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hello, sorry if this sounds ridiculous but I was wondering if it would be possible to try grow from seed or would it be better to just buy a lemon tree already fruiting? I've been trying to read up and it's saying the fruit from the seed of a store bought lemon might not be guaranteed fruit and when they finally fruit, might not be anywhere near what they were like. And it's mostly US sites I can find. 

Last edited: 29 April 2017 17:01:42

Hi, Marshalls seeds sell lemon trees I had one from them but it died, but I think it was my growing conditions rather than the plant! 

About 18 years ago, my Hubby put both a lemon and grapefruit pip, into some compost in our diningroom window, whish was growing other stuff.  The lemon got to about a foot high then died.  The grapfruit is going very stron, you will never get fruit, but after 10 years we did get really lovelly scented flowers.   So it takes years.  You can buy good plants for about £15. in Aldi  There is a place in Petworth Sussex, where you can buy all the citrus tress.

I agree with Nanny Beach, best to buy plants.

I've bought one from Ikea 😊 Thanks all! I've also put one to grow from seed in my hydroponics thing to see what happens but not counting on it very much. 



If you just want the foliage, a seed grown plant is fine. If you want lemons in this country, buy a grafted Eureka plant.

The UK climate doesn't lend itself to production of citrus fruit - no matter what the seller says, it won't happen on a consistent basis.

If you purchase a Citrus which is flowering and fruiting, it has been raised in conditions which the average person cannot replicate the following season.

Sad but true.  They may flower and produce the most gorgeous perfume and many people are quite happy just with that. You will get some fruit set but full size and ripe ?  Unlikely.

Like so many other unsuitable plants, it is more a money earner for the GC than anything else. 


I get a few usable lemons of of mine. I picked one last week. It is kept in a frost free greenhouse over winter.

Last edited: 01 May 2017 20:08:04

I have 5 lemons, I DO get full size fruit, phillipa, they are kept in an unheated greenhouse over winter, outside in the summer.  The specialist place in Petworth grows them here, so they are happy with the english climate.  It used to be said you couldnt cultivate grapes here, now we have several enlglish vineyard around here.  You can even grow peanuts here.  One of my neighbours before we moved here had a lemon tree about 5 feet high in their back garden, planted in the soil which they never protected overwinter.

Well, that's me told then

I used to own a Citrus grove in Spain and never found the fruit ripened to the same quality in the UK.

Good to know that you are getting something from your bushes here tho - jolly well done 

Cor, a citrus grove in Spain, now I AM jealous!!!  My Hubby was telling me last night one of the guys he works with, his Dad has retired to spain and got terrible "bug" problems with his citrus trees, I always imagined if you had all these trees (like you see when on holiday) they would be pest free.

I hadn't come across anything about a citrus specialist locally before so had a quick search. I think you mean the Citrus Centre in nearby Pulborough rather than Petworth. West Sussex is getting to be very exotic these days - citrus groves and world class sparkling wine!

My own attempts at citrus growing amounts to one small lemon tree from pips taken from a Sorrento lemon. Even if you don't get fruit the leaves are very useful in cooking, try a couple of leaves in a roast chicken.

Yes, sorry you are correct Pulborough! East Sussex I will have you know!!! The wine isnt cheap but is lovelly. Did you get flowers from lemon grown from pip?

Nanny - can't say I had much problem with pests as such.  The biggest problem was the irrigation system.  Once a week, all the sluices had to be opened to allow the watering from the nearby river  Woe betide you if you didn't keep your channels clear or allowed your terraces to break down and flood someone else's grove at irrigation time.

Picking a beautiful juicy orange of a morning tended to make up for the effort involved tho

I don't think I've bought it from the best place then by the sounds of it. It's flowered and a good bit of fruit seems to be forming, so maybe I'll only get this batch of fruit. We shall see then. I've kept mines indoors for now (I'm guessing Ikea would have imported it from somewhere hot not used to these climates) and the scent is amazing. What's the best thing to feed a lemon tree? And how can you find out what type of lemons it is? 


