When & How To Use Lemon Tree Fertilizer

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Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, lemon trees and citrus trees are an excellent source of Vitamin C, magnesium, iron and other valuable nutrients. 

If treated well, lemon trees will produce fruit all year round and have a United States hardiness zone 9 – 12.

lemons ready for picking and making lemonadelemons ready for picking and making lemonade

They require slightly acidic soil to thrive so you may need to add fertilizer to balance the soil’s pH.  

Since lemon trees are fruit-bearing, they require a lot more sunlight, water, and nutrients to grow properly.

Best Fertilizer for Lemon Trees

All citrus trees are heavy feeders and need plenty of energy. 

They are likely to benefit from nitrogen-rich or other NPK fertilizers which apart from containing essential macronutrients also have additional micronutrients such as iron, manganese, zinc, boron, and copper to make up for nutrient deficiencies in the soil. 

There are fertilizers designed specially to be used for citrus trees known as general citrus fertilizers. 

These are suitable for all citrus fruits such as grapefruits, lime trees, etc.

The ideal fertilizer for lemon trees is 6-6-6. 

You may use a stronger mix if needed but it shouldn’t exceed 8-8-8.

A good option is the Down to Earth Citrus Mix Fertilizer.

Citrus fertilizer will not be suitable for other trees such as apple trees or pear trees.

Some species such as meyer lemons may be grown as potted lemon tree houseplants, and pruned to keep a desired look.

Apart from using a pot with drainage holes, apply slow release citrus fertilizer in the soil to ensure the soil isn’t deficient and the tree will grow properly.

Miracle-Gro 1048291 Citrus, Mango, Avocado Shake ‘n Feed Plant Food is considered to be one of the best fertilizers for citrus trees. 

It contains an 8-2-10 NPK ratio and also contains micronutrients like potassium, magnesium, and iron. 

It is a continuous release fertilizer and continues releasing nutrients for up to 3 months after application.

Jobe’s Organics fruit and fertilizing spikes are also an excellent source of nutrition for lemon trees. 

They have an NPK ratio of 3-5-5 and are especially good for potted lemon trees.

Kelp (seaweed) also acts as a good fertilizer for lemon trees since it stimulates root system growth and adds nutrients to the soil. 

It is alkaline in nature so it will need to be paired with another fertilizer to keep the soil slightly acidic in pH.

When to Fertilize Lemon Trees

Use Lemon Tree fertilizer throughout the growing season every 3 months and a liquid fertilizer weekly.

The amount of fertilizer will depend on the size and age of your tree so follow package instructions carefully.

Nitrogen applications should be spread throughout the year- in February, May and September. 

Avoid feeding the trees in the winter months.

If you are unable to fertilize the tree throughout the year, use a slow release fertilizer which only needs to be applied once a year and slowly release nutrients into the soil.

If the leaves of your meyer lemon tree are yellowing, it is a sign the tree is not receiving enough nutrients and should be fertilized more in the growing months. 

Since they bloom in early spring, it is recommended to apply fertilizer before it to encourage healthy growth.

How to Fertilize Lemon Trees

If the packaging indicates the fertilizer is water-soluble, dissolve it in water. 

Apply it on the leaves and soak the soil right above the root zone. 

If you are using granular fertilizer, scatter it over the soil starting at least 2″ inches away from the tree trunk since it may burn the trunk. 

Start applying fertilizer 1′ – 2′ feet outside the drip line. 

Scratch the fertilizer into the soil and water it to allow it to penetrate to the roots.

The fertilizer should cover a distance as wide as the height of the tree to ensure the fertilizer reaches all the roots of the tree.

These fruit trees and citrus plants require more nitrogen fertilizer as they grow bigger. 

Apply one pound of 6-6-6 fertilizer around the dripline three times a year if it’s new growth. 

After, add 1 pound of fertilizer until the tree has matured- after 8 years of planting. 

A mature lemon should at most, have received 20 pounds of fertilizer across its entire growing period.

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