Garden

Lemon plant


Question: lemon plant


today I discovered I had a lemon tree born by myself next to my pear tree in a flowerbed in the garden ... what should I do? I can transplant it and it will bear fruit or will it never make lemon?

Answer: lemon plant


Dear Cristina,
the plants that grow in the garden naturally come from seeds, thrown by a human being who eats fruit in the garden, or by a bird, which has "stolen" the fruits from one of the gardens near you. I don't know where you live, so I'm not able to tell you if your lemon will survive winter in the area you live in, consider that usually lemons (and citrus fruits in general) fear frost, and so if you live in a region Italian in which the winter climate presents frosts, even if of slight entity, then it is advisable to move your small lemon in a vase, or in a flowerbed protected from the house and exposed to the south, on a good insolation. Citrus fruits are a family of fruit plants that are a bit peculiar, as they have been cultivated by man for millennia, and they also tend to self hybridize easily with each other; so even if botanists have baptized the plants that produce the most common citrus fruits, with the name of a single species, in reality almost all the citrus fruits that we normally eat come from hybrid species, and it is also so for the lemon, which is a hybrid between cedar and pomelo. For this reason, lemons (as well as many other citrus fruits, such as oranges, kumquats and mandarins) propagate by grafting or cutting, because, as with almost all plants, hybrid plants propagated by seed do not give a plant identical to the plant that produced the fruit from which we extracted the seeds. Some time ago a reader asked me if he could use the lemons from Sorrento to get a lemon plant from Sorrento: unfortunately the answer is no; the lemon plants obtained from seed are typically sterile, do not produce flowers, and therefore do not even produce fruit, the stems are often provided with very sharp spines, in memory of their most ancient ancestors. And even if they were to produce fruit, they could have little food interest, they could have a very bitter taste for example, or have very little juice. So usually the small plant is cultivated until it has a stem diameter close to a few centimeters; on the stem cut parallel to the ground, about 8-10 cm high, branches of a variety of lemon are known that we particularly like; once the branches take root they will give us the flowers and fruits that we expect from a lemon, identical to those of the plant from which we took the grafts.