If you didn’t already know, you’ll be happy to hear that lemons trees are heat-loving plants and actually grow best in Texas growing zones 8 through 11.
In fact, there aren’t many parts of the U.S. where you can grow lemons outdoors, but Texas has lots of eligible space.
Citrus trees are native to tropical regions around the world, like Central America and southeast Asia. So, the hot and humid climate of the southern states is ideal for growing citrus trees.
Although, there are also a few cold-tolerant lemon trees that will grow well in northern TX as well!
Keep on reading to see which kinds of lemon trees can grow in Texas and which ones are best for your space!
The short answer is yes! Most varieties of lemon tree can be grown outdoors in central or southern TX and will be in perfect health.
There are some cold hardy varieties that can be grown outdoors in northern TX and growers up north can always grow a lemon tree indoors. So, regardless of where you live in the state, there’s always an option for growing fresh lemons.
Lemon trees don’t need much water and are slightly drought tolerant- which helps if you’re growing them outdoors. Lemon trees love full sun- something we get lots of in Texas!
Also, they don’t have specific soil type needs, so they can be grown in clay soil in the north, loamy soil in central TX, or the sandy soil along the coast.
In the spring, lemon trees bloom with fragrant, soft white flowers that add yet another reason to grow these trees. Some will grow lemon trees simply for their ornamental beauty!
So, let’s get into the top types of lemon trees to grow in Texas.
5 Best Varieties of Lemon Trees for Texas
The Harvey Lemon is one of the most popular lemon trees to grow, and it’s especially a good choice for Texas gardeners since it’s hardier than other types. Although Harvey Lemon trees still can’t be grown outdoors in far northern TX, they can be grown in all of central TX and south.
Harvey Lemon is extremely cold hardy- for lemon trees- and can tolerate cold temperatures down to 20 F. These trees can be grown in containers all the way up to zone 4- which definitely covers Texas!
Harvey Lemons have the classic, sour lemon taste that you think of when thinking about fresh lemons. They’re also super juicy and usually give fruits that are almost seedless!
Harvey Lemon trees will grow fairly large when grown outdoors and allowed to reach up, but they can also be pruned to stay smaller. This can be helpful if they’re grown in a container and you need to bring it indoors for the winter.
Other Common Names: Harvey’s Lemon
Growing Zones: 8-10
Average Size at Maturity: 12-14 ft tall by 8-10 ft wide
Season: Fall through winter
Eureka lemons are the most popular variety of lemon, so much so that they’re often just called “lemon” because they’re the standard. Of course, these fruits have the classic, tart and strong lemon taste.
Eureka Lemon trees are really strong and reliable producers- another reason why they’re grown so much. These trees are self-fertile and produce tons of fruits, plus they begin fruiting very young.
When grown in ideal conditions, these trees will fruit all year long! Whether they’re fruiting all year or not, they really amp up in the winter and will continue generously producing fruit until early summer.
Most varieties of lemon tree are thorn trees, but Eureka trees are almost thorn-less.
Plus, the fruits usually have very few seeds, so this tree takes care of many nuisances!
Other Common Names: Lemon, Garey’s Eureka Lemon, Citrus x limon ‘Four seasons’
Growing Zones: 9-10
Average Size at Maturity: 15-20 ft tall by 15-20 ft wide
Season: Fall through Spring
Meyer’s Lemon tree will only grow outdoors further south in Texas, only in zones 9 through 11. But, it can be grown indoors north of central TX and is definitely worth considering.
Meyer’s Lemon is a hybrid between a lemon and orange tree, so its fruit is a bit sweeter. The juice still packs a punch like lemons do, but it tastes more like a tangerine than the typical super sour lemon taste.
This lemon tree is also a dwarf variety, so that makes it more practical. This tree can easily be grown in smaller yards or gardens, but it’s also easier to grow Meyer’s Lemon indoors. Some even grow this small tree simply as a houseplant!
As with other lemon trees, they can fruit all year long but their peak season is in October, which is sooner than most others.
Other Common Names: Meyer Lemon, Dwarf Lemon, Citrus x meyeri
Growing Zones: 9-11
Average Size at Maturity: 6-10 ft tall by 4-8 ft wide
Season: Fall through Spring
You may have heard of a Yuzu lemon since not many people know about these lemons since they’re not very popular in the U.S. Yuzu Lemon trees are native to Japan and are commonly used over there, but they’ve recently become more popular here too.
Yuzu lemons have a lemon-lime flavor, so it’s a little more tangy than being purely sour. This goes great in Japan’s fish-heavy cuisine but these lemons can be used in any way you normally use lemons!
Yuzu lemons have a distinct look: they’re more round than oval-shaped and have rough, bumpy skin. The bumps also make it easier to make lots of zest with these lemons!
Yuzu Lemon trees can be grown outdoors in most of Texas but can definitely be grown indoors anywhere in Texas. They’re a great choice for growing indoors with their size, plus they’re self-fertile!
Other Common Names: Kan-Suo
Growing Zones: 8-11
Average Size at Maturity: 6-8 ft tall by 8-10 ft wide
Season: Fall through winter
The Ponderosa Lemon tree might not be for everyone, but if you’re interested in a jumbo lemon tree- keep reading!
Ponderosa trees produce huge lemons- some of the largest citrus fruits- and the tree itself is pretty big. The fruits are the shape and size of a grapefruit and have bumpy skin. They’re typically between one to two pounds!
The trees grow very tall and have a wide crown, so you’ll need to have enough space in your yard and have the ability to take care of a larger tree. Ponderosa Lemon trees aren’t high maintenance, but they do need annual pruning and you’ll need to collect all these lemons!
Ponderosa is a hybrid between a lemon tree and a citron tree, with a fruit that’s slightly sweeter than normal. And remember- such huge lemons means lots of lemon juice!
Other Common Names: Jumbo Lemon
Growing Zones: 9-11
Average Size at Maturity: 12-24 ft tall by 10-12 ft wide
Season: Late Summer through Winter
Get Crazy about Citrus Fruits
Lemon trees are such great fruit trees to grow because they’re really low maintenance and often start fruiting in just a few years. Having fresh lemons on hand is always useful since there’s so many ways to use these fruits.
If you live south enough to grow a lemon tree outdoors, it will fruit all year long and keep giving you fresh lemons. But even if you’re growing indoors, many lemon tree varieties fruit prolifically all throughout the winter- a great time to have fresh fruits!
Between the culinary uses and health benefits of lemons, there’s no reason not to grow your own tree!
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Peyton considers trees not just as plants that provide shade or yummy fruits, but as necessary for a healthy life and community.
Peyton has done most of her research on environmental politics, but recently has shifted her focus towards actual agricultural practices, learning about ideas like agroforestry, food forests, and permaculture gardening.
She’s most often in the kitchen whipping something up, but otherwise can be found on long bike rides or doing research.