Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lisbon Lemon

Taking a break from planters, pots, and projects, I'm going to do a mini series on citrus trees that were planted around the property.  So while I'm working on those projects, we'll look at some other things. Two series that are coming up are on exotic citrus trees, butterfly plants, and bulbs. Here are some citrus varieties that are doing really well on the property.  Another thing that we are seeing currently in the nurseries are citrus trees/bushes. Be careful about planting these trees/bushes during this time of year.  You can put them into the ground, but they won't start really growing until it heats up again and we still need to be careful about the freezes until March 15th. If it's one thing that's different about a citrus compared with a fruit tree, it's the cold. Always make sure you cover these plants up and protect them from frost.   Today's feature is the seedless Lisbon Lemon.  It's cold hardy to 32 degrees and should get full sun.  Keep the ground semi-moist.  It's bloom time is around spring. The average height of this particular tree/bush is 10-20 feet tall and equally wide.  Fertilize in spring, summer, and fall.  It does not need a pollinator as it is self fertile.  However by adding another cross pollinator like Eureka, Lisbon, Meyer, Pomona, Ponderoas, or The Valley will increase the quality and quantity of the fruit yield.

I've had a great experience with this plant.  It grew about a foot up from the ground and produced one or 2 fruit the first year.  On a posting back in summer, I talk about bird droppings on the plant.  Of course, these were caterpillars that eventually transformed  into swallowtail butterflies.  They get all over the plants here and the leaves look terrible after they're done.  If this bothers you here in town, the Tucson Botanical Gardens will accept them.  Elizabeth is the person to speak with as she is our butterfly specialist. Back to the lemon. It's a great fruit to use in cooking and/or for lemonade.  This particular plant had a harder time with the frost, but it's doing alright now.  It seems lemon varieties here do very well but they need a little more protection from the winter freezes.  Until next time, happy gardening!


  1. How great that it produces while still so small. Love that you rescue the caterpillars.

  2. One of the biggest things I miss about Arizona this time of the year are the wonderful lemons!

  3. Hi Rohrerbot
    I see that you have similar problems with your Lisbon Lemons as trouble Australian gardeners.
    Thanks for commenting on my Blog about the Citrus Caterpillars.

  4. As a follow up to our freeze, I lost both the lemon and lime trees to the frost. The Lisbon Lemon came back but below the graft and therefore will no longer produce any decent lemons.


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