Bush Lemon Care: Learn About Growing Bush Lemon Shrubs

Whole And Sliced Bush Lemons
(Image credit: Proformabooks)

Are you growing bush lemon shrubs in your orchard? You might be without even knowing it. These rough, tough lemon trees are often used as rootstocks for more picky lemon cultivars. What is a bush lemon tree? Can you eat bush lemons? Read on for answers to all your questions about growing bush lemon shrubs.

What is a Bush Lemon?

You may think that the term “bush lemons” simply refers to any shrub that produces the citrus fruit, lemon. You would be wrong though. What is a bush lemon? It is a large shrub or a small tree that produces dense evergreen foliage. The leaves are a glossy green. If you are thinking of growing bush lemon shrubs, you’ll find out that the white flowers have a lovely fragrance. The plant also goes by the common name of rough lemon. The scientific name is Citrus limon jambhiri. While bush lemons grow in most areas of the world, they are especially popular in Australia.

Can You Eat Bush Lemons?

Growing bush lemon shrubs is not difficult as long as you live in a frost-free area. Bush lemon care is also quite easy. The bush lemon blossoms give way to the lemon fruit. These fruits are not smooth skinned and attractive like the lemons you buy in the grocery or grow at home. Rather, the fruits are nobbly, thick skinned, and lumpy. They are lemon yellow and do produce juice, however. In fact, these are the preferred lemons to make Australia’s famous lemon butter. Can you eat bush lemons? Yes, you can, although not many people eat lemons like they eat oranges. Still, you will find many recipes on the web using the juice, zest, and rind. Bush lemon tree leaves can be used to make tea and to prepare meat and seafood.

How to Grow a Bush Lemon

If you start growing bush lemon shrubs, you’ll find it is not difficult, nor is bush lemon care very time-consuming. That is why this species is often used as rootstock for other lemon varieties. Bush lemon plants are quite hardy, but they have a low frost tolerance. Plant your seeds in well-drained, fertile soil that gets plenty of sun. As far as bush lemon care goes, you’ll need to provide your plant with regular irrigation, especially during the blossom period. If bush lemon shrubs don’t get enough water during flowering, the fruit can drop.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.