Lemon Tree Life Cycle: How Long Do Lemon Trees Live

lemon tree
Image by Olga_Anourina

By Jackie Carroll

If you live in a tropical or subtropical climate where frosts are mild and infrequent, you can grow a lemon tree. These trees are not only beautiful, but they also fill the garden with delightfully fresh fragrance. Read on to find out about lemon tree lifespans and what you can do to get as many years as possible from your tree.

Lemon Tree Life Cycle

The average lifespan of lemon trees is over 50 years. With proper care and disease prevention practices, a vigorous tree can live over 100 years. Diseases can shorten the life of a lemon tree, but good care leads to a strong, healthy tree less susceptible to diseases. Here are a few tips to help you extend the life of your tree:

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Plant lemon trees in a location with eight or more hours of direct sunlight each day. Choose a site with loose, well-drained soil.

Water the tree often enough to keep the soil from drying out until it is well-established in its new home. An established lemon tree has bright, shiny foliage, and it shows signs of new growth. Once established, the tree only needs water during prolonged dry spells.

Fertilize the tree with a citrus fertilizer. This type of fertilizer provides everything a citrus tree needs, including all of the essential micronutrients.

Prune the tree just enough to allow sunlight to reach the lower branches. Failure to thin the tree can lead to diseases. Watch the tree for broken or diseased branches and prune to remove problems as they occur.

The lemon tree life cycle is simple. Two to five years after planting, the trees bloom with fragrant flowers capable of fertilization. Each branch holds both male and female flowers. Bees are the primary pollinators, and if pollination is successful, the resulting fruit contains seeds.

How Long Do Lemon Trees live In Containers?

Lemon trees can live almost as long in containers as in the ground. For long container life, repot the tree into a larger container every one to one-and-a-half years. It is important to use fresh soil when planting in a new pot. When the tree reaches its maximum size, it won’t need a larger pot but it still needs fresh soil.

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