Lemon Tree Fertilizer: When & How To Use It (DETAILS]

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Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, lemon trees and citrus trees are excellent sources 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 lemonadePin

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 much more sunlight, water, and nutrients to grow properly.

Best Fertilizer for Lemon Trees

All citrus trees are heavy feeders and need plenty of energy. This general citrus fertilizer is full of a balanced mix of all of the nutrients a lemon tree needs and is a great option for boosting your lemon tree to encourage healthy growth and fruit production.

They are likely to benefit from nitrogen-rich or other NPK fertilizer ingredients, which contain essential macronutrients and have additional micronutrients such as iron, manganese, zinc, boron, sulfur, calcium, 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.

Organic Citrus-Tone fertilizer bags by potted citrus plants.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @attleborofarms

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

The best fertilizer for lemon trees is 6-6-6. Most fertilizers will include a Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium (NPK) ratio on the packaging that looks like three numbers with dashes between them. 

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

The Down to Earth Citrus Mix Fertilizer is a good lemon tree fertilizer option.

Citrus fertilizer will not be suitable for other trees, such as apple trees or pear trees. The best citrus tree fertilizer of this kind is adaptable to an indoor or outdoor tree.

In the case of slow-release of earth organic citrus fertilizer for indoor trees, you can fertilize all year round for active growth. 

Some species, such as Meyer lemons, may be grown as potted lemon tree houseplants and pruned to keep the 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 one of the best fertilizers for lemon trees.

Lemon tree plant food, proper fertilization promotes healthy growth and productivityPin

It contains an 8-2-10 NPK ratio and 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 excellent sources of nutrition for lemon trees.

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

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

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

Related: Yellowing Citrus Trees – What Is The Cause?

When to Fertilize Lemon Trees

Use lemon tree fertilizer every 3 months and a liquid fertilizer weekly throughout the growing season.

Younger trees should have spikes closer to the 2-foot range outside the trunk diameter, and older trees should have fertilizer spikes in the 3-foot range. 

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 cannot fertilize the tree throughout the year, use a slow-release fertilizer that only needs to be applied once a year and slowly releases 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 that the fertilizer is water-soluble, dissolve it in water.

Apply it to 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 it.

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

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

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

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 have received 20 pounds of fertilizer throughout its entire growing period.

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