Some lemon trees are much better performers in gardens than others. Choosing the best lemon tree to grow depends upon your usage, location, climate and growing conditions.
Varieties of lemon trees include the ‘Eureka’, ‘Lisbon’ and ‘Improved Meyer’ lemons. Lemon trees do not have a dormant phase in the winter and tend to produce flowers throughout the year so are vulnerable to cold weather. The ‘Improved Meyer’ is slightly hardier than true lemon and makes a better choice for home gardeners in a cold climate. For more information on varieties refer to Varieties of Lemon Trees Blog.
Varieties for Your Location
The ‘Eureka’ lemon tree is considered the best lemon tree for most areas of Australia. For cooler climate zones of Australia the ‘Improved Meyer lemon’ tree is also popular as it is the most cold-tolerant of all lemons.
The ‘Improved Meyer’ lemon is the preferred variety for home gardens as the ‘Eureka’ and ‘Lisbon’ varieties are susceptible to citrus scab.
The ‘Lisbon’, ‘Eureka’, Variegated pink ‘Eureka’ and the ‘Improved Meyer’ lemons are popular in Southern California. The Lisbon has cold resistance and is very heat tolerant. On the coast, trees can bear some fruit year round. ‘Eureka’ lemon trees bear fruit year round on the coast, fall and winter in the low desert valleys, and winter to spring production in the inland Riverside areas. Variegated Pink – a mutation of ‘Eureka’ that has variegated (green-and-white striped) leaves and immature fruit striped green and cream, mature flesh is light pink plus the tree itself is smaller making it very garden-friendly. ‘Improved Meyer’ lemon trees bear fruit year round.
Lemon trees growing outside the Lower Rio Grande Valley are at a distinct disadvantage with regard to climate, i.e., winter almost always will be accompanied by one or more freezes. Lemon trees are subtropical to tropical in nature; thus, they may suffer severe damage or even death because of freezing temperatures. However, there are some lemons that have sufficient cold-hardiness to sustain some freezing conditions.
If you live in coastal and southern Texas and are willing to put in the effort to provide cold protection for young trees, and sometimes even mature trees, you can successfully produce citrus fruits including lemons. The ‘Improved Meyer’ is popular in Texas due to it having fair cold-hardiness. The ‘Eureka’, ‘Lisbon’ and ‘Ponderosa’ lemon varieties are also grown but are less popular due to their poor cold hardiness.
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