Meyer Lemons Ready To Harvest

One of two potted Meyer lemons flanking the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Library entry

One of two potted Meyer lemons flanking the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Library entry

Fruit from the two Meyer lemon plants

Fruit from two Meyer lemon plants

Every Tuesday when I go through the Birmingham Botanical Garden library to wash up in the nearby restroom, I see these two Meyer lemon plants. They are cared for by library director Hope Lange, and she is really doing something right as you can see how many fruits she harvested from the two citrus plants yesterday. Meyer lemon is one of the best citrus plants to grow in containers. I think the containers these are growing in are big enough for the amount of the root growth to support the top growth. You can almost never get a container too large for these lemons, but too small a pot can limit fruit production. Sunshine, fertile rich soil, good fertilization with a high nitrogen fertilizer, and keeping the soil moist but not wet are the keys to growing great plants. Not only do these plants product delicious fruit, their fragrant blooms are a delight in spring. So what is the draw back of Meyer lemons? Cold weather is this plant’s enemy. Any temperature below 32 degrees is bad for the plant and will cause leaf drop and can also injure or kill the plants. So, now with our cool night temperatures, bring yours indoors and put it in a sunny location. I only wish mine here at home would produce fruit like Hope’s produces.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

4 thoughts on “Meyer Lemons Ready To Harvest

  1. When the plant is in flower and/or fruiting, watering should be increased to support all the extra energy the plant is expending.

  2. Good evening John. Kudos for the great website and information.
    With regard to citrus trees in our area I always told customers to keep the plants as cool as possible during the winter to retard infestations of spider mites and to initiate greater flower production in the spring. I recommended plants be placed in an unheated area when temperatures threatened to drop below 30 for eight (8) hours. Citrus , as you well know, must have the cold treatment to form fruit. To test their hardiness at the store, I left one of each variety outside all winter, moving them into the unheated warehouse when temperatures hit 28 degrees, There was significant damage to the foliage, (instant defoliation followed by new growth) with amazing flower production.
    Customers frequently complained about lots of flowers but no fruit. Hand pollination was suggested with excellent results.

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