How to grow lemon at home?
Lemon (Citrus limon), family Rutaceae (Rutaceae) - an evergreen tree, reaching in suitable conditions up to 8 meters in height. The pulp is juicy, acidic, without bitterness, with a high content of citric acid (5-7.2%) and vitamin C (50-90 mg). The peel is rich in essential oils. Perhaps lemons at least once in my life everyone tried. But not everyone knows how they grow. And even more so - that this fruit can be grown not only in the tropics. In central Russia, lemons are successfully cultivated in greenhouses, greenhouses, and simply on balconies or window sills of apartments. How to grow lemon at home, read the article.
- Botanical description of the plant
- Basic lemon requirements for growing conditions
- Lemon Propagation
- Lemon transplant
- Pest control
- Old recipes decoctions against pests
Botanical description of the plant
Lemon is a small evergreen fruit tree up to 5-8 m high, with a spreading or pyramidal crown. There are trees at the age of 45 years.
Lemon bark is grayish, slightly fissured on perennial branches and green or reddish-violet, smooth on annual shoots, usually with thorns, less often without them.
The leaves of the lemon are leathery, green, 10-15 cm long, 5-8 cm wide, glossy on the upper side and light green and matte on the lower side, whole-edge, with venation, when viewed in the light, dotted (from translucent containers of essential oil), broadly oval or oblong-ovate, pointed at both ends, on short (1 to 1.8 cm), wingless or winged (on shoots) petioles, with a noticeable articulation at the base of the leaf blade, usually falling once every 3 years.
Lemon flowers are axillary, single or paired, with an obscure-toothed cup and a five-membered nimbus. Petals are pure white or slightly creamy, pinkish or purple on the outside, strongly bent, bare, with a delicate delicate aroma.
Lemon fruit 6–9 cm long, 4–6 cm in diameter, hesperidium ovoid or oval, narrowed at both ends, with a nipple at the apex, light yellow, with a difficult to separate tuberous or pitted crust containing many glands with essential oil. The inside of the fetus with several nests. Lemon seeds are ovoid, yellow-green or white, greenish in section. Lemon blooms since spring. The fruits ripen in the fall.
Lemon comes from Southeast Asia. In the wild, unknown. Into the Mediterranean countries imported from Indochina. Introduced in many parts of America and Africa. In Russia, culture has been known for over 300 years. At present, it is one of the leading citrus crops.
Widely used in indoor culture. Fruits are formed on branches of at least 4 orders of magnitude. The ripened fruit can not be plucked for 2 years, then it will turn green again and grow, then turn yellow again. At room conditions, it is possible to breed not only lemons, but also orange, mandarin, grapefruit, kinkan.
Basic lemon requirements for growing conditions
Temperature. Lemons are demanding of light and heat. Budding, flowering and fruit setting best occur at an average temperature of air and soil of 15-18 ° C.
In winter, citrus fruits are recommended to be kept in a bright, cold room (up to + 12 ° C). The absence of cold wintering can lead to the fact that the plant does not fertilize. In addition, lemons are quite sensitive to climate change. If you put a fruiting tree on the street, then due to a sharp change in daylight hours and temperature conditions, it can discard fruits and even leaves, and climate change may result in the absence of fruiting for the next year.
Lighting. Bright diffused light. It will be good near the east and west windows. Shading from the direct sun is needed in spring and summer during the hottest hours. Lemon refers to plants of short daylight hours, i.e. if the daylight is too long, the plants grow, and fruiting is delayed.
Watering. In summer and spring, plentiful 1-2 times a day with warm water, in winter, watering rare and moderate - 1-2 times a week and also warm water. However, in the winter, an earthen coma should not be allowed to dry, as this leads to curling of the leaves and falling off of not only the leaves, but also the fruits of the lemon. On the other hand, one should not forget that from the excess of moisture the plants die. Starting in October, watering is reduced. To ensure that the roots breathe and to prevent stagnation of water in the pot, the top layer of earth in lemons is periodically loosened.
Air humidity. Lemons are regularly sprinkled in the summer, but if they are kept in a room with central heating in the winter, they are also sprinkled in the winter. When kept in a room with dry air, lemons are attacked by pests (ticks and scale insects). The optimum humidity for lemons is 60-70%, usually at a temperature of no higher than 20 ° C.
Transfer. Young lemon trees should be transplanted by transshipment annually. Transshipment should not be carried out if the roots of the plant have not yet braided an earthen lump. In this case, it is enough to change the drainage and topsoils in the pot.
Fruitful lemon trees are transplanted no more than once every 2-3 years. Transplanted before the start of growth. At the end of plant growth, replanting is not recommended. When transplants should not greatly destroy the earthen lump. It is necessary to provide lemon with good drainage. The root neck in the new dish should be at the same level as it was in the old dish.
