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Propagating Lemon Seeds: Can You Grow A Lemon Tree Seed

I would venture to say that we all grasp the concept that seed planting yields produce. Most of us probably buy prepackaged seeds from the local nursery or online, but did you realize that you can harvest your own seeds from fruits and vegetables to propagate? How about citrus fruits? Can you grow a lemon tree from seed, for example?

Can You Grow a Lemon Tree From Seed?

Yes, indeed. Propagating lemon seeds is a relatively easy process, although you may need to pack your patience and realize that you may not get the exact same lemon from your experiment in lemon seed propagation.

Commercially grafted citrus trees are identical to the parent tree and fruit within two to three years. However, trees produced via seed are not carbon copies of the parent and may take five or more years to fruit, with the resulting fruit generally inferior to those of the parent. For that matter, your growing lemon tree seeds may never produce fruit, but it is a fun experiment and the resulting tree will no doubt be a lovely, living citrus specimen.

How to Grow Lemon Trees from Seed

The first step in propagating lemon seeds is to select a good tasting, juicy lemon. Remove the seeds from the pulp and wash them to remove any clinging flesh and sugar that can foster fungal disease, which will kill off your seed, by the way. You want to use only fresh seeds and plant them immediately; letting them dry out will decrease the chance that they will germinate.

Fill a small pot with pasteurized soil mix or a mix of half peat moss and half perlite or sand and pasteurize it yourself. Pasteurization will also aid in removing any harmful pathogens that can kill your seedling. Plant several lemon seeds about ½ inch (1 cm.) deep to increase the chance for lemon seed propagation. Moisten the soil lightly and cover the top of the pot with plastic wrap to aid in water retention. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.

Keep your growing lemon tree seeds in an area that is around 70 degrees F. (21 C.); the top of the fridge is ideal. Once the seedlings emerge, move the container into brighter light and remove the plastic. When the seedlings have several sets of leaves, transplant them to larger, 4- to 6-inch (10-15 cm.) pots filled with sterile potting medium. Fertilize them with a water soluble fertilizer high in potassium every two to four weeks and keep the soil moist.

The propagated lemon seedlings should have at least four hours of direct sun with temps between 60-70 degrees F. (15-21 C.). As the tree gets larger, prune it in the early spring and repot as needed to encourage new growth and fruiting. Cease fertilizing and reduce water in the winter and keep the tree in a draft free area.

There you have it; a lemon tree from seed. Remember though, it may take as long as 15 years before you are squeezing those lemons for lemonade!

Most of us probably buy seeds from the local nursery or online, but you can harvest your own seeds from fruits and vegetables too. How about citrus fruits? Can you grow a lemon tree from seed, for example? Read this article to find out more.

How to Plant a Lemon Seed

Last Updated: September 16, 2020 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry, MPH. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. He has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

There are 29 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 26 testimonials and 89% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

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Lemons can be easily grown from seed and are a wonderful looking plant. You can propagate the seeds directly in soil, or in a plastic resealable bag with a damp paper towel. This article will show you how to plant lemon seeds using both methods. It will also give you tips on how to choose the best lemon seed, and how to take care of your seedling.

Related wikiHows

  1. ↑http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/lemons/propagating-lemon-seeds.htm
  2. ↑https://growingwildceeds.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/how-to-grow-a-lemon-tree-from-seed/
  3. ↑http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1797
  4. ↑https://growingwildceeds.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/how-to-grow-a-lemon-tree-from-seed/
  5. ↑http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com/how-to-grow-a-lemon-tree-from-seed-easily-in-your-own-home/
  6. ↑http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/lemons/propagating-lemon-seeds.htm
  7. ↑http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/lemons/propagating-lemon-seeds.htm
  8. ↑http://www.weekendgardener.net/tree-information/how.to.grow.and.care.for.a.lemon.tree.htm
  9. ↑http://www.underwoodgardens.com/slide-gardening-tips-and-tricks/seed-orientation-planting-improves-germination/
  1. ↑http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com/how-to-grow-a-lemon-tree-from-seed-easily-in-your-own-home/
  2. ↑http://joybileefarm.com/meyer-lemon-tree/
  3. ↑http://www.kitchenbutterfly.com/2013/04/12/how-to-grow-meyer-lemons-from-seed/
  4. ↑http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com/how-to-grow-a-lemon-tree-from-seed-easily-in-your-own-home/
  5. ↑http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1797
  6. ↑http://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/03/how-to-grow-a-citrus-tree-from-seed/
  7. ↑http://www.kitchenbutterfly.com/2013/04/12/how-to-grow-meyer-lemons-from-seed/
  8. ↑http://joybileefarm.com/meyer-lemon-tree/
  9. ↑https://growingwildceeds.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/how-to-grow-a-lemon-tree-from-seed/
  10. ↑http://joybileefarm.com/meyer-lemon-tree/
  11. ↑https://growingwildceeds.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/how-to-grow-a-lemon-tree-from-seed/
  12. ↑http://joybileefarm.com/meyer-lemon-tree/
  13. ↑https://growingwildceeds.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/how-to-grow-a-lemon-tree-from-seed/
  14. ↑http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/lemons/propagating-lemon-seeds.htm
  15. ↑http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1797
  16. ↑http://joybileefarm.com/meyer-lemon-tree/
  17. ↑http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1797
  18. ↑http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1797
  19. ↑http://joybileefarm.com/meyer-lemon-tree/
  20. Huws Nursery, How to Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed

About This Article

To plant a lemon seed, first cut open a plump, juicy lemon and extract the seeds from the pulp. Choose an undamaged seed and rinse it under cool water. Then, find a small pot with drainage holes on the bottom and fill it with pasteurized soil mix. Push your seed ½ inch (1 cm) below the surface. Lightly moisten the soil with lukewarm water and cover the top of the pot with plastic wrap to help the soil retain its moisture. Place the pot in a warm spot that gets indirect sunlight. Lightly water your lemon seed every day to keep the soil moist but not soaked. Once seedlings appear, move the pot into direct sunlight and take the plastic wrap off. Transfer the seedling to a large pot or well-draining area in your yard when the first leaves appear. If possible, do this in the spring right before the growing season. Keep your lemon tree indoors if your local temperature ever drops below 45°F (7°C). Water the plant as needed to keep the soil moist, but not soaked. Fertilize the soil once a month between April and August with a water-soluble fertilizer that’s high in potassium and nitrogen to encourage growth. Keep reading to learn how to sprout seeds in a plastic bag!

How to Plant a Lemon Seed. Lemons can be easily grown from seed and are a wonderful looking plant. You can propagate the seeds directly in soil, or in a plastic resealable bag with a damp paper towel. This article will show you how to…