Few trees are as shiny and cheerful as the lemon tree. Lemon trees have pretty leaves, flowers, and fruit and serve multiple purposes. Lemon trees make for gorgeous garden decor and work as indoor plants. Lemons themselves are perfect for countless yummy recipes and you can even clean your whole house with lemons.
True lemon trees are thought to have originated in India but experts state that we know little about their spread into the Mediterranean Basin. Columbus brought lemons to America and now there are two primary types of lemons here in the USA; ‘Eureka’, which originated in California and ‘Lisbon’, which originated in Australia. These aren’t the only types of lemons though. Currently many varieties of the lemon tree exist.
The best part is that any tree hugging family can grow their own organic lemon tree! Lemon trees, like most small fruit trees, are easy to grow, even if you only have a small garden plot. Lemon trees are sensitive to climate (they hate the cold) but if you live in a cooler climate you can still grow a lemon tree if you’re careful to use special cold protection during the coolest months OR ditch that idea and grow a lemon tree inside. There are plenty of smaller varieties of lemon tree that thrive indoors.
You may even be able to grow your own lemon tree from saved seeds if you act fast which is a fun project for the kiddos. Greenmantle Nursery has an excellent guide to growing organic fruit trees – not lemon specific but good all the same.
Organic Lemon Trees and Lemon Goodies:
- VivaTerra has some amazing eco-friendly goodies at their website; including a sweet Organic Meyer Lemon Topiary. Although tiny, this little tree grows full size lemons year round that are sweeter and less acidic than Eureka lemons. Meyer peel and pulp also can be used in cooking to delicately flavor stir-fries, salads, soups and seafood.
- Lemon Kitchen Scrubber from Loofah Art – these are cool little scrubbers, made naturally.
- Growquest Growers has a huge selection of mature lemon tree varieties for sale that are ready to plant and bear fruit including Lisbon and pink lemons (fun).
- Meyer Lemon Tree – good for the patio and this site offers excellent growing instructions.
- Haba Lemon – this is an adorable and healthy addition to your little chef’s green play kitchen. Made of hard wood with non-toxic finish.
Organic Lemon Recipes:
- Lemon poppyseed muffins for little ones.
- Old-Fashioned Organic Lemonade
- Homemade naturally sweet iced tea
- Organic Lemon Cherry Coffee Cake
- Fresh Organic Lemon Verbena and Lavender Ice Cream – technically a cheat, as it’s made with herbs (lemon verbena) not lemons. However, it looks awesome, and you can make it with lemons if you like.
- Naked Pasta: Meyer Lemon and Chili Pappardelle
- Lemon Bread & Muffins – with soaked or sprouted flour
- Stirred Lemon Ice Cream with Fresh Cherries
- Organic Lemon Cake with Fresh Raspberry Filling
- See more lemon recipes – always use organic lemons.
Lemon Tree Hugging for Kids:
My son Cedar loves lemons. As a one-year-old, he’d stuff pieces into his little mouth, make the worst face ever, then go at the fruit again. Maybe your child is a little less strange though – with that in mind here are some fun lemon links for the littles…
- Check out the biggest lemon in recorded history. Now that is a lot of ice cold lemonade (11 pounds worth)!
- Older kids, or younger kids with help, can try this fun lemon battery experiment.
- Cool kid facts about lemons and lemon trees.
Read more about the general benefits of hugging trees.
What’s your favorite aspect of the lemon tree? Or do you have another favorite fruit tree?