Dwarf Lemon Tree

Fragrant flowers. Beautiful, shiny, and evergreen foliage. Colorful, edible, and delicious fruits. A well-behaved rootage the power to regulate to differing types or methods of cultivation.

All of those make the dwarf citrus a valuable plant for contemporary home gardening.

Dwarf citrus trees are simply regular fruit trees that are grafted onto smaller plant rootstock. this suggests you get the tasty fruit of a traditional citrus from a plant that works well in landscapes that can’t accommodate a full-size tree.

And most significantly , of course, smaller trees mean more easily accessible fruit! Dwarf citrus trees generally grow to be a maximum of 8 to 10 feet tall.

The fruit of dwarf trees is that the same size and quality as that grown on a standard-sized tree, assuming it receives an equivalent care. And dwarf types produce a bigger crop, for his or her size, than standard-sized trees.

Ready to determine more about adding one to your garden? Here’s what to come:

Let’s get to the ideas mention techniques and things to remember of, and hopefully we will even assist you to seek out your perfect tree.


Dwarf citrus — lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime, tangelo, and kumquat — has as many uses within the garden as there are places for plants.

You can use it as a hedge to mark a boundary line or to separate off a given area, otherwise you can grow it as a specimen plant within the lawn.

You can use dwarf citrus to feature a touch height to a perennial background, or use it as a foundation planting on the brink of the house.

It will make a stunning addition espaliered against a wall to interrupt the glare, or just to ornament it.

An expaliered citrus with green leaves growing on a brown wooden fence, at the rear of a vegetable bed planted with differing types of green cabbages, with a house with tan vinyl siding and a green lawn within the background.

Espaliering is that the process of coaching a tree, shrub, or woody vine to grow flat against a surface, usually a sunny and guarded wall or a fence. this is often often through with a selected geometric design in mind which will turn the tree into a rather breathtaking artistic statement. Or other trees are allowed to take care of their natural form, with protruding branches merely pruned off.

Dwarf citrus varieties also are quite suitable for container plantings. they carry significant interest to porches or patios as specimen plantings, and they’re convenient to access come harvest . Close proximity to the house also means it’ll be easier to bring your plants indoors if you reside during a climate where a citrus cannot overwinter outdoors.

PLENTY to settle on FROM AND WHERE to shop for

Dwarf citrus fruits are available in a number of types and varieties. Nearly every worthwhile sort of edible citrus within the world is now available to gardeners on a dwarfing rootstock.

If you’re trying to find the lemony-orange flavor of Meyer lemons, consider this small tree, available from Nature Hills Nursery.

Closeup of a Meyer lemon growing in an orange pot.

You’ll get a plant during a container that’s somewhere between two and three gallons. Dwarf Meyer lemon trees grow well in pots, where they’re going to grow to 4 feet approximatelyand that they had best within the landscape, too, in zones 9 and 10.

Dwarf Meyer lemon trees can reach 10 feet, but will easily suits but four feet indoors.

If Clementine oranges make your palate sing, consider ordering a sapling from Brighter Blooms, available via Amazon.

Brighter Blooms Nules Clementine Dwarf angiospermous tree

You can choose a 1- to 2-foot tree or a 3- to 4-foot tree of the ‘Nules’ variety, which can produce copious amounts of sweet orange fruit.

Looking for lime? Consider a dwarf ‘Bearss’ seedless lime, available from Nature Hills Nursery.

Closeup of a Bearss lime that’s cut in half to point out the within , resting on a branch of a lime tree with shiny green leaves and a yellow-green fruit.

Bearss Lime Tree

Also referred to as the Persian, Tahini, or seedless lime, you’ll get an evergreen that’s a minimum of three years old, and can grow to about 10 feet tall at maturity. this feature does well within the landscape also as in containers.

Looking for mini fruit to ornament your miniature tree? Nature Hills offers a dwarf ‘Nagami’ kumquat during a two- to three-gallon container which will grow to about 10 feet tall.

Nagami kumquat tree with small orange and yellow fruit, and green leaves.

Nagami Kumquat

Kumquats are known for his or her edible peel and lively, tart flavor.


Like all plants, small trees have a couple of simple needs. And you would like to attend to those if you’re getting to produce beautiful trees with delicious fruit.

The first and most vital of those needs is sweet drainage. While the roots must have a continuing supply of moisture, they can’t tolerate waterlogged soil, or water that stands for too long. For a primer on drainage, see the green boxed-out reference section below.

