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How to Germinate Lemon Seeds – Grow Trees from Seeds

How to Germinate Lemon Seeds – Grow Trees from Seeds

How to germinate lemon seeds. Lemon trees such as the Meyer lemon tree are easy to grow. They are attractive citrus trees and produce lemon fruits after a few years of planting.

 

How to Germinate Lemon Seeds

To germinate lemon seeds, you’ll start by gathering your materials. Then pick your seeds. Soak them in water overnight. Remove the gel coating from the seed. You can also remove the brown seed cover. Allow them to germinate in a small pot or a paper towel.

How to Germinate Lemon Seeds
How to Germinate Lemon Seeds

Grow a Lemon Tree From Seed

1. Gather Your Materials

Of course, you’ll need lemons or lemon seeds to grow a lemon tree.

All you need is a Ziploc bag and a damp paper towel if you’ll use a paper towel for the task.

To grow lemons from seeds, you'll need a damp paper towel and a Ziploc bag like the one used to store these berries
To grow lemons from seeds, you’ll need a damp paper towel and a Ziploc bag like the one used to store these berries

To germinate the seeds in a pot, you’ll need a small pot for each seed and potting mix. You can choose a sterile soil mix designed for citrus plants.

You may also use a mix of peat, perlite, and vermiculite.

If you don't have a sterile potting mix for citrus plants, you can create one by mixing peat, perlite, and vermiculite
If you don’t have a sterile potting mix for citrus plants, you can create one by mixing peat, perlite, and vermiculite

 

2. Gathering Lemon Seeds

The easiest way to gather lemon seeds is to enjoy a lemon. Choose an organic lemon for the best results. Remove the seeds from the lemon.

You can harvest the seeds from the lemon fruit after eating it
You can harvest the seeds from the lemon fruit after eating it

You can also buy lemon seeds from a store or online retailer. This allows you to choose the variety of lemon seeds you prefer.

When selecting seeds, look for large plump seeds. Avoid shriveled or small seeds, as well as any with white spots.

You’ll need 5 to 10 seeds for each lemon tree you want to grow.

 

3. Soak Them in Water

Once you’ve removed the lemon seeds or purchased them, soak them in a cup of water overnight.

You’ll want to have several seeds for every lemon tree you plan to grow. Not all seeds will germinate, so having extra seeds is an insurance policy.

This is important. If you allow the seeds to dry, they will not germinate.

 

4. Preparing Seeds for Germination

To prepare the seeds for germination, you’ll need to remove the outer gel coating from the seed. You can suck the seeds or rinse them with cold water.

The first step to preparing the lemon seeds for germination is remove their outer gel coating
The first step to preparing the lemon seeds for germination is remove their outer gel coating

You can remove the white outer coating from the seed. This isn’t required, but it does help speed up the germination process. Start with the pointed end.

If it is difficult to peel, you can get it started with a knife. Just be careful not to damage the seeds.

 

5. Germinating with a Paper Towel

To germinate the seeds with a paper towel, moisten the paper towel. Then, lay it flat on hard surfaces like a table.

Spacing the seeds 3 to 4 inches apart, put them on a paper towel. This gives the seeds room to germinate and prevents their roots from tangling.

Then, place the seed-laden paper towel in the Ziploc bag, making sure to seal it. This keeps the moisture from the paper towel inside the bag, which keeps the seeds moist.

 

6. Keep Them Warm and Dark

Keep the bag of seeds in an area that is warm and dark. They shouldn’t be exposed to light during this stage.

 

7. Watch and Wait

Now, it’s time to watch and wait. It typically takes the seeds 2 to 4 weeks to germinate.

They are ready to plant when you see the roots are 1.5 to 2 inches tall.

While they are germinating, be sure the paper towel stays moist. If it looks dry, you can mist the paper towel with water.

 

Grow Lemon Trees From Seeds in Pots

To germinate seeds in pots, you’ll need to prepare the pots and then plant the seeds.

 

1. Preparing Pots

Germination pots should be 3 to 4 inches. Prepare your pots first. Each pot should be filled with potting mix.

The first step you have to do in growing lemon seeds in pots is to put the soil in the pot
The first step you have to do in growing lemon seeds in pots is to put the soil in the pot

Store-bought potting mix for citrus plants is the simplest method. If you choose to make your mix, you’ll mix peat, perlite, and vermiculite. You can also add organic fertilizer.

Once you’ve soaked and cleaned the seeds, they are ready to plant.

 

2. Plant Lemon Seeds

Plant the seeds in the soil, about 1 inch down. Be sure to put the pointy end of the seed down. Pack the soil around the seed lightly. If it’s too tightly compacted, it can prevent the seeds from germinating.

Once they are planted, moisten the soil.

After planting the lemon seeds in their pots, moisten the soil
After planting the lemon seeds in their pots, moisten the soil

 

3. Cover and Place the Pots

Cover the pots with plastic wrap. This helps to keep the moisture and warmth in the pot. Poking a few holes in the wrap aids in ventilation.

After moistening the soil of the lemon seeds, cover the pots with plastic wrap, poking holes in it for ventilation
After moistening the soil of the lemon seeds, cover the pots with plastic wrap, poking holes in it for ventilation

Now, you’re ready to place the pots in an area where they will be warm and get sunlight.

Just make sure the soil’s moist and not too wet. Once the lemon seedlings have grown 4 or 5 leaves, you can start watering them once the first inch of soil is dry.

It can take six years and 20 inches of growth (50cm) until your tree will produce citrus fruits.

 

Indoor Lemon Tree Care — What it Takes To Grow A Lemon

A lemon tree grown indoors needs the following care.

 

Soil

Use well-draining soil. Citrus soil or a potting mix for palms is ideal.

The pH should be between 6-7, according to the Department of Primary Industries.

 

Watering

Water a lemon tree once every week on average. Wait for the soil’s top 3 inches to almost dry up (7.5cm).

On average, water a lemon tree at least once a week
On average, water a lemon tree at least once a week

Water thoroughly your lemon tree until you see the water draining from its pot. If the soil’s still wet, do not water it.

 

Light

Bright direct light. At least 7 hours of full sunlight daily.

Using a grow light can also be done if needed.

For your lemon tree to grow properly, they need to be exposed to bright sunlight at least 7 hours daily
For your lemon tree to grow properly, they need to be exposed to bright sunlight at least 7 hours daily

 

Temperature

The ideal temperature is 77-86°F (25-30°C). Ensure temperatures do not fall below 50°F (10°C).

 

Humidity

A humidity of around 50% is optimal.

 

Fertilizer

Use a well-balanced fertilizer with NPK 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 monthly in the growing season. The growing season is spring and summer.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Are lemon seeds easy to germinate?

Lemon seeds are easy to grow from seed. Prepare at least 10 seeds, separating them from the pulp. Rinse the seeds in cold water first. Then put the seeds in a paper towel you have soaked with water before placing them in a Ziploc bag. Wait for the lemon seeds to sprout.

 

How long do lemon seeds germinate?

You’ll see sprouts within 5 to 7 days. Lemon seeds take a few weeks for them to germinate completely. You’ll see tiny roots, which will grow longer in time.


 

Final Thoughts on Germinating Lemon Seeds

Germinating lemon seeds is a bit of a gamble because they won’t all germinate. Choose seeds that are large.

You may notice that your seeds do not look all the same. Get at least 5-10 seeds to ensure you’ll be successful. 

Then, soak a paper towel, putting it on a flat surface. Then, put the seeds into the towel.

After which, place the seed-laden paper towel into a plastic bag. Close the bag and put it in a bright and warm spot.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.