Citrus fruits like Meyer lemons, Kaffir limes, oranges, and kumquats are some of the best plants that can be grown at home in your backyard or in containers. Their tangy fruits can be used and enjoyed in pickles, lemonades, or salad dressings. Growing a Meyer lemon tree at home is not very difficult and once you plant it, it will begin to give you fruits in profusion within a very short time.
It is about 6 to 10 feet in height and has small dark green and shiny leaves. The flowers of the plant are white and purple and are quite fragrant. The citrus fruit, i.e., the Meyer lemon, is round in shape with a deep yellow color and its skin is thinner than ordinary lemons. It develops an orange color when it is ripe and is sweeter, almost orange-like in taste, as it is less acidic. It grows well in regions of tropical climate. A tree which is propagated through seedling starts giving fruits in about four years.
For those of you who live in an apartment and would like to have some greenery around, growing it in a container is your best bet. Purchase the dwarf lemon tree variety as they are the most suitable to be grown in containers. Select a medium-sized container or terracotta pot and make some holes at the bottom of the pot or container for drainage. Place some bits of broken terracotta over the holes and fill the container with good potting soil. Mix the soil with some slow release fertilizer so that the plant gets all the essential nutrients. Now, plant the Meyer tree in it, making sure that you do not destroy the roots. Add more soil around the plant and add some compost to it. Water it generously and place the pot in a place where it can receive plenty of sunlight.
Water the plant at least once a week. Once the plant matures, it will bear fruit in two to three years. The lemon fruit is light green in color at first, which becomes yellowish-orange as it ripens. Pruning should be restricted to cutting back branches that grow too much in height and to remove dead or damaged wood. Pruning citrus trees is really not required as in container gardening they do not grow to a height. Avoid over-watering the plant in your enthusiasm as too much water will simply damage the plant and make it rot.
Choose a superior quality plant for growing in containers from a reliable nursery and also choose the biggest container that you possibly can for planting it. Small containers will hinder the growth of the tree as well as damage the root system. Use good quality potting soil that is a mixture of compost and soil and make sure that the soil is dry and alkaline. Carefully observe the plant and if you see yellowing leaves or that the leaves are shedding too soon, this will indicate that the plant is suffering from poor drainage or is being exposed to cold drafts and winds. To combat these problems you need to replant the plant and shift the container to a sunny place.
If you follow all these guidelines, you are sure to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Meyer lemons are one of the best citrus fruits and they can be used in many different ways.