Fresh into the Country from the Continent, these Sicilian Lemon Trees are already bearing small fruits.
Available to buy or order in two standard sizes.
Small / approx 65cm excl. pot Large / approx 140cm excl. pot
A great way to bring some colour to your patio or balcony, Lemon Trees make lovely stand alone features on a patio or in a bright room in the summer. These will fruit and flower on and off throughout the season and are favoured for their fragrant blossom (and fruits!).
They are best grown outdoors from May to October, and brought inside for the winter.
A lemon tree that’s looked after will fruit until early Autumn. Don't be alarmed if the fruit is green. It will ripen after some time in the sun.
Sicilian Lemon Trees
Lemon trees love a sunny, sheltered well drained site; a south facing position is ideal with around 6 - 8 hours of sunlight per day. Keep your lemon tree in a less windy spot as it dislikes strong winds, but ensure to provide good airflow.
Keep some fleece handy in case of sudden cold nights in Spring. Low temperatures will inhibit flowering and may cause damage or even death. A minimum winter night temperature of 10°C is needed for lemons.
Centrally-heated rooms are not ideal for citrus as they are generally too hot, lack humidity and light leading to stress
Every two weeks, during the growth phase, add citrus-specific fertilizer to boost fruit-bearing.
In February, reshape plants by thinning out overcrowded branches. ‘Leggy’ plants can be pruned back by up to two-thirds and the tallest branch can be cut back to encourage bushy growth. Throughout the summer, pinch back the tips of the most vigorous growth, using the thumb and forefinger.
Cut the branch at a 45-degree angle and never cut it back all the way to the main trunk. Focus on pruning the longest and gangliest of the branches and leave the thicker, more established branches alone. Trim back all low-hanging, downward-facing branches that are reaching toward the soil. Also take time to pluck away dead leaves from the branches and remove fallen ones from the soil whenever you notice them.
Plants may produce unwanted, fast-growing shoots called ‘water shoots’. Remove these when they appear from the main branches at the bottom or middle of the plant and shorten those arising near the branch tips. Be especially watchful for shoots from below the graft on the main stem, and remove such shoots immediately.
Citrus are hungry plants and need regular feeding. Giving too much or too little water can lead to blossom and fruit drop and sometimes plant may die too. Check the top 2-inch layer of soil for dryness before watering. On windy and hot days, it requires more frequent watering and slightly moist soil.
In pots, lemon trees dry up much faster than if they were planted in the ground. For indoors, avoid all heat sources such as nearby radiators because this could dry your tree out.
In summer, water freely - ideally with rainwater. In winter, allow the surface to partially dry out before watering, then water thoroughly with tepid rainwater, allowing excess moisture to drain away. Overwatering in winter is one of the commonest problems, so err on the dry side.
Indoors, maintain high humidity by standing the pot on a large saucer or tray filled with ‘Hortag’ or gravel. Keep the water level just below the surface of the gravel, or group plants together. Hand mist regularly, in winter, to ensure pollination.
Some of the biggest pests are relatively harmless like aphids but there are some more serious like the Citrus rust mite which will affect the fruits rather than the foliage. Knowing what pests and diseases pose a potential threat to your plants will help you to utilize the most effective preventative measures and subsequent treatments if an outbreak is discovered.
Aphids are one example of a lemon tree pest. You will see large clusters of these incredibly small insects living on new foliage at the beginning of Spring. If they aren’t controlled by natural predators or fruit safe pesticides they can damage younger trees.
Thankfully, you can release ladybugs to control the aphids as an organic treatment option or use a fruit safe pesticide designed to kills aphids such as greenfly and whitefly. The problem with aphids is that it also leads to the sooty mound if left uncontrolled. Leaves that are badly effected are best removed.
If you notice that the leaves on your lemon tree have started to curl and there are tiny passageways carved into the foliage it’s indicative of the citrus leafminer.
As the name suggests, these pests literally mine their way through the leaves and in so doing carved through the outer layers and eat the soft tissue underneath. They won’t harm a mature, established tree as much as a younger tree. If you have a new tree, be on the lookout for this as they can severely weaken your tree and eventually kill it.
