Potted lemon trees will need watering around 1 time per week in summer, once every 2 weeks in spring and fall and once per month in winter. The factors that affect the amount of water a potted lemon tree needs include wind, sun, pot size, soil type and mulch.
This article will explore how often to water a potted lemon tree in each season, and the factors that affect how much water your plant will need. Check out this easy watering guide and tips for keeping potted lemon trees moist for longer
How often to water a potted lemon tree in summer
Potted lemon trees will usually need to be watered once per week in summer. An established tree growing in top quality potting soil will hold water well for a week if they are watered deeply. Water lemon trees in the morning in summer making sure that the whole soil surface is wet.
You should see a small amount of water flow out the bottom of the pot. Make sure that you empty the pot tray or lift the pot up slightly off the ground so it can drain well. Mulch the top of the pot with straw to keep the water in for longer and prevent the water from evaporating too quickly.
How often to water a potted lemon tree in fall and spring
Fall and spring are great times for lemon tree growth. As the weather cools you will need to water your plant around once every 2 weeks. If you get good amounts of fall and spring rain you may not need to add too much extra water yourself.
Before watering your plant again check the soil moisture levels with your finger or a spade. Move the soil gently near the edge of the pot to see if it dry 2 inches down. If the soil looks dry, water it deeply with your hose or a watering can. Add some seaweed solution to the watering can once per month to strengthen the plant’s root system.
How often to water a potted lemon tree in winter
You will need to water your potted lemon tree around once per month. Outdoor potted lemon trees may get most of their water from rain but will still benefit from a thorough soaking with your hose. Water your tree in the morning and avoid spraying water on the lemon tree leaves.
This will help to prevent mold and fungal growth on the leaves during the cooler months.
5 Factors affecting the amount of water potted lemon trees need
There are some key factors that affect how often you will need to water your lemon tree. Check out these 5 factors below.
1. Pot Size
Lemon trees grown in large pots will need to be watered less often than those grown in small pots. Large pots will hold more soil which will hold water for longer. Large lemon trees can be grown in half wine barrels which will hold a large amount of soil and water.
2. Pot material and color
Pots made from thick concrete, timber and stone can hold water very well. Make sure the inside of the pot is waterproof or sprayed with spray protectant. This will stop the water from being absorbed into the pot instead of staying in the soil.
The color of the pot will also affect the amount of water the plant needs. Black pots will dry out quicker particularly if they are placed out in full sun. Surround black pots with smaller pots filled with annual flowers to shade the pot and keep the soil moist for longer.
2. Soil type
Using the best quality potting soil with lots of organic matter will help the plant to hold water for longer. Look out for a premium potting soil or one specifically made for citrus trees. Premium potting soils will hold water well, may contain a soil wetter which captures the water and lots of top quality organic material.
3. Shade and Sun
The position of the pot will affect how quickly the soil dries out. A pot sitting in all-day full sun will dry out quicker than those in a position that gets part shade. For very hot, dry climates it can be better to place your pot in a position that gets afternoon shade in summer.
Mulching the top of your lemon tree pot will help to keep the moisture in for longer. Layer 2 inches of bark mulch, straw, pea straw or lucerne mulch on top of the pot surface. This will protect the lemon tree roots from drying out, will feed soil bacteria and will slowly break down and mix through the soil.
5. Wind protection
Protecting potted lemon trees from strong wind, particularly in summer will help to prevent it from drying out. Place your pot near a masonry wall, on the side of your house or near a verandah. Excessive wind can cause fruit drop on your lemon tree so protect it if you can.
How to keep potted lemon trees moist for longer
Here are my top tips for keeping your potted lemon tree moist for longer. Use each one of these to prevent your lemon tree from drying out. It will grow large with lots of fruit using these easy tips.
- Use a large pot to hold more soil
- Shade the base of the pot with other potted plants
- Mulch the top of the soil with bark mulch or straw
- Use a top quality potting soil
- Protect the tree from wind by placing it near a wall or protected side of your house
How Often to Water a Potted Lemon Tree | Summary
Potted lemon trees will need more frequent watering in summer. Water them at least once per week in summer, once per fortnight in spring and fall and once per month in winter. To keep your potted lemon tree moist for longer plant them in a large pot, use premium potting soil and mulch the top of the soil.
- Lemon Tree Companion Plants | 15 Flowers, Fruit and Herbs
- What age do lemon trees start fruiting? | 3 Years: Plus tips for Fruit Sooner
- How to Fertilize a Lemon Tree | 6 Easy Steps
- How to safely leave your lemon tree outside in winter | Top 11 Tips
- Lemon tree winter care | 6 Tips and Tricks
- Overwatering a lemon tree | 6 Ways to know + Solutions
- Lemon tree has flowers but no fruit | 6 Easy Solutions
- No flowers on lemon trees: 11 Simple solutions
- Why lemon trees attract bees | + Ants, Aphids & Ladybugs
- How to use Epsom Salts on Lemon Trees | 5 Easy Steps
- Growing Lemon Trees in Full Sun | 6 Hours of Sun
- Do lemon trees have invasive roots? | How to keep roots contained
- Coffee Grounds for Lemon Trees | Easy Guide
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.