A day before Gordon and I resolved our issues with Ruby Fever, we had a fight. It wasn’t much of a fight – we rarely go all out after 26 years of marriage – but things were said, and the dissatisfaction with the state of the book, writing process, and publication schedules was expressed on both sides. In the middle of this Kid 2 called. She quickly determined that her father was irritated and asked me what happened.
A couple of hours later, we got a surprise visit from Kid 2, who brought us a lemon tree and carefully checked to make sure we were not divorcing. Parental divorce is very high on her lists of Things That Should Not Happen.
So we are now the proud owners of a Meyer Lemon tree.
Things I know about lemon trees: zip.
I’m reasonably sure that this tree will have to live inside for several months considering our last winter. I bought a moisture monitor to make sure I don’t overwater it.
It may need a grow light, because our house was built with Texas heat in mind. Most of it gets little light and is a bit cave-like. The study in particular is really dark, especially on an overcast day. Right now the tree is in the living room which eventually will have to be changed since blasts of cooler air when the doors are opened for the dogs won’t do it any good.
So, there might be a grow light that I need to buy. But my most pressing issue right now is the pot. What kind of pot? What size of a pot? Why are the pots so expensive? Do I need to get a drainable pot and how can I make that aesthetically pleasing?
All good questions.
I was going to show you my African violets, but instead imported 2 pics of Oliver by accident.
King of all he surveys.
The orchids have been trying to bloom but it is taking them forever and I am suspicious that they are dying. Orchids do suicide blooms sometimes, because they think demise is near. This one particular one has been trying to bloom for weeks now. Oh well, we’ll see what happens.
I am excited for your lemon tree! I don’t have much advice, but I do know they can be kept indoors and still bear fruit… I think ????
Oh well, hopefully the BDH can enlighten us both, and in the meantime, I will imagine future meyer lemon cakes and jam! ❤️
I like to use cheaper clay pots when I’m growing baby trees because there’s no heartbreak if I break one in the repotting process. Plus, they resemble terracotta which makes me happy. The pot should a size up from what it’s planted in if you’re following conventional lemon-tree-potting-wisdom. Or go all out for a giant one?
Yup. Cheap clay pot with a cheap clay pot saucer underneath for drainage. easy to paint if you are feeling crafty.
I always tell myself I’ll paint them. So far the closest I’ve gotten is Halloween decals to decorate the front yard.
I agree about the clay pot & saucer. Poor or no drainage is a big plant killer in my experience. A local nursery will have lots of excellent advice on how to make your lemon tree happy. The violets are beautiful.
Someone obviously thinks she’s a violet… is she a shrinking one? ????
I’m an epic fail with plants of any kind – thanks for sharing your green thumb results!
Meyers lemons make great lemon juice for COCKTAILS!!!! Very jealous–wish I could grow one here in PA. Have fun! And your violets are absolutely beautiful.
I have one in Michigan. It can be done
Hi! I’m in A2.
I have a hard time keeping things alive inside . I live in California so most things ,especially citrus ,do well outside Mediterranean plants like olive , orange and lemon. It will do better in a pot with drainage. Pots are expensive , more are on sale right now.
I particularly like that fifth violet.
http://www.gardeners.com is my fall back upon. Oh, I punned! They may have some ideas that may work and they have an “advice” tab in their top horizontal menu, on the far right. I find them quite helpful. So are Stark Bro’s Nursery at http://www.starkbros.com Why do you love violets?
Because I miss gardening. I love flowers, all kinds. Peonies, roses, dahlias, tulips, carnations. My family grew a lot of flowers in the garden. But I live in Texas. It’s hot and dry. My soil is rock. So I am reduced to inside flowers, and African violets are small, long-flowering, and easy to grow.
Have you thought about raised beds? You create your own soil, so you’re not beholden to what Texas has to offer.
Yeah. I had tomatoes in raised beds. I went on vacation for 4 days. When I came back, they were basically straw. I don’t think you guys understand. I had hibiscus in containers and they required a gallon of water each every morning.
Chris Wren says
I’m in Dallas also hot with rocky/clay soil. I have had good luck with low maintenance beds of perennial herbs, low growing New Gold lantana and coneflower. Start with small 4 inch pots easy to plant and they grow fast. I have root hardy hibiscus (not the tropical variety) planted in the ground on the south side of my house they die to the ground each winter then come back from the roots every year and have enormous blooms! They made it through the Deep Freeze and bloomed their heads off all summer!
I have found digging with a turning fork and a screwdriver, for prying out rocks, works pretty well in our soil. Top with lots of compost, leaves and bark mulch ..it will work its way into the soil and loosen things up.
I tried container gardening – the containers won.
I finally figured out the daily water thing but … dead plants ate depressing.
Marcia Sundquist says
Cover with moss around plants it grows a d retain water longer.
Teresa in Sac says
Moss? In the Texas Hill Country 9+ months of the year? ????????????
Better to treat the hard-pan with a drill rig and a ton of fertilizer. Or go with a large, cheap clay pot with an oja (buried clay water bottle with exposed spout where you add water every week or two).
Stephanie Eda says
I love your photo of the majestic Oliver, and I am very impressed with your beautiful collection of violets. I never knew they came in such a variety of forms. I love flowers, felines, and simple basic gardening. I bought a Meyer lemon tree several years ago seeking to attract the butterflies that lay their eggs on its leaves. I planted it in my sunny Houston backyard, in a large clay pot. It has survived with no care beyond watering it intermittently with the hose, and covering it with gardening freeze cloth if the temperature is predicted to fall into the twenties or below. It has produced a limited number of awkwardly large lemons for the past four years or so. I covered the tree with freeze cloth and a tarp the night before we got this year’s really strong February freeze. The tree survived, so I think the Meyer lemon trees must be fairly resilient. I think you should leave your tree outside where the sunlight and bees can help sustain it, and the butterflies will visit it. But I am not an expert on fruit trees.
However, I do feel strongly that you should do a little research about what flowers will do well in your area. There are many beautiful flowers that do not require too much coddling or water. Maybe you could find a little free time to visit a few nearby nurseries and talk with someone who is knowledgeable about the area, or visit the Texas A&M Agricultural Extension website to get some plant ideas (https://texassuperstar.com/). You might check out a couple of Native Texas Gardening books from the library, or take a field trip to the not so far away Lady Bird Texas Wild Flower Center (https://www.wildflower.org/plant-sales). The Wild Flower Center has an upcoming fall plant sale. Or you might visit the Antique Rose Emporium (https://antiqueroseemporium.com/), in Independence, TX. The Antique Rose Emporium is an outstanding place to visit in the spring when the wildflowers are blooming and the roses are putting on a fragrant show. They sell all types of roses, plants, and other gardening stuff. You really need to go there at least once and enjoy all that.
I get so much pleasure from planting and viewing living flowers. I hope you can find some hardy and pretty flowers to grow in your yard too. I think planting in containers is the quickest and the easiest way to garden. Later, you can always find a few die hard native perennial blooming plants to anchor your yard. Once they are in and established, you can pretty much leave them alone. I know this post is way too long, but I think you are missing out out by not finding the right plants for your area to enjoy. Good luck with your gardening. I admire you and your spouse for your fine writing, and for the love and care you provide to the animals that share your family life.
Jenny Welter says
Soaker hose with timer is a must. Saves time and water every day, and still works when you go on vacation so you don’t come back to dead plants.
Having moved to the south, I find doing raised wicking beds really work wonders. That way the soil can be whatever you need for the types of plants, and it has a natural resovoir of water (that skeeters can’t get to) for those crazy hot days when you REALLY don’t want to be outside watering. The raised bed frame can also be handy to attach some light shading to in case it’s getting just abit too much sun. 🙂
You can grow Portulaca’s in near drought conditions, and they aren’t that picky about soil.
Portulaca, the flowers for people who forget to water! Love them, grow them in an old metal fire pit. Sometime we even get volunteers in the main garden.
I thought violets were challenging to grow. I’ll give them a try. Your’s are lovely. I hope you have success with your Meyer Lemon!
I love my lavender for it’s continuous blooms for months on end and low care needs. I don’t need to water it (haven’t since it’s 2nd year, now about 7 years old). I’m far north of you in zone 5 (so my early worry was our freezing winter) but the plant faces west and gets hot direct sun for 9-hours in summer. Most of my other plants get burned out there and need water. Only needs pruning once (or optionally twice) a year. I’m thinking Texas is closer to it’s native habitat. A possibility?
Note: bees love it so that’s a concern if anyone is allergic, etc.
I lost my planted Meyer lemon tree during the Feb freeze (I’m in Houston). It was loaded with buds/flowers too 🙁
I bought two more and put them in pottery pots outside in the garden. The plan is to bring them to the garage if a freeze threatens but otherwise leave them outside in the sun. I did fertilize with citrus spikes about 4 times a year when the tree was in the ground and I think I will do the same for the potted ones just two spikes instead of the 8 I used on the tree.
My planted tree was pretty large after 5 years in the ground which is why the freeze got it as it was too big to cover. I’m just going to keep the potted ones trimmed and be ready to move them to bigger pots with drainage circles on caster wheels underneath.
You might want to locate it outside by the pool and then just move it inside when a freeze threatens.
One last thing: Bees!!! Put your potted citrus outside and they will cover the tree/blossoms in spring and take care of your other flowering plants too.
This is what I have under my pots outside. I didn’t know the name for it so had to do some creative searches, but it is called a caddy apparently.
+1 on the rolling plant caddy. I don’t recommend this line of thinking, “Oh, we have a hand truck/dolly that can be used to easily move the plant around.” Yeah….not when it’s in a heavy ceramic pot that can slide around on the drip saucer & crack. Oy!
There are many nice looking ones. Here’s a another cute one:
There are other things that you can do to buffer it for a mild freeze. Believe it or not, in addition to covering them, you can spray them with water. That’s particularly helpful when they are flowering and it isn’t going to be a hard freeze.
Moisture meter was brilliant. I think one of the brilliant blues and yellows ceramic pot would be lovely for the lemon tree. I <3 your daughter, good for her!
You're the only author I've ever followed, and it's because you're a real person 🙂
Hugs and thanks for sharing your imagination.