Soil for young lemons. 2 parts of turf, 1 part of leafy soil, 1 part of humus from cow manure and 1 part of sand.
Soil for adult lemons. 3 parts of turf, 1 part of leaf, 1 part of humus from cow manure, 1 part of sand and a small amount of oily clay.
Fertilizer lemons. In the first half of summer, fertilizer irrigation is used. It increases the sugar content of fruits and reduces the bitter taste that is characteristic of citrus fruits at room culture. The plant needs fertilizer more, the older it is and the longer it is in one dish. Fertilizers are applied after watering. With additional artificial lighting of citrus fruits in winter, they also need to be fertilized.
Lemon propagation is possible both by seeds and cuttings. The most powerful trees give the seed method of reproduction, but they begin to bear fruit later (7-8 years) than when grafting (3-4 years).
On the other hand, the lemon seedlings grown in the room significantly exceed the greenhouse plants in their adaptability to room conditions. In addition, lemon seedlings grown from seeds are completely new plant forms. The quality of their fruit depends on heredity and conditions of detention. If seedlings grow rapidly, then the fruiting period is postponed. In this case, pruning is used, but the conditions of detention do not worsen. Seedlings, which gave abundant flowering and good fruits, may turn out to be a promising new variety of indoor lemons.
Lemon seed propagation
For sowing, lemon seeds are taken from good quality citrus fruits. Plant in the ground (soft humus with the addition of river sand) no later than a few days after eating the fruit - otherwise the seeds will dry out. Sow to a depth of 1 cm and immediately pour.
Typically, lemon seeds germinate after 30-40 days. Very young seedlings do not tolerate picking. They form a long rod root, which is better to cut without digging a seedling from the pot. Without trimming or pinching, the root will not branch, but will grow in length and curl in rings at the bottom of the pot.
Lemon root pruning is done with a sharp knife. To do this, the knife is introduced into the ground at a distance of 8-10 cm from the seedling at an angle of 40-45 degrees to the ground. The knife should be directed away from the seedling, the core root is cut in a circular motion. If there is no certainty that the root is clipped, repeat the operation, introducing the knife 2-3 cm closer to the seedling.
Lemon propagation by cuttings
Cuttings are the fastest and easiest method of propagation. To root the cuttings, a temperature of 20-25 ° C (but not higher than 30 ° C) is necessary. Cutting of lemons most successfully occurs in April - June. For rooting, take a pot of 7-9 cm in size and plant 4-5 cuttings in it.
To root the lemon, you can use the following mixture: drainage of expanded clay or small pebbles with pieces of charcoal is poured into the lower part of the container, a layer of earth in the middle, and sand on top with a layer of 4-5 cm. In this mixture, the plant will receive mineral nutrition immediately after formation first roots. Some gardeners advise to put a layer of moss (about 1 cm) on top of the drainage layer, on which soil is already poured - garden soil and river sand.
Lemon cuttings are taken from a healthy fruiting plant. Young, intensively growing vegetative shoots cut off "with the heel" (a piece of last year's tissue) after the end of the first wave of growth and matured, often form a more powerful root system.
Cuttings of lemon are cut from annual shoots (twigs that are easily bent because the wood has not yet been roughened). Cuttings of very young shoots, slightly flattened on both sides, take root worse. In spring cuttings, cuttings are taken from the branches of autumn growth, in autumn - from spring.
A lemon stalk should have 3-5 leaves with a length of 8-12 cm. The lower “direct” section is made directly under or through the first kidney, and the upper “oblique” is 5 mm above the last kidney. Only the bottom leaf blade needs to be removed, as it can rot, you don’t need to touch the rest. Powder the lower sections of the cuttings with crushed charcoal and immerse 1.5-2 cm in moist sand, dying it around the cuttings.
Some gardeners before planting lemon cuttings soak them for 12 hours in a 0.001% solution of heteroauxin or another root stimulant. After planting, spray the cuttings with water and close the jar. The temperature of the spray water should be 4-5 degrees above room temperature.
In the future, you need to spray lemon cuttings in the morning and in the evening, while the water falls on the sand, and you can not water it. Rooting is carried out in pots, covered with a jar, in greenhouses or just in water. Rooting requires good lighting, but direct sunlight is contraindicated.
After 2-3 weeks, a tumor-like influx - callus forms on the lower cut of the lemon cuttings, and then white plump roots appear from it. It is recommended to transplant a sapling in a pot with earth no earlier than after 1-1.5 months. Before planting, the seedling is accustomed to room air. To do this, for several days they lift the jar first for 2-3 hours, and then for 3-4. After 2 weeks, the shelter can be completely removed.
A sign of rooting of the lemon is the appearance of new leaves and roots.
After rooting, the lemon cuttings are carefully transplanted into pots of 10-12 cm in size so as not to damage the young roots. Not deepening lower than during rooting.
