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Plant of the Week: Improved Meyer Lemon

Citrus x meyeri

Plant of the Week: Improved Meyer Lemon

Home grown citrus is one of the many benefits of living in our climate. Satsumas, Oranges, Kumquats and yes….Lemons! Whether it’s Icebox Lemon Pie and ice cold lemonade in the summer, or warm tea with lemon and honey in the winter you crave, the Improved Meyer Lemon fills the bill every time.

Plant Characteristics: Meyer Lemons are evergreen trees that can reach 8-10 feet tall. The foliage should be dark glossy green. The blossoms which eventually develop into fruit are fragrant white and pink flowers. They are fast growing trees that like to be planted in rich, well-drained soil in an area of the yard that gets 6 or more hours of direct sunlight each day. The bright yellow lemons are sweeter than other lemons. This hybrid was crossed between a Mandarin orange and traditional lemon creating this sweet tart flavor. The foliage and fruit are safe for pets to get into.

Plant Care: Now is the perfect time of year to plant your Meyer Lemon. Fertilize during its blooming periods with a citrus specific fertilizer. When the fruit has set, remove it before a freeze during the winter or the fruit will be ruined. This tree is susceptible to freeze damage so you should protect it during periods of extended cold weather. Prune as desired when the plant is in a growth cycle and the blossoming has completed.

Uses: Pair this small tree with a pot for an amazing gift for Christmas that will give the recipient year-round happiness. The citrus we get here at Louisiana Nursery are all locally grown by a family owned grower just south of New Orleans which allows you to “Shop Local”. This also means you know where the citrus is coming from and what conditions it has already been adapted to. These trees can be kept in containers for several years allowing them to be protected more easily during winter freezes.

Hardier than other more hassle prone fruit trees, the Meyer Lemon is great starter tree for anyone who wants to learn how to garden at home. Bearing fruit often, the results are exciting for anyone who is just starting out. With a little care and protection, you too can reap the rewards of home grown edibles!

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