Again, natural predators go a long way toward ridding at your lemon trees of any insect problems. With the Citrus leafminer, you can introduce a parasitoid wasp.
Other methods of treatment include spraying your tree with an oil spray. There are certain natural oils you can mix with water or combinations of dishwashing soap and water for outbreaks of aphids. Horticultural sprays are another option equally effective at treating pests like the citrus leafminer.
Citrus Canker is contagious. It will manifest in the form of yellow lesions in the shape of halos on almost all parts of the tree. If you don’t rectify it quickly the tree will die back, lose its leaves, and drop all of its fruit. The problem with this disease is that it’s spread through the air. When the wind blows, bird or an insect touches the plant, or you run your hand over it, it gets moved and transferred from one place to another. You can prevent this by spraying liquid copper fungicide.
Greasy spot fungus is a fungal disease that manifests with yellow-brown blisters on the under part of the leaves. As it progresses the blistering start to take on an oily appearance, hence the name. Liquid copper fungicide is the best way to treat this. You should spray it in June or July and then again in August or September even if your plant doesn’t show symptoms. Remember that preventative measures are most effective where these diseases are concerned.
Sooty mould fungus is a fungal infection that turns the leaves black. This is the result of aphids or mealy bugs. To eradicate it you have to start by controlling the infestation of insects after which you can spray your tree with neem oil insecticide all over, including the underside of the leaves. Repeat the process every 10 days contingent upon the extent of your infestation. Once the insects have been eradicated you can follow up by treating the Citrus with a liquid copper fungicide.
Phytophthora fungus is a form of root rot that’s caused by a fungal infection. You will notice dark brown patches that are very hard to the touch on the trunk of your tree. Eventually, these patches start to ooze. As the disease continues to progress these patches will crack and die resulting in sunken areas on your tree. The fruit might also start to decay. This fungus lives in the soil so if you have particularly wet soil which gets splashed up onto the tree, it starts to form the dark patches. In order to treat this, you need to remove any infected leaves and fruit, prune the lower branches that are more than ¾ metre from the ground. Spray the entire plant with a fungicide.
Anthracnose is a fungal infection that manifests in Leaf Drop, stained fruit, and twigs dying back. It usually happens after an extended rainy period which can be treated with a fungicide.
With almost all of these, preventative measures will prove most effective and the application of liquid copper fungicide will prove most effective. Remember to remain consistent with feeding schedules and irrigation, monitor your tree for any pests and treat at the very first sign of an infestation. Always remove the debris from around the tree and get rid of any weeds nearby where a fungal disease might live. The small efforts throughout the year will go a long way toward preventing significant and perhaps irreparable damage to your citrus tree
Growing Lemon trees in pots is perfect, because it makes it possible to move them.
Once temperatures begin dropping and frost starts appearing on the ground, bring your lemon tree indoors to a sunroom, a patio, a greenhouse, or some other room that will still allow it to receive abundant sunlight. It is important to place them in an unheated greenhouse for instance, where the temperature won't drop below 0°C.
Lemon Trees are ideal contenders for pots. Choose a pot that is 25% bigger than the root ball of the plant. A terracotta pot is ideal because unlike plastic, it is porous and allows water to evaporate from the sides. This helps the lemon tree to grow well as it dislikes being waterlogged.
Although any good potting medium will do, a soil-based compost such as John Innes No 2 is best. Add up 20 per cent sharp sand or grit. There are also specially formulated citrus composts available. Plant in spring so they have a growing season to establish. Avoid using soil made with clay or that has heavy alkaline levels
Citrus are self-fertile, so a single plant is able to produce fruit. To determine if the fruit is ripened, see if the fruit is heavy, soft and yellow. Pick the lemons as soon as they easily break off from their branch. This shows that the fruit has matured enough for the seeds and flesh to be fully developed, without yet being over-ripe.
Grab the lemon firmly in one hand and twist it around on the branch. It should snap off fairly easily. If you prefer, you could also use a clean pair of gardening shears to cut the lemon from the tree. Just avoid pulling the lemon off as this could damage the branch or even detach it completely from the tree if you use too much force.