A cross between a lemon and a sweet orange, Meyer lemons boast a sweeter, fuller, more perfumed flavor than their tarter cousins. Our gift set includes a Meyer lemon tree, lemon sea salt, Lemon & Citron jam and a rubber-rimmed, steel-clamped Weck jar for making your own lemon preserves. Agricultural regulations prohibit shipments to Florida and Texas.
A sunny, frost- and wind-free location with southern exposure is best. (If in doubt, leave the tree in its plastic container and place it in the spot you have in mind. Water as needed, and after a week or two you should be able to tell whether or not it's happy.)
Reflected heat from sidewalks, walls, driveways, or other structures can help to create a warmer microclimate. Avoid planting citrus trees in lawns that get frequent, shallow sprinklings. Don't crowd your tree, for even though it is a dwarf, it will need room for its eight- to ten-foot ultimate diameter.
Citrus trees are famous for tolerating a wide variety of soils, including clay. However, good drainage is essential, as citrus trees can't survive standing water for long. To test your drainage, dig a hole 30" deep where you would like to place the tree. Fill with water to saturate the soil. The next day refill it with water. Your drainage is OK if the water level drops 2" in two hours. If the water does not drain well, plant your tree in a raised bed and then amend the soil as described in the following paragraph.
Soils rich in humus are best. For heavy or poor soils, we recommend digging a large hole and filling it back in, half with the best of the original soil, and half with a good-quality amendment mix. Plant the root ball high to allow it room to settle over time. Crown roots should remain visible just above the soil line.
If the plant is growing in a container, gently invert the container to remove the soil intact. Trees that are somewhat dry will usually release more easily from the pot for transplanting. Squeezing the sides of a plastic pot can help to loosen the soil and roots. If planting a bare-rooted mail order tree, shake loose the shavings the roots are packed in before planting. Add the shavings along with your other amendments to the prepared mix for the planting hole.
Take note of the abundant fibrous root system. Straighten out any circling roots and cut off any broken or dead roots before planting. Amend your planting hole as described above. Do not add fertilizer to the soil while backfilling your hole; however, you can apply some to the soil surface after planting. Be sure to tamp soil lightly as you go and water thoroughly after planting to eliminate any large air pockets. Stake the tree as needed until well-established. Green plant tie is a good choice for tying trees to stakes.
Citrus trees are best planted during the active growing season. In summer it is best to plant in the early morning hours when temperatures are cool to moderate. Try to keep the roots out of the sun as much as possible. Water thoroughly after transplanting. If desired, use a solution of Vitamin B-1 Rooting Tonic in the first few irrigations to help fine feeder roots recover more quickly.
Consistency is the key with citrus watering. As with so many plants, citrus trees like soil that is moist but never soggy. How often to water will vary, depending on soil porosity, tree size, and temperature. Allowing the top of the soil to dry slightly is okay. A simple moisture meter, available at garden supply stores, can be used to determine moisture down to about a 9" depth. Generally, when the meter indicates a root moisture level of about 50%, (center of dial) it is time to water.
A wilted tree that perks up within 24 hours after watering indicates the roots got too dry. Adjust watering schedule accordingly. A tree with yellow or cupped leaves, or leaves that don't look perky after watering can indicate excessive watering and soggy roots. In that case, water less frequently.
In the ground, citrus prefer less frequent, deep waterings to frequent, shallow sprinklings. Creating a watering basin around the drip-line of the tree can aid in deep watering. As the tree grows, be sure to expand the basin as needed to keep it as wide as the spread of the branches. Deeper watering promotes deeper root growth and strengthens your tree. Generally, once-a-week watering works well for in-ground plantings.
Citrus trees feed heavily on nitrogen. Your fertilizer should have more nitrogen (N) than phosphorous (P) or potassium (K). Use at least a 2-1-1 ratio. Miracid Soil Acidifier is a water-soluble product that works well and is a 3-1-1 ratio. In some regions, you may be able to find specialized citrus/avocado fertilizers. Buy a good brand and apply according to package directions.
Any good citrus formula will contain trace minerals like iron, zinc, and manganese. Many all-purpose products will work. Follow rates on the package carefully as fertilizers come in different strengths, release rates, and application schedules. We recommend that you fertilize more often than recommended with most slow release fertilizers. Foliar applications of trace minerals in the form of kelp or other soluble fertilizers can be effective. Yellowing leaves indicate lack of fertilizer or poor drainage.
Liberal use of mulches will conserve precious water and help inhibit weed growth. A 2–3 inch layer of redwood shavings, fir bark, compost, or other organic matter can be very helpful for water retention. To reflect heat and hasten fruit ripening, some people mulch with light colored gravel or crushed rock. "Living mulches" such as nitrogen fixing clovers can also be planted between trees in an orchard. To avoid root diseases, always keep grasses and other vegetation away from the root collar area. Keep all mulches at least six inches away from the base of the trunk.
Citrus may be pruned as desired to achieve the look you want. Pruning is fine any time of year, except in the winter for outdoor trees. Pinching back tips of new growth can help trees to maintain a round form, without impacting future fruit.
Citrus are self-pollinating, even indoors. Some people enjoy pollinating their trees and can do so by using a small soft brush or cotton swab to transfer pollen among the flowers.
This item will be shipped directly from the manufacturer and is not eligible for rush shipping. Please allow one to two weeks for delivery.
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