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Zone
Zones 8, 9, 12-27, H1, H2
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Citrus, Lemon

Lemon
Rutaceae
Evergreen, Edible fruit, Shrubs, Trees, Decorative fruit or berries

Low-heat requirement makes lemons widely adapted and especially appreciated in regions where sweet oranges and grapefruit won’t ripen. They do best year-round near the coast, though some varieties are very successful in the desert.

‘Dwarf Lisbon’

Plants sold under this name are simply ‘Lisbon’ lemons on a dwarf rootstock, so they top out at under 12 ft. high and wide. Fruit is practically identical to ‘Eureka’, but the tree is denser. Ripens mostly in fall but has some ripe fruit all year. More resistant to cold than ‘Eureka’ and better adapted to high heat; best lemon for Arizona. There is also a seedless form.

‘Eureka’ lemon
‘Eureka’ lemon

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‘Eureka’

This is the standard lemon of markets. Bears all year. Grows to 20 ft. tall, with somewhat open growth; branches have few thorns. As a dwarf, it is a dense tree with large, dark leaves. New growth on both standard-size and dwarf plants is bronzy purple. Should be pruned every year or two to keep the trees within bounds and the fruit easily reachable. Can be shaped as a small tree.

‘Improved Meyer’ lemon
‘Improved Meyer’ lemon

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‘Improved Meyer’

The word “improved” refers to fact that this is a disease-free form of ‘Meyer’ lemon (which is itself probably a cross between lemon and sweet orange), and the only one that can be sold in California. This is the best lemon for Hawaii. Fruit is quite different from the commercial lemon—rounder, thinner skinned, orange yellow in color. Tangy aroma but less acidic flavor than standard lemon; very juicy. Bears fruit year-round and starts producing at an early age. The tree is not a dwarf on its own roots, though it is sometimes sold as an own-root plant that can reach 12 ft. tall, 15 ft. wide. On a dwarf rootstock, it’s half that size.

‘Lisbon’

Vigorous, upright, thorny tree to 20–25 ft. tall; also available on dwarf rootstock (‘Dwarf Lisbon’). Denser than ‘Eureka’, but fruit is practically identical. Can be trimmed up into a highly decorative small tree. Ripens mostly in fall but has some ripe fruit all year. More resistant to cold than ‘Eureka’ and better adapted to high heat; best lemon for Arizona. There is also a seedless form.

‘Variegated Pink’ (‘Pink Lemonade’)

Sport of ‘Eureka’ with green-and-white leaves and green stripes on immature fruit; everbearing like ‘Eureka’. Light pink flesh doesn’t need heat to develop color. This handsome landscape tree grows to 20–25 ft. tall.

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