The best position for your lemon tree is full sun. A tree that gets at least 6 hours of sun will grow more fruit, will grow larger and quicker. Lemon trees grow best in full sun position because they can photosynthesize more effectively which will help them to make food for themselves and support the growth of large, delicious lemons.
This article will explore the best position to plant your lemon tree, tips for growing lemon trees in shade and the best position for lemon trees in pots.
Benefits of growing lemon trees in full sun
Here are the top benefits of growing lemon trees in full sun at home.
1. More leaves which supports more fruit growth
A lemon tree growing in a full sun position will grow more leaves. This is important for a healthy plant that will produce a lot of fruit. Large, healthy leaves will be able to capture a lot of light, photosynthesize and create food for the tree.
This is important for both fruit and flower growth. The more sun your lemon tree gets, the more flowers and fruit you will get. Lemon trees will grow best with at least 6 hours of sun but the more the better. In the summer lemon trees will love a full 8 hour day of sunlight.
2. Strong branch and root growth
Lemon trees will grow strong, large branches in full sun which is essential for holding large fruit. Lemon trees will naturally lose some fruit as they grow but those grown in full sun will be able to support more fruit.
The amount of lemons the tree can support is dependent on the amount of nutrients and water the plant can absorb. Large and healthy root growth will help the plant to absorb nutrients and water. Great root growth will be supported by lots of sunlight and regular water.
3. More flowers
A lemon tree grown in full sun will grow more flowers. This will mean that there is more chance that the flowers will be successfully pollinated and set fruit.
4. Higher pollination rates
Full sun will lead to higher pollination rates in lemon trees. Bees are naturally attracted to the bright, white flowers of lemon trees. They will collect the nectar from the yellow centers of the flowers, moving pollen from one flower to another.
5. Larger, sweeter lemons
A lemon tree grown in a full sun position will grow larger, sweeter lemons. Sun is essential for the lemons to ripen from green to yellow. The faster this happens the higher harvest rates you will have. If you leave the lemons on for longer, the color of the skin will darken and the flavor will sweeten.
You can pick your lemons earlier, as soon as they turn yellow to get a sour lemon taste. This is up to you but growing lemons in full sun will give you the option to choose a traditionally sour or riper, sweeter lemon.
Growing lemon trees in part shade
You can successfully grow lemons in part shade. Morning sun is fantastic for lemon trees but as long as they are getting at least 6 hours of bright light they will still grow well and produce fruit. Lemon trees grown in part shade will not grow as fast as those grown in full sun.
You may also notice that you will get less flowers and fruit if grown in shade. If a part shade position is the only place you have for your lemon tree you can still go ahead and plant your tree.
A lemon tree that produces a few lemons is better than no lemon tree at all.
Best position for lemon trees in pots
Lemon trees grown in pots are great if you have a small yard then you can move the plant around in each season. As the sun and shade moves you can move your plant to the best position.
Move lemon trees to a sheltered position in winter. This can protect their delicate leaves from frost. In spring and summer you can move your plant out to an open position to get as much sun as possible. This will give you more flowers and more fruit.
How much sun does a lemon tree need?
Lemon trees will grow best with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight but will still grow with less than this. Move potted lemon trees into a sunny position if you can. Lemon trees grown in around 6-8 hours of spring and summer sunlight will give the best results with more fruit, bright green leaves and lots of flowers
Can lemon trees grow in shade?
Lemon trees will still grow in shade but it is a great idea to try to give it as much sun as possible. Lemon trees will still grow well in part shade but those grown in full shade will produce less flowers and fruit.
Do lemon trees do well in pots?
Lemon trees grow fantastically well in pots and have the added benefit of being portable. Plant lemon trees in pots so you can move them into the sun in the spring and summer. Always use a premium potting soil when potting up your plants so that they can grow rapidly and produce fruit sooner.
Do potted lemon trees need full sun?
Potted lemon trees will grow well in full sun. Place other pots around the base of the plant to shade the pot and prevent it from drying out as quickly. Lemon trees will grow really well in full sun but make sure you check the soil and water it regularly.
Growing lemon trees in full sun | Summary
Lemon trees will grow incredibly well in full sun. Make sure they get at least 6 hours of sun in spring and summer so that they grow strong roots, stems and leaves. This will support the tree to grow lots of flowers, encourage bees to pollinate them and grow lots of lemons.
Lemon trees are a great addition to any garden even if you only have a part shade position. Lemon trees will still grow well and produce fruit for you and your family.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.