Ultimate Guide for Lemon Tree Growth Stages

Updated: 24 Feb 2024


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Lemon is a citrus fruit known for its acidic taste and bright yellow color. It belongs to the Rutaceae family and is scientifically known as Citrus limon. Lemons are a versatile fruit used in cooking, baking, beverages, and even household cleaning due to their acidic properties. They are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which are beneficial for health.

Lemon juice is commonly used to flavor dishes, dressings, marinades, and beverages like lemonade. I explore all lemon tree growth stages in this straightforward guide, from basic to advanced. 

Lemon tree growth stages
Lemon tree growth stages
Table of Content
  1. What is Lemon Zest
  2. First Lemon Tree Growth Stage: Planting of Seeds
    1. Choosing the Right Soil Mix:
    2. Planting Depth Demystified:
    3. Watering Tips for Seedlings:
  3. Tiny Sprouts: Germination Unveiled
    1. Signs of Germination:
    2. Timelines for Sprouting:
    3. Providing Adequate Light for Seedlings:
  4. Seedling to Sapling: The Early Phase of Lemon Growth Stages
    1. Supporting Healthy Root Development:
    2. Pruning Dos and Don'ts:
    3. Understanding the Importance of Sunlight:
  5. Lemon Tree Flower Buds.
    1. Recognizing the First Signs of Flowering:
    2. Pollination Basics Made Simple:
    3. How to Encourage a Fruitful Outcome:
  6. Stages of Lemon Growth: Lemon Tree Fruit Cycle
    1. The Transformation Process:
    2. Common Issues and Troubleshooting:
    3. Watering and Feeding Guidelines:
  7. Harvesting Stage of Lemon Tree Growing Stages
    1. Determining the Right Time to Harvest:
    2. Gentle Harvesting Techniques:
    3. Celebrating Your First Lemon:
  8. Lemon Tree Growth Chart
  9. Conclusion

What is Lemon Zest

Lemon zest is the outer, colorful skin of a lemon. It is often used in cooking and baking to add flavor and aroma to dishes. Lemon zest can be grated or finely chopped, and it is typically used in small amounts. It is a good vitamin C source and can help detoxify the liver.

1. First Lemon Tree Growth Stage: Planting of Seeds

The journey of the lemon plant stages begins with planting the seeds. This step is crucial, setting the foundation for healthy growth.

Lemon seed planting
Lemon seed planting

Choosing the Right Soil Mix: 

Pick a well-draining potting mix, something light and airy. You can buy a ready-made mix or make your own by combining garden soil with perlite or sand.

Planting Depth Demystified: 

Plant the lemon seeds about half an inch deep in the soil. Gently cover them.

Watering Tips for Seedlings: 

Water your newly planted seeds enough to moisten the soil, but don’t drown them. Once a week is usually sufficient but adjusted based on the soil’s moisture level.

By tackling these basics, you’re laying the groundwork for a successful lemon plant. Keep it accessible, and you’ll soon see those first signs of life emerging from the soil.

2. Tiny Sprouts: Germination Unveiled

The growth stages of lemon trees begin with the exciting process of germination. This stage involves tiny sprouts emerging from the soil, signifying the start of the plant’s journey.

Lemon plant germination
Lemon plant germination

Signs of Germination: 

After some days, tiny green shoots break through the soil surface, a sign of germination.

Timelines for Sprouting: 

Germination only happens after some time. It usually takes a couple of weeks for those sprouts to make their debut. Keep your soil moist but not waterlogged during this waiting period.

Timelines for Sprouting: 
Timelines for Sprouting: 

Providing Adequate Light for Seedlings: 

Place your pots in a spot where they get plenty of indirect sunlight. There is no need for fancy equipment. Just find a sunny windowsill.

Understanding these basics of germination sets the successful lemon plant growth stages. Soon, tiny sprouts grow into vibrant seedlings.