Citrus trees also need warmth and sunshine to supply colorful, juicy, and flavorful fruit. i do know of 1 gardener who has some trees that only get morning sun, and other trees that only get afternoon sun. In both locations, the plants do an honest job of setting and ripening their fruits.


Plants grown in containers do best with the smallest amount of effort once they are planted during a lightweight, perlite-containing potting mix that drains well. An all-organic matter or native soil will compact too quickly, reducing aeration for roots.

Commercial growers are keen on the “UC mix.” This was developed by soil scientists at the University of California Riverside’s world-renowned Citrus research facility and Agricultural Experiment Station.

In addition to the special soil mixture for container-grown plants, the Citrus Experiment Station has developed new citrus varieties and worked to deal with disease and pest management, post-harvest handling methods, and practices for improved commercial fruit production.

Two rows of dwarf orange and lemon trees growing in orange and black plastic nursery containers.

UC’s soil mixtures are so successful that commercial growers everywhere the western world are using them for all kinds of plants.

Unfortunately, unless you would like a couple of cubic yards of this mix, and sleep in Southern California, backyard gardeners will likely not be ready to find UC mix.

Instead, search for planting mixes that are specially blended for citrus or fruit trees.

When setting plants call at the garden, the citrus-specific planting mix should be combined with the soil faraway from the opening during a ratio of 1 part mix to at least one part native soil.

As plant roots are generally reluctant to enter a replacement growing medium, mixing a citrus-specific soil with the native soil will make the tree’s transition easier.


Appropriate drainage is that the #1 need for citrus plants. Overwatering causes citrus foliage to drop off. Under-watering also can cause this trouble, but drooping foliage usually calls attention to the shortage of water in time to keep off serious leaf drop.

There is seldom any overwatering problem in containers if a well-draining soil is employed . In garden soil, excess water must have a way of escape. If the soil has naturally good drainage, there’s little to stress about.

Here’s the way to check for well-draining soil in an existing area where you’d wish to plant, and what you’ll try if you’ve got a problem:

The top of the basis ball should be two or three inches above the encompassing soil level. Backfill together with your soil mixture, but create a shallow “moat” round the circumference of the newly planted tree. If you were unable to seek out a citrus-specific potting mix, scatter half a cupful of balanced fertilizer round the moat.

Add a layer of mulch round the planting area, including within the moat. Slowly fill the moat with water. Keep the water dribbling away within the full basin for half an hour approximately , wait two or three days and roll in the hay again, then leave the plant alone until it needs watering.


Young plants may look a touch one-sided, but give them a couple of years and that they will become neatly rounded specimens – unless an espaliered miniature growing along a fence or garden wall is what you’re after. they will be trained to try to to this also .

A dwarf citrus with orange fruit and green leaves, growing during a large orange plastic pot, during a yellow and white nook in an outside wall.

If you would like to stay the plants quite low or add fullness, you’ll pinch out the ideas of the new growth from time to time.

You’ll also want to prune away any deadwood, and prune to maximise airflow. Prune off any branches that cross others and stop sunlight from reaching the lower branch.


In general, these little trees do need fertilizing. you’ll be as fancy or simple as you wish with this garden practice.

If your plants appear to wish some nutritive love, a 10-10-8 fertilizer with an acid reaction, like what you’d use on camellias and roses, should keep the plants growing if you follow the directions on the package.

Closeup of two green limes growing on a branch with green leaves.

Or, if you wish to fiddle a touch you’ll leaf spray with zinc and manganese within the spring before growth starts then supplement with a sprig containing nitrogen. Any iron deficiency are often cared for with iron chelate.


Like all plants, dwarf citrus cares by common pests like ants, snails, aphids, thrips, and spider mites.

Get obviate ants and spider mites with diatomite . And inspect this text for ideas about the way to naturally rid your garden of snails and slugs.

Treat aphids and thrips with a tough , firm spray with the hose, or an insecticidal soap like this one from Garden Safe, available on Amazon.

Garden Safe Houseplant and Garden Insect Killer, 24-Ounce Spray

This 24-ounce spray bottle is prepared to use.

Sometimes citrus gets scale. Be watchful for this pest and pick it or water-blast it off before it can become an infestation. a sprig made up of neem oil is that the only really effective cure for these pests.

Try this neem oil extract concentrate from Garden Safe, available from Amazon.

Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract Concentrate, 4-Pack (16 Fl. Oz.)

Each 16-ounce container will make about 16 gallons of spray.

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