Thank you. 🙂
I agree that a pot with drainage is better, but perhaps add a layer of fairly large (1/2″ diameter) gravel to the bottom of the pot below the potting soil if you find a gorgeous pot that doesn’t have drainage? That way there’s somewhere for the water to go and the roots don’t drown…
If you have to move a tree-sized pot indoors for winter and outdoors in spring, gravel gets heavy. I normally hate plastic and foam, but for large pots, I am all about synthetic materials, and there are plenty of them available with all manner of drainage and reservoirs.
I live in Victoria, BC, Canada and I have a meyer lemon tree growing in a half oak barrel outside next to my house. It seems that they will grow here. I got mine from an agrologist who figured this out. While our climates are quite different, there are some things this learned man explains about them that might help you decide (like below 27F will damage the fruit and below 14F will kill the roots, but you only need to keep it from freezing and a string of old school Christmas lights will do that for you).
This is the url for his youtube video http://www.youtube.com / watch?v=XX-R8sq6-vg (It is not a link because I assume we shouldn’t post those here, so you need to remove the spaces for this to work).
I learned that they do no like being indoors. The first year I had mine I brought mine in the house because I thought that was easier than a wind break and a string of lights. It was NOT happy, it lost all of its leaves and I thought I killed it. Happily I was wrong and it’s been outside ever since. I have my christmas lights on a timer and they keep the freezing away. It’s got 16 lemons on it right now.
Best of luck in deciding on where your lovely lemon will get to live.
Wow, thanks for this info!! I think I’ll try this
Note he specified old school Christmas lights. LEDs likely won’t put out enough heat.
You are correct, you need the heat from those old incandescent christmas lights. LEDs will not do it for sure.
My original string was old and I was happy (and very surprised) to find that I could buy a brand new string at my local department store.
I would think that if you could not find the old style of lights that you could get away with a single light bulb. Again, you need one that produces some heat. Compact fluorescents do not like being cold so they can be problematic but, they produce more heat than an LED so in a pinch you probably could rig something with that kind of bulb if you needed to.)
I live in Arizona in the desert (outside Tucson). Christmas lights keep our citrus from freezing. Citrus is pretty hardy and I think you can move it outdoors with some precautions. If inside, I suggest drainage holes, a plant caddy with wheels, and something to protect your floors from moisture from the pot saucer if the caddy isn’t sufficient. You can see sheets covering citrus trees during hard freezes in the winter here too.
When my parents were first married my mother had two duck figurines as decoration on top of the TV in the living room. Their duck bills were pointed toward each other. One day my parents had an epic argument and as my father passed the ducks he turned one away from the other so their bills were no longer facing each other. This has now become a longstanding tradition that if one of my parents is unhappy with the other they turn their respective duck away from the other.
The violets are lovely! I have a million plants but somehow no African violets.
As the owner of many plants that do not grow in my zone (6a) I hereby humbly suggest Soltech Solutions for a grow light that is both great quality and aesthetically pleasing.
Good luck with the lemon!
Plants given by children are horrible responsibilities. My daughter and grandchild grew me an avocado plant from the stone and proudly presented it to me on Mother’s Day. It was about a foot tall and I was given strict instructions on watering and repotting. It’s now a single stem, taller than me, and the child checks on it when she visits. I’m not allowed to let it die but southern England is not good growing conditions for a damned tree so I can’t put it outside. I’m now stuck with a seven foot tree in my hall as the conservatory is now too cold for it. I suppose I could decorate it for Christmas!
The worst thing is that 1) the fruit isn’t likely to be as good as a grafted variety, and 2) with just one plant, you’re not likely to get any fruit at all. But, it’s a neat tree, so that’s nice.
Pollyanna Hopson says
My Meyer lemon lived 20 years outside in Lakeway, TX(just barelywest of Austin). But last year’s freeze did kill it. I didn’t put a blanket around it. I think it might have survived if I had. It was planted in a protected area about 5 ft from the house with a fence 6 feet away on one side and a terraced wall/yard 10 ft away on another side.
Before I planted it in the ground, it was in a 3ft diameter pot about 3 ft tall that was fiberglass. Yes, if potted it needs drainage. You can get decorative pot hangers or pot feet that might make the saucer more attractive.
BTW the reason it got planted in the ground was that after 5 years it out grew the pot.
I have killed cactus before so I’m not the best gardener. I’m sure you can take good care of your Meyer lemon. They are great lemons. And one of the sweeter varieties
I agree. I’m in Waco & my brother in law is in San Antonio. Both of our Meyer Lemon trees survived the winter, but we did have holiday lights on them (old school, not LED, so they got heat) & bundled the base & covered it (mostly). His produced a ton of lemons this year. I only got 8.
I have had a meyers lemon tree for years. In the summer and anytime when the temp is above 40 they can live outside. In the winter I move mine into the greenhouse where it probably lives in 50 degrees and sometimes colder. I live in the Pacific NW so we don’t get a lot of sun in winter so that tells you that it still does fine. The reason it no longer lives in the house is that when it blooms (which smell wonderful and happens in early spring) it drops sticky resin on the floor. I mean really sticky. So in Texas I would leave it out as long as possible in sun. Up here I do full sun but you might want to google since Texas sun is a lot hotter. It will get lemons which are good but do taste a bit different from other lemons. As far as pots go, I wouldn’t move it until the roots show and then only one size up. Enjoy your tree and I’m glad you moved forward in the book which undoubtedly helped you both. 26 years is a good long stretch, we hit 40 next January. You’ll get there and enjoy doing it!
Shannon from Texas says
My mom of the green-thumbs-to-her-shoulders basically agrees with the above. 24″ diameter pot with hole(s), 1.5-2 inches sphagnum moss in the bottom for drainage with moisture retention. Can move outside after last freeze, just back in before the first. Needs lots of (UV) light, so a grow light or a sun lamp bulb in one of those cheap clamp shop lights from Lowes.
It may not pollinate (or fruit) if there’s not another one nearby.
Proud Bookworm says
I love my Meyer Lemon tree! I live in San Diego, so it is planted in my back garden and is very happy and fruits abundantly with very little attention. As for a pot, choose a five-gallon or larger container that is at least 12 to 15 inches in height. Make sure the container has ample drainage holes. Since there are likely some months you can put it outside for full sunlight, get a plant caddy with caster wheels to place the pot upon before you fill it with soil.
Fill the pot partway with a potting mixture (ideally one made for citrus trees), remove the tree from its original container, and fluff the roots if they are matted. Place the tree in the center of the pot, and fill in the gaps with the potting mixture just to where the crown of the roots is still visible. Press down the soil, and water the tree immediately. Pot-grown trees will require more frequent watering than their in-ground counterparts. Good luck and enjoy!!
Ellen D says
I agree. Something with a broad base to avoid being top heavy. Bright color on the planter for an additional pop of color.
In Houston, the citrus does well outside unless a multi-day Artic blast comes through. My satsuma lasted for 10 years until Uri. I should have covered it. I planted it outside in January. Urban Harvest does a big fruit tree sale in January and I stood in freezing cold to get it. Other citrus in the neighborhood is good for pollination. Fruit may be light for the first couple of years. Do not fertilize when the tree is in bloom. Your county Ag unit or Texas A&M can be good sources of information for how things grow in Texas.
Know zip about lemon trees, but Oliver and Charlie(?) are looking good.
If possible would like more information on your gorgeous violets.
Did you order them online? Do you use special pots? Thank you.
Moderator R says
This post might help 🙂 https://ilona-andrews.com/2021/for-nila/
Your violets are gorgeous! My grandmother used to grow them.
I finally gave up on trying to get my orchid to bloom and bought a fake one. Good luck with the lemon tree!
I don’t know anything about flowers and planting, but it was so sweet of Kid 2 to buy a ‘please don’t get divorced’ lemon tree! Also, King Oliver looks majestic and the flowers are lovely.
I’ve been growing one in a pot in San Antonio for three years. It makes lovely lemons. We usrd to move it into the garage in the winter. Last year, hubs got a little greenhouse and we kept it there except for the big freeze that happened in February.
Meyer Lemon Trees are wonderful, and the fruit has such a strong citrusy taste, compared to store bought, which can be a little bland.
The trees need light, but also moisture, so maybe spritz it a couple of times a day. I would recommend a clay pot (natural), not plastic, and be sure to get a good size one. And, yes, you need an underliner for the pot. Make sure you fertilize often.
I would recommend letting the tree tell you when it is happy/unhappy. I had my tree for three years on my apartment balcony in Elk Grove California, and it never really flourished, even though I did get fruit each year. The balcony was sunny, and had at least five to six good hours of sun everyday.
Then I moved to Florence Oregon, with cooler temperatures and virtually no sun on my apartment balcony. The tree is flourishing, growing and filling out, and is very green, which defies all the written accounts on the internet. I haven’t gotten fruit yet, but it likes the moist air we have living on the coast, and seems to like it here. So, your tree will let you know what it likes and doesn’t like. Good luck. I really love my tree.
Meyer lemons grow like weeds here in the San Francisco area. So as long as you can fake cool foggy summers and (mostly) frost free winters you are good to go. If frost threatens and the tree is in a movable pot brings it indoors. Otherwise cover it if you can and hope for the best. Ours has survived several frosts but they only lasted overnight. Otherwise enjoy, meyer lemons are great!
Owned a greenhouse for a couple of decades. Your pot absolutely must drain, but you can put a cheap one on rocks inside a larger jardinier for appearances sake. That’s a good size tree, so I’d go two inches up in pot size – two more if it’s potbound Commercially sold trees are often badly potbound, so eyeball the root mass when you tip it out and tease out roots that look like they’re circling the old pot. Point them any direction other than around. If the tree was recently living in a greenhouse, it’s used to high humidity and will show its displeasure at the change to house conditions by dropping leaves. You can help it out by draping light plastic loosely over it and removing bits of that gradually over the span of several weeks. The moisture meter is an awesome tool that I can’t live without. Last, spider mites adore citrus. Keep a careful eye out for them. Good luck! LOVE your books and have Fated Blades on preorder.
Oliver is gorgeous! Great visual for Olasard. Also your violets are lovely.
