Size of Meyer Lemon

LaurAllenFebruary 13, 2011

I really wanted a full-sized meyer lemon tree for my backyard but I think I was sold a dwarf instead because after a year, my very healthy plant is only about 6" taller. Is this normal? It's an Improved Meyer Lemon and it does not say Dwarf on the label. Thank you for any help. I'd appreciate your opinions. :)

Oh! Also the lemons are not orangey, but very yellow lemon and taste like regular lemons. Confused.

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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

I just stopped in with very similar questions! :-)

I just got a tree yesterday, a Improved Meyer Lemon.

The searches i've done on it have left me a little confused.
Some sites suggest there is a dwarf.. others suggest the tree I have can be made/kept dwarf by container and pruning.

So is there a dwarf variety?

I got it at Wal Mart, for only $13 and it's about a 4' tree, but very little branching. So i'm puzzled as to why it is so much cheaper than i'm seeing online.

The label says ever bearing. Fruits year round.

I will be putting it in a container.

I'm very excited about getting it! I have a few tree's that needed replaced. Didn't do too well with them before learning about GW and the great help here.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 9:13PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The growth rate of any plant is a product (other than genetics) of such factors as size of the plant when installed (the larger the plant, the longer it takes to establish and grow), type of soil, watering routine, planting depth, amount of sunlight, nutritional care, etc. We can't tell you if the 6 inches your tree has grown is 'normal' or not with the information given.

Meyer Lemon trees are small, even at maturity. MAYBE 15 feet, but that might be pushing it and that's only planted in a good soil, in a good outdoor location. They are a favorite for container gardeners because they are so easy to maintain as houseplants and will readily bear fruit when grown as a container plant. Meyers are often labeled as a dwarf plant.

A very inexpensive Meyer is likely to be a seedling (my guess), rather than a grafted specimen. It's my understanding that Meyers don't produce true from seed, but I'm not certain of that.

A mature Meyer, grown under ideal conditions, might very well have fruit most of the year.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 10:44PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

HI rhizo,
Thanks for the help!

I plan on keeping my tree fairly small, so it can be brought in come winter.

It's not a seedling though, it's grafted, and even has a tag for what nursery, and the name/# of the root stock.

I do see one little bud forming.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 11:21PM
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ashleysf(9 San Jose,CA)

JoJo, in Az and CA, the 11-14 dollar 4 ft citrus with little branching are all grafted citrus on "semi-dwarf" or "standard" rootstock. They will produce fruit in the first year. They are commonly on "Citrange" rootstock.
The smaller sized citrus which are well branched and around $24 in Home depot, Lowes and Walmart are all grafted on to a "true dwarf" rootstock.
My guess is that you have a "semi-dwarf" tree which will do just fine if you keep it in a container. The label will tell you how many feet it might grow if planted on ground. You can keep it compact in a container.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 11:52PM
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Oops, I'm sorry for repeating my question. And thank you for the help.

I got it at a local nursery and paid about $60 for a high quality tree. And it IS beautiful. I just wanted it to be taller than 4'. Guess I may put it in a pot and plant another bigger tree in that corner. It's nice and sunny so it shouldn't be too difficult. Lol.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 6:08PM
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ashleysf(9 San Jose,CA)

LaurAllen, Meyer lemon fruits are of varying color and the coloration depends on the growing conditions and temperature. One way to know if it is a Meyer lemon tree for sure is if you looked at the fruit and the skin was very smooth instead of rough (like a store bought lemon) then you know for sure that your tree is a Meyer. Also, Meyer lemon juice is acidic too, just not as acidic as traditional lemons.
If you paid $60 for the tree, then it is a bigger sized tree - if the grafting point is higher up on the trunk, it is usually indicative of a "Standard" tree. If you bought the tree late in the season, it might not have had the chance to grow much last year before winter dormancy hit it.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 6:36PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Thank you very much for your help! :-)

I did find where it says semi dwarf.
And the info on the $24 range is so good to know! I plan on getting several more trees!

I have aviaries and I want them surrounded by tree's.
Not to mention, love fruit. lol!


    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 11:00PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

laurallen, I see that this you have planted this tree outside. I'd suspect that it simply hasn't established well enough into the native soil for a lot of top growth to occur. Woody plants will, by necessity, devote much of their energy into this establishment process, during which the root system will enter into the surrounding soil and begin growing by leaps and bounds. The roots need to grow before the top does. Believe it or not, a containerized plant takes longer to establish than a field dug plant.

I'd advise you to be patient. Look for some good growth this spring. You simply haven't waited long enough.

Some things that may hinder the development of those roots, however, is if you added all kinds of amendments to the hole and/or backfill upon planting....or if you planted your tree too deep.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 10:42AM
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