Improved Meyer Lemon

Improved Dwarf Meyer Lemon tree
Meyer Lemon tree flower
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The Most Popular Home Grown Citrus Tree

The Improved Meyer Lemon is the most popular dwarf citrus tree.  It is cold hardy and the fruit is less acidic, it is not as sour as other lemons. The blooms have an amazing scent. The fruit starts out green but eventually ripens to a rich yellow color.

Meyer Lemons are prized by chefs but extremely hard to find in grocery stores.  That is because they just don’t have as long of a shelf life to sit unsold in grocery stores as other lemon varieties.

Grow Them Anywhere!

You can grow a Semi-dwarf Meyer Lemon tree anywhere in the country. Grow it in a container that you can bring indoors during colder weather.  Just try to keep them near a sunny window. It can remain outdoors year round in grow zones 8 through 11. The could suffer if there is a hard freeze. That is when the ground temperature dips below 32 degrees for 4 or more hours. If left outdoors, protect your tree. Home Depot sells a frost protection cover for $11.

Meyer Lemon trees usually bloom in winter, filling your home with an amazing sweet citrus aroma. Dwarf Meyer Lemon trees can actually bloom and bear fruit throughout the year.

The ‘improved’ distinction in the name is important. This variety was bred to be more disease resistant than the original Meyer Lemon. The name ‘Meyer’ comes from Frank Meyer who worked for the US Department of Agriculture in the early 20th century.

Improved Meyer Lemon tree care is pretty simple. Keeping your tree on a regular watering schedule is important. They don’t require much, but don’t let the soil & roots dry out too much. If you grow a Meyer Lemon tree in a container out doors, it would be best to keep it from getting too much afternoon sun on the hottest days in summer. You can usually tell when the leaves start to droop a little that it needs a drink. Make sure your container has drainage holes on the bottom. Use a citrus fertilizer in spring and again in fall.

Pro Tip to Get the Most Meyer Lemons Indoors:

The Improved Meyer Lemon trees are self fertile, meaning you don’t need two to bear fruit. It is important, however, to make sure the pollen from the flowers is spread among the others.  Outdoors a simple breeze and pollinators, like bees, will do the trick. If you bring it indoors in the winter, the winter flowers may need a little help. A cotton swab will get pollen to cling to it which you can then apply to other blooms. It’s a bit meticulous, but you will be rewarded with a tree full of Meyer lemons!

How and when to prune your Improved Meyer Lemon tree:

Meyer Lemon trees can be pruned if you want to keep them to a particular size. They can be kept as small as 4 feet and still produce fruit. It is okay to prune any time of the year except for winter with Meyer lemon trees outdoors. You can make your citrus tree look fuller with occasional pruning of some of the longer branches, especially if the start drooping or becoming leggy.

Botanical Name

Citrus x ‘Meyeri Improved’

Mature Height 6 – 8 feet
Mature Spread 4 – 6 feet
Soil Type Widely Adaptable
Moisture Moderate
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Growth Rate Medium
Grow Zones 8 to 11 outdoors / 4 to 11 indoors
Fruiting Time Multiple times a year. Usually spring & fall.

Do NOT buy a tree if only the height is listed. Call the nursery and ask what size container the tree is in. It can make a huge difference. We purchased a tree listed as 3 to 4 feet from 2 nurseries. One came in a tiny 4 inch pot, the other in a 2 gallon container. Needless to say, the tree in the larger container was much better with more branches and a bigger trunk.

How to Care for an Indoor Meyer Lemon Tree

How to Pollinate a Meyer Lemon Tree Indoors Save 10% on Citrus trees with code CITRUS

Where is the best place to buy Meyer Lemon trees online?

In our opinion, any of the 5 nurseries listed will send quality plants. We bought a 2 to 3 foot Meyer Lemon tree from Four Winds Growers and Fast Growing Trees. We paid more for the tree from Fast Growing Trees but the tree from Four Winds Growers was much more established.

How tall does a Meyer Lemon tree get?

The Improved Meyer Lemon trees sold online are usually grafted on dwarf rootstock. This makes them suitable for containers. Grafted Meyer Lemon trees can grow as tall as 8 to 10 feet when planted in the ground. In a container, the dwarf tree will stay much smaller.