Growing Lemon Trees in Arizona

If you are searching for info on growing lemon trees in Arizona, this post is for you! Arizona is one of the best places to grow citrus plants, which is why there is a lot of commercial growers as well as home owners that produce high quality fruits. You are able to grow a lot of the best citrus fruits using the warm and dry climate of Arizona. Oranges, Mandarins, Blood oranges, Pumelos, Tangelos, Kumquats, grapefruits, limes, tangerines and lemons are just a few of the citrus fruits that you will find that thrive in Arizona.

There is a large variety of available citrus fruits to be grown and today we will focus on lemons and how you can effectively grow them. We will take a bit of time to outline the information and tips about growing strong, healthy and fruitful lemon trees.

Growing A Lemon Tree Outdoors In Arizona

“The most important and first decision that should be made when planting lemon trees is where you want to plant them and how much sun exposure they will get.” [1] Lemon trees are sensitive to the cold temperatures, which is why having full sun exposure is very important and is needed for them to be able to grow right. You will find that the best planting area is going to be on the southside of your home most of the time, it really depends on your coverage from large trees that may already be there. While it is not a real problem in Arizona, the frost can destroy your lemon tree and a really great way to guard against this is to be plant your lemon trees close to your house.

Watering your Lemon Trees

“Juicy oranges and lemons require a lot of moisture for development because the majority of the fruits’ composition is water.” [2] You will need to ensure that your lemon tree is moist whenever you plant it, after you have planted the tree you need to water it in a slow and deep fashion weekly during the summer and twice a week during the rest of the year. This is simply because the citrus tree that are established in soil will do quite well whenever the soil is slightly dry between watering.

General Care and Protection Against Frost

If you believe that there may be a chance for frost, then you will need to cover your young lemon tree. Frost cloth or even burlap is good for protection. You should never use plastic to protect your tree from the frost as it is inadequate, so if you don’t have any burlap or frost cloth, then use a sheet or blanket to protect them. Once the temperature has gone above freezing, uncover your trees and then let them soak up the sun until the temperature drops again. A great way to help your citrus tree to grow is to grow them in a pot on your patio. They can flourish and even produce fruit when they have been potted. This is effective because you are able to bring the pots indoors or under your patio when it starts to freeze.

Fertilization Methods for Lemon Trees

The best way to fertilize your lemon tree is to fertilize it three times a year. The best timeline is to fertilize them in February, May, and then September. Slow release, organic fertilizer will be the best.

Soil for your Lemon Trees

Lemon Trees will be able to adapt to the desert soil to an extent that they are able to thrive in soil from your yard, as long as it isn’t rocky. A really great way to keep your tree roots moist is to add a layer of mulch that will go to a drip line that is used for watering. If you happen to have rocky soil, then do a mulch mix that is 70/30 which will help to enhance your lemon trees ability to soak up nutrients and thrive.

While a citrus plant can adapt to most soil, a lemon tree will prefer soils that are well drained and slightly acidic. The preference of drained soil will help by allowing you to plant your tree above ground level. This can be done by digging yourself a shallow hole that will not swallow the whole root on the bottom your tree. Replace the soil and then add mulch to create an almost perfect environment for a lemon tree.

Heat and Sun Exposure

A lemon tree will need a lot of sun to be able to produce fruit and the high temperatures are the key to producing a sweet fruit. This is true for a lemon tree. If you prune your tree to expose the trunk, then you are going to need to consider painting it white or wrapping the trunk to keep it from becoming sunburnt. If you are planning to paint it, then use tree paint which is diluted household paint which contains 50% water. If you see any leaf scorch at the end of summer, that is very normal, and it isn’t a red flag. The scorching will appear on a younger tree, which can be avoided by shading them during the hot months. This is helpful, but it is not needed.

Growing a Lemon Tree Indoors In Arizona

A lemon tree can thrive if it is potted. This makes them great indoor plants too. The same type of principle that applies to outdoors will apply to indoors, which when it comes to the plant environment it needs to be well drained soil and will have room for growth as well as having a bit of acidic soil. Indoor lemon trees will normally not grow taller than 5 feet tall.

You want to make sure that your lemon tree will have plenty of sun as they will need a full day’s worth to be able to grow to their potential and produce a quality fruit. You may place the tree outdoors during the warm months and then bring them in overnight or once the weather begins to get cooler. Doing this can help to produce fruit as well as help them to get into a natural rhythm of day and night. Putting them outside also allows them to become pollinated.

Best Lemon Trees that you can Grow in Arizona

The best type of lemon tree that can adapt to the Arizona climate will be the Eureka Lemon Tree. These trees product a really great lemon that has few seeds. The lemons also hold to the tree well, which means they won’t fall off easily.

The Lisbon lemon tree will also provide great lemons and are great for desert climates. They also grow well during winter.

The Meyer lemon tree is small and often look like shrubs because of their foliage. They have decent sugar levels which make this lemon the favorite of chefs.

The Pink lemon tree also grow well in the desert climate and happen to add a unique look with green and white foliage.

Cited Sources

  1. “Growing Lemon Trees in Arizona – Arbor Care Tree Care.” Arbor Care – Quality Professional Tree Care, 21 June 2017, www.arborcareaz.com/growing-lemon-trees-in-arizona/.
  2. “How Much Water a Citrus Tree Needs a Week?” Home Guides | SF Gate, homeguides.sfgate.com/much-water-citrus-tree-needs-week-57157.html.

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