The lemon is one of the most popular fruits of all. While it is not usually consumed directly, it is a fundamental element of many dishes and recipes, both salty and sweet. If you want to enjoy organic lemons and care for yourself, the best thing to do is to plant your lemon tree at home, which you can do directly in a pot, as long as you follow a series of very important tips to look healthy and strong. If you want to know potted lemon tree care in a pot, keep reading…
Potted lemon tree care: How to do it?
The lemon tree is relatively easy to care potted plant, at least if we consider that it is a fruit tree, which usually needs to be planted directly on the ground to bear fruit. On the contrary, the lemon tree is a plant that adapts well to life in a pot, as long as it is a pot with the appropriate dimensions.
Size of the lemon tree pot
The first thing that we are going to take into account is the size and shape of the pot. It is important that our lemon tree is in a pot as large as possible. If this is not possible, you will need a pot that is at least 30 centimeters in diameter. Likewise, it is equally important that it has the same (or more) depth as the diameter. This will allow the roots to spread everywhere equally, one of the basic characteristics of the lemon tree.
Watering the lemon tree in a pot
Regarding irrigation, the lemon tree is a tree that needs plenty of water but without the soil being flooded, as it could lead to roots rotting. In this way, it is advisable to water it once every 2 days in spring and summer, and once a week in winter.
However, if we want to make sure that it is the most appropriate time for irrigation, just touch the surface soil with your fingers. If the substrate is still wet, we can wait another day or two before watering again. On the other hand, it is also very important to avoid that excess water accumulates in the lower plate of the pot. After about 15 minutes after watering, it is best to remove excess water that may accumulate in the dish.
When to prune the lemon tree
Regarding pruning, the lemon tree should be pruned at the end of autumn, when it enters into a state of hibernation. The most advisable is to cut the dry or weaker branches, as well as those that are growing excessively and that may make it difficult for the plant to maintain adequate proportions to the place where the pot is located.
How many hours of light does a lemon tree need?
Another important aspect that should be taken into account when caring for a lemon tree is the light that arrives. This tree needs abundant direct light. In particular, the pot should be located in a place where at least 5 or 6 hours of direct light a day, although it can be more time better. Otherwise, the most normal thing is that the leaves have a faded color and that the tree can not grow healthy and strong.
It is advisable to pay the lemon tree once a year in spring or, if we live in a warm area, even in autumn. But we only have to pay for it once a year. Regarding the most suitable fertilizer, it is best to opt for one formulated especially for citrus, which can be found in garden stores.
When applying it, it is very important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions correctly. It is usually advisable to reduce the prescribed dose a little since an overdose of fertilizer could be more harmful to the tree than the lack of nutrients.
Temperatures supported by a lemon tree
Finally, it should be mentioned that the lemon tree is a plant that tolerates cold temperatures relatively well. You may end up with frosts around -1 or -2 degrees. However, all temperatures that are lower than these could kill the tree. Therefore, if we are in regions where lower temperatures are reached in winter, it is best to change the pot site during the hardest months, as well as choose to cover the plant with a thermal garden blanket or place it inside a nursery.
When to transplant the lemon tree
On the other hand, we must bear in mind that the lemon tree will need to be transplanted every so often to a larger pot. Depending on each case, as well as the growth rate of the plant itself, it is advisable to do it every 3 or 4 years. In this sense, it is important to transplant it to a pot that meets the same proportions already mentioned. That is, it has the same depth as the diameter.
Likewise, it is also very important that, when the transplant is done, it is done in early spring, which will be the best time for the tree to adapt to the new pot and the new substrate. When it is done, it will be necessary to take special care with the roots, so that they are not damaged and modified as little as possible. This is because they are delicate roots and can suffer high stress with the transplant. However, if it is done with care and without manipulating them in excess, the lemon tree should not resent excessively, and in a few weeks, it will resume its normal growth and development.
Diseases and pests of the lemon tree
To take care of the lemon tree, we must also pay special attention to the pests and diseases that it may present. The main pests that the lemon tree can suffer are:
Leaf miner: It is an insect that is withering the leaves, leaving brown spots and wrinkling them until they die and fall. The best way to fight it is with Neem oil.
Aphid: It is one of the most common pests in lemon and other plants. They usually appear when there is a lot of humidity. The aphid is usually placed on top of flowers and leaves, preventing the development of new fruits and leaves.
Cottony cochineal: It usually appears in summer due to high temperatures and dry environment. They are usually behind the leaves and stems. You can fight with an ecological and simple mixture of water, alcohol and a teaspoon of the dishwasher.
Red spider: It is an insect that creates cobwebs on the plant to move around it quickly. Although it is not a very dangerous pest, it greatly weakens the lemon tree. To combat it, simply use Neem oil.
Diseases of the lemon tree
On the other hand, among the diseases that the lemon tree may suffer, the following stand out:
Alternaria alternata: It caused by a fungus, usually derived from excess irritation, this disease weakens the tree and is mainly detected by damaged leaves, as well as stems.
Sadness virus: It is a serious disease that can kill the lemon tree in a few weeks or months. They tend to spread the aphids and there, is no cure, so there is to cut down the tree and burn it.
Exocortis: It is a disease of lemon trees caused by a virus that generates scales and vertical cracks in the bark, dwarfism and yellow spots in new shoots. It also has no cure, so you can only cut the lemon tree and burn it.
Penecillium: It is a disease caused by a fungus that attacks the fruit, that is, the lemons. Circular spots of mold appear on the skin. To avoid this, copper fungicides must copper fungicides must be used.
Psoriasis: Although it sounds surprising, lemon trees can also suffer from this viral disease, which causes scales on the trunk and branches. There is no cure, but the lemon tree can stand you if you scrape the damaged bark in late spring and coat it with Zineb, a specialized fungicide.