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Lemons, cultivated lemons

Lemon tree Lubera

The big confusion of names - why our lemons are actually limes!

In many languages, especially in Italian and Spanish, only the original lemons, the Citrus medica, are called lemons.

 

   
 
Amalfi Lemon

Citrus limon amalphitanum - The Italian culinary lemon

From £27.90 *

American Miracle Lemon

Citrus ponderosa (Citrus limon x Citrus medica) - Large-fruited lemon substitute

£37.40 *

Four Seasons Lemon 'Lunario'

Citrus limon - The classic lemon

From £27.90 *

Imperial Lemon - Lipo

Citrus limon x Citrus paradisii - the lemon with the imperial size

£55.40 *

Lemon Hybrid Lemox

Citrus limon Hybr. Lemox - the seedless lemon novelty

£37.40 *

Meyer Lemon

Citrus meyeri - The lemon for gardens

From £27.90 *

Pear-shaped Lemon 'Perretta'

Citrus limon - A lemon with pear-shaped fruits

From £37.40 *

Pink-fleshed Lemon with Colourful Foliage

Citrus limon foliis variegatis sanguineum - The colourful lemon

£37.40 *

Red Lemon

Citrus limonimedica pigmentata - the mulled wine lemon

From £27.90 *

Red Lemon 'Sanguineum'

Citrus limon - The lemon with the red pulp

£37.40 *

The 'Rough' Lemon, Citrus jambhiri

The rough lemon with the bumpy peel

£37.40 *

Volkameriana Lemon

Citrus volkameriana - The healthy lemon substitute

From £37.40 *

   
 

More information about limes, cultivated lemons

... And what in the German language we somewhat thoughtlessly call lemons when we cultivate them or take them out of the refrigerator is called 'Limonen' in other languages. In a nutshell: the lemon tree is actually a lime tree, which is also reflected in the botanical name: Citrus limon. Of course, one could also ask oneself why the German language does not make this distinction, which is common in Spanish and Italian: perhaps the distance is the most important thing. We Swiss, Austrians and Germans are simply further away, so that (almost) all yellow citrus fruits with sour pulp became lemons.

A language is always only able to make fine distinctions where there is enough content, enough knowledge and expertise. But why do the English also make the distinction, even though they are even further away from the south? Well, the English are a seafaring nation, so on all their voyages of discovery, even with their colonial proximity to India, they were always much closer to the citrus plants and their fruits. And above all: the 'lemons' (the citrus limon, which we indiscriminately call lemons in German) were responsible that the scurvy of Her Majesty's sailors could finally be fought sustainably! One does not forget such a thing! And the language doesn't forget such things either:aAt certain times and in some regions, until today the British are now called Limeys, 'lemons'. Perhaps, but this is now pure speculation, this is also just another picturesque word for milk and palefaces.

 

 

History and origin of lemons (Citrus limon)

Limes were unknown to the Romans and only came to Europe with the Arabs and their citrus culture, to Al-Andalus, Sicily and Calabria (around 1150). After that, however, their triumphal procession was unstoppable, on the one hand, because they brought with them a new taste, a new scent and above all a new variety of uses in the kitchen, but also because they had the effect of a miracle plant on Europeans with their simultaneous fruit ripening and blossoming. And it was precisely this wonderful simultaneity of flowers and fruits that promoted the career of the lemon in the Renaissance, among citrus collectors at European courts and finally in our modern gardens and on our terraces. And still, the history of lemons has not come to an end; new varieties have always been created and new varieties are still being created. Many of the lemon varieties, such as the most popular garden lemon Citrus Meyer, are not purebred Citrus limon, but again hybrids between Citrus limon and other citrus varieties, or sometimes - as in the case of the Meyer lemon - crosses between completely different citrus varieties, but which fit into the citrus category in terms of shape and colour.

 

Lemons at home

Most citrus species can hybridise with each other without any problems, and so the lime tree also originated from cedrat lemons (the actual lemons) and Indian limes, perhaps a third species was also involved.

