How Long does it Take to Grow Lemon Trees from Seed?

Do you like lemons, if you do then you should try growing them in your garden? The lemon plant is fragrant with medium green leaves and quite a few spines. Usually, we prefer grafts to grow lemons. They grow fast yet you can try growing them with seeds. Lemon seed is cost-effective and quite easy to find. Just grab a lemon, squeeze it and get those seeds to grow. It is easy although you may have to wait for years for the results. How long does it take to grow lemon trees from seed? You have to wait At least 3 to 8 years before you can get any fruits on lemon seedlings. It can sometimes take more than 10 years for a lemon seedling to mature and bloom.

How Long does it Take to Grow Lemon Trees from Seed?
How Long does it Take to Grow Lemon Trees from Seed?

Check out my previous post: Why is it Expensive to Produce Hybrid Seeds

How Long does it Take to Grow Lemon Trees from Seed?- You will need a minimum of 3 to 5 years to grow lemon trees from seed. It can take at most 10 years in unfavorable conditions.

Can I Grow Lemon Tree from Seeds?

We can grow a lemon tree from seed. You have to start with collecting some viable seeds. It’s not that difficult. Get a lemon, cut it and squeeze out some seed. Clean the seeds and dry them in sun for a day and another two in shade.

Once the seeds are completely clean and dry. Soak them in freshwater for 10 to 15 hours and then wrap them in a damp cloth or paper towel. let them settle in a warn airtight zip bag for a week or two.

These seeds will start germinating in 7 to 10 days. Move them in a light healthy germination soil mix once the seeds germinate.

Transplant the seedlings into bigger containers until they are ready for final transplant. Move them to the garden spot once they reach 8 to 10 inches in height with a couple of healthy branches. Take care of these seedlings for another 3 to 5 year until it starts blooming. It is slow yet you can get some juicy lemons. I think it’s worth waiting to see the result of your efforts and dedication. After all, it will take a lot of time and the least expenditure, so why not give it a try.

Also read: Why Don’t Limes have Seeds?

How fast do Lemon Seedlings grow?

Prety Slow. That’s right Lemon seedlings can grow at most 4 or 6 inches in a year. Sometimes they can grow faster though it is not enough. The germination of lemon seeds can take 1 to 3 weeks. This is a little slow and quite boring.

At first, when I start collecting and germinating lemon, lime, and orange seeds, it was quite interesting for a little boy. Soon I get bored with digging those seeds out of the soil to see how they are growing. It was slow then and so does now. Although now I am more interested in the observation than the results. After all these years I have learned to have patience for the good of these plants.

Lemon seedlings grow slower than any grafted lemon plant. The rate of growth is not enough to produce blooms quickly for the fruits.

Although You can boost the growth to reduce its maturity up to 5 years. Lemon seedlings can grow fast if you provide essential nutrients and abundant sunlight to them.

Do you know Are Lemons and Limes the same Fruit?-Kitchen facts

How long Does it take for a Lemon Seed to develop fruit?

The Journey of lemon starts with the seed and ends with the dying plant. All of this may take decades to complete. Although it may take 10 years for a lemon seed to develop fruits. The plant itself can survive for a couple of decades.

The Seed germination will at around 3 weeks. These seeds will sprout and develop true leaflets within another 2 to 3 weeks. More leaves will set and the seedling will grow up to 4-8 inches in the next 3 months. The Lemon seedling will be ready for its first transplant after 4 to 6 months of germination. This is a long waiting time and you can’t do much about it.

These lemon seedlings will extend new branch sets after 1 year of seed germination. You may retransplant them to bigger containers or just let them grow wherever they are. These plants don’t need any serious care. Though it is better if you allow proper sunlight with regular watering and monthly fertilization. A help can boot the plant growth and It may start bloom from the 3rd year.

Altogether a Lemond seed will require 3 to 5 years to develop fruits. These seeds must have successful germination and proper growth to achieve that. Sometimes it can take up to 10 years for a lemon seed to develop fruits considering they have grown well into healthy seedlings.

Factors That affects the growth of Lemon Seedlings

Some factors can affect the growth rate of a lemon plant. The journey of the lemon starts as a small seed. It should germinate within 3 weeks or earlier. If the temperature stays low or the soil is not favorable then this can extend up to 6 weeks.

Similar reasons can also slow down the growth rate of lemon seedlings. It can extend the maturity time to 10 years or more.  Therefore, we must understand all the factors that affect the growth of lemon seedlings and try to regulate them. Also, read How to Propagate a Lime or Lemon Tree by Air Layering?

These factors include-

  • Viability of the lemon seeds
  • Soil ph
  • Temperature
  • Sunlight
  • Water level
Selecting Lemon Tree and branches
Selecting Lemon Tree and branches

Start with cleaning and drying lemon seeds and then treat them with a pinch of any contact fungicide. Use soft moist soil mix with a ph below 6.8. Lemon seeds and seedlings can grow well in a soil ph of 5.3 to 6.8, so mix up some compost to keep it low.

Lemon plants need direct sunlight for more than 8 hours to bloom. This much sunlight is sufficient to keep the plants warm and cozy throughout the day. Try to keep the temperature above 2 degrees Celsius or 65 degrees Fahrenheit for best growth. It is a perennial plant although heavy frost is not good for lemons.

Always keep the soil moist and roots well hydrated for better bloom and big juicy lemons. If you keep an eye on all of these factors then nothing can stop you from growing lemons from seeds.

Can We speed up the growth of lemon Seedlings?

The lemon seedling can take an average of 5 years to produce fruits. It is a long time if you want to wait just for some lemons even if it is completely worth it. After all, you will get the result of your time and efforts as a gardener.

Plant growth is a natural process and there is nothing you can do to avoid the required time. Although you can speed up the growth of lemon seedlings by regulating the essential nutrients and amount of water and sunlight.

You can tweak the plant’s growth rate by increasing the timing of sunlight. All you need is to put the plant in full sun where nothing can obstruct the sunlight for most of the day. The sunlight can have some disadvantages like quick dehydration. So named the soil with compost and cocopeat to increase moisture retention. Use organic mulch like rice husk or leaf mold to prevent water loss from continuous evaporation.

Next add 1/2 spoon of NPK 46:0:0, 1/2 Spoon of NPK 10:20:20, 1/4 spoon of Superphosphate, 1/2 spoon of Potash or NPK 0:0:30 with 2 to 3 spoons of mustard cake powder or groundnut cake powder. Also, add 1/4 spoon of contact fungicide with 1/2 spoon of fine wood ash to the soil. Repeat this once every month and rake the soil surface to mix it well. Don’t forget to water the soil every time after fertilization.

Next, spray the lemon seedlings with Epsom salt and seaweed extract twice every week to give them a boost. Once the Lemon seedlings are ready to bloom spray them with Miraculan or any growth booster twice every week.

This should be enough to boost the growth rate of lemon seedlings. I have successfully grown lemons within 3 and halfyear with seeds. I collect those seeds from store-bought lemons.

This technique is helpful although you can’t ay by how much it will work for you. SO give it a try and share the results with us.

Final Words

So what’s your opinion- How Long does it Take to Grow Lemon Trees from Seed? It will take at least 3 to 5  years in ideal conditions. If the conditions aren’t favorable then you may have to wait for 10 years before it starts blooming.

It is a slow process although you can reduce the time by controlling the factors that affect it. Look out for the quality of seeds to the available sunlight, water, and nutrition level in the soil. Keep them regulated and that’s enough for growing lemon plants from seeds.


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

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