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Ponderosa Lemon Tree

Citrus x pyriformis

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.

How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me

The Ponderosa Lemon Tree is the answer to the problem of running out of lemons. Each fruit is 6 to 8 inches across, and one gives enough juice for a whole pie. This tree flowers and fruits all year round, so you will always have ripe fruit available. It is an attractive evergreen bush or tree, with rich-green glossy leaves and fragrant flowers that are white flushed with purple. Grow it outdoors in frost-free areas, or grow it anywhere in a pot, bringing it indoors during cold weather, and growing it outdoors for the rest of the year. With its large, knobby fruit this tree is a real talking-point, and it can be used everywhere you need a lemon for drinks or cooking.

  • Huge lemons all year round
  • Just one fruit makes a whole pie
  • Attractive purple-flushed white fragrant flowers
  • Easily grown in a container anywhere in the country
  • Evergreen tree is always attractive all year round

Grow the Ponderosa Lemon Tree in a pot with drainage holes. Use a potting soil blended for citrus trees, or a soil made from 2 parts houseplant soil and 1 part of cactus soil. Use a citrus fertilizer such as Bio-tone® Citrus Tone for the best result and abundant fruit. Water only when the top few inches of soil are dry, and bring your tree indoors when the night temperatures reach 50 degrees. Grow it in a sunny place, and indoors it grows best in cooler temperatures between 55 and 65 degrees.

Plant Hardiness Zones 9-11
Mature Width 15
Mature Height 24
Soil Conditions Well-Drained Soil
Sunlight Full Sun
Drought Tolerance Moderate Dought Tolerance
Zones 9-11

Of all the citrus fruits, lemons are the most versatile. In drinks, sweet baked goods, salad dressings, sauces, savory dishes, or just to squeeze over fish, we are constantly reaching for a lemon. So why not grow your own? And when you do that, why not grow the remarkable Ponderosa Lemon Tree? Each giant fruit is worth several regular lemons, and just one will give you enough juice for a whole lemon pie. 

The Ponderosa Lemon Tree is a unique plant – not truly a lemon, but with the same sharp lemony juice – that grows into a medium-sized tree, but which can also be kept in a pot and its size controlled by pruning. It produces fruit all year round, so you will always have lemon juice at hand, if you have this attractive and fascinating tree in your garden or home. The fruit is 6 inches or more in diameter, with a thick, knobby and irregular yellow skin when ripe. The handsome leaves are glossy and rich green, and the tree is evergreen. The flowers are carried all year round, which means that there are always fruit on your tree, at every season. The white, fragrant flowers are attractive, and tinged with purple. Each one becomes a small green fruit, which grows over several months, before turning yellow. Fruit hang on the tree for weeks and weeks after ripening, so the tree is a natural storage space for your supply of lemons.

The Ponderosa Lemon Tree is not quite as hardy as a regular lemon, and it will not tolerate more than a degree or two of freezing – down to no lower than 30 degrees – for a few hours only. If you live in zones 9, 10 or 11 you can grow it outdoors all year round, but otherwise it should be grown in a pot. Keep your tree outdoors as much as possible, in a sunny spot. Bring it indoors when night temperatures begin to fall to 50 degrees and grow it in a cool place indoors. Temperatures of 55 to 65 degrees are best, and it should be in a bright place. A sunny window with a fine white curtain over it is ideal, as it gives lots of light while protecting against the sun scorching the foliage. When returning a tree outdoors after winter, place it in a shady place for the first few days, and keep it indoors overnight if night temperatures are forecast to be below 50 degrees. 

Growing the Ponderosa Lemon Tree

Outdoors, grow your tree in a sunny spot, in well-drained soil. Water regularly when first planted, but after that only water during dry spells. To grow it in a container, use a large pot with a drainage hole. Plant it at the same depth it was in the original container, in a blend of soil for citrus trees. If you cannot find citrus soil, mix 2 parts regular house-plant soil with 1 part of cactus soil. Use citrus fertilizer regularly. We recommend Bio-tone® Citrus Tone natural fertilizer, but you can also use liquid fertilizer blended for citrus trees. Once your tree is established in the pot, water when the top 2 to 3 inches of soil is dry. In winter allow the soil to dry about half-way down the pot before watering. Always water thoroughly, moistening all the soil until excess water flows out of the drainage holes. If you use a saucer indoors, empty it once the pot has finished draining. Do not leave a plant standing in a saucer of water. Move it into a larger container every two years, in spring. Prune your tree in early spring, before new growth begins. Remove any crowded branches at the trunk and reduce the length of the branches by a few inches regularly, to keep your tree compact. A more open form will ensure good ripening of the fruit, so remove some branches if they become very crowded. When your tree flowers indoors, or if outdoors you have no other citrus in the neighborhood, pollinate the flowers with a soft artist’s brush. Simply brush the center of each flower gently, moving randomly from one flower to another. This will encourage every flower to produce a fruit.

History and Origins of the Ponderosa Lemon

The Ponderosa Lemon is a unique citrus plant. It was discovered as a seedling in 1887 by George Bowman of Hagerstown, Maryland. It was named ‘Ponderosa’ and first became commercially available in 1900. Since then it has become a popular ornamental and a useful tree for home gardeners, especially because the tree flowers and fruits all year round. Originally it was though to be a hybrid between a lemon and a citron (Citrus medica), which seemed reasonable, as the citron has a thick skin, like the Ponderosa Lemon. Recent DNA analysis has shown that in fact there is no lemon in the makeup of this tree, and that the more likely parent, with the citron, is the pomelo (Citrus maxima). To produce these trees, stem pieces are taken and attached to the roots of citrus seedlings. If you should see shoots coming from lower down on the trunk, or from below ground, remove them, as these are not your Ponderosa Lemon. This tree is hugely popular, and not always available, so our stock will soon be gone. Order now, and never run out of lemons again.

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Ponderosa Lemon Tree

Citrus x pyriformis

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