3. Seedling to Sapling: The Early Phase of Lemon Growth Stages

Your lemon plant is on the move from sprout to sapling! This phase ensures little green plants develop sturdy roots and a strong foundation for future growth.

Seedling to Sapling
Seedling to Sapling

Supporting Healthy Root Development: 

Give your sapling some room to spread its roots. Once it outgrows its current home, transplant it into a slightly larger pot, ensuring enough space for the roots to expand.

Pruning Dos and Don’ts: 

Pruning removes any dead or yellowing leaves. Trim back any long stems to encourage a bushier, more compact plant. But don’t go overboard; your sapling needs those leaves for energy.

Understanding the Importance of Sunlight: 

Saplings love sunlight, but only a little too soon. Find a balance in your pot where it gets a good amount of the sun each day, but avoid scorching rays.

You’re guiding your lemon plant through this critical growth phase by focusing on healthy roots, minimal pruning, and the right amount of sunlight. Keep it straightforward; soon, your sapling will transform into a robust and thriving plant.

4. Lemon Tree Flower Buds.

The lemon plant is gearing up for something unique: flowering and buds. This phase is where you lay the groundwork for juicy lemons in the future.

Recognizing the First Signs of Flowering: 

Watch for small, delicate flowers appearing on your lemon plant. These are the early signs that your plant is gearing up for the next step.

Flowering stage of lemon tree
Lemon tree flowering stages

Pollination Basics Made Simple: 

Nature usually takes care of this, but if you’re growing indoors, lend a helping hand. Gently shake your plant or use a soft brush to mimic the wind, aiding pollination.

How to Encourage a Fruitful Outcome: 

Ensure your plant is well-fed with a balanced fertilizer. Consistent watering is also necessary, and it should only dry out partially. It takes some time for those blossoms to turn into actual lemons.

This phase is all about laying the foundation for a fruitful lemon harvest. Watch for those blossoms, assist in pollination if needed, and keep your plant well-nourished. Simple steps now lead to sweet lemons later!

Fruiting stage of lemon tree
Fruiting stage of lemon tree

5. Stages of Lemon Growth: Lemon Tree Fruit Cycle

Excitement is building as your lemon tree progresses to the fruit formation stage. Get ready to witness the transformation from green buds to luscious yellow lemons.

Lemon tree fruit cycle
Lemon tree growth stages pictures

The Transformation Process: 

As your buds mature, they’ll slowly transform into green lemons. Over time, these green orbs will take on that familiar yellow hue, indicating they’re ripe and ready for picking.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting: 

Keep an eye out for any hiccups. Check the sunlight and water levels to see if your lemons aren’t turning yellow. Adjust as needed. Be on the lookout for pests, too—gentle soap and water can usually handle the job without resorting to harsh chemicals.

Watering and Feeding Guidelines: 

Consistent watering remains crucial. Ensure your plant gets a steady supply of water without drowning it. Stick to a balanced fertilizer routine, providing nutrients for those growing lemons.

As your lemons progress through their color transformation, address any issues promptly and stick to a steady watering and feeding schedule. Before you know it, you’ll harvest your vibrant and succulent yellow lemons.

6. Harvesting Stage of Lemon Tree Growing Stages

The moment you’ve been waiting for is here—harvesting your homegrown lemons! Let’s keep it simple as we guide you through picking your ripe, juicy fruits.

Determining the Right Time to Harvest: 

Wait until your lemons are entirely yellow before picking. Give them a gentle squeeze; they are ready if they yield slightly to pressure. Avoid pulling or tugging; a simple twist usually detaches the fruit quickly.

Harvesting time of lemon tree
Harvesting time of lemon tree

Gentle Harvesting Techniques: 

Handle your lemons with care. Cut the stem about half an inch above the fruit using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears. This helps your plant focus its energy on new growth.

Celebrating Your First Lemon: 

Take a moment to revel in your success! Whether you use your lemon for cooking, baking, or a refreshing drink, savor the flavor of your homegrown produce. Share the joy with friends and family—your gardening journey has come full circle.

