health and productivity of your plant.

Growing a lemon tree from seed may seem like a daunting task, but with our easy-to-follow guide, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the delicious, fresh lemons your tree will produce.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to gather lemon tree seeds
  • Discover the process of preparing and propagating lemon tree seeds
  • Understand how to plant lemon tree seeds for optimal growth
  • Find out the best ways to provide your lemon tree with the proper care and growing conditions
  • Discover tips for protecting, pruning, and training your lemon tree

Gathering Lemon Tree Seeds

Before you can start growing a lemon tree, you need to gather the lemon tree seeds. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose a fresh, ripe lemon from a healthy tree. Organic lemons are recommended.
  2. Cut the lemon in half using a sharp knife and extract the seeds. Rinse the seeds thoroughly to remove any pulp or juice.
  3. Place the seeds in a bowl of water and remove any floating seeds as they are likely not viable.
  4. Dry the viable seeds with a paper towel and store them in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant them.

Now that you have gathered your lemon tree seeds, it’s time to prepare them for planting. Read on to learn more with our lemon tree planting guide.

Preparing the Lemon Tree Seeds for Planting

Before planting, it’s important to prepare the lemon tree seeds to ensure successful growth. The process of propagation involves removing the seeds from their protective casing and soaking them prior to planting. Let’s take a look at the steps for lemon tree seedling care:

  • Gather fresh seeds: Collect seeds from ripe lemons that are not hybrids.
  • Extract seeds: Cut the lemon and remove the seeds from the pulp. Rinse the seeds with water to remove any remaining pulp or debris.
  • Soak the seeds: Place the seeds in a bowl of warm water for up to 24 hours. This will help to soften the outer shell and promote germination.
  • Prepare the planting medium: Fill a small pot with a well-draining potting mix and moisten the soil.
  • Plant the seeds: Create a small hole in the soil and plant one seed per pot. Cover the seed with soil and gently firm the soil around it.
  • Provide warmth: Cover the pot with plastic wrap or a plastic bag to create a humid environment. Place the pot in a warm location, such as on top of a refrigerator or near a window with sunlight.
  • Monitor watering: Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Use a spray bottle to mist the soil regularly to maintain a high level of humidity.

With proper lemon tree propagation techniques and seedling care, your seeds should germinate within two to three weeks. Once the seedlings have grown to around 6 inches in height, they are ready to be transplanted into larger containers or moved outdoors, weather permitting.

Planting the Lemon Tree Seeds

With your lemon tree seeds prepared and ready to go, it’s time to start planting! Follow these simple steps to ensure successful growth of your lemon tree:

  1. Choose a pot that is at least 12 inches deep and has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
  2. Fill the pot with well-draining soil, such as a 50/50 mix of potting soil and sand.
  3. Plant the lemon tree seed about an inch deep in the soil and cover it with a layer of soil.
  4. Water the soil thoroughly, but avoid over-watering as this can cause the seed to rot.
  5. Cover the pot with a plastic wrap to create a greenhouse-like effect and keep the soil moist. Place the pot in a warm, sunny spot or under a grow light.
  6. Check the soil moisture regularly and water as needed, making sure the soil doesn’t dry out completely.
  7. Once the seed has sprouted and grown to about two inches tall, remove the plastic wrap and continue to care for the seedling as it grows.

By following these steps, you should see your lemon tree seedling sprout and grow within a few weeks. Remember to keep an eye on the soil moisture and adjust watering accordingly, and be patient as it can take several months for your lemon tree to mature and produce fruit.

How to Grow Lemon Tree from Seed: Providing Optimal Growing Conditions

Proper care and attention are necessary to ensure that your lemon tree grows and produces fruit to its full potential. Consider the following tips for providing optimal growing conditions:

Environmental ConditionsWatering TechniquesFertilization Methods
Temperature: Lemon trees thrive in warm climates with temperatures ranging from 70-85°F. However, they can tolerate temperatures as low as 55°F.Watering Frequency: Lemon trees require deep watering infrequently, about once a week. Avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot.Nutrient Balance: Use a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Fertilize every 6-8 weeks during the growing season.
Humidity: Lemon trees prefer humid environments but can tolerate moderate humidity levels. Use a humidifier or mist the leaves to increase humidity.Watering Amount: Water the tree until water drains from the bottom of the pot. Allow the soil to dry out between watering to avoid waterlogged soil.Mulch: Add a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree to help retain moisture and provide essential nutrients. Be sure to keep the mulch away from the trunk to prevent rotting.
Sunlight: Lemon trees need bright, direct sunlight for at least 6-8 hours a day. Consider using grow lights if natural light is limited.Irrigation System: Consider using a drip irrigation system to provide consistent and efficient watering to the tree.Timing: Fertilize in late winter/early spring and again in late summer/early fall to coincide with the tree’s natural growth cycle.

By providing the ideal growing conditions and following proper lemon tree care practices, you can ensure that your tree stays healthy and productive for many years to come.