Meyer lemon trees are tender perennials. A friend sent me some lemons from her California tree and I grew trees from the seeds here in NE Ohio. Mine were outside in a shady spot during the summer and stayed in an east window the rest of the year. Then suddenly at 3 years both died overnight but so did my lavender and rosemary in the same window. I gave a few to friends and theirs are still going strong almost 7 years after I started them.
You can get some nice pottery containers (unglazed is best at least on the inside). Make sure it is heavy enough that the tree won’t tip it over as it grows. Good luck, and enjoy it!
I’m in that state north of you & can confirm that lemon trees do not like our winters. Id normally say you were ok in TX but last year… I know people who keep citrus trees indoors. Learn how to prune them to keep them smaller or youll have a frickin tree in your house.
Watering is easy. Stick your finger into the soil to your second knuckle. Feel moist? Youre good. Feel dry? Water it.
Light. Don’t buy an expensive grow light. Totally unnecessary. Get any old lamp capable of shining on the leaves. Since it’s a tall plant a floor light or a ceiling light would probably be easiest.
***here’s the trick to avoid the grow light ***
Get a bright full spectrum light bulb.
You know all that science stuff about wave lengths. Sunlight is made from all of them so you want a bulb that covers as many of them as possible. Standard bulbs from the corner market don’t bother getting it balanced cause it screws profit margins. A balanced bulb will cost a little bit more but no where near grow light stupidity & can be found to fit in that lamp you already own.
Pots. Gah! $$$
Don’t order online as you’re way more likely to get hosed for a too small hunk of plastic crap. Go to your nearest lowes, home depot, garden center. Choices aren’t going to be great tho cause it’s not spring. Get something sturdy to get it through winter then see what you want to do… & if it’s still alive. What it’s in is too small. Id go with something at least as wide as the tin it’s sitting on & a little deeper then what it’s in now.
That is a very unique Violet. Dogious barkatstic?
N B says
I just got two kumquat and two Australian finger lime baby trees. These will be my first citrus and I’ve heard they significant attention, so have been researching. Here is what has stood out to me from what I’ve read so far:
– Sandy soil that drains well, do not use moisture control soil
– Clay or terracotta pots, no plastic as it can keep soil more wet
– Pot in something that is deep rather than wide
– Need to feed with fertilizer that contains minor elements, preferably citrus-specific. Don’t use fertilizer spikes on a potted plant.
– PH level is important and trees usually want 6-8 hours of sunlight, but don’t keep a grow light on for too long because they need sleep too
– Prone to pests, be attentive and very aggressive at the first sign of pests
This is one of the articles I’ve been using, along with the instructions from the nursery I got mine from – Brite Leaf
I have a lemon tree from a seed that a friend gave me. It was doing really well, tripled its size and then some darn bug came in on a plant or a dog and attacked it. It’s alive but not looking happy. I doubt that it will ever have fruit but I am determined to keep it alive.
I am getting ready to transplant my African violets. I am wondering if I could double them up in a bigger pot instead of a bunch of slightly larger than tiny pots. I have found that if I have pets or kids, I am not as good about keeping plants alive
Citrus like to have small pots, so only size up one size when repotting. You want one that drains, I use the clay pots for citrus. This website is awesome for care instructions: https://www.logees.com/meyer-lemon-citrus-limon.html
My aunt in Florida has a Meyer lemon tree that is outside and gives her lots of big, beautiful lemons! They are one of the best lemons! Last time I saw my aunt was January 2020 before covid became a big issue… I brought some home and made lemon bars… so good! I just hope I will be able to visit her in the near future because she is 92.
My daughter had a banana plant indoors that took over the room and even had bananas! Not sure what care is needed for the lemon tree, but Google or a gardener may have good tips and advice.
I am wondering if Kid2 was also giving you two the message… if life gives you lemons, make lemonade (though I prefer lemon bars).
Hope the bump in the road has been smoothed with a better understanding, communication and working through the frustrations and things life throws at us. It has been a stressful time for many so volcanic eruptions are more likely to happen. Minimizing the formation of them will also help keep the eruptions at bay or more minor. In writing this I am gaining some insight for myself that I need… have a few volcanos of my own! This blog is one of my go to places for relief along with tv, books (mostly audio), prayer and some therapy.
So happy you had a breakthrough the next day after the fight! Maybe the tree has magical properties! Hope it, you and your family thrive through the good and bad times!
I would love to send pictures of my aunt’s Meyer lemon tree and lemons, but I have yet to succeed sending pictures on this blog. Not sure how I can actually do it.
Amanda P says
Love your pics of the lemon tree, beautiful. I’ve decided I want a Holly bush this year and am now persuading hubby we need one????
Oliver is a very regal looking puddycat and I adore the grinning Doggy in the flowers pictures ???? ???? ???? ????⚘????
Thank you for posting and I hope all goes well
Robin De Tota says
Amanda, you need to get a male and a female Holly bush otherwise you won’t get berries, you also have to plant them a specific length apart. Good luck.
Carina M Paredes says
I live in Wisconsin and happily grow lots of plants outdoors. We have a well and after carefully adding lots of compost to my soil and fertilizer I have gotten dahlias, roses and peonies to bloom. You would love it. I love the mentions of dahlias in your Kinsmen series. Glad to know it wasn’t a serious fight.
Leave the tree alone for a few weeks until it adapts to its new home. The plant is already in shock. If you add pot changes and such it gets worst. Pot up only if you notice it is root bound (aka lots and lots of roots escaping from the bottom). Do not put gravel in the pot, the roots will rot. Here’s a video on why.
When you pot, I would recommend terra cotta with drainage. Best of luck!
Kaite Fink says
Best of luck with this new plant. I’m not gifted with green thumbs, unfortunately. Unless you count the cactus that started as a joke from my parents that they could find me something I can’t kill. It’s now 5 feet tall and I got revenge by making them repot it.
Tammy Harrington says
Good luck with your lemon tree. I’d love to have one but central Pa is not citrus friendly in terms of weather… and our neighborhood is known as The Dark Forest. We grow moss. I love the violets though.. do you have a good online source?
Valerie in CA says
I cannot grow a violet to save my life. They all die. I have a pretty blooming indoor plant which I have no idea what it is. Someday I will look it up. I also have a venus fly trap. More work than I thought.
Point of my post: the most informative person on the jnternet is Marlene the Plant Lady. She is a senior (doctorate?) horticulturist at UC Davis in Davis California. She will answer any question not matter the zone you live in. Provide has much information as you can and she gets back to you. She also had an hour long podcast – several are up, no real schedule. One might be helpful to you
She is a very interesting person. Love of cats, foster cat person, camping, and some kind of rock crawl thing with specially modified older vehicles.
I’ve never met her but she is my go to for plant advice. She makes herself available to people. Oh, and her videos of the UCD conservatories are fantastic
Thanks for Oliver’s pics. Hope your lemon tree is fruitful
We live in winter-dark Missouri, and my husband never met a citrus plant including Meyer lemons he didn’t love. We currently have about five plants ( he keeps getting new ones and giving others away). They don’t die in spite of the darkness all winter–if they drop leaves, they grow them back in spring. And they aren’t really finicky in our experience.
We do of course bring them inside before it freezes, but they put up with suboptimal pots, no growlight (we do have a rather big window they’re in front of), no extra fertilization–well, maybe some cow manure in the spring, once, staying in the same pot for probably far too long–I suspect your new plant will do just fine in that pot till spring).
Which is all to say that I think your lemon will do fine, whatever you do for it. What you are planning already sounds plenty good enough.
William B says
I think you’ll find the modern LED lightbulbs are a full spectrum light source. You don’t need specific “grow lights” anymore. Good luck.
Any kind of pot with drainage. Should be bigger than the one it’s in, depends how many times you want to repot. Cheap is good, plastic is light weight. I have radiators, so tend to put pots on top. In the window and warm. You can trim the plant if it’s too tall.
Mary Cruickshank Peed says
Nice kid! I’m moving my pepper plants inside this weekend so have to reorganize my house plants to make room. I have 4 big south windows which are usually full of house plants… And hope if I move the peppers in, I can finally get some.
I’m a native Californian and have always had Meyer lemons from either my yard or a neighbors. They are the BEST for cooking. Everything from dressing a salad to Ina Garten’s lemon cakes, you will love having your own beautiful lemons to use. They are sweet and wonderful in tea as well. Enjoy!
I would love to grow citrus trees, but I was afraid that they wouldn’t do well inside (I’m in the Midwest, they would freeze outside). I’ll be eagerly following your lemon saga!
kIm Hurt says
I have a brown thumb so no plant advice from me. The only thing I would advise is one of those round wheeled things that go under large plants.
Colleen C. says
My orchid just sat there not doing anything for a year! He just had a growth spurt and grew leaves and roots! I seriously thought he was a goner! Hope yours blooms!
Richard Cartwright says
This is a really interesting thread. I am working on replacing the elderly (late 1940s) landscaping with edible items like blueberries. East Tennessee mountain winters doesn’t play well with citrus.
Not the citruses that taste good, anyway. Hope your blueberries do well.
Carolyn R says
Meyer lemons have an awesome flavor. They’re a cross between tangerine and lemon. Can’t speak to growing them in pots, but they aren’t super picky about soil, they do well in our California clay
Debbie B says
Can I suggest listening to The Dirt Doctor radio show on 660 AM Dallas/Ft. Worth, Sunday mornings, pod casts also available, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.. He has a site, talks organic, and discusses bugs, plants, soil, takes questions, including such as your Meyer Lemon tree. If you ID the Mystery Photo of The Week, show time, Win his Course, Free!
Debbie B says
https://www.dirtdoctor.com/ https://www.dirtdoctor.com/garden/Lemon-Meyer_vq2217.htm https://www.dirtdoctor.com/garden/Orchid-Fertilizing-Newsletter_vq3717.htm https://www.dirtdoctor.com/garden/African-Violets_vq814.htm
Violet the bulldog (hehe) is beautiful — so are the flowers!
Maybe check with your local nursery or ag extension agent for info on the Meyer lemon? I have one in my backyard in Tucson and it does really well, but Tucson winters rarely have hard freezes.
Good for Kid 2. Sometimes a little visit at the right time can make all the difference. Not that you needed it. But still, Kid 2 is a keeper.
And time to set up a sun room for the winter where you can go for some plant love with a lot of light!
Angela Knight says
Why does Oliver remind me of Curran?
