Thursday, February 4, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons

I recently have had a few questions concerning Lemons. They can be grown just like any other Citrus, except they are a little more susceptible to frost. Lemons and Limes are the least cold hardy and exhibit variable hardiness.
There is one Lemon that keeps cropping up in just about every conversation about Citrus...the Meyer Lemon.
The Meyer Lemon was introduced to the U.S. from China by the plant explorer Frank Meyer. There are many things that point to the Lemon parentage, lemon scented foliage, serrated leaves and purple tinged flower buds. The truth however is, it is not a true Lemon. It is a cross between a Lemon (probably Eureka) and a sweet orange. This is why it is considered a sweet lemon. I personally am not impressed with the Meyer Lemon's flavor, but to each his own. The fruit will initially turn yellow when ripe, but then go through deep yellow to almost orange. This lemon makes a good substitute for areas that can't grow the true Lemon.
This is a picture of some immature Meyers that I had, in containers of course.

If you want to try a good Lemon, yet have a little extra "flair" Then try the Variegated Eureka. (A.K.A. The Pink Lemonade Tree) Not only are the leaves variegated, but so is the least until it ripens to a normal yellow.

These guys taste like a true Lemon and the pulp and juice are pink. The true Pink Lemonade Experience.
Another fun Lemon to grow is the Ponderosa Lemon. Fruit have been known to weigh up to 5 pounds. these things are huge. I am waiting for mine to fruit.
Want one? Go to:

These folks have other Citrus available and I have used them a number of times. The plants are slightly on the small side, but they most definitely grow well.
There are other unusual Lemons out there, Ichang and Ujukitsu just to name a couple. Do a Google search to try and find some of these.
Just as a side note, if for some reason you can not find a Lemon tree and don't want to pay for the shipping, I have a solution. Go Grocery Shopping!
Buy a Lemon or two and plant the seeds. You will have a nice tree and in about 5-6 years...fruit!
Happy Growing!

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