I dont think you can find out what type of lemon, you can buy separate citrus feeds for summer and winter,from garden centres we are using a liquid fertiliser from The Citrus Centre (Pulborough) only because we visited.  They dont like being indoors, especially in winter, they need a cold snap, You could look up Monty Dons advice.  My Hubby used to insist our went into our conservaotry, with the warmth, they get scale insect overwinter, because its so warm and cosy, and they give of a revolting sticky substance which covered all my furniture and floor, between us Monty and I managed to convince him they would be fine in a frostfree greenhouse.  It it said they will loose their leaves if allowed to go below 10d, but they have been left out at night and forgotten occassionally, and nothing happened.  They are outside now, getting a little rain.  I find they dont like full summer sun (I know barmy when you hink of hot countries where they grow happily) so Hubby made some stagging which goes round the side of our bungalow in the summer and they sit there quite happily.He also helps polination by going round the flowers with a kids paint brush, and sprays the leaves with (ideally) rainwater.  This helps keep the pests at bay.  Dont overthink it, dont worry about getting one lot of fruit, of course, they do take a lot longer in England to produce edible size fruit than they would in southern Spain, but most people grow them for the flowers,scent.  Last year I had full size lemons made my oldest son a lemon drizzle cake for his Birthday in March, happened just right!    I have bought Orchids from Ikea, they are just as good as expensive ones I have bought from "specialist" Orchid growers.  If you dont keep them moist, they tiy fruit drop off, very quickly, hence the spraying with water. Hope this helps.

We live in Nottingham ==  please refer to Mike Sallfelds  - UK Home Citrus site  re Nottingham Citrus growing outside...... The fruit is not a nice flavour but the juice can be drunk with sugar in it.......

Citrus is quite unique when it comes to growing from 'pips.'   From a citrus pip there is usually more plants than one when the pip germinates. One of those emerging plants will be identical with the parent. Some of the emerging plants will be or should I say could be a different variety as well as that phenomenon a variety of Citrus can put forth a sport which is a shoot of a different type of Citrus.........  Remarkable are Citrus but a grower has to be both vigilant and patient.   In the UK a bit of sun from a sun lamp in winter is of great benefit to many citrus. They

love the sun.


I have a new citrus x meyer plant, bought as a birthday present.   I am told it will withstand cold weather here and can be planted out in a sheltered spot.  However, I shall grow it in a pot so I can move it about and enjoy its perfume, control watering and feeding and also move it into shelter in cold snaps.

The fruits are large and slightly orange rather than lemon yellow.  The fruits are supposed to be sweeter than the lemons sold in shops.   I currently have it on a deep outside, south facing window sill and bring it in to an unheated garden room when overnight frost is expected but it goes back out for daytime.      

I have not had a Meyer Lemon but I think it has some orange 'parent' in it hence the sweetness.

These plants are OK outside in the summer but that is when all frost has gone. You'll soon know if it is unhappy with especially the root temp as all the foliage drops off!  I've seen that.....

There are several nice books now on Citrus .  The first colour book I got was a USA one =

Citrus How to grow and enjoy =Ray & Walheim - it has quite a wealth of knowledge from the Citrus areas of the USA......

If you've been to hotter climes where citrus grom unprotected apart from a bit of shading you'll know the totally different conditions from the UK they can cope with but the hardy rootstocks

help what is on top of that root to stand cooler weather. They do like warmth though.....

A lot of leaves are falling off  a Primofiori lemon, a calamondin and a Kumquat I bought from Lidle......... They are not as happy as I would want them to be and that's in a heated conservatory... It's gone quite dull as well re the snow. I bet they are looking forward to the spring!   Best of success with your Meyer.


Thanks for that.  It's sharing the sheltered windowsill with a small yuzu and currently both are happy.  I'm in the Vendée, about 20kms in from the coast so winters are never extreme tho we've had a few frosts lately.  Howling winds and rain from the south at the mo so they'll come in for the night for a rest.