As to the argument: writers get grumpy under deadline. Hugs!
Honestly, how sweet. Life gave you lemons and you got a tree. Adorable. Meyers lemon trees are hearty. I bought one, planted it and it got huge.(we are in NOLA, so close to your weather- y’all do get a little colder in winter.) A little too huge for where I planted it TBH. Watch the spikes/thorns. They are serious. You’ll get big, fat, round lemons in about a year. For a pot, I’ve seen some great deals on FB marketplace. Might want to check that out.
How do you keep your cats from turning your violets into evening snacks?
I grew 6 lemon trees from seeds. Indoor you will need a grow light.
I bought a large sell watering pot to stuff inside a very large ornamental clay pot.
If you want fruit, she needs to spend the spring and summer outside….bees.
Patricia Schlorke says
If you use terracotta pots, one trick I learned from using them is to soak the pot in water before putting anything in it. If you don’t the pot will suck all the moisture out of the potting soil and whatever plant you put in the pot. That trick will work for the terracotta plate if you use one to catch the excess water.
Have fun with your Meyer lemons. ????
What gorgeous pictures! I’m in love with Oliver.
I don’t know black and white violets with hairs. Is it a rare species of flowers? ????????????
That was very sweet and outside of my wheelhouse. Never experienced divorce but I love how calmly Kid 2 reacted to the very far possibility. Your family is so great!
Katie R says
First off, Oliver is an extremely handsome cat. One of the most attractive felines I’ve seen. It’s no wonder he’s royalty.
I hope you can make a go of the lemon tree. They’re the gift that keeps on giving if you can establish them. Kind of like a marriage. ????
Hm. You know, lemon trees always make me think of the Lemon Tree song (the Kingston Trio/Peter Paul and Mary version) which doesn’t make a lemon tree seem like the right gift here. Pretty trees though, and great lemons.
Yay. Finally something that I can help with. First, yes get a grow light. The more light they have the better. The exception to this is that when you move the tree back outside you should gradually move it into the full sun so it doesn’t burn after being indoors so long. Pots- they like to be slightly pot bound so don’t feel you must rush them into a bigger pot. About the time you think they may fall out of the pot would be a good time to repot. Unglazed pottery is probably the best thing to keep them in. Glazed pottery or other materials like resin or plastic can be used, but the risk of root rot is higher. For potting soil use a potting soil specifically for citrus and cactus.You are right, it is a good idea to keep it away from cold drafts. Meyer lemons tend to be pretty forgiving plants so it’s a good choice for a citrus plant. I’ve raised two successfully, but gave them away when I needed to be moving around. Currently I have a Ponderosa lemon that is doing very well on its third year with me. It again has a great crop of lemons. As the Meyer lemons also will, it will flower intermittently. I also have an enthusiastic Key lime. Both lemon and lime trees move in and out. I am tempting fate by growing a mandarin orange in the ground in zone 8b. If you want to imagine a funny scene, picture two eighty somethings rushing out in the dark to cover their precious tree and stick a non-LED floodlight under the cover to keep it sufficiently warm. So far, so good. We had oranges last year, it’s first full year with us, and more ripening now on a tree that is twice the size it was last year. Kid 2 made a great choice. The lemon will have lovely, sweet smelling flowers, usually more than once a year with a Meyer. Then it’s an attractive shiny leaved plant and then you get fruit. If things are going well you can have fruit and flowers at the same time. What’s not to like?
I so envy you your violets! I can’t grow them. I’m a plant killer so hire a service for the yard, and all my indoor “plants” are fake. Good luck with the tree. And Oliver is Magnificent!
You’re on your own for the lemon…. I have an orange tree (grown from a seed my daughter brought home from her school lunch… believe it or not). It just dropped all its leaves, for the second time. I have no idea why, and I don’t think it’s coming back from this one. Lovely violets!
I have a lemon tree in my garden. Mediterranean climate, growing zone 9 ish.
Mine gets lots of sun and lots of water. It’s mostly protected from the strong northern winds we get in the winter. They don’t like frost.
If outside, plant it in a full sun south spot, preferably with the house or a wall behind it, which will create a winter microclimate next to it.
We got a lemon tree last spring and repotted in a slightly larger pot until we decided where to plant. Fortunately we were able to bring it during the Texas freeze and it’s still kicking. Seems to be very hardy because I have a black thumb
I brought back two lemon trees from Italy.
I have a wonderful little book about citrus fruits and there’s a chapter on how to grow them.
Try to get special soil – I bought mine online from a speciality grower. Then you need a nice big pot (I just used a regular ceramic one). Layer the bottom with drainage (lava stones, ceramic stones, Seramis… pottery shards…). It’s important that it has enough drainage.
Then pot with the speciality soil.
Drainage is *VERY* important!
Don’t water it, like you would your regular plants. Instead, submerge the entire pot in water and let it soak up the moisture until the soil is thorougly wet. Then drain.
Lemons don’t really like too much water. They definitely don’t like wet feet. But never let the soil dry out completely.
Since it’s fall, pinch off the new growth at the top. They don’t need to put on new leaves right now.
It’s not too late to give them a small dose of speciality feed (again, look for a grower of citrus plants, they should have the right stuff).
You can keep them outside until November. It’s much better for them to be outside for most of the year, than to be inside.
They do need light. Sunlight is best.
So… that’s as far as I’ve gotten with mine.
Mine had green fruits on them, but I cut them off, since we’re heading into winter and the fruits pull energy that the trees need for the winter.
I would really suggest looking for a good citrus grower and looking what they have in ways of suggestions and instructions for you… ^^;;
We do portable citrus trees.
Recommend plastic light-weight pots with separate drain pans, plus put them on rollers to move as needed. IF they are outside during summer, they may have a good fruit set that will ripen over winter. Homemade (microwaved) lemon curd from Meyer lemons is the bomb.
We keep them outside for summer, inside for winter, our personal Birnam Wood
Cece Donovan says
We have a Meyer Lemon tree in Florida and it is one of my favorite plants ever. We got a citrus care kit from the hardware store and it has been very happy. We get 30-40 lemons in a good year, and they ripen slowly, you can leave them on the tree for a long time until they are ready. We made Meyer Lemon marmalade for holiday presents one year, it was a big hit. Great present!
I got a Meyer lemon tree about two years ago ( a little smaller than the one you have based on the picture) that I keep indoors. She is thriving and currently growing adorable baby lemons. I have it right next to a windows but it only gets about 1-3 hours of direct sun which seems to work out well.
A pot with drainage is a must (a clay one would work great).
I live in Missouri where the humidity is usually decently high but I still use a spray bottle to spritz the leaves every other day. Outside of that, water once a week (or as needed) and it should be fine.
Cheryl M says
Love the puppy in the middle of the flowers. And, Oliver is most regal. So happy I’m not the only one who kills orchids. Never give me an orchid if you want to see it live past tomorrow. Sigh.
Your violets are lovely!
The photos of Oliver and the violets together reminds me of my mom’s cat. He used to bite of the flowers and buds from her violets and spit them out onto the table or the floor. He was a Naughty kitty
You absolutely need drainable (and ideally breathable) pots. What about getting a nice, cheap terra cotta pot and putting it inside a pretty waterproof container on some gravel?
I grew up in Southern California on Foothill Citrus Ranch. My father was the night foreman there. Citrus trees do pretty well during the winter time in Southern California, but if it got close to a night with freezing weather, all employees went into the groves and lit “smudge” pots and attended the wind machines to keep the temperature above freezing. The lemon grove I pretty much grew up in was very well cared for and having fresh lemons was a real treat. I know nothing of growing lemon trees in pots, but they are fairly hardy and when the citrus blossoms come into bloom, you will think the smell is heaven sent.
I honestly love following these little snippets of real life from you. Is that a weird thing to say? Probably. Meh. It’s still true. We’re trucking along in our fifth wave of the pandemic at work. When I wake up to see an email notification with your name on it, I know my day is going to get a tiny breath of fresh air and a bit of a laugh. Thanks for being you!
Judy Schultheis says
So Kid 2 thinks giving Mom something to to take care of will make her feel better? I hope it lives many years.
My heart goes out to Kid 2.
First: I’d love to get a mandarin orange tree, but have no place to put one in the winter and my ficus already spends the summer on the porch instead of the patio because I can’t get it up and down the stairs any more. So, sympathy.
Then a question: Do you prefer people go back to previous posts to stay on topic when making a comment?
Finally the comment for the Michella shippers: All we have ever seen of Michael is his prime face. What if, away from work, he masks his tattoos, puts on a baseball cap, sweatshirt and ratty jeans, and goes out to drink beer, watch football, and play poker with his buddies from high school. Is it still a good ship?
Yes. This is a ship called friendship, which all people need the way they need air, water, food and shelter. Also, love the mental picture of casual Michael!!
Rachael McDonough says
I dumped our lemon tree in one of these 10 years ago and never have had to repot it. Citrus thrives where i live. I like that i only have to water it once a month unless it has 30 plus lemons on it and the pot sorts the watering needs out. Not the prettiest pot though.
I’ve tried to grow lemons from seeds, was successful 3 years ago but with us constantly moving etc. Only one managed to survive into our new house. I’ve replanted it into a bigger pot…with new soil n trimmed the dried dead stump. It’s indoor near kitchen sliding door. Tiny shoots are finally emerging. I give it some pep talk every now and then. Might take another few years before it gets any where as big like yours. And don’t even know if it’ll produce lemons. I use a lot of lemons every week…will be buying mature trees once our yard has been cleared by professionals. Been waiting 7 mths for that!! Oh lord…either way we are screwed. So I’ll be continuing buying lemons for few more years. ????????????♀️ That’s my story…trying to grow anything in pots before transferring them into the ground!! A very long waiting period…..????
One of those violets is not like the others… still pretty, though!
Katherine Donovan says
If you can grow healthy African violets, you can grow the lemon tree. It doesn’t like to go below about 30 degrees, so keep it inside during the cold months, but move it outside when the weather is good. If it’s really hot, give it some shelter from the worst of the scorching heat, but make sure it gets some direct sun, preferably in the early morning or late afternoon, or filtered through tree leaves or patio cover.
