Citrus limon
Common Name: lemon 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Rutaceae
Native Range: Asia
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 10.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Edible
Other: Thorns


When grown in Zones 9 to 11, lemon trees will grow in fertile, well-drained soil in a sunny position protected from wind. During the growing season they need plenty of water and regular small applications of nitrogenous fertilizer to promote growth and fruit size. They need very little pruning. In indoor cultivation, place your plant in a well-lit, but not too warm location. A low temperatures in winter will encourage flowering. Place outdoors in late May to encourage natural pollination. Bring inside in September. Pinch to control shape and improve bloom. The fragrant flowers develop into fruit, but it may take a year before they attain the correct color(maturity) for harvesting.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Citrus limon is the leading acid citrus fruit, because of its very appealing color, odor and flavor. The true lemon tree reaches 10 to 20 feet in height and usually has sharp thorns on the twigs. Leaves are reddish when young, and become dark green above, light green below. Mildly fragrant flowers may be solitary, or there may be two or more. Buds are reddish. Opened flowers have 4 or 5 petals, white on upper surface, purplish beneath. Fruit is oval with a nipple-like protuberance and is light-yellow. It is aromatic, and dotted with oil glands.

The genus name Citrus is from classical Latin.


Problems may include mealybugs, red spiders and scale. If space is an issue, smaller, more compact cultivars are available. Plants respond well to being placed outdoors during the summer months in cold climates. Moving large trees from the inside to the outside and back again, however, may be problematic.


Accent or specimen. Large containers.