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An Unusual Holiday Plant: The Meyer Lemon Tree

Meyer Lemon tree
Meyer lemons are fun to grow indoors and usually ripen in the winter in Minnesota. These lemons have a mandarin orange in the background as a parent and are a milder or sweeter form of lemon. 

What to expect as it ripens

The color changes from dark green to light green then yellow and finally a light orange or egg yolk color when fully ripe. The fruits become slightly softer on the outside as they ripen. 

The ripening can occur over several weeks. If fully ripe, they will fall from the tree, but usually by that time, the fruits are quite soft and perhaps overripe. Look for this form of lemon in the grocery store and you will see the fully ripe color. Unripened fruits are edible but will not be as sweet as fully ripe Meyer lemons. 

An unusual Holiday gift

Want to give an unusual Christmas gift to your gardening friends? Meyer lemons can be purchased at local garden centers and make a fun gift. 

They require full sun and regular watering and fertilizer, but will consistently bloom and fruit in Minnesota. Move the plants to a sunny porch in summer and a south window in the winter. 

Healthy citrus plants often have have fragrant flowers, immature green fruit and mature ripening fruit all at once, great for Minnesota gardeners in the winter!!

For more information see:
Growing Citrus Indoors

This article's from Penn State's Extension:
Grow Your Own Lemons

Author: Mary H. Meyer, Extension Horticulturist and Professor

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