Protecting Your Lemon Tree

How to Grow Lemon Tree from Seed

Your lemon tree is vulnerable to various pests and diseases that can harm its health and productivity. Here are some lemon tree care tips to help protect your plant:

  • Identify and treat pests early: Common lemon tree pests include aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects. Inspect your tree regularly and use appropriate insecticides or horticultural oils to control infestations.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing: Using too much fertilizer can damage your lemon tree and make it more susceptible to pests and diseases. Follow a regular fertilization schedule and use only the recommended amount of fertilizer.
  • Prune regularly: Dead or diseased branches can attract pests and inhibit the growth of your lemon tree. Prune regularly to remove any damaged or dead wood and promote healthy growth.
  • Protect from extreme weather: Lemon trees are sensitive to extreme temperatures, especially frost. Cover your tree with blankets or tarps during cold spells to protect it from damage.

By following these lemon tree growing tips, you can help protect your plant and promote its longevity and productivity.

Pruning and Training Your Lemon Tree

To keep your lemon tree healthy and productive, proper pruning and training are essential. Here are some lemon tree care tips to help you with this aspect of maintenance.

When to Prune

Pruning should be done during the dormant season, which is typically in late winter or early spring. This is when the tree is not actively growing, and it is easiest to see the structure of the tree for pruning.

How to Prune

Pruning should be done to remove dead or damaged branches, as well as to thin out branches that are too close together. It’s important to avoid cutting off more than 20% of the tree’s branches at a time to prevent shock and stunting of growth. Cut just above a healthy bud to stimulate new growth.

Training Methods

Lemon trees can be trained to grow in a specific shape, such as a bush or a single trunk with branches extending from it. To train your lemon tree, stake the trunk to keep it straight and use ties to guide the branches into the desired shape. It’s important to check on the ties occasionally to make sure they are not binding too tightly and damaging the tree.

Fruit Thinning

To encourage larger and healthier fruit, it’s important to thin out the excess fruit on the tree. This will allow the remaining fruit to receive enough nutrients and water for optimal growth. Thinning should be done when the fruit is still small, about the size of a pea.

By following these lemon tree care tips for pruning and training, you can help your lemon tree thrive and produce an abundance of healthy fruit.

Harvesting and Using Fresh Lemons

After all your hard work, it’s finally time to harvest your fresh lemons! Lemons are usually ready to be picked approximately six to nine months after planting, when they have reached a bright yellow color and are slightly soft to the touch. Use a pair of pruning shears to carefully cut the lemons from the tree, leaving a small piece of stem attached.

It’s important to note that lemons don’t ripen after they are picked, so make sure to wait until they are fully mature before harvesting. Additionally, be sure to avoid harvesting too many lemons at once, as this can stress the tree and negatively impact future fruit production.

Once you have harvested your lemons, the possibilities for using them are endless! From adding fresh lemon juice to homemade salad dressings and marinades, to using lemon zest to flavor baked goods and desserts, there are countless ways to incorporate this tangy fruit into your cooking.

To store your fresh lemons, place them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Alternatively, you can also place them in a plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.

Remember to continue caring for your lemon tree even after harvesting your lemons. Regular watering, fertilization, and pruning are all essential to maintaining the health and productivity of your tree for years to come. With these lemon tree care tips and growing techniques, you can enjoy the beauty and taste of fresh lemons right in your own home.


Growing a lemon tree from seed can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. With proper care and attention, your lemon tree will not only provide you with fresh, juicy lemons, but it will also add beauty and freshness to your home. Remember to gather fresh lemon tree seeds, propagate and prepare them for planting, and provide optimal growing conditions to ensure the health and productivity of your plant. Additionally, it’s important to protect your lemon tree from pests and diseases and to prune and train it regularly. Once your lemon tree begins to bear fruit, be sure to harvest it at the right time and use it in various culinary delights. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of your lemon tree for years to come.


How long does it take for a lemon seed to germinate?

Lemon seeds typically take about 2-3 weeks to germinate, but it can sometimes take up to 8 weeks.

Can I grow a lemon tree indoors?

Yes, lemon trees can be grown indoors as long as they receive adequate sunlight and proper care.

Do lemon trees need a lot of water?

Lemon trees prefer well-drained soil and should be watered deeply once a week, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings.

How often should I fertilize my lemon tree?

Fertilize your lemon tree every 4-6 weeks during the growing season using a balanced citrus fertilizer.

How big do lemon trees grow?

Lemon trees can grow up to 20 feet tall, but can be pruned to a smaller size for easier maintenance.

When should I prune my lemon tree?

Prune your lemon tree in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

How do I protect my lemon tree from pests?

Use organic pest control methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soap to prevent and treat common pests like aphids and scale.

Can I use the lemons from my tree right away?

It’s best to wait until the lemons are fully ripe before harvesting, which usually occurs 6-9 months after flowering.

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