In order to grow lemons at home successfully, you need to place them in a sunny place. There must be enough light on the windowsill where you grow the lemon, because it is impossible to grow a lemon tree in an insufficiently lit place. But it should also be protected from direct sunlight. If the place on the windowsill where the lemon grows is dark, you should think about installing 2-3 normal daylight bulbs. They are turned on early in the morning and evening, extending the daylight hours to 12 hours in summer and 8 hours in winter. In spring and summer, if there is a balcony or loggia, the lemon will be cozier there than on the window in the room, but even there it must be protected from the sun. If the lemon is not grown in an apartment but in a private house, take it with the pot to a room with a temperature of 6-10 degrees in winter (an insulated veranda, for example), so it sinks into a state of rest. Some of the leaves, of course, he will lose, but by spring he will become more hardened.
Preparing the soil for the lemon. Planting and transplanting
Transplanting is done immediately after the plant is brought home after purchase. Plant the lemon should be in a mixture of sod soil, humus and sand, and the ratio of these components depends on the age of the lemon tree: up to 3 years he needs 2 parts of sod soil and 1 part each of leaf soil, humus and sand, at age 3 to 10 years – 3 parts of turf, 0.5 parts of the leaf and 1 part each of humus and sand, with 10 years – 4 parts of turf, 1 part each of humus and sand.
Planting a lemon is not particularly difficult. A container in which you are going to plant a lemon, must have a drainage hole in the bottom, but on the bottom, be sure to put coarse gravel and 3-5 cm of river coarse sand for drainage. Then the plant is placed, and all the space is filled with the soil mixture that is needed according to the age of the tree. Important condition: the root neck when planting should be at the level of the soil. And one more thing: up to 3 years old, the lemon is transplanted annually, from 3 to 10 years – once every two years, and from 10 years – as needed.
The basics of lemon care: watering, feeding, pruning
The care of a lemon is available to everyone. When growing lemons at home, you need to be careful and, first of all, ensure timely watering, especially in summer, during the period of intense growth.
It should be done daily, if necessary, and twice a day, and on hot and dry days it is good to spray the lemon with water at room temperature. In winter, watering is reduced to 2 times a week, and if it is placed in a cool place – to 1 time a week. If possible, use rainwater or snow, if not – the water from the tap stand in the light for 24 hours to volatilize the chlorine. Constantly need to monitor the humidity of the air – in the 3-4-year old lemon is especially necessary. Therefore, the window next to the lemon can be set wide dishes with water, and cover the batteries with a damp cloth.
From the dry air in early spring, when plants are preparing to flower, the buds dry out and fall off. Lemons do not like drafts either.
Usually when growing at home, lemons have two distinct growth periods: February-March-early April and late August-September. During this time, a large number of shoots appear, then the older shoots begin to blossom and bear fruit. The first flowering in a healthy lemon is usually accompanied by an intensive setting of fruits, some of which spontaneously fall off, i.e. the tree itself regulates the number of fruits that can ripen.
The lemon begins to bear fruit in the room at 3-4 years of age. In the first years of fruiting, some amateurs grow lemons at home do not overload it with harvest, so that the plant does not break. At 14-15 leaves leave one ovary, at a mature age – one ovary per 10-11 leaves.
In order to speed up fruiting, grafting is often used. Grafting is usually done on young 2-3 year old plants. If you decide to graft a lemon, use a sharp knife to cut off a bud with a piece of bark from the scion (the fruiting lemon) and insert it in a notch in the scion. Tie off the graft and cut off half of the scion above the graft.
Lemon can blossom, though less abundantly, and a second time, if the autumn is warm and the apartment was heated. There may be a number of fruits. If in the spring few of them set, and some of them have ripened by the fall, more fruits set and ripen in the fall than in the spring. If a lot of fruit is set in the spring, then most of the fall ovaries will fall off.
Lemons growing at home in a tub mostly suffer from drying out of the ground clump. Therefore, use the traditional way to save moisture – mulching: non-acidic peat, fully decomposed humus or plant groundcover plants with shallow roots – tradescantia, sedum, piperomia small-leaved, etc.
During intensive growth and fruiting spend organic feedings (apply liquid cowpea on the surface), alternating with mineral feeding consisting of nitrogen fertilizers, and spraying leaves with 0.196 – 0.3% solution of trace elements. Carry out feeding once every 10 days.
During flowering for fruit setting the flowers can be sprayed with a solution of 20 g of magnesium sulfate and 2 g of boron per 10 liters of water for the filling of the fruit give root dressing of 20 g of potassium sulfate, 10 g of urea, 10 g of superphosphate and 5 g of magnesium sulfate per 10 liters of water. For small plants, the dose is reduced.
The crown of young lemon trees (up to 3-4 years of age) is formed in the form of a bush with 3-4 trunks, pruning one-year stump at a height of 10 – 15 cm to develop lateral buds. Lateral shoots require pruning over the 4th leaf, which is necessary for the development of branches of the first order, and so do until the appearance of branches of the 4th-5th order, they are the main fruit-bearing. At a young age, lemons often have fat shoots, and if the crown of the tree does not cause concern, it is necessary to trim these shoots on the ring. If there are few leaves, i.e. the crown is thinned, 1/4 part of the greasy shoots are left.
Lemon propagation at home
Lemon can be propagated by both seeds and cuttings. When grown from seed, lemons begin to bear fruit after 13 years or more. The cuttings can reduce this period by several times. To obtain a new plant by cuttings, shoots with 3-4 leaves are cut off. Cuttings are placed in a light substrate, watered, sprayed and covered with film or glass.
Lemons, like other plants, have pests. You should carefully inspect the plants while taking care of them, because growing a healthy lemon means getting a good harvest. Spider mite, which in dry air settles as a colony on the lower leaves, is sprayed with water-oil emulsion: 1 tsp. machine or vegetable oil and 1 tsp. laundry detergent or liquid soap per 1 liter of water. The same way to get rid of scabies. If this solution does not help, then use DECIS. Against aphids spray infusion garlic: 100 g of garlic pour 150 g of water, insist 5-6 days, then 50 g of infusion diluted in 5 – 6 liters of water. If the garlic remedy does not help, use INTA-VIR.
And one more thing: barnyard fertilize only in spring and summer, when a lot of sunlight, do not do it in autumn and winter to avoid rotting processes in the root system.