Lemon Flowers: Pictures, Facts and Uses

Last Updated on February 15, 2023 by Derek

How to grow lemon tree flowers
With care, lemon flower lead to fruity lemons

Lemon Flower to Fruit

A lemon tree starts to bloom in spring and then proceeds to produce fruits ready to harvest in fall and winter. The flowers take about four months to one year to become fruits.

Still, the time depends on several factors like outdoor temperatures, the cultural conditions of the lemon tree, the cultivar, and the number of lemons produced. Still, you can have phases of blossoms and fruits throughout the year with the right conditions. 

Once the tree starts to bloom, you can encourage it to produce more fruits by providing the requirements. 

How often do you water a lemon tree?

Water the flowering plant frequently and intensely during fall and reduce irrigation in winter. As the blooms form fruits, resume deep watering in spring and summer for better and juicy lemons.

Do I need to fertilize my lemon tree?

Supply the right fertilizer and appropriate food to your trees in spring. Flowers and healthy fruits require phosphorous fertilizer.

What is the best way to prune a lemon tree?

Only prune a blooming lemon tree when necessary. Lemons only appear at the branches’ ends therefore, cut out only dead parts and troublesome components, and your tree will usually fruit.

In addition to that, protect the plant from pests and diseases to achieve a healthy and abundant yield.

Lemon Trees Care Sheet
Soil Type Well-draining, loamy soil
Sunshine Needed Full sun
Growing Zones (U.S.A.) 9-11
Soil pH 6.0-7.5
Water Requirements Regular watering

USDA – Lemons

Video – Lemon flowers

Pollinating lemon flowers

Purple Buds on Lemon Tree

A lemon tree has a faster growth rate than other citrus fruits, and you can start seeing purple flower buds within the first few years of their growth or life cycle. Its growth cycle is based on its flowering, fruiting, and development.

The growth stages of a lemon tree include youth, bud induction, flowering and fruiting, and ripening. The growth stages can repeat themselves once or multiple times in one year if the plant is growing indoors or in warm climates. 

Flower buds of a lemon tree appear in November. After the buds, blossoming may occur over a long period, usually from December to march. The following factors determine the flowering period.

  • The type of cultivar.
  • The climate.
  • Cultural and environmental conditions.
  • Care measures like feeding and watering.

Production of flower buds starts at the beginning of the colder months. The more the flower buds, the better the yield. Stressing the lemon tree for water during the bud production period can encourage the production of more blooms and hence more fruits.

Clusters of flowers begin to appear in spring after budding all winter. At this period, increase water for your plant to encourage fruit formation. The flowers are self-fertile.

Lemon Tree Flowering Stages

A lemon tree undergoes four significant stages of growth to produce fruits. It grows faster than other citrus trees and can repeat the reproduction stages multiple times in a year after maturity. Here are the flowering stages. 

What causes flower induction?

The bud induction stage determines how many flowers a tee will produce and the volume of fruits. If you stress the plants slightly for water at this stage, they will make more flowers and eventually more fruits. The process takes place in the first phase of the growing season in the cooler months. 

How long after flowering do lemons appear?

After budding in winter, actual blooming occurs in spring, and the flowers subsequently develop into fruits. As the weather warms up, the flower buds start to open; the blooms begin forming into fruits. The tree requires plenty of water.

What are the stages of growth for a lemon tree? Cell Expansion stage

The fruits continue to form and grow during this time. The cells in the tree will keep expanding, and fruits will be growing simultaneously. While the tree needs a lot of water for the growth of the fruits, you need to avoid overwatering lest the roots begin to rot. Ensure the soil is damp and well-drained but not muddy.

What are the stages of a lemon growing? Key Stages:
  • Germination: Plant the seed of a lemon in soil, with the right conditions of moisture, warmth, and sunlight. It should begin to germinate and sprout soon after.
  • Seedling stage: After the lemon seed is sprouting, it will grow into a small plant, complete with leaves and stem.
  • Vegetative growth: The small lemon tree will grow more leaves, branches, and roots. At this early stage, the tree is busily building a strong structure before producing fruit.
  • Flowering: After 3 to 5 years, the lemon sapling will produce flowers, which are destined to become fruit. Lemon trees normally flower in the spring, and the fruit should be ready in the fall and winter.
  • Fruit growth: The young lemon fruit starts off small and green,gradually getting larger and turning yellow. The lemon will grow to ripeness and is ready to be picked.
  • Harvest: When the fruit is fully ripe, gently twist it off the tree or cut it with pruning shears. The fruit should be firm and shiny with a bright yellow color.
  • Post-harvest: After the lemon is picked, store it in a cool, dry place. You can also use it fresh immediately. Don’t leave fruit on the tree too long, as it could become overripe and lose of its flavor or dry up.

In summary;

  • The expansion or growth stage involves actual flowering.
  • Blossoms develop into fruits.
  • The tree needs more but careful watering to produce juicy and full fruits.

How long does it take for lemons to ripen on the tree?

The lemons are rich yellow and ready for harvesting. The final stage occurs in fall and summer. The tree’s following action will depend on its growing climatic region. If the area receives four distinct seasons, it will enter into a dormant mode. It starts the cycle again if the climate is warm all year round.

What state has the most lemon trees? (USA)

It’s probable that California has the most lemon, orange and lime trees.

Infographic – Lemon tree flowering stages

Stages for lemon tree flowering and growth
What are the stages of growth for a lemon tree?