An earth mixture for transplanting a lemon is prepared from 2 parts of turf land, 1 part of leafy soil, 1 part of rotted manure and 1/2 part of river sand. During the first year, young plants transship 3 times - in the spring, in early July and in the second half of August. The earth lump must be kept intact. Plants from cuttings of fruiting lemon can bear the first fruits already for 2-3 years.
After the appearance of the roots, a good development of the lemon seedling is promoted by top dressing with a weak solution of ammonium nitrate (0.25%) and slurry (1:15).
Any dishes are suitable for transplanting lemons - clay, wooden, plastic, if only there would be good drainage. For adult citrus fruits, wooden containers - conical tubs are desirable. It should be borne in mind that a transplant must be made if the roots of the plant entangled the entire earthen lump. You can notice this by the tips of the roots that appeared from the drainage hole. If they are not visible - it is better to postpone the transshipment.
The required pot size for citrus fruits is determined by the formula: D = 10d + 4 where D is the diameter of the pot in the upper part, d is the diameter of the lemon stem at the root neck.
When transplanting a lemon, each new pot should exceed the diameter of the old one by 2-4 cm, and the tub by 4-8 cm.
Frequent transshipments make it possible to form a strong tree, so it is advisable to transship young plants 2-3 times a year, and adults every 3-4 years.
An earth mixture for transplanting a lemon is prepared from 2 parts of turf land, 1 part of leafy soil, 1 part of rotted manure and 1/2 part of river sand. For adult plants, sand in the earthen mixture is replaced by silty soil and superphosphate with ash is added there (100 g per 1 bucket of earth).
It is advisable to carry out a spring transplant of lemon in the second half of February (before the growth of new shoots begins). Citrus fruits grow best on neutral soils (pH 5.5-7.5). If necessary, transplantation is possible at any time of the year, although it is better to avoid it during budding, flowering and fruiting.
If during a transplant of a lemon you involuntarily disturbed the roots, then it is useful to cover the plant with a plastic bag for 2-3 weeks.
Plant the plant like this: put a shard with the convex side up on the drainage hole, then a layer of drainage and coarse sand, a layer of small pebbles or charcoal (1-2 cm). A little dry manure is placed on the drainage, then several handfuls of the earthen mixture are poured. Lower the lump with the plant and pour the earth between the lump and the wall. The root neck should be at the level of the upper edges of the pot or a little lower but not sprinkled with earth. Otherwise, it may subsequently rot. New clay pots are kept in water for several hours before transplanting, and old ones are cleaned of dirt and mold and disinfected by calcination.
All transplanted plants, as well as those containers with citrus fruits in which the earth is sprinkled, should be sure to be abundantly poured with warm water and covered for the first time from direct sunlight.
The cohabitation of citrus fruits with earthworms is considered useful - the worms loosen the soil, eat spoiled roots and enrich the soil. To nourish the worms, you can add sleeping tea leaves to the soil. This does not mean that you just pour the tea leaves over the ground. The correct way is to rake the top layer of soil, pour the tea leaves and sprinkle it with soil. Otherwise, mold may start to develop on the tea leaves.
The main pests of citrus fruits are spider mites, coccids (scale insects or false shields, mealy bugs) and aphids.
Of the diseases of lemon, hommosis (gum disease) is most common. At the same time, longitudinal brown-red spots appear on the bark of the stem in the lower part. The bark in these places dies. The reason for gummosis, in most cases, is errors in the care of the plant: too deep a planting, poor drainage in the pot, too small pot sizes, excessive application of nitrogen and insufficient - phosphorus-potassium fertilizers.
Regular spraying is necessary to protect lemon and other citrus fruits from pests. Bathing in the shower is desirable (2 times a month). It is still very good at least once every 2 months to gently wipe the leaves, especially from below, with a sponge, soft cloth or cotton swab dipped in a weak solution of green soap. After which the plants need to be rinsed.
To protect the lemon from pests, you can thoroughly wipe all the shoots and leaves on both sides with one of the following solutions:
- Soap-oil emulsion - carefully stir 1 tbsp in a liter of warm water. spoon of any soap powder and half a spoon of household engine oil (you can use transformer or burdock oil). 3-4 hours after wiping, rinse the plant thoroughly in the shower. Rubbing is repeated several times with an interval of 7-10 days.
- Against shields, light transformer oil (with or without soap) or soap-kerosene emulsion - 5 g is recommended. laundry soap or laundry detergent and 10 gr. kerosene per 1 liter of warm water.
- Copper-soap solution - 25 gr. copper sulfate and 75 gr. washing powder or 200 gr. laundry soap. Stir thoroughly in 10 liters. water.
- Mustard-soap emulsion - in 9 liters. water dilute 200 gr. Laundry soap and 20 gr. mustard powder. Then, with constant stirring, pour in a thin stream a solution of copper sulfate (20 g. Per 1 liter).
