Seeds are the most common way of producing new plants and are a plant’s way of reproducing in many cases. As there are many other means of growing trees that do not involve seeds, we begin to wonder which plants need seeds to grow a tree. Lemons are a highly sought-after fruit and growing lemons is an easy task. Whilst easy, the process is not quick and, in some cases, can prove to be time-consuming.
You will also need to note that the fruit produced from the lemon tree, may be different from the original fruit. If you wish to have a lemon that is identical to the parent lemon, then you need to use one of the other alternate methods of reproducing.
When you use seeds to grow a lemon tree, the resulting tree will take about five or more years to start producing fruits. There have been reported cases where the tree never produced any fruits during its lifetime. Nevertheless, growing a lemon tree from the seed is a very interesting process.
What you need to grow a lemon tree from the seed
To grow a lemon from the seed, you will need:
- A freshly extracted lemon seed
- A small pot
- Pasteurised soil
Growing a Lemon Tree from the Seed
Extract a fresh seed from your lemon. Fresh seeds are the best choice as to when the seed is dry, the chances of germination are greatly reduced. After extracting the seed, wash it with water to eliminate pulp, as well as eliminate residual sugar from the lemon. Pulp and residual sugar tend to carry fungal diseases, which will end up destroying the seed.
You can use already pasteurised soil, or you can pasteurise it yourself by mixing half peat moss with half perlite or sand. By pasteurising the soil, you are also eliminating other pathogens that are present, which can be harmful to your seed.
After washing the freshly extracted seed, place it in the pasteurised soil immediately. You should plant several seeds at ½ inch (1 cm) deep as it will help improve your chances of propagation. After planting, replace the topsoil, bury the seed in the ground, and moisten the ground. To help the plant retain water, cover the top of the pot using plastic wrap.
The ground plant and soil should constantly be moist but not too damp to turn the soil soggy.
Once this planting is done, you will need to store the lemon tree in an appropriate environment. Lemons grow best in cold temperatures about 70ᵒF (21ᵒC), which is the average temperature of the top of the refrigerator. Place the pot in the top of the refrigerator and monitor it for seedlings. Once seedling begins to sprout, refrigeration is no longer necessary.
Remove the plant and place it in an area with ample access to light.
Transplanting the Lemon Tree
When the seedlings begin to develop leaves, you will need to transplant them. Place them in larger pots, with a sterile potting medium. Apply fertiliser to the plants twice a month using water-soluble fertiliser with a high concentration of potassium, which is very plant-friendly. Also, water the lemon tree regularly and ensure the soil around it is moist, but not damp.
Maintaining the Lemon Tree through the Seasons
At this point, the lemon tree needs temperatures ranging between 60ᵒF and 70ᵒF (15ᵒC – 21ᵒC). Place the plant pot in a location where the lemon tree will get four hours of sunlight minimum, daily. As the lemon tree begins to grow larger, you will need to prune it, especially early in the spring. When you feel it is appropriate, transfer the tree into a new pot.
In the winter, you will need to stop adding fertiliser to the soil as well as reduce the water you apply. Plants lose less water in the winter, so the amount of water you apply normally will prove to be too much. Store the lemon tree in an area that is free of the draft to help with its continued growth.
Repeat the process through the seasons until the lemon tree finally bears fruit.
Lemon trees are a long term investment and will require a lot of patience on your part. A lemon tree can take as much as 15 years before it finally produces fruits. As long as you maintain it properly through the seasons, you don’t need to be worried if it will actually produce fruit.
The best part about growing lemons from the seed is the variation that comes with it.
Unlike in other methods, you get a different lemon than the one you planted. You also do not need to order the seeds especially when you want to plant a lemon. Any lemon present in your home will do whether it is store-bought or harvested. It can prove to be a great project for a veteran gardener, or a father-son bonding project. You do not need any special experience to be able to undergo this project, as long as you obey the instructions.
Remember, patience is needed for this project to work. A long drought doesn’t mean the tree won’t produce fruit but simply that the tree isn’t ready yet.