Lemon Tree Flowers but No Fruit

Some of the apparent reasons why a lemon tree will bloom, but the flowers do not develop into fruits are inadequate sunlight, less than six hours a day, insufficient water during spring and summer, not feeding with enough potassium, and lack of pollination.

The tree may also fail to produce fruits if it blooms while too young, usually less than two years, or grows in extreme weather conditions. The best news is that there are easy hacks to solve these problems and encourage your trees to continue giving you fruits.

Table – What is wrong with my lemon?

ProblemPossible solutionTips
Lack of enough waterHave a watering schedule and check it three times a week. Deep water your trees if they are growing outdoors.Always have a watering can ready to water your indoor lemon tree.
Not enough sunEnsure that the tree gets at least six hours of exposure to full sun. Grow flowering annuals around your garden and observe which plant blooms the most. Plant the lemon tree where the annual thrives and blooms the best; it means there is full sun exposure.
Inadequate potassiumSupply flowering fertilizer or sulphate of potash to the tree in spring.Always have fruiting fertilizer ready in your garden, so you remember to supply it in spring.
Lack of pollinationPlant marigolds or lavender near your garden to attract bees to pollinate your trees.Hand-pollinate indoor lemon trees using a small brush to move pollen from one flower to another.
The tree is too youngPlant grafted or more advanced lemon tree varieties.Grafted tree species bloom and form fruits faster.
Extreme weather conditionsCover the tree with a sheet overnight to protect it from spring frost.Control rapid root temperature changes by applying bark chips up to 2 to 3 inches.
Lemon Tree problems

10 Common Problems With Growing Lemon Trees

  • Lack of enough water
  • Not enough sunlight
  • Inadequate nutrients, particularly potassium
  • Lack of pollination
  • Poor soil drainage
  • Pests and diseases, such as aphids, spider mites, scale insects, and citrus greening
  • Improper pruning, including over-pruning or pruning at the wrong time of year
  • Frost or freeze damage, particularly to young trees
  • Over-fertilization, which can cause root burn and other issues
  • Overcrowding, either with other plants or within the same pot

Lemon Tree Diseases USDA

Lemon Plant Flowering Season

A regular lemon plant blooms in spring and produces fruits in winter and fall. Still, if the conditions are favorable, the plant can repeatedly bloom and produce fruits all year round. Grow your plant in moist, well-drained loamy soil with a neutral pH for best results. It flourishes in full sun; at least 6 hours a day. 

To encourage maximum blooming, reduce the amount of water in winter and use rainwater or de-ionize limy water before watering; lemon plants cannot tolerate alkaline conditions. During summer, supply plenty of water freely but do not allow the soil to be soggy. Apply the right flowering fertilizer in spring to achieve the best flowers that develop into fruits.

Common Name Botanical Name Soil pH Range Soil Type Sunshine Growing Zones
Lemon Tree Citrus x limon 6.0 – 7.0 Well-draining, sandy loam Full sun 9-11

Lemon Flowers in Salads

If you want to eat lemon flowers in salads, make sure it is of a less bitter variety. Most of the South Asian lemon varieties are not bitter. The fresh blossoms of spring are the best for salad. To make this salad, you need a few ingredients to your liking.

  • Fresh spring lemon tree flowers.
  • Fresh spring lettuce mix.
  • Sweet onion like Maui, generic sweet onion variety, or Vidalia.

Ensure that you are using flowers that are free from pesticides. Wash them in cool water and leave them to dry on a kitchen table towel. Once dry, carefully remove the petals and spread them on your salad as garnish. The salad will be airy and attractive to the eye. Please avoid using the pollen as it may tamper with the flavor. 

Lemon Blossom Honey

Lemmon flower honey is light amber to white, but it becomes white on crystalizing. Its flavor is fruity and floral, and it has a lemon blossom fragrant aroma. Many people love it for its medicinal value, especially for anxious and nervous people. Here are some interesting facts about lemon blossom honey. 

  • It is mainly harvested from late spring, precisely May lemon blooms.
  • Its physical state is spontaneous crystallization with extra fine crystal grain.
  • The color may vary in the liquid, from almost colorless amber to straw yellow. In the crystal state, it can be pearly white or beige.
  • It has a delicate taste.
  • It has a creamy, fine, and sweet odor.

Lemon Flowers in Recipes

Using lemon blossoms, some recipes you can make include lemon flower tea, lemon flower ice cream, and lemon flower smoothie. Take a look at some of the simplest recipes.

Lemon flower ice cream

It is among the easiest lemon bloom recipes. All you need is a few ingredients.

  • A pint of fresh cream
  • ½ cup of white vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
  • Slightly beaten eight egg yolks
  • 2 ounces of finely chopped lemon blossoms


Mix the cream, sugar, salt, and scald then pour the hot liquid gradually and slowly to the beaten egg yolk; almost drop by drop and keep beating rapidly and constantly from the bottom of the mixing bowl.

Add the last amount of scald cream with the chopped flowers and cook over boiling water, continually stirring until the mixture becomes soft-custard-like.

Strain it through a fine sieve and spread into a container with a lid, then freeze for two hours longer. Let cold then freeze in ice cream maker. 

4 recipes using lemon flowers – PDF download

Where do lemon trees come from?

It’s thought that Lemon Trees originated in North West India.

Other resources relating to Lemon Flowers

Flower Drop On Lemon Trees

Lemon flowers, Lemon blossoms, Citrus trees 

Blossoms on a Potted Lemon Tree – Home Guides

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