Lemon tree, get the watering right, and the harvest will follow the flow!

Lemon tree watering guide

Watering, for the lemon tree, is an important factor in enabling proper growth as seasons come and go. It plays a key role in blooming, fruit formation, and, consequently, on the lemon harvest. Whatever the season – spring, summer, fall – here are the good practices to follow to correctly match your lemon tree’s water needs.

Watering a lemon tree

The water needs of the lemon tree are high, even more so when it’s grown in pots. Indeed, a potted lemon tree simply cannot dig deeper in the soil as it searches for water. To make things worse, potted plants suffer more from heat since the roots are above ground level.

Watering a lemon tree planted in the ground:

The first year after planting is when you most need to manage water needs. Over that first year, you’ll have to water nearly every single day. After that, you’ll only have to water in times of heat or drought. Watering in the evening is best by far, in small amounts, but on a regular basis. You can also give the plant fertilizer during the watering sessions. Do this several times a year, and it will boost flower formation, fruit set, and lemon quality and size.

As you water, always try to avoid getting leaves wet: this is the best way to keep fungal diseases from appearing.

Watering potted lemon trees:

Lemon tree blooming, freshly wateredWhen in a container, a lemon tree will always need much more water. This is because water tends to evaporate much faster, drying the soil up. Additionally, any water there is tends to drain out and collect at the bottom of the pot, far from surface roots. It’s thus best to water on a regular basis, whenever the surface soil feels dry when you rub it between your fingers. It may very well be that in case of heat wave, you’ll have to water again every single day.

Giving your potted lemon tree fertilizer is even more important than when it’s growing in the ground: nutrients wash out from the bottom, and they’re also depleted as the plant grows. In pots, soil degrades very fast: you must compensate this by adding fertilizer once or twice a month.

Of course, in winter, you must stop adding fertilizer completely, and only water with very small amounts.

Also make sure water never collects and sits at the bottom of the pot, even simply in the saucer underneath.

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Drops on yellow lemon by Jacqueline Macou under Pixabay license
Flowers forming by Jose Francese under Pixabay license