Inside, give it good light. From your description, you probably don’t have a room that gets enough direct sun, so yes, look into grow lights (I have no experience there). If it is getting direct sun, makes sure it’s a bit away from the windows as the sun through the windows can intensify the heat and might cook the leaves.
Keep it moist but not soggy (similar to what you do for your African violets) and fertilize it regularly (citrus food is good), but less that the recommended dose when it’s inside as it won’t be getting as much light and won’t be growing as fast. Humidity may also be a problem inside, so anything you can do to raise the humidity level is good. Having other plants around it can help, as they’ll all have moisture evaporating from the soil in their pots, raising the humidity for all.
Large pots – yes, way too expensive, but they’re heavy, so it costs a lot to ship them, adding significantly to the price. The general rule of thumb is that the pot should be about a third of the size of the plant, but also don’t go up more than one size unless the plant is very rootbound. Dwarf citrus grow pretty slowly, so you can probably keep it in the same pot for quite a long time. The best way to tell when it’s time to transplant (other than that you don’t like the ugly plastic pot) is when the soil dries out quickly – within a couple of days. An alternative to big ceramic or clay pots is to keep it in the plastic pot, but put the plastic pot in a nice basket, with a suitable saucer to catch the overflow when watered. Unfortunately, nice large baskets can also be pretty pricey.
Inside, you may have a problem with red spider mites, especially if the humidity is low. The best way to prevent them is to wash off the leaves regularly, but that’s difficult with a large plant like this unless you can wheel it into the shower. Spraying with enough water to drip off the leaves once a week or so will help and may be enough to keep the mites at bay. Aphids may also be a problem, especially when the plant is putting out new growth rapidly. If you can wash them off regularly, that will help. Insecticidal soap or neem oil are good for serious infestations or to keep infestations from getting serious.
Hope this helps and good luck with your new tree!
Did anyone else start singing ‘one of these things is not like the other’ when looking at the violet photos?
The only thing I can say is that yes, you need a drainable pot for that tree. If I were you (and I am not!) I’d get a small low wheelable stand to put it on. If you need to move it, you will bless having it on wheels. I’ve been there and done that. If you get a grow light for it, you can move it anywhere easily.
Oliver is gorgeous.
Your violets are stunning.
I’m sorry you had a fight, glad to know you figured out the problem and solved it. Good thing you’ve got history of making up and can let go of the argument.
There has been lots of good advice about the lemon so just one thing about fertilizer. It is best to use special fertilizer for citrus trees. I use a liquid one every 2 weeks. Citrus trees need a lot of iron in chelated? form or they will get ugly yellow leaves and drop their fruits. Sorry, english is not my first language but I am sure you will find information about this. Also do not use regular garden soil, it is better mixed with sand and little stones. Good luck and have fun making lemonade 🙂
R Coots says
Violets! Orchids! So pretty!
We had a lemon tree at one time, but North Dakota is a hard place to keep one alive. Also, I think we needed to get it a buddy, because it only bore fruit the first year.
YouTube. Ten tricks to grow lots of lemons. And also website Gardeningknowhow.com. Great help for fall my planting needs. And also YouTube- Gardenanswer. Good luck.
Kelly Jacobs says
For the past 5 years, I have carried 3 Meyer lemon trees into the house for the winter. I use one cotton swab to pollinate them when they bloom in January.
The tree’s size is limited to the size of the pot. Dragging a pot down 11 stairs to put them into the shade of the front yard in April limits the size of the pot.
They are the best tasting lemons!
Oliver is not impressed. ???? Your daughter is a sweetie. ???? And I see you’ve caught a photo of the rare hothouse Sookie flower! ???? That mug always makes me smile.
Aesthetically pleasing flower pots are stinking expensive, so I feel you. No idea how to care for Meyer lemon trees, although if you can get it to fruit that would be quite a lovely smell to have in the house!
Gotta say it… the violets are really pretty but Oliver is stunning! I feel like he has a face that could inspire fiction. Just sayin’….
It will be interesting to hear what you come up with for Meyer lemon growing in your area. I think Meyer’s are the ones that are okay with winter down to mid twenties. My Meyer loses all its leaves more often than not if brought in during a cold snap over winter. Believe people would garages that don’t take on the outside temps often out Meyers in there for cold snaps then take them back outside.
Kid Two did well with a Meyer, imo. Regular lemons and limes are the ones that dislike temps colder than forty farenheit.
Have fun with it and the violets and orchids. Hope nothing is doing suicide blooming.
Should have said my Meyer came in about four times last winter. Once for each of the freezes forecast to get below twenty eight, and of course during snovid.
You might like the Texas Fruiting Plant growers group on FB.
You’re doing a great job with your violets. I especially like the one in the center square!
Sarah Jordan says
We’ve had a lemon tree in a pot our entire married life. My godmother deemed lemon trees essential to adulthood. It lives outside. It is sad. It still produces lemons. It’s pots is large and has a hole. It’s not an elegant Meyer though, it’s a Eureka – staple of Aussie backyards since the year dot. I am in Sydney though, and our winters are mild.
I got the following grow light: https://spectrumkingled.com/products/new-cc140
Think spotlight but for growing plants. It’s not exactly pretty, and rather heavy but you can hang it and the plants in our office have never been so happy. It may have also kept the SAD away through last year’s winter (I’m in Minnesota), but I couldn’t make any promises on that one.
Jo Ann says
I salute Oliver! He definitely is very regal.
As for anything that is a member of the “plant family” that isn’t artificial. It usually dies within a few weeks. I would not be surprised to see it uprooting itself, exiting the nearest open door and hot-footing it to the woods. My family gave me a succulent for Mother’s day that is still living … will wonders never cease.
Google: How to grow Meyer lemon in the fall in Texas with possible freeze in winter. How soon before it can be transported outside. How much room does i it need when planting, etc. etc. Spoiler: the one in my yard was about 10 feet tall in just a few years.
Here’s a link to citrus information on pot size, basically not too big or your citrus will spend all its time thinking about roots instead of lemons. The same site has information about winterizing and growing citrus inside. It’s an Australian site that I buy all my citrus from and they are really helpful. https://www.citrusmen.com.au/information/2019/1/16/what-pot-size-where-to-next
Susan Tipton says
Earth Box. Or something similar. They have optional wheels for moving. They are self watering. You can get similar pots at gardeners.com or even Home Depot. I have many different types of plants in them. If you decide to put the lemon in the ground next spring, you can plant a tomato in the Earth Box and it will do well. With our winters I have used them to wheel large plants in and out based on freezes. Eventually the plants have to suck it up though because of doorways and then they go in the ground.
I understand that those lemons are really good.
Such a wonderful young lady – you both have done well raising a thoughtful young adult.
unglazed clay pot. the clay will leach the excess water from the soil so you don’t over water and cause root rot
Both my grandmothers and my mother grew beautiful African violets. The skill did not come down to me. No gardening skills at all.
Carnations are wonderful flowers. The spring semester exam week at my college was right after prom season at the area high schools, so there were lots of carnations in original and dyed-to-match-dresses colors at the downtown floral shop. Aroma therapy for exam studying!! And budget friendly for a college student’s pocket!!
Oliver makes me think of two of the lead male characters in “Cats” (the stage musical, not the movie version) – Muskintrap (the narrator) and Rum Tum Tugger (the Elvis/rock star cat). (Their makeup designs resemble him quite a lot!)
And Sookie!! Does she like flowers? Our terrier mix always loved hanging out in the backyard with my dad when he was planting annuals in the garden. He’d plant, she’d sniff, and he would ask: “Does that meet with your approval?”. She was a very appreciative audience! ????????️????????
I was given an orchid once as a gift (unrequested). I did my best but killed it (flower slaughter). I felt so bad. No more orchids for me.
Good luck with the lemon tree. Your flowers look lovely. Your critters are even cuter 🙂
Donna A says
UK based here so some tips won’t work but my mum rescued a calamondin several years ago which required some citrus research and it’s grown really well so presumably it was correct.
Apparently citrus trees like a more acidic soil and for it to be loose and well draining so I mixed coir with ericaceous soil and chicken grit plus a little John Innes 3. The ratio was about 1:1:1:0.4.
I imagine you could just mix any potting soil with ericaceous soil and a mineral component (I used chicken grit as it’s cheaper than perlite and I use it to make succulent soil anyway) and I only added the John Innes 3 for a touch of nutrients and we always have it on hand.
Our calamondin lives in a big plastic pot with good drainage holes as terracotta can get too dry and too cold – we like terracotta but it’s heavy and temperamental.
It gets adorable white flowers every year, sometimes twice a year, that turn into little green balls that then grow into what look like miniature oranges and taste so incredibly sour it’s horrendous but it does look lovely and smells delightful.
It definitely loves the light and not the cold but more especially the light. It can withstand a bit of chill but move it from its brightest position and it goes into decline.
You can get plant pot covers (you could knit your own even) which help keep them warm.
Hopefully your fruit will be tastier than ours.
Brooke J Frazier says
Overwatering is a frequency issue not a quantity issue. Only go up pot sizes at most 1-2″ larger. A plant will not die from a too small pot, it will just stop getting bigger. ❤ I hope your tree lives and grows well
Big Mike says
The wife and I are best friends, and do alike in our tastes and goals and view of life that we hardly ever even say an angry word at each other. So much so, that our younger son used to act like divorce, if not murder, was going to happen anytime he heard either of us raise our voice.
Now he’s been married for half a year. I wonder whether that has changed his perspective on married couples arguing — and on the differences between disagreements, arguments, and fights.
I love the violets! I have a bunch from Lyndon Lyon in selfwatering pottery pots from Etsy and they are so easy to take care of and flower often if given a bit of fertilizer in the water every week.
Joe Ellett says
You can do plants outdoors in the southwest. You just need to set up some automatic drip irrigation so they’re watered whether you’re absent, ill, or whatever. Drip does NOT have to be complex and expensive; you can get a digital timer that screws on to your faucet if you’re only watering a few plants
Your African Violets looks awesome!
I’m sharing a link to Garden Answer about growing citrus in containers. It’s about 16 minutes long. She talks about types of pots, lighting, soil needs, etc.
I love watching this lady. She’s fun to watch and very informative. I’ve got hooked on her channel last year.
Hope that’s helpful.
