Growing your own plants from seed is a gratifying way to see the results of your time and effort. Although starting out with hard-to-kill house plants and succulents is a popular way to begin your journey as a plant mom or dad, you can also go a different route by using the seeds from the fruits and veggies you eat. Here's how to grow lemon seeds from your freshly squeezed lemon into a lovely lemon tree!
Lemon trees are beautiful, with white flowers and glossy green leaves. They also produce a wonderful, citrus fragrance that will waft through your house or garden as they mature. You can DIY grow a lemon tree from the seeds of a grocery store-bought lemon, making the process easy and sustainable! One method for germinating lemon seeds involves a damp paper towel in a plastic bag, but this technique grows your lemon plant from the pot. All you need is a lemon, planting supplies, a sunny windowsill, and a bit of patience.
Step-by-step How to Grow Lemon Trees
Start out by choosing a juicy, flavorful lemon. Organic lemons are best for this, since most non-organic ones have non-germinating seeds. Take the lemon seeds out and rinse them thoroughly, removing any pulp or sugar from the surface, as this will keep the lemon tree from growing. It's important to plant your seed immediately, as letting it dry out will decrease the chances of survival.
Get a small flower pot, about 12 inches deep and 24 inches wide, with drainage holes at the bottom. Fill it with fertile potting soil and a natural fertilizer like compost. Moisten the soil with water. Then, plant your seed while the soil is still moist, about half an inch deep in the middle of the pot. Spray the soil right above the seed a few times with water.
Cover the pot with clear plastic wrap, place a rubber band around the rim to seal the edges, and poke a few small holes in the top with a pencil. The lemon tree's growing conditions should mimic the warm climates that it is native to, so place the pot in a sunny location, where direct sunlight will consistently stream in. If this isn't available, you can use grow lights. It's also best to use a warm location, around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water your lemon seed occasionally, keeping the soil moist at all times. However, be careful of overwatering, and make sure the water never puddles at the bottom of the pot. Germination usually takes about two weeks. When your plant germinates, a small sprout should emerge through the soil! When the plant begins sprouting, take the plastic covering off.
Continue keeping the soil damp, and ensure that your lemon seedling receives at least eight hours of sunlight every day. Keep giving it moderate doses of organic fertilizer. Keep a close eye on the plant for disease or fungus, and prune off any brown leaves. When your seedling outgrows its little pot, transfer it to a larger one.
You won't see fruit or flowers for a few years, but with proper care, your citrus tree will bear fruit after about six years. At this point, you can squeeze juice from the fruits of your very own lemon tree!