Harvesting your lemons is a gratifying experience. Pay attention to the signs, use gentle harvesting techniques, and celebrate the sweet success of your first homegrown lemon. Please keep it simple, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Lemon Tree Growth Chart

A lemon tree growth chart is essential for anyone interested in cultivating and maintaining lemon trees. This chart provides a detailed timeline of the various growth stages in a lemon tree’s life cycle, from its initial planting as a seed to its full maturity, which typically takes three to six years.

The first stage of the lemon tree growth cycle is germination, which occurs after the seed is planted and typically takes between two weeks to a month. This is followed by the seedling stage, where the tree develops its first leaves and roots. This stage can last anywhere from six months to a year, depending on the variety of lemon trees and the growing conditions.

Life cycle of lemon tree
The life cycle of lemon tree

The next stage is the sapling stage. The tree grows taller during this phase and develops its trunk and branches. This stage can last for one to three years. After this, the tree enters the juvenile stage, where it continues to grow but does not yet produce fruit. This stage can last for two to three years.

The final stage is the mature stage, where the tree begins to produce fruit. This typically occurs when the tree is between three to six years old. During this time, the grower must provide adequate watering, fertilization, and pest control to ensure a healthy crop.

In conclusion, a lemon tree growth chart is a valuable resource for anyone looking to grow these citrus trees. It offers a detailed timeline of the different growth stages in a lemon tree’s life cycle and provides essential information on caring for the tree at each stage.

What is lemon tree growth time?

Lemon trees take 2 to 3 years to produce fruit from a grafted plant and 5 to 6 years to produce fruit from seedling to harvest.

How long does it take a lemon to grow

Usually 9 months a lemon tree takes to grow from pollination to harvesting

when does lemon tree flower?

Lemon trees typically flower during the spring and early summer months. The exact timing can vary based on climate, location, and the specific lemon tree variety. You can expect lemon trees to bloom from late winter to early summer.

How long do lemons take to grow after flowering?

After flowering, lemons generally take 6 to 9 months to develop and ripen entirely on the tree. However, the exact time can vary depending on the lemon tree variety, climate, and growing conditions. Patience is essential as you wait for the lemons to mature before harvesting.

What does the lemon tree look like?

The appearance of a lemon tree can vary based on factors such as age, variety, and growing conditions, but here are some common characteristics:

  1. Leaves: Lemon trees are typically glossy, elliptical, and medium to dark green. When crushed, they have a distinct lemon scent.
  2. Height and Shape: Lemon trees can range in height but are generally small to medium-sized. They have a rounded or slightly oval shape with dense foliage.
  3. Trunk and Bark: The trunk of a lemon tree is often smooth and grayish-brown. As the tree matures, the bark may develop furrows.
  4. Flowers: Lemon trees produce fragrant white flowers with five petals. The flowers are usually solitary or in small clusters.
  5. Fruit: Lemon trees bear yellow, oval-shaped fruits. The size and shape of the fruit can vary between lemon varieties.

Overall, lemon trees are attractive and vibrant, with glossy green leaves, fragrant flowers, and bright yellow fruits that make them easily recognizable.


Wrapping up your lemon-growing adventure is all about simplicity and patience. From planting tiny seeds to picking ripe lemons, each step of the growth stages of a lemon tree plays a vital role in the journey. Celebrate the small wins, like spotting the first sprouts or harvesting your first lemon. Gardening is a journey, not a race. Please keep it simple, enjoy the process, and relish the satisfaction of growing your lemons. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned green thumb, your efforts in nurturing nature will indeed bear fruit.



Hi, I am Sikandar Mehdi, founder of mybestvegetables.com. I have been a professional farmer for 20 years. After graduating in 2002, I started learning about vegetables. After a lot of experience, in 2023, I started sharing my blog on my platform, mybestvegetables.com.

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