Sometimes an argument clears the static in the atmosphere. I believe that once you have been married longer than twenty years you can have fun arguments. We already knew what the other would say so, the test was to say something completely ridiculous to make the other person laugh first. It is difficult to argue while laughing but, can be done for a short period of time. I lost my argument partner after 38 years together so, enjoy! Your poor lemon tree needs a very, very big pot and if it gets very cold I would put it in the room with the lizards. Your flowers, cat, and dog are lovely. I do better with animals and outside plants than with any indoor plants.
Julie Olson says
You could put the larger pot on a rolling dolly. That way you can put it outside when it’s warm and bring it back in during the winter. A number of folks here in Tucson do that. Do you know if it’s a regular or dwarf tree? They have somewhat different needs.
You must have drainage! A large good quality plastic pot is much easier to move around than a ceramic pot. There is also special fertilizer for citrus trees.
Thank you for this post. My thoughts are
– a Meyer lemon is easier duty than a malnourished, mistreated, stray Chihuahua
– a Meyer lemon has thorns that make the red spider mite treatments (rinse the leaves) kind of a pain
– Oliver looks like the inspiration for Curran
– you can amend the soil all you want; when it’s 105° and humid outside, no one wants to garden or water anything.
In the early years of her famous restaurant, Alice Waters would invite people to bring her a box of Meyer lemons from their yard in exchange for… I don’t know, a free meal? Now you can buy them at Whole Foods but 25 years ago the Meyers were a rare exotic.
I thought that citrus trees required hot summers and cold winters. Here in SA most of the orange groves are in places that get the lowest temperatures in winter. Not saying it should be in the snow, but cold air might be alright.
I particularly like the grey Orchid
Eunice Morck says
I’m in love with the gray land seal and the 1 snaggle tooth!
Lee Anne says
Oliver and his sibling are adorable. The violets are beautiful and I now have an intense urge to buy a lemon tree that probably has all the lemon trees at the nursery quaking in terror.
The only plants I have successfully grown outside are plumerias and in my part of FL the only way to kill them is to pay them attention. Inside is strictly silk plants sadly.
I’m very glad things have resolved and wish y’all the best.
I sell plants says
Go 2″ wider & 1″ deeper for the new pot. Too much extra soil will hold too much water & your lemon’s roots might rot. Yes, I would choose a pot that drains (otherwise…root rot). I’d also turn your lemon tree regularly so it grows nice & straight. I put my heavy plants on lazy susans to make it easier to turn them. 🙂
Poor Kid 2. Laughed a bit that she chose a lemon tree 🙂
Big pots get expensive fast. In a pinch, I’ve used a 5 gal plastic bucket ($3-6 at the hardware store) with holes drilled in the bottom, only partially filled with dirt, and then topped with a healthy layer of leaves/grass clippings to retain water. Or reuse an old bucket that has cracks in the bottom and paint it a nicer color, handle is still handy for moving a heavy plant.
We have a 17 y.o. lime tree that we grew from a twig. It’s pretty much always lived in a 5 gal pot outside (VA), brought in for the first frost and wintered in a room that stays around 40 F. The last 6 years it bore fruit when pruned and pollinated (sometimes it blooms too early inside and the bees can’t reach it, but the room smells great). It lives in partial shade of a larger tree or the porch in the summer, not because it can’t handle the heat, but otherwise the pot dries out too fast.
Your violets are beautiful! Thanks for reminding me I need to fertilize mine…
God, I love y’all!!!!
I loved my meyer lemon tree so much. The blossoms smell amazing and I took a dry paint brush and pollinated each one.
Sadly I bough a few other indoor plants from a big box store nursery and the next thing I know my tree is dying from mites. I tried everything to save it to no avail. It was so sad.
It was years ago but I did internet research about pots and sizes. It’s important to have a pot the right size, not to big or small so you will have to transplant it as it grows so you won’t want to spend too much until it reaches its mature size.
The pot needs to a hole to drain, unless your moisture thing is super accurate. It’s nice to have it on rollers so you can move it in and out when the nighttime temperature permit. But you risk it getting pests.
Better take advice from someone who had success, unlike me, but maybe my experience can serve as a cautionary tale.
Keep it away from other plants!!
Barbara Swanson says
Your violets are gorgeous.
I can see why you’re having difficulty getting to one in the fifth picture to bloom…
Here are pictures of my mom’s orchids before I got my black thumb on them. My mom needed a hip replacement last year. She kept her orchids upstairs so I really tried to remember to water them every 10 days for several months. They were still alive when she recovered but no blooms were left. Note: I can grow vegetable plants. My tomato plants were 6’ tall this year with a ton of tomatoes. (The beauty of water timers and soaker hoses)
Sorry, here is the picture
Moderator R says
There is a 1 MB limit for photos uploaded in comments- if possible, try to take a screenshot of the photo and upload that ????
Just keep thinking…lemon meringue pie…lemon meringue pie…
Mary VanSwearingen says
I mistook the first Meyer lemons I saw as odd oranges. A neighbor identified them for me. There was a huge tree growing wild at an abandoned house next door. My biggest regret about moving to a different state was leaving that tree. I loved the mild and lovely flavor for lemon curd, the lighter lemon bars, and gorgeous pound cakes. I pray your tree does well.
Sweet Kid 2.
We have a line at it home in Virginia. It lives outside in the summer, and comes inside just ahead of first first which is now usually early November. We park it in our sunny windowsill and enjoy (somewhat messy but) fragrant blooms around Christmas. I prefer pots with sub-irrigation because I am not a steady waterer; a great source for these is Gardeners Supply Company. When you report use a citrus potting mix which is coarse textured. We fertilize with Espoma citrus fertilizer but I expect there are others out there that work as well.
Lisa B. (OH) says
If you can grow violets, a lemon tree should be easy. I have a black thumb. However,, my late husband could grow anything and would frequently have to rescue plants that had been in my possession for a couple of hours at work. Lol My plants miss him.
Meyer Lemons make a wonderful dressing with honey and olive oil.
I live in TX as well and have 2 lemon trees. One is a Meyer. I would re-pot for now and plant in the ground in the spring time. Also any lemons that grow for the first time should be cut off while they are small because it will break the branches at this stage. You could also choose to plant the tree in a metal trash can for now and move it inside and out depending on the weather, this is what my sister in law does in Austin with her lemon trees.
allan hunt says
i found that a pot with well draining compost ie with perlite or similar helps the lemon so it does not get overwatered .and one of those sticking liquid feed for the orchid works wonders don’t forget to cut off the end regards allan
Yes the self draining ones are great. Cause then the roots don’t get water bound. A big plastic (type) one is best. It will last for years and there are some nice ones that don’t cost a fortune. Don’t forget to feed it and it will be a happy little plant. Let it get some natural light and some sunshine. You will be making lemonade before you know it
If they drop all their leaves, they are NOT dead. They are quite finicky when moved. Also, my neighbor said there was something in urine that makes them very happy. I never went that far.
Meyers lemon trees are great! The lemons can grow to the size of a small grapefruit and the trees produce year round. I have to continually thin the number of lemons on my trees to prevent them from breaking. Zone 9 California. High temperatures of 114 degrees in the summer.
Whatever size pot you use, put a matching size bowl in the bottom with pieces of briquet in it.
An Australian here, who has always grown lemon trees, in admittedly different conditions. Lemons love the heat and need lots of direct sunlight. They can cope with a bit of frost (say the occasional -3 to -5°C night), but not much more than that. They also have a shallow root system, and need regular water.
In Texas, I would recommend putting your lemon in a very large plastic pot outside, so the roots can grow as much as possible, and you can give it enough water in summer. But also put your pot on a pot trolley, so you can move it into a sheltered spot, or even indoors, in the winter, or when snow is forecast. Clay or terracotta pots rapidly lose moisture, and are heavy, so that’s why I suggest a plastic pot, even if not as aesthetically pleasing.
Susan J says
Oliver. So gorgeous. He really is a dream cat. In my head, he is the model for the Innkeeper’s nameless cat that Dina rescued from a pet store. I don’t need you to confirm or deny this. I’m just saying.
Guess what I just saw on Amazon!!!!!
I love seeing other people’s plants and trees. I could kill a plastic plant so green thumb people are miracle workers to me….I admire your dedication and wish you all well.
Our Meyer lemon is growing very happily in a pot. Get a very large pot, with a saucer, put some stones at the bottom, and plant the lemon near the top so it has room to stretch its roots. Good drainage is key, and it should live happily near the brightest window you have. We put ours on a little plant trailer so we can move it around as needed. We underplanted it with strawberries and they both seem to be doing great.
mary schroeder says
Love violet #4. Am I seeing purple flecks on the flowers and white edging on the leaves? That is a wonderful specimen.
I’ve a friend here in Austin with a Meyer lemon. It’s in a draining very large ceramic pot, probably at least a 30 gal (maybe larger, she flatly doesn’t like doing transfers) and she leaves it outside year round in full sun. She got it at Costco, but it’s probably too late in the season for that. She does roll it into a very small homemade greenhouse (clear plastic) for freeze nights. I don’t know if it made it thru the snowpocalypse, but if it did, she probably rolled it inside near their wood burning stove. I know she waters all her plants daily as they’re all on one of those timer piped plant watering systems. She had lemons every year including one the first year. Of course she’s one of those people with two green thumbs, too. She feeds her neighborhood tomatoes every summer.
You can get really pretty, very large and sturdy rolling plant caddies at Home desperate (or depot hehe). My monster deck planters each have one so they can be moved. Not cheap, but worth it!
And I personally like to pot everything in a mix of humus, dillodirt and sand. But I’m sure any good potting soil will work. For the water hogs, I add bunches of peat moss, especially in the bottom layers. My azaleas do reasonably well in sun until 3 ish and I only water every 2-3 days in the summer. Unless it’s consistently over 100 for weeks like last summer, then daily watering. Only my cacti get terra cotta pots, they like it dry and terra cotta dries out quickly.
Gorgeous violets! They never ever grow for me. My house plants are generally forgotten, so they have to be things like ivy and schefflera that apparently grow on air with water every couple weeks. Lol
Got the pot at Costco.
Stephanie Williams says
An orchid with suicidal thoughts? That’s going to be an interesting client to present before a therapist. Good luck with that one.
