Lemon (Citrus × limon)


The lemon (Citrus × limon) belongs to the Citrus genus (Citrus) and is an ancient culture hybrid between bitter orange (Citrus × aurantium) and citron (Citrus medica). Presumably it arose in North India.


The lemon grows up to a small, indeciduous tree, which is rather fast-growing for a citrus plant. At the thorny branches emerges a reddish budding at first. As the leaves get older, these become leathery and dark green. In case of an iron deficiency (chlorosis) because of a too high lime content of the soil resp. water leaves remain light green.

All year round blossoms are produced in the case of sufficient temperatures, so that a lemon tree has simultaneously buds, blossoms and fruits in different ripeness stages. Buds are pink, but petals on the upper surface white. The odour of lemon blossoms is rather unpleasant. Pollination happens by different insects, in addition wind pollination and self-fertilisation occur too.


Lemons require a permanent warm and damp climate. As compared to other citrus plants it is more sensitive to drought and coldness. During the warm season you cultivate best the lemon at a protected, sunny place. Water demand is quite high. Because of the sensitivity to lime lemons should be watered only with lime-free water, planted in lime-deficient soil and fertilised at regular intervals with special citrus fertiliser.

Overwintering succeeds only at an adequate relation between light supply and temperature. Thus it happens either warm and light or dark and cold (but frost-free). The reason for it is, that roots below 12,5° C almost cease their activity, but leaves still run photosynthesis, what leads to their undersupply and a ‚winter leaf drop’.

Propagation can take place by cuttings or sowing.


In 2013 I received an approximately 1,60 m high lemon tree as a present. Thus far plant was uncomplicated.

  • Systematics

  • Order: Sapindales
  • Family: Rutaceae
  • Genus: Citrus
  • Propagation

  • generative
  • vegetative
  • Culture

  • easy
  • Fruits

  • often
  • USDA – Zone

  • 9b (-3,8°C)