Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

Fruits & Nuts



Special Topics



Cornell University

Citrus limon
(sit-russ lie-mon)

lemon  lemon  lemon  lemon 
Click on thumbnails for larger image.
What about it?

The lemon was first introduced into the New World at the island of Haiti. It is currently grown in some of our southern states. Its flowers are as attractive and fragrant as its cousin's, the orange.

What is it used for?

Rich in medicinal properties, and containing more Vitamin C than the lime, the lemon has long been recognized as an aid to health and beauty. Both as a food and otherwise, it has many uses, including desserts such as pies and puddings.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

Lemons require well-drained soil and adequate aeration. Slopes are often planted to take advantage of the air drainage. Locations sheltered from cool and prevailing winds are desirable.

When planting lemons, rows should be spaced between 9 and 21 feet apart. Within each row plants should be spaced between 4 to 9 feet apart.

What are its primary problems?

Lemons are susceptible to a wide range of pests and diseases, including the black aphid, leaf rollers, mealy bugs, scales, thrips, anthracnose, black fruit rot, and several canker and twig blight diseases.

How do we harvest and store it?

Lemons should be picked when the full yellow color has developed. They are handled with gloves and clipped from the trees.

Ventilated, cool temperature conditions may be used to keep fruit 3-10 weeks.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.