Lemon trees (i.e. limes), with the botanical name Citrus limon, are probably the most frequently cultivated citrus plants in this country. They are not only welcome guests from the south, with their yellow, shining fruits they bring the southern sun almost physically into our gardens. Thanks to their adaptability, which they have inherited from their Indian ancestors, some of whom live at the foot of the Himalayas, citrus trees can also be easily overwintered in a cool and cold room (4-10°C). Of course, the joy of the lemon trees does not stop when marvelling at the blossoms and fruits: lemon fruits can be used in 1001 different ways in the kitchen and with the international triumph of healthy Mediterranean cuisine, lemons are also gaining in importance. Especially if the lemons or limes come from your own garden and have been naturally grown, you don't need to be afraid to use and cook them with the peel and albedo (the white layer between the peel and the pulp).

 

Which is the right lemon tree for my garden?

When choosing the right lemon variety, the choice is almost confusingly large and we already have over then lemon varieties in our assortment, plus a few cedar lemons. A beautiful and evenly growing ornamental tree is the Meyer lemon, which in turn is probably not a Citrus limon or lime at all, but a cross between a lime and a tangerine. But because of its fruit colour and shape, it is usually considered a lemon. The four seasons lemon 'Lunario' shows one of the most impressive characteristics of lemons: all year round, buds and blossoms and ripening fruits appear side by side! Another trendy plant is certainly the Amalfi Lemon, which will delight gourmets and hobby cooks among citrus growers. But just let yourself be further inspired by the lemon pictures and the descriptions of the individual lemon varieties.

 

When to buy a lemon tree?

We advise you to order the lemon tree as early in the season as possible because then the supply and selection are at their greatest. We buy a large part of our assortment in Tuscany, from a nursery which specialises in a wide assortment and many old citrus varieties; in addition, there are also some varieties that we obtain from southern Italy. We receive these plants around the middle of April and that is also when we start with the shipping. As always, the principle is this: first come, first serve...so place your order as early as possible! By the way, this year we are also starting to produce some citrus varieties, especially those with high frost tolerance, ourselves in our nurseries.

 

Overwintering of lemon trees...

...is not difficult. As with other citrus species, we take advantage of the adaptability of these plants and simply 'shut them down', bringing them into hibernation. For this purpose, a winter quarter with 5-10°C and one or two windows is sufficient. The good thing about it is that at low temperatures, the lemon trees need less light and almost no water. The consequence of this fact of experience is, however, that one should never overwinter the plants warmer and never in a fully heated room because the citrus plants then wake up immediately, need water and fertiliser and also cry for more light. And if then one of these additional elixirs of life is missing, then plant damage will occur.

 

How do you water a lemon tree?

As with other citrus plants, there are three basic principles to follow when watering a lemon tree:

1. When watering, do it properly, so that the pot is properly soaked. Remember: if it rains once in the south, it usually rains very heavily.

2. Before watering, the top of the pot should be clearly dried out; the watering interval can be 1-2 days in the summer, half a week to a week in the spring and autumn, and perhaps one to two months in the winter.

3. Even more important than watering is draining: lemon pots should always have large enough drainage holes at the bottom so that the excess water can flow away immediately. Ideally, a larger citrus plant pot should always have a drainage layer of stones or polystyrene chunks at the bottom.

 

How to fertilise a lemon tree?

Lemon trees have special fertilisation requirements that are best met with our proprietary citrus fertiliser Frutilizer® Instant Citrus. This fertiliser is a nutrient salt; for citrus plants, 20 g is dissolved in 10 L of water and then watered once a week. In September the dosage is halved, in October and during the winter break the fertilisation is paused. After repotting a citrus plant, it is a good idea to add a slow release fertiliser, e.g. Frutilizer® Seasonal Fertiliser Plus (six months duration of action) to the new soil - the appropriate dosage is 30 g per 5 L pot volume. When fertilising with slow release fertiliser, fertilisation with the nutrient salt/liquid fertiliser can be halved for one year.

 

How and when to pot a lemon or lime tree?

We often receive the question of whether the lemon tree should be re-potted just after purchase. Basically, this is possible if you buy it in spring, but it makes no sense to repot the plant if you buy it later because then in summer or autumn the power of the new soil and the additional fertiliser would, so to speak, evaporate without effect. But in principle, repotting a newly purchased lemon plant is only advisable if the root ball is covered all the way to the outside with finely branched root system and is hungry for more space...The new pot should always have a diameter of about 4-5 cm larger than the old pot. If you are repotting an older lemon or lime tree, the best time is always in early spring (in March/April), just before the beginning of the strong growth. Usually this work is done just before or during the clearing out of the plants when they come back from the grey garage to the sunny terrace.

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