How To Prune A Potted Lemon Tree?

By Harry RamosLast update: 2024-06-18
How To Prune A Potted Lemon Tree?

Dwarf lemon trees are the best plants to grow in containers as their height doesn’t exceed 12 feet. If you are considering adding these lovely trees to your house, congratulations on a smart decision.

But while these trees cannot grow too tall, they still require pruning to develop healthily. We have compiled a post with the aim of showing you how to prune a potted lemon tree.

Should I Prune My Indoor Lemon Tree?

You don’t need to prune your indoor lemon tree to control its height, but pruning is still required to encourage outward growth, which will help it produce better fruits.

How To Prune A Potted Lemon Tree?

Pruning will also help you get rid of damaged and diseased branches in order to prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of your lemon tree.

When Should Lemon Trees Be Pruned?

You should prune your lemon trees soon after harvesting, between winter and early spring, before bud break.

How To Prune A Potted Lemon Tree?

How To Prune A Potted Lemon Tree?

Pruning a potted lemon tree is not very difficult, you just need to closely follow these two steps.

How To Prune A Potted Lemon Tree?

First of all, you need to prepare pruning shears. The shears must be clean, especially when you previously use it to prune a diseased tree. You should rub them with alcohol and wipe them clean before you prune your lemon tree.

Step 1: Find The Grafting Junction

If your lemon tree is still small, look at it and you will see a tiny V shape, cut, and scar, which identify the tree’s grafting junction. If your tree is large, the scar will not be as easy to spot.

You should mark this area of the tree with color tapes so you can see them easily. The part that needs pruning is under that tape.

Identifying the grafting junction is crucial because the part under it, the base of the tree belongs to another tree. If you don’t prune it, it will grow branches and may even overgrow the lemon tree. As a result, you will not get the desired fruit.

Step 2: Prune The Tree

How To Prune A Potted Lemon Tree?

You have to prune all the suckers from under the junction to the base of the tree. If there are leaves coming out, just pluck them with your fingers.

Before actually pruning the tree, you need to decide how much aesthetic you want for your tree. In most cases, people want their trees to grow straight up then out.

So the suckers and leaves that come out at the grafting junction, while being good, will create a gangly look for the tree. You can just cut them flush to the base of the trunk.

It’s worth noting that in the first year, the growth of the tree will be focused on developing the roots and leaves, and will occasionally produce small fruits only.

When the tree has got a good base and a lot of leaves, it will start to produce good fruits. In the first year, you can prune all the flowers and small fruits along with the suckers.

We recommend that you prune your lemon tree twice a year, in the spring and in the fall.

Now, when pruning, you will find a leaf, maybe a thorn or bud junction. At an angle of 45 degrees right above the leaf using pruning shears. Repeat this at the tips of every end branch.

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How Do You Take Care Of A Potted Lemon Tree?

In this section, we will provide you with some tips to take good care of your potted lemon tree.

  • Keep the tree outdoors in a warm climate and keep it indoors during cold months.

How To Prune A Potted Lemon Tree?
  • Try to keep the surrounding temperature at an ideal level of between 50 and 70 degrees F.

  • Give the tree 6-8 hours of sunlight each day.

  • Keep the lemon tree away from heat sources and radiators.

  • Use a well-draining pot for the tree.

  • Use composted, well-draining soil.

  • Fertilize the surface of the soil only.

How To Prune A Potted Lemon Tree?
  • Water the tree every 10-14 days.

  • When harvesting lemons, twist them gently until they break off.

  • Remember to prune your lemon tree once or twice a year.

  • Watch out for pests.

Should I Cut The Thorns Off A Lemon Tree?

Depending on the variety, different lemon trees have different amounts of thorns. But for a grafted lemon tree, thorns on branches are likely suckers growing from the rootstock.

If you let them grow, they will cut the fruit production of your lemon tree by draining energy from other branches. Therefore, you should cut the thorns off to ensure the best fruit yield.


Through this post, we hope that you have understood and memorized the easy steps of how to prune a potted lemon tree. Remember that pruning stimulates the growth of your plant and you should do it twice a year during the appropriate season.

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