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Citrus x limon

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Citrus limona
  • Citrus X meyeri
Phonetic Spelling
SI-trus LEE-mown
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

The lemon is a species of small evergreen trees in the Rutaceae family that grows 10 to 20 feet tall and usually has sharp thorns on its twigs.  It is a hybrid citrus that produces bright yellow fruits that have a tart, acidic taste.  Some research has found that the lemon might have originated in northern India. It is not cold hardy so in cooler zones, it can be grown in a container that can be overwintered indoors in a well-lit area that is not too warm.  Plants respond well to being placed outdoors during the summer months in cold climates.  In its hardiness zones, it will bloom all year and keep its leaves all year.

The lemon requires full sun, protected from the wind. They need plenty of water during the growing season and regular small applications of nitrogenous fertilizer to promote growth and fruit size. It prefers a pH of 5 - 6 but will tolerate a neutral or alkaline range as well.  They need very little pruning, only to keep its shape.  Lemons are propagated by seed.

Lemon has many medicinal uses including as a preventive.  Lemon is high in Vitamin C which is good for the body.  The juice is a good astringent, a diuretic, as an antioxidant, can be used in a gargle to help sore throats and prevent colds, and also as an antibacterial.  It can aid in digestion and reduce gas.  Overuse can impact tooth enamel.

Plant outside for year-round enjoyment in the proper hardiness zone or put in a planter for movement inside when the weather turns cold. Lemon dislikes root disturbance so it should be placed in its permanent location outside when young. If growing them in pots, great care must be taken when moving them to larger containers.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant may cause contact dermatitis in some people.  Insect and disease problems may include mealybugs, red spiders, scale, citrus canker, sooty mold, aphids, anthracnose, fuzzy gray mold and brown spots, and lemon scab. 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Meyer'
Tags:
#fragrant#thorns#evergreen#fragrant flowers#houseplant#white flowers#fragrant leaves#frost tender#medicinal#fruit tree#yellow fruits#edible fruits#fragrant fruits#evergreen tree#citrus fragrance#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical feel#contact dermatitis#container plant#shade intolerant#showy#acid soils tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Meyer'
Tags:
#fragrant#thorns#evergreen#fragrant flowers#houseplant#white flowers#fragrant leaves#frost tender#medicinal#fruit tree#yellow fruits#edible fruits#fragrant fruits#evergreen tree#citrus fragrance#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical feel#contact dermatitis#container plant#shade intolerant#showy#acid soils tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Citrus
    Species:
    limon
    Family:
    Rutaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Lemon juice, fresh, canned, concentrated and frozen, or dehydrated and powdered, is primarily used for lemonade, in carbonated beverages, or other drinks. It is also used for making pies and tarts, as a flavoring for cakes, cookies, cake icings, puddings, sherbet, hard candy, preserves and pharmaceutical products. It is also used in salad dressings. Slices of lemon are served as a garnish on fish or meat or with iced or hot tea which allows it to be added to the drink. Lemon peel oil is used in furniture polishes, detergents, soaps, and shampoos. The fruit contains bergapten, which is used in tanning lotions as it promotes pigmentation in the skin. The leaves are used in wreaths and bouquets due to their dark green color and lemony fragrance.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Grafting
    Seed
    Distribution:
    All tropical, sub-tropical regions around the world
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Colorful
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Edibility:
    It's fruits are edible
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Houseplant
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Open
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Thorns
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit is oval and very aromatic, with a nipple-like protrusion at the end of the fruit. The fruit is light to bright yellow in color.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Mildly fragrant flowers may be solitary, or there may be two or more. Buds are reddish. Once open, the flowers are white on upper surface, purplish beneath.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    New leaves are reddish but turn dark green as they mature. The underside of the leaf is light green in color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Lawn
    Patio
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Small Tree
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
    Spines/Thorns
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Vomiting, diarrhea, depression; potential dermatitis. The fruit is edible, skins and plant material can cause problems.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Essential oils and psoralens, geraniol, citral and d-limonene
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes