Lemons are great trees to grow, in the garden if you live in a warm area, but also in pots for those in cooler regions. Lemons are very easy to grow in pots, which can be brought inside to a cool room for the coldest months and then placed outside for most of the year. They will bloom and fruit freely, if the right varieties are chosen. Now if a plant is going to spend time in your home, or on your patio, you want it to have the maximum ornamental value possible. So if those plain green leaves could be replaced by colorful ones in cream and green, while the tree also had ornamental striped fruit with a unique pink flesh, wouldn’t everyone want to have such a tree? At the Tree Center we certainly thought so, and obtained a special supply of this amazing lemon tree, which looks spectacular in your home and outside near the pool, or on the patio.
This tree is a great conversation piece and you will not only be showing everyone how beautiful it looks, but serving spectacular pink lemonade made from the fruit. Because not only are the leaves and fruit of this tree variegated and striped, but the flesh is pink, not lemon colored, so home-made pink lemonade, as well as other lemon desserts and treats, is now as simple as picking the fruit from the tree. Not only that, but the ancestry of this tree means that it will have lemons almost all year round, with lots of fruit in late winter, through spring and into the summer, but also with some fruit produced during the rest of the year too. So with this single tree you will probably never have to buy a lemon again.
When the first citrus arrived in California, among those grown were some seeds of lemon’s brought from Sicily. These were started in the 1850’s, and over time a unique variety was selected by growers, mainly for its ability to produce fruit all year round. This made it especially useful for commercial growers, but it also makes it very valuable for home growers, who also can be picking ripe lemons in almost every month of the year. The variety, called ‘Eureka’ was widely grown and in the late 1920’s an unusual thing happened in the garden of D.W. Field, who lived in Burbank, California. He found a Eureka lemon tree, or perhaps just a branch of a tree, that did not have plain green leaves, but had leaves with an irregular creamy white margin around them. Not only that, the fruit too was striped in yellow and green and to top it all off the flesh was pink, not lemon colored. This interesting tree was given to the College of Agriculture, part of the University of California, in Riverside. The tree stayed in their collections and then in the 1990’s it was released to nursery growers, who saw its exciting potential and began to produce it for home gardeners.
The Variegated Lemon Tree grows into a small tree 12 to 15 feet tall if it is grown outdoors in the garden, but will be maller in a pot. The evergreen foliage is edged in creamy-white, sometimes a narrow band and other times a broader one. Throughout the year, but especially in spring and summer, your tree will have fragrant citrus blossoms that will develop into fruits. Flowers in the spring will be ripe fruit by the following winter, and later flowers will produce ripe fruit through the winter and into the next spring. So you will be picking fruit while your tree is flowering, and there will hardly be a month when you do not have ripe lemons on our tree.
The fruit is the same shape and size as the parent Eureka lemon, but is striped from top to bottom in irregular bands of green. These are strongest when the fruit is developing, but even ripe fruit have some bands, making them look great in a fruit bowl. When you cut the fruit, you will see the beautiful pink flesh, which of course makes pink juice too, ideal for home-made pink lemonade. In fact, some people call this the Pink Lemonade Lemon.
Choose a sunny spot to grow your variegated lemon, in the ground or in a large pot. If you grow your tree in a pot, keep it outdoors until the temperature reaches 40 degrees in the fall. Then bring the pot inside to a cool, well-lit room, preferably less than 68 degrees. Once the outside temperature reaches close to the temperature where you lemon has been, you can place it back outside in spring. Choose a large pot, 16 inches across or bigger and make sure your pot has a drainage hole. Use cactus compost if you cannot find specialized citrus compost to fill the pot and allow the soil to become a little dry between each watering. Fertilize the tree regularly during spring and fall.
Obviously such a special tree as this could never be grown from seed, so our trees are carefully grown for us from stem pieces attached to the roots of vigorous lemon trees, to ensure strong, healthy growth. Avoid cheap lemon trees that will not be the fabulous Variegated Lemon Tree. We receive regular shipments from our specialized growers, but with the high demand for this unique tree, stocks are limited, so order now to make sure that pink lemonade is soon in a jug on your table.