Lemon trees form an important part of the citrus family of plants. They are very useful in many respects, from being fashionable ornamentals to producing fruits.
Lemon trees are a great option for backyard gardening. But you have to know what to expect with their size, care, and fruit when they begin to thrive.
How big does a lemon tree grow?
Lemon tree size can depend on the variety of plant, environmental conditions, and care you give them.
In this article, we’ll review the typical sizes of common lemon tree species as well as expectations around growth and pruning.
Meyer Lemon Tree
Meyer lemon trees produce the sweetest lemon fruits amongst all lemon tree varieties. This fruit is not commonly found in a grocery store. If you want to consume a Meyer lemon, get the seedlings and plant one in your backyard.
A naturally grown Meyer lemon tree can reach between 6-10 feet tall. Its dwarf variety grows to between 5-10 feet tall.
Meyer lemon trees were discovered in China in 1706. However, the initial variety was susceptible to a virus that was prone to infecting other citrus trees.
The original Meyer lemon tree variety went into extinction, but a disease-resistant Meyer lemon variant was discovered in 1975, and we consume its fruits today.
Besides have sweet fruits, Meyer lemon trees have shiny dark leaves and fragrant white blossoms with a purple base. These plants are also beautiful and can fulfill ornamental purposes.
The fruit starts out as dark green in color. But it soon changes into yellow tinted with a slight orange color that is synonymous with that of an egg yolk.
Eureka Pink Variegated Lemon Tree
Eureka Pink Variegated lemon trees are also known as Variegated Eureka lemon or Pink Lemonade trees.
Eureka pink variegated lemon trees can grow within the range of 10-15 feet, and the width ranges between 11-15 feet.
This is a variety of Eureka lemon tree that typically serves ornamental purposes and is known for its variegated green and white leaves.
It produces variegated foliage and round lemon fruits. These lemon fruits are green in color with creamy-yellow stripes. These stripes fade when the fruit becomes maturely ripe and becomes more yellowish.
Harvest may be difficult because the tree is thorny, and the fruits are widely spaced.
Due to its striped body color, a variety of it has been termed Zebra lemon. Despite the pinkish nature of this fruit and its flower buds, you should not expect pink juice.
Eureka Lemon Tree
Unlike Meyer lemon trees, which are a hybrid, Eureka lemon trees are a genuine lemon variety.
A standard Eureka lemon tree has a height of 20-30 feet. A dwarf variety can range between 8-10 feet, but conditions can push it up to 15-20 feet.
Eureka lemon trees cannot thrive in cold temperatures. They should be kept at temperatures no lower than 20℉. You should equally protect them from harsh winds.
The Eureka Lemon tree takes an average of 3 years to bear fruits, and it grows in an open and spreading way. It produces a pink-fleshed lemon with an oblong shape.
Eureka lemons possess a conspicuous blossom-end knob named Mammilia and a moderately thick white pith.
Verna Lemon Tree
The Verna lemon tree is also called Berna. It is the second most important lemon tree native to Spain – the first is Primofiori.
This tree is known for its rapid growth. It is not rare to find Verna lemon trees reaching heights of up to 20 feet.
The Verna lemon is oval-shaped, and its size ranges from medium to large. It also sports a pronounced nipple. You may not find the thick rind useful in cooking.
The fruit sports a bright-yellow color, and its juice is acidic. The number of seeds you find depends on the season.
Ponderosa Lemon Tree
The Ponderosa is another hybrid lemon tree: a mix between a citron and a pomelo. Its hybrid status does not prevent people from using them instead of typical lemon varieties.
Ponderosa lemon trees grow slowly but peak at an impressive 24 feet. They are less tolerant of the cold, so you may consider cultivating them in a movable container.
The Ponderosa lemon tree is evergreen, and the leaves are long, glossy, and pleasantly fragrant. Although this tree easily produces fruits, you are more likely to find it grown for ornamental purposes.
The fruits from this tree are larger than the usual lemon, and they typically sport a thick, bumpy rind. They have a flavor similar to normal lemons and are also known to have a lot of juice.
Lisbon Lemon Tree
The Lisbon lemon tree comes from a seedling of Portuguese descent, and it is one of the widely-grown lemon trees in the world.
When properly tended for, a Lisbon lemon tree can grow up to 30 feet tall with a width of 25 feet. A dwarf Lisbon lemon tree usually peaks at heights of 8-10 feet and can start producing fruits after an average of 3 years.
Lisbon lemon trees grow large, thorny, and dense foliage that spreads out far and wide. This canopy protects the fruits that grow beneath the leaves.
The fruits and the leaves of the Lisbon lemon tree have a tint of purple color. This variety thrives in a sunny environment protected from the wind.
This tree produces an oblong-shaped fruit that is very juicy and acidic. The lemons are yellowish at maturity and are medium-sized.
Primofiori Lemon Tree
Primofiori lemon trees are also known as Fino, Mesero, or Blanco Lemon trees. This variety originated in Murcia, Spain.
Primofiori lemon trees are typically large or medium sized. The size of a matured Primofiori lemon tree can range up to 16 feet.
The trees are characterized by thorns, longer and wider trees, and high pollen viability. During germination, Primofiori lemon trees need an average of 2-3 years to start bearing fruits.
The fruits, also called the neckless fruits, are oval-shaped with a smooth and thin surface. They are yellowish and have a pulp that is very juicy with high acidity.
Lemon Tree Variety Growth Rates and Heights
|Variety||Growth Rate||Maximum Height|
|Meyer Lemon Tree||Moderate||10 feet|
|Eureka Lemon Tree||Moderate||20 feet|
|Pink Variegated Lemon||Moderate||15 feet|
|Lisbon Lemon Tree||Moderate||30 feet|
|Primofiori Lemon Tree||Fast||16 feet|
|Verna Lemon Tree||Fast||20 feet|
|Ponderosa Lemon Tree||Slow||24 feet|