Have any extra lemon seeds laying around? Why not plant an indoor lemon tree?
As we all know, lemons are one of the best fruits for fighting off colds and protecting us from cancer (thanks to their high vitamin C concentration). They are also packed with beneficial calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and potassium. Their acidic properties are converted alkaline once digested by the body, making them one of the most alkaline fruits on the planet.
Lemons are much easier to grow than other citrus fruits, and you can do it right in your own backyard (even indoors!). Growing your own food is one of the most empowering things you could do for yourself – and with price costs increasing on food by the day, we can only afford to start growing our own food.
Growing your own food also helps keep your body free from any chemical contamination associated with non-organic lemons.
Lemon trees normally flourish outdoors in hot, sunny regions, but not many people know that you can grow them indoors in cold-season climates. Although it may take your tree 3-6 years to be capable of producing fruit, starting now in anticipation of your future endeavours can be incredibly rewarding.
To grow a lemon tree from seed, you’ll need the following:
– 1 organic lemon (most conventional, non-organic lemons contain non-germinating seeds). Try looking for the meyer lemon variety as they are smaller and are usually grown for ornamental purposes (thus better suited for indoors)
– potting soil, preferably containing peat, vermiculite, perlite and natural organic fertilizers
– planting pot 6 inches wide and 6 inches deep
– seedling pot 24 inches wide by 12 inches deep
– sunny growing area inside your house, and possibly a suitable lamp for continued lighting (when lemon seeds are sprouting and growing from a young stage, they require around 10-14 hours of light each day. If your house doesn’t provide this type of lighting, invest in a grow light. They are cheap and will ensure your lemon tree grows strong and healthy)
1. Moisten your potting soil. Put your soil in a large prepping bucket, and mix in some water until it is damp all the way through.
2. Fill your planting pot with the dampened soil. Leave an inch of space just below the rim of the pot.
3. Open your lemon and find a seed that looks plump and ready to sprout. Remove all of the pulp from its surface, ensuring it stays wet and doesn’t dry out. A good way to do this is to suck on it until it is clean.
4. While still moist, plant your seed about half and inch below the soil. cover, and water gently with a spray bottle.
5. Cover the spot with clear plastic wrap, and seal the edges with a rubber band. Poke small holes on top with a tooth pick or pencil.
6. Place the pot in a warm, sunlit location to allow it to germinate and sprout.
7. Observe your seedling for the next few days. Make sure the potting soil stays moist. Also, make sure there isn’t too much heat inside, otherwise you will cook your seed! If you feel your soil is warm enough without plastic, then you can probably remove the plastic.
8. In 2 weeks, you should see a sprout emerge. At this point you can take the plastic covering off (if you haven’t already). If you need more light for your plant at this stage, you can use a grow light to supplement the sun’s light.
9. From this point forward, you want to make sure your plant has adequate water, sunlight and food to help it grow:
Water: Make sure the soil is damp at all times, but also make sure it doesn’t sit in a puddle of stagnant water. Drainage holes at the bottom of your container will help keep the soil the perfect consistency.
Sunlight: Make sure your plant receives sunlight from a warm sunny window for at least 8 hours a day (direct sunlight). Otherwise, supplement some sun with a grow light.
Food: Feeding your plant with organic fertilizer, like compost or vermicompost will ensure your plant grows healthy and strong. Dig a little trench around the base of your tree and fill with compost. Once finished, water it well. Feed it 2-3 times a year, but do not overfeed.
Potting: Transfer your plant carefully to seedling pot once it has sprouted into a stable mini-plant. Usually after a couple months, you can transfer it. You will have to transfer it a few times throughout the years to ensure the plant has enough root space to grow.
10. Give your plant love! Our plants listen to us, and they like when we talk to them. Sing to it, and carefully touch the leaves every now and then. Watch for browning leaves and check for any bugs that may harm your tree.
As an extra tip – allow your lemon tree to grow without pruning when possible. Removing green leaves slows the growth of the tree. Avoid pruning in late summer or fall.
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