Lemon - (Latin Citrus limon), Citrus tribe (Citreae), Rut family (Ruthaceae).
Lemon is an evergreen plant. It blooms several times during the year. Indoor species have thinner peels, fewer seeds, and a stronger aroma than outdoor plants. The homeland of lemon is India, China and the Pacific tropical islands. In culture, it grows in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Indoor lemon - popular types:
Meyer's lemon - remontant, early ripening, undersized, sour fruits.
Lemon Kiev large-fruited - the weight of the fruit reaches 1 kg.
Pavlovsky lemon - undersized (up to 2m), shade-tolerant, fruits with a thin skin.
Novogruzinsk lemon - remontant, vigorous, strong-smelling.
Genoa - low-growing, high-quality fruits, fruitful.
Lisbon - vigorous, resistant to high temperatures.
Lighting. Lemon loves bright, diffused sunlight. In summer, when the light is too strong, the plant must be shaded to avoid leaf burns. In low light, lemon fruits will be sour, and the crown will be pale.
Temperature. In summer, lemons are best kept at a temperature of 18-20 ° C. This is the optimum temperature for flowering and fruit setting. The plant can be taken outdoors. However, be careful - a sudden change in temperature can cause the lemon to shed its leaves.
In winter, the temperature should be kept within 15-18 ° C.
Air humidity. Lemon needs frequent spraying in summer and also in winter when the central heating is on.
A warm shower will not interfere with citrus. Dry air provokes the appearance of ticks and especially scale insects.
To increase the moisture, the pot with the plant can be placed on a pallet with wet gravel or expanded clay.
Watering. Citruses love moisture. In summer, water the plants abundantly, 2 times a week. It is highly recommended to water the lemons with boiled or settled water. Citruses cannot tolerate chlorine. Overdrying an earthen coma can cause curling of leaves and fruit falling off.
In winter, watering is reduced to 1 time per week. Pouring lemons, like most plants, is highly discouraged.
Top dressing. Lemons are fertilized relatively more often than other plants. In summer, it is recommended to feed once a week. If the tree bears fruit all year round, it will not hurt to fertilize in winter once a month.
Transfer. Young indoor lemon plants are transplanted annually in the spring, when the roots are completely entwined with an earthen ball in a pot. It is better to transplant using the transshipment method without disturbing the root system.
Adult plants are transplanted every 2-3 years, also in spring, at the beginning of the growing season. It is advisable not to transplant the plant at the time of flowering or fruiting, flowers and fruits may fall off.
Important: Citrus needs good drainage to grow successfully.
Trimming and shaping. It is better to choose the time for pruning and forming the crown of indoor lemon in the spring, before active growth begins, around April. Shoots are cut so that 4-5 leaves remain on the stem. Indoor lemon with a branched crown has a chance to bloom in the second or third year. As a result of pruning, the height of the tree is 15 to 30 cm. During the flowering period, the number of flowers must be regulated so as not to deplete the plant's resources.
Flowering and fruiting of indoor lemons. The flowers of indoor lemons are very fragrant. But in order for the lemon to bear fruit, proper pruning is necessary.
On branches of the first order, fruits are not tied. On the branches of the second-third order, fruits are formed in Meyer's lemon. In most lemons, fruits are tied only on the branches of the fourth to fifth order. Such branches are formed in indoor lemons at 2-3 years of age.
For the proper development of the tree, it is recommended to remove half of the flowers in the third year, and leave 3-4 fruits from the ovaries, leave 5-6 fruits the next year, and then leave no more than 7-8 fruits.
Reproduction. There are several ways to reproduce indoor lemons: by seeds, cuttings, grafting, layering.
For the earliest possible receipt of a fruiting tree, two main methods are recommended: cuttings and grafting.
The method of propagation by root layers is rather complicated, and seedlings will begin to bear fruit no earlier than 8-10 years after germination. The situation can be corrected by grafting fruiting lemons onto a grown seedling.
The most common breeding method for indoor lemons is by rooting cuttings. Usually cuttings are made in spring and summer.
A semi-freshened stalk 10-12 cm long with 2-3 buds is cut from a fruiting plant. For the formation of roots, the cutting is placed in water, either in river sand, poured over the ground, or in a mixture of sand and earth.
When rooting in soil with a drainage layer, the cutting is deepened by 2 cm and covered with a bag to provide the necessary moisture. After 2-3 weeks, the cuttings with roots are carefully transplanted into a small pot to a depth of about 2-3 cm. The place is chosen with diffused light and a temperature of about 20-25 ° C.
Diseases and pests. Insufficient air humidity can cause curling and falling of leaves, flowers and fruits. Also, dry air causes damage to the scabbard and spider mites.
Plants in winter. In the autumn-winter period, the optimum temperature is 15-18 ° C.
In rooms with dry air, lemon needs to be sprayed.
Useful properties of lemon: Leaves, flowers and fruits of indoor lemon, like other citrus fruits, secrete phytoncides that cleanse the air from microbes and bacteria.
The aroma of flowers and fruits of indoor lemons increases tone, relieves stress.
And, of course, the fruits of plants contain a lot of vitamin C, which helps with flu and vitamin deficiency.
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