It is now November 27, 2016 and here is an update about what happened to my Meyer lemon tree grown from an organic Meyer Lemon seed – started end July/early August of 2013. Sorry to keep you waiting this long to find out what happened.
For the really early update, see here.
For how to get the lemon seeds to sprout, see here.
The baby had been transplanted into what might be too big a pot, but here it is, on a shelf with plastic in front and back to help with higher humidity and under grow lights, as I do NOT have any south facing window.
I used potting soil for this one. Later the pot was outside for the summer 2014 and then brought in for the winter.
Indoors without a humid environment, this tree developed scales.
Apart from the carrying and adjustment periods and lack of adequate light for indoor conditions, developing scales was the end of any plans to winterize this Meyer lemon indoors.
Eventually, once it was outdoors again during 2015, I treated it with Neem oil twice and finally the scales were gone.
I had it behind the house for a while in the spring (warmer than in the garden area), but eventually it got moved to the general area where it would stay and transplanted a into a bigger pot. What you can’t see in the image are the cinder blocks around the pot and the straw insulation of the roots – both to protect from heat as well as cold. It worked. The plastic winter protection was not that great…but luckily for everyone, we only had a few days of mild frost.
I don’t have a picture of the tree itself, but it looked “ok”
After building a raised bed in spring of 2016, the Meyer Lemon got transplanted into the ground…with a mix of compost and garden-clay soil…not the best – and the little tree didn’t look that good for a while. I started using citrus tree fertilizer. The heat didn’t help, watering was tricky, I never knew if it was too much or not enough. Because of the hardness of the water, misting brings its own problems.
Not a perfect location as far as sun hours are concerned, but the warmest spot for winter and one with potential for a permanent placing.
This location is behind a gatehouse with a window. I wanted to use the warmth of the wall and radiant heat from the window to be included for better protection from the cold.
This is an image of the “greenhouse”, built with old PVC pipes. The plastic cover will be rolled up for the summer.
Below is a view from the inside, taken today. We have had temperatures to 25 degrees down in this area a couple of times already this month. I am using one of my heat lamps in the greenhouse, though I should say that I am not convinced it would be enough for a deep freeze unless during the day the sun really warms the soil. The temperature rise way more on a sunny day.
It is a bit crowded in the greenhouse as other plants are also overwintering there. In the front you can see a couple of lemon trees from later seedlings.
Notice the leaves are looking better!
In addition to citrus tree fertilizer, and since just that did not seem to improve the color of the leaves, I also amended the soil once during the summer with something to lower the ph, though I never checked the soil PH, just knowing clay’s is high.
I should say that the tree seems to really like this house and the condition in it so far, seems to have the right humidity. Maybe the transplant shock is also finally wearing off, the soil better suitable for the nutrients to be absorbed….in any case, it is looking much happier.
PS. I have not pruned this “tree” yet. However, since the size of this greenhouse will not be bigger in coming winters, the tree will have to stay pretty small, essentially no bigger than a lemon tree grown in a large plant container.