I bought my sister-in-law a pink lemon tree last year, but I’m pretty sure she’s killed it by now even though she’s usually amazing with plants. One thing the person who sold it told me was that you need to let the soil dry out good in between waterings. It’s easy to overwater them, she said. For pots, I’m afraid I can’t help except that you want a well-drained soil. I am NOT a plant person. After I killed both a jade plant and an aloe vera, I gave up on the cultivation of plants because they deserve better than me. =) I’m up in the Omaha area and it would definitely live indoors part of the year here!
Looks like lots of other people have weighed in already, but I have happily lived with a Meyer lemon for about 7 years, so I’ll add my two cents.
Things you might want to look into (ie, what I wish I knew earlier):
-It’s as sturdy as its reputation says. Yeah, sounds like you don’t have much light inside, but they prefer to be outside anyway, and your weather is good, so won’t it be outside most of the time anyway? We’re almost 1000 miles north of you, so ours is inside Oct-Apr, and it’s fine, it just goes dormant (and we do have a sunny window).
-Check your temps; we try to bring ours in when it dips below 50 at night. It can go colder, you just risk losing the fruit.
-Pot type: ours stabilized in a standard 16″ pot, about 2′ tall (above the pot). It would be happy to get bigger, but this is big enough to fruit and not so big it’s a pain, so we prune it this size. I love clay pots, but I do not recommend them here; it’s big enough that I think it gets quite heavy, and clay will disincentivize you to take it outside on that warm, sunny winter afternoon.
-Soil quality, water, fertilizer, etc: my take is just that it’s a fairly thirsty, energetic plant which loves loamy dirt and lots of water and sun. We prune aggressively twice a year (else it gets leggy and doesn’t fruit properly, not to mention insect damage is ugly) and refresh the dirt every year or two, which trims the roots. We prune into a vase shape (do you know pruning? if not, get some side-bypass pruning shears and queue up some youtube videos)
-Insects: We get scale insects really badly by late winter. Neem oil, hand picking, and pruning off the bad bits will keep it in control until we can get it outside again to, ahem, feed the predatory insects.
-Fruit takes a year to mature! It’s worth it, though – I consider it to be a kind of long-term decoration. Also tasty when it’s finally done (my kids drink the juice with water and no sugar and call it lemonade). It will set a new batch while the old one is still on the tree, too. Flowers smell amazing, and everything in the neighborhood stops in to visit them. We have to force the flowering or else it doesn’t happen until AFTER it comes in for the winter, but I imagine you won’t have a problem with that in TX.
Enjoy! It’s a great plant, and it will survive many experiments, so I’m sure you’ll learn its habits soon by trial and error if nothing else.
And I promised myself I wouldn’t back-seat drive strangers on the internet, but now I find I can’t help myself … based on what I’ve learned from our tree, I think yours is stressed right now based on the angle of the leaves (but it otherwise looks like it’s in great shape!). They should be sticking out horizontally, not bending back toward the stem. This isn’t surprising anyway since it’s just moved houses. I’d give it several inches of water and let it sit. When it is next thoroughly dry (so as not to compress the soil), I’d pot it several sizes up in some nice loamy soil and a deep saucer.
Also, given the relative sizes of leaves and the shapes of the branches, looks like it’s put out all its annual growth this year in those two (?) branches making up the top third of the plant. I can’t tell whether they were going for vase shape or central leader pruning, but you should decide and implement that now (look up “formative pruning” if you’re not familiar with it). Actually, I might just lop off those top branch back to the stem – would make the plant put its energy into building roots as it gets established in its new pot, and it would be much more stable in wind. Good thing about these guys is I’ve messed up the pruning a few times, and the plant didn’t care, it just grew it out again a few years later. It’s not nearly as sensitive to bad pruning as a peach or apple or similar.
And I forgot to add – our lemon moved 2000 miles in the back of a vehicle when it was about 2 years old, and it was fine. You shouldn’t have any issues transitioning it to FL when you move.
I like drainable pots and just buy pretty pot plates for them to sit on to catch spare drainage.
Also the violets are lovely.
We live in Dallas. Lemon trees love sun all day, but need to be watered daily in Texas summer.
Our lemon tree lives in the garage in the winter.
Lemons sprout as green and look like limes. They turn yellow when they’re ready. It can be awhile. We’ve had some on our tree for six months and they’re just now about yellow enough to pick.
We have a lime tree. It does great indoors with a grow light until late February, at which point it gets nasty scale insects that drip glop and make the tree unhappy. Us too. Maybe the weather in your part of Texas is good enough that you can put the tree out again in late February? The various wasps, ants and other creatures outside take care of the scale insects very nicely, but Colorado weather means we can’t do that until mid-May.
Oh, I absolutely think that the lemon tree should be outside.
I have some experience with Mayer lemon regarding the resilience of lower temperatures.
My tree ist outside most of the year.
But due to the long cold winters here in eastern Germany it needs to be inside from november til february. This tree tolerates temperarures of 5° Celsius (41°F) without problems.
Once it endured 2°C (about 36°F) at night for a week (it was a surprisingly cold autumn and we were away).
I was kind of shocked it lived through this ordeal.
So putting it inside makes sense for longer cold periods.
It depends on the local conditions though.
If really low temperatures are rare, a gardening freeze cloth might be a good solution.
But lemon trees just love the sun.
Outside is the best place for them.
I’ve spend my last six summer vacations in Greece, where the natural soil varies from normal looking to rocky and dry, and you can see lemon trees everywhere.
So I guess it could survive the Texas heat with apt care.
What I also could gather is that the roots don’t seem to like a lot of water.
I asked at our local nursary how to proceed, because it rains above average here.
They recommended to mix sand with soil and put clay pebbles (or something similar) on the bottom of the clay pot (with dreinage).
Also, in my experience, the bigger the pot the better.
Hope I cold help somewhat.
Glad to hear you worked things out. Kid 2 is a gem.
As a Texas Gardner, I feel your pain. If the lemon tree is ever going outside, you must use a ceramic glazed pot in Texas. Unglazed ceramic pots lose moisture through the terracotta and can dry the plants out faster as water is literally wicking out into Texas’ dry air. I’m not a fan of platics as they always tend to degrade in UV and look bad or just start shredding. A ceramic pot is an investment, I think I spent almot $100 on my largest which is 3 foot tall, but they will last many years with gentle care. Make sure they are thick walled to survive Texas’ freezes. I always go up in several sizes when repotting. I normally cut a fine screen to go over the weep holes. I suggest adding a fine gravel and a thin coating of sand on top of the gravel to help with drainage. You can slightly trim any excess roots when repotting. If seriously root bound, break apart the roots and spread out before adding a good potting soil. If it is going to be outside for a while, I would like to suggest watering crystals. see https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/containers/water-crystals-in-potting-soil.htm
You are correct, overwatering is not your friend. Light is very important. The make wheeled carts for trees which are nice. Freezing is the big danger in Texas. Most citrus does not handle the cold well.
As to gardening in Texas, I have found that gardening in 10 gallon stainless steel or even 20 gallon tsteel rash cans works. I pick them up at the local feed store. I punch holes with a 2 penny nail in the bottom for drainage. I use watering crystals. I mix peatmoss and compost in with a good bagged and fertizled soil. I tomato or 1 pepper per small can or 2 per large. When summer really takes off, things get shade for at least half the day, even things listed as full sun. At the hottest part of summer, I water daily by hand from collected rainwater. I have recently gone to 2 foot by 4 foot steel watering troughs for berries (raspberry and black berries – both thornless) this seems to be working well and will hopefully control suckers spreading through the yard.
Good luck with your lemon. They are suprsising hardy and can make boundiful lemons.
Lemon trees need as much light as they can get, so be careful with your quality of grow lights! I use the GE Lighting 93101232 LED bulb on a pendant wire I hang from the ceiling with a pretty pendant cage. I think it’s the best output for the value (though it seems to have gone up in price), and the color isn’t terrible. If you don’t mind splurging, Soltech lights are great!
Higher-light orchids will fare well under this too! I’ve re-bloomed several Phalaenopsis under grow lights in the winter
Sara Joy says
???? you’re all delightful, & I love that Kid 2’s solution to any heavy (perceived or real) marriage tension is a lemon tree!
There is a terrific plant guy on TikTok. No idea if he has covered lemon trees of not but his suggestions are very practical and tend to use stuff you probably have on hand. @creative_explained. It looks like he has a web page, too. I have not visited it. I do not know him, I just enjoy his posts.
Deborah A Wolf says
Fellow Texans I relate re plants vs light vs too much heat
Love your books
Andrea Rasdale says
Not mad about the accidental animal pictures. Can always add more
Im glad your not divorcing. My husband and i are splitting. We have 3 little girls. I have no idea if we will get back together or continue on for divorce. Im drained. Sorry. Just throwing that out to the universe.
Andrea Smith says
Set the orchids close to the lemon trees grow light. I’ve had orchids stay bloomed 3-4 months under the grow light.
Jus Fung says
I love that Kid 2’s response to parental tension is a lemon tree. Just brilliant. In terms of lemon tree growth – not sure how cold it gets in Texas but here in Melbourne, Australia our lemon tree survives all the temperature ups and downs. The big thing is the ph levels and acidity. My son researched – and now when his mates come over to visit and ask where the loo (bathroom) is located – he sends them out to the lemon tree. Totally true story. They are instructed to keep their backs to the house though (an awkward thing to do considering how close to the house the tree is) but his sister’s bedroom faces the garden sooooo ….
Your kids both sound so awesome and so much fun. How do you get a kid like that? Soul deal with the devil? Black market? I’ll give you 20 lemon trees for Kid 2 😀 😀 😀
Any day with a Sookie picture is a good day. More Sookie. Just a blog post of Sookie pictures. I’m here for it.
Wow. Your cat has almost a human face on him. He would probably make a better Cats movie then the last ones….
orchids need a temperature difference between day and night to spike. once it spikes (throws out that stem that is going to be a flower and not a leaf) try to keep it cool, if its warm, it basically tries to flower too fast and if its too warm, doesn’t do it at all. i leave my orchids outside until right before the first frost then i move them to the master bath/greenhouse which has lot of windows and isn’t as well insulated. After the spikes get significantly long , i’ll move them downstairs where its warmer and that is where they bloom. if they aren’t too warm, i’ve had mine stay in bloom for almost 4 months!
