Meyer lemons are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They are widely used in many different dishes, including ice cream, desserts and candies. A large number of people love them because they taste good and have no calories or fat content. However, there is another reason why so many people like these fruit: their delicious flavor! Mature Meyer lemons can reach up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall and weigh over 1 pound (500 g). These juicy, sweet fruits are native to North America and were introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages. Today, they are grown commercially in Florida, California and other states.
The Meyer lemon tree is a deciduous tree with white or pink blossoms that appear from late spring until early summer. When it blooms, the flowers look like little miniature lilies (Figure 1). The flower petals are a bright yellow color, but the stamens are greenish-yellow. There is no scent to the flowers; however, if you touch your nose to the petal tip, you will smell a pleasant citrus odor.
Meyer lemons grow best in full sun to partial shade conditions. They prefer moist soil and thrive well in sandy soils with some organic matter added. They require regular watering but don’t need much fertilizer. It is a good idea to mulch the base of the tree with 2 to 5 inches (5 to 13 cm) of mulch. This helps retain moisture around the shallow roots and keeps the soil temperature cooler.
Meyer lemons can reach full bearing when they are between 3 to 5 years old. The tree will continue to produce fruit throughout the year, but the greatest fruits ripen in fall and winter. The fruit is ready to pick when it slips easily off the stem.
Meyer Lemons are in the family Rutaceae, which also includes Citrus maxima (pomelo or bigarade), C. medica (citron), C. ×persica (citrange) and Fortunella japonica (winged orange). The origin of the species is obscure, although the fruit was cultivated in China and Japan from ancient times. In 1872, the Italian immigrant Achille Molmenti brought some trees to Riverside, California.
The horticulturist George Roeding received some of these trees and grafted them to produce fruit with no seeds. The variety was named after Molmenti’s friend Kate Vaughn, who had given him the cuttings. It was first sold in 1902 with great success.
Lemons are high in Vitamin C and antioxidants, which are good for you to fight free radicals that cause everything from cancer to heart disease.
Meyer Lemons are easy to grow in containers but will produce better quality fruit when grown in the ground. Used primarily as a decorative tree in many gardens, the leaves turn a beautiful red in the fall. The familiar lemon smell of the flowers attracts bees and is beloved by those who have them.
The trees are relatively small and easy to maintain, they will survive in most types of soils but prefer well drained soil. The fruit does best in a warm, dry climate and will not thrive in areas that receive regular rainfall or humidity.
Meyer Lemons can be eaten fresh, made into jams or preserves, or cooked into sauces or curries.
In addition to adding flavor and nutrition to your favorite dishes, the Meyer Lemon Tree can also make a beautiful addition to any garden.
Buy your Meyer Lemon Tree today!
Sources & references used in this article:
Citrus ‘Meyer’ by TK Lim – Edible medicinal and non-medicinal plants, 2012 – Springer
DESIGN AND EVALUATION OF AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM FOR MEYER LEMONS by A Atchley – 2013 – digitalcommons.calpoly.edu
Cultivation of Meyer lemons in unheated stuctures in the Gornobadakhshanskaya autonomous region of Tadzhik SSR. by AM Makhramov – Subtropicheskie Kul’tury, 1990 – cabdirect.org
Viability of meyer lemon over sour orange rootstock by ST Shah, S Rahman, N Khan, M Sajid, A Rab… – Pure and Applied …, 2016 – thepab.org
Identification of Citrange stunt as the mechanically transmissible virus from Meyer Lemons doubly infected with Citrange stunt and tatter leaf virus. by A Catara, JM Wallace – Phytopathology, 1970 – cabdirect.org