- Wipe the plants with a soft sponge or brush moistened with a weak solution of vinegar.
- Treatment with turpentine vapors - the inner surface of an ordinary tin bucket is lubricated with turpentine, the affected plant is covered with a bucket for several hours. After the "gas chamber" wash in a shower with warm water.
- Spraying with nebulized acetone from the spray gun (this is not only to combat scalebut with ticks).
When aphids appear, citrus fruits are sprayed with a solution of tar soap (10 g. Per 1 liter) or a settled, filtered broth of wood ash. For its manufacture 300 gr. sifted ash is poured with boiling water and put on fire for 30 minutes. Before use, add up to 10 liters.
Old recipes decoctions against pests
It should be borne in mind that for the preparation of infusions and decoctions of herbs of dry plants, 2 times less than fresh ones is required. It is advisable to add green or laundry soap (4 g. Per 1 liter) to the solutions.
To the already known plants against pests (some of them are listed below), you can add walnut leaves, marigolds, dope. It must be remembered that only repeated spraying leads to the desired result.
Aphid decoction recipes
- Hot peppers - 100 gr. chopped fruits per 1 liter. water. Boil for at least an hour in a sealed enameled container. The broth is insisted for two days, then the pods are ground, and the concentrate is filtered. Dilute with water 1:10 before spraying.
- Needles of annual growth of pine or spruce - 200 gr. Pour 3 cups of rain or distilled water and leave for a week in a dark place, stirring daily, then drain the infusion. Dilute with water 1:10 before spraying.
- Dry mustard - 60 gr. Brew powder in 1 liter. water and insist for three days in a tightly sealed container. Dilute the infusion with 3 liters of water before spraying.
- Yarrow - 80 g of dry grass is brewed with boiling water, after 30 minutes they are added with water to 1 liter and insisted for two days.
Spider mite and aphid recipes at the same time
- Onions - pour 100 g of onion husks with 5 liters of water and leave for two days.
- Garlic - 50 g of cloves passed through a meat grinder is poured with hot water (300 g) and insisted for five days in the dark. Then filter. To each 50 g of infusion add 50 g of soap and dilute 10 l of water.
- Garlic, onion husks, tobacco - 200 grams of each of the components are boiled for a long time in a large pot with water. The broth is cooled and added with water to 10 liters.
- Dandelions and horse sorrel - 300 g of chopped dandelion roots or 400 g of dandelion or sorrel leaves for 3 hours, insist in 10 l of hot water, strain and immediately use.
- Potato tops - a decoction is prepared similarly to a decoction of dandelions. 1.5 kg of green tops are taken per 10 liters of water (if the tops are dry - 2 times less).
- Tomato tops - 500 g chopped or 250 g dry tops are boiled in 1 liter. water for at least 30 minutes. The broth is defended and filtered, before spraying, diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 3.
- Chamomile pharmacy - 100 g of leaves and flowers insist in 1 liter of hot water for 12 hours. After that, filter and dilute with water 1: 3.
- Black belena - 200 g of the tops of flowering plants insist in water for 12 hours or boil for 2-3 hours in a small amount of water, then add up to 1 liter and filter.
- Tobacco decoction - 40 g of shag are insisted for 1 day in 1 liter of water, boiled for 2 hours, cooled, and then added another 1 liter of water. Before spraying, add a little detergent or soap to the broth.
- Lime-sulfur broth (ISO) - for 1.5 l of water, 100 grams of lime (fluff) or lime milk and 200 g of ground sulfur. All mix well and boil over low heat for about an hour. Ready broth has the color of iodine. It is cooled, poured into a sealed container and allowed to stand. The liquid should become transparent and acquire an amber color. After settling, the liquid is drained from the precipitate. Before spraying, dilute with water in a ratio of 1: 15-20. The concentrate can be stored in tightly sealed containers in a dark place for quite some time (up to a year). A sign of his unsuitability is the loss of color.
Of the pesticides for lemons, karbofos or deltafos are preferable - they are diluted at the rate of 3-9 g of concentrate per 1 liter of water. Three to four times the treatment helps get rid of aphids, ticks, scale insects and coccids. When controlling pests in the initial stage of the defeat, the plant does not have to be sprayed with pesticides - just put it in a large plastic bag for several hours, after putting a cotton swab soaked in karbofos there. The operation must be repeated 2-3 times with an interval of 7-10 days.
Despite the fact that the first associations about this plant are quite “acidic,” lemon is a storehouse of ascorbic acid and other vitamins. Growing lemon at home, you will provide your entire family with the necessary supply of vitamins. Adding lemon to tea and even sweet cakes allows you to give it an additional undeniable appeal and desire to grow it at home!
Waiting for your advice and comments!