Maybe you wish to take a look at these self-watering pots: https://www.lechuza.us/planters/
I keep my Meyer lemon, Kumquat, Limequat and Thai lemon trees in these pots (I use “Cottage Cube 40 cm”) and in their own special substrate “Lechuza Pon”.
The trees thrive and fruit for 4 years.
Watering is needed, when the indicator goes to the lower setting and stays there for a week. The Pon substrate prevents overwatering.
No need to wash the roots before planting – take the plant out of the old pot, set it into the larger Lechuza and fill the gaps with Pon.
Feeding is also easy – I use Lechuza own organic plant feed, twice a year in March and August.
In winter I use plant lights, because the trees stay in warm conditions and require more light than my windows can provide. In summer the trees stay outside.
This system finally allowed me to grow citrus trees – I tried several times before, unsuccessfully. Actually, I grow my fig trees, Oamacha hydrangea, all my house plants and even my orchids in this system.
I get no money for this recommendation. I am just a happy user 🙂
You should plant your tree now. We have a potted Meyer lemon tree that we will move into the garage for freezes. The February freeze kill many of our outdoor plants, including the ones in the garage, but the lemon did just fine. Its a tree and will be dormant in the winter. Non-tropical trees tend to handle freezes okay.
fyi, I would not recommend potting it like we did. It stunts it growth and lemon potential.
Jennie Baas says
Speaking from many years of experience & a few years spent in greenhouses.
YES!!! A drainage hole is necessary. I always put my plants in terra cotta pots. They “breath” through the pores in the pot so it’s harder to over water. Not impossible, just harder.
Pot size: if It’s starting to get root bound (seeing roots starting to come out of the drainage hole)
Go 1 size up . Example from a 6″ diameter to an 8″ diameter. If It’s not getting root bound either leave in It’s pot or pick one about the same size. Also, I like miracle grow house plant potting soil.
Nobody knows why pots are so expensive. It’s a mystery of the umiverse.
It’s interesting to see the symbolism of lemon trees:
“Even today, the lemon tree is still used to attract good luck and clear the air of negativity.”
CC in Houston says
Is your lemon a dwarf or full size? The difference is 5-7 feet and up to 10 feet for the full size. Meyers are a zone 8-11 plant–I’m not sure what zone you are in–but that is important only if the tree is planted in the ground. In Houston (where I live) we grow them in the ground. My sister lost hers in the Big Freeze but it was about 15 years old and loaded with lemons in season (enough for her and a small town). These are absolutely not house plants–they require a great deal of sun. You can grow it in a pot but if we have weather like last winter (an unlikely eventuality) be prepared to put it in a garage. We had snow in Houston a few years ago and my sister’s tree was fine.
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews for the post.
Here in NC, USA my climate zone is too cold for lemon trees. However I had a banana tree in a big clay pot that migrated in and out until a certain 4 legged canine puppy came to live with me. There was an unfortunate excavation accident followed by a drag through dog door and around the yard. It didn’t survive the experience. Sigh
however, I am sure your local agricultural department can give you good advice on growing in your zone. If need be you can check with Florida agricultural department as citrus is a big agricultural crop for state.
Grow light is good idea. You need to check the specs on bulb to make sure you get the best for optimal health of your lemon tree. I would suggest assigning that to Gordon as different bulbs have different wavelengths and it can be a frustrating process. Different types of trees have different light wavelength requirements as well as temperature differentials.
Loved the 5th flower picture. ????
Wow, evidently Meyer lemon trees are very popular. I got several websites to check out information on. I planted an avocado seed in my flowers last spring, and its 2 ft tall now.
Only two FYI things, inexpensive pot water saucers are oil changing pans from the dollar store. I’m still looking for something for water saucers that will hold my Smart Pots, 25 inches across, so if anyone has some budget ideas I’d love to hear them. I used 2’x4′ cheap tarps gathered with rope through the eyelets last summer, tacky but effective and two pots fit in each one.
The other tip is to put bubble wrap around the inside of breakable pots in cold areas that freeze hard, if you plant directly into them. I asked about preventing breakage at a store where I was admiring some expensive pottery pots and that was her suggestion.
If you plant in a draining pot and place that pot inside a pretty
non-drain pottery pot any draining water would provide humidity for your tree. Building a rolling base sized to your pot would be a nice change of pace from RF.
Deborah Young Parker says
I agree with the cheap clay pot advice, but keep in mind that those pots leech water so you want to put something under the saucer if it’s sitting on a hardwood surface or something you don’t want stained. The other thing you have to think about is as this tree gets bigger the pot/soil/tree will be very heavy. The day will come when you’ll need to put the pot on a plant dolly. I speak from experience. I have a sago palm that is sitting in a ceramic pot. It weighs about 120/130 pounds. There’s no moving this thing by myself any longer. Every time I tell my landscaper I want to move this pot he gets a look on his face like I’ve ask him to murder a puppy. Because I didn’t put a pot Dolly underneath it to begin with, when I did move it to one it took about half an hour at the most careful maneuvering I’ve ever performed with a plant pot. Just my two cents.
Love that picture of the “shrinking violet” smack in the middle of the group of violet pictures!
I was reading this post, enjoying the slice of life, and then… Oliver! I’m a cat person and he is super gorgeous! Catstruck… Also rereading the Innkeeper and I’m at exactly the point that Dina acquires her cat, who in my imagination looks just like Oliver.
Elizabeth Waterbury says
I have had a Meyer lemon tree for many years. Sometimes the 3 ft tall tree gives me 12 lemons at a time! They eat a lot of citrus food, and I have only gotten lemons from the blooms when it has spent time outside and been pollinated by insects and birds.
Good luck! The flowers smell amazing even if you don’t get lemons.
I’m not a cat person, but I think I am in love with Oliver.
Sorry I don’t know anything about pot or vases or Lemon tree
In Florida I just plant all that stuff outside. Orchids along carport driveway because they get indirect light that way (on a trellis set up at edge of carport under carport roof). Lemon trees and Persian limes just anywhere in yard (persian limes for drinks, Key limes for dessert). Lots of water. That’s in the Tampa Bay area (actually just a mile from Madeira Beach in Pinellas county).
Ms. Kim says
To be accurate, the Persian Lime in growing out of my deck in the back, just a few feet from seawall. So far, so good.
Paula Lieberman says
I seem to recall having had a citrus tree survive a New England winter in the trunk of my car…
Oliver is gorgeous. I know nothing about growing lemons, or anything else, inside, except they do need a lot of light so you’ll want to keep it outside except when it’s going to drop below 45 to 50, probably. Not sure on the cutoff for a potted tree. Only time I grew Meyer lemons was outside in zone 8 and they did survive the winters in NW Florida for a while, so if planted in the ground you have more grace than in a pot.
Love your beautiful violets, you must have a green thumb. My uncle used to grow lemon, orange and lemonade trees. Lemon trees need a lot of light so will probably need a grow light if your house is as dark as you suggested. They also need very good drainage and a nitrogen rich fertilizer. The planting guide on the label should give you an idea of how big your plant is going to get so you can pot into a large enough pot, don’t one size up or you will be having to replant as it grows. I’ve only seen lemon trees in quite large pots that are too heavy to move easily.
Used coffee grounds are good for citrus, also stone fruit and roses.
I don’t know if you can still find them,but my grandad would use old-school Christmas lights to protect his plants during a freeze. (The big ones that give out just a little heat)
I love having a lemon tree. Good luck ????
You should totally search grow lights + pot and see what types of online businesses advertise to you after that.
If you like growing things have you seen the Farmstand by Lettuce Grow? I am in the DFW area and have been so happy growing lots of flowers and lettuce among other things. You can use it indoors with grow lights – prop it up near your lemon tree.
Beth Leffler says
Oliver looks to be thinking, ” The pot should be big enough for me to poop in, of course…” Because cats…
I would get one of the half wine barrels and a furniture moving dolly. It would have enough room so the roots won’t get impacted and the dolly will allow you to roll it out onto the patio when spring arrives. Think of it as your own medieval orangery.
Looks like there’s a lot of good advice on your tree! I just wanted to add:
I have friends who are full time RVers who stay down in extreme South Texas in the winter; the campgrounds they stay at have citrus trees planted among the campsites, and they can walk out and pick fruit off the trees.
Pardon my terseness, I work as a technical writer. ????
Meyer lemons are a hybrid of an orange and a lemon, if I recall correctly.
Yes, you absolutely need a draining pot, preferably a terracotta one. Limonaeas (sp?) are common in the Mediterranean, still.
Try bottom watering to reduce overwatering, theoretically this makes it so the soil only absorbs so much water. I’ve had good luck with it for my pass along plant (aka Chinese money plant), fig tree, and other indoor plants.
Now I understand why Curran is grey
CC in Houston says
It’s interesting to read all the comments from my neighbors in Texas whose pots dry out requiring daily watering. I am in Houston and grow a lot of flowers in pots because the pool takes up so much room. You can buy water holding crystals to mix in the soil (also water holding fabric — cut to fit) that makes all the difference. Kinsman is a great website and has both. Professional landscapers know all about these products but for some reason most home gardeners don’t know they exist. You use a very small amount of the crystals in the bottom 2/3’s of the pot. Kinsman also sells a water holding material that you can inject into existing pots (like a caulking gun).
The lemons will like the warmth and will need a lot of light. I don’t think your winters are too bad so unless it gets unseasonably cold they probably can actually go in ground. You will definitely want a pot with drainage- they will need sandy well draining soil.
Cheryl Sue Weiss says
Oliver looks like I imagine the “Ripper of Souls” cat looks in the innkeeper series
Moderator R says
Bingo! Oliver is indeed the inspiration behind Olasard ????.
Lara S. says
We keep our lemon and lime trees in pots outside and then in a small greenhouse in the backyard with lots of friends and a heater. Surprisingly they survived the winter blast with no heat for 24 hours when the power went out and the lemon tree currently has 6 huge lemons trying to finish ripening before the first frost. We are just north of Austin. So all this to say, they can be a pain and delicate but also hardy and resilient. They don’t need as much water in winter bc they aren’t actively producing. Good luck! And try putting several other plants around it so they share humidity.