How To Grow and Take Care of A Lemon Bonsai Tree

Lemon trees make great bonsai because they have small leaves and attractive oval-shaped fruit. You can bonsai lemon trees indoors or outdoors, depending on your climate and personal preference.

If you love the smell of lemons, but don’t have the space for a full-size tree, try growing a lemon bonsai tree. Bonsai is an ornamental tree or shrub that is grown in a container and pruned to keep its size small.

When you bonsai a lemon tree, you’ll enjoy the fragrance of its flowers and fruit, as well as beautiful green leaves. Plus you’ll get to harvest fresh fruit right off your coffee table!

Why Grow Lemon Bonsai:

A lemon bonsai tree is a great addition to your bonsai collection, and it’s one of the easier trees to cultivate.

Lemon trees are flowering evergreen trees that can grow up to 20 feet tall, depending on the species.

They’re native to Asia, but many people around the world grow them for their scented flowers and fruit.

Lemons have fragrant white flowers and glossy green leaves that are attractive even when the tree isn’t in bloom.

Can You Use Regular Lemon Trees to Create Bonsai:

Regular lemons grow quite bigger it becomes harder to convert them to bonsai trees.

A Meyer lemon tree on the other hand is the perfect choice for bonsai — they’re easy to keep alive, they don’t take up too much space and they smell great. They also grow relatively fast, which means you can get to the fun part faster.

Materials You’ll Need to Bonsai a Lemon Tree

A Lemon

Use organic Meyer lemons to get the best germination rate.

Although you can start with an existing tree, I personally prefer to start from the seeds. It gives you a lot more control over how big or small your tree is.

Use seedling trays to first germinate the plants and then use them to grow the bonsai.

Potting soil

Usually, most commercial potting soil works fine with lemon bonsai. If you are planning to make your own potting soil just make sure it should be well-drained and is slightly acidic.

Bonsai Pot

An important step in creating lemon bonsai is selecting a suitable container. A shallow container with good drainage works best for lemon trees.

Your bonsai pot should be deep enough to accommodate the root system, but not too wide because you want the roots to become root-bound in the container to help restrict growth.

Make sure the container has good drainage holes in its bottom.

There are different types of bonsai pots available in the market. You can use a clay or ceramic pot or a wooden box with exterior side slats such as cypress or cedar.

Choose the one that best suits your needs. Read this detailed guide on how to select a bonsai pot for more information.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Bonsai a Lemon Tree

You can grow a lemon bonsai from an existing tree, but it’s more fun to start with seeds. You’ll get to watch the plant grow and experience all the stages of development. You’ll also be able to control its size more easily.

Prepare the Seeds:

You will first need to get some lemon seeds and place them in warm water for 48 hours. Soak them in a bowl of lukewarm water and leave them undisturbed for two days.

Drain away all the water after 48 hours and leave the seeds in a warm place to dry out completely.

How to Grow Orange Bonsai Tree?

Prepare the Planter

To make a lemon tree bonsai, you need to plant several seeds in a tray. After the seeds have grown into seedlings, choose the best one and plant it in a small container.

The rest of the seedlings can be planted in larger containers or given away as gifts.

Fill your bonsai planter with soil and wet it thoroughly, so it is damp but not soaked. Take your lemon seeds one by one and plant them in the soil at a depth of around 1 inch.

Plant no more than five seeds per planter, evenly spaced, as this will allow sufficient room for them to grow into healthy plants once germinated.

Cover the seeds with soil and gently pat down until firm, then moisten again with water from a spray bottle.

Grow the Seedlings

Place your planters on a warm window ledge where they can get plenty of sunlight, but not direct sunlight through glass, which can become too hot for your seedlings and kill them off if you don’t.

Keep your seedlings in this location until they are about 6 inches tall, then choose an area where they will receive 4-6 hours of direct sunlight each day.

once the seedlings start growing multiple leaves, transfer them to a larger pot. You might have to grow these little plants for one year before they are ready to use as bonsai.

Pruning and Shaping A Lemon Bonsai tree:

Pruning is important to maintain the shape of your bonsai tree. It also helps to strengthen roots and increase fruit production on your lemon tree when you prune off excess branches and shoots.

If you want your bonsai tree to have a certain shape or direction, use wire on the trunk and branches to train them into place.

Check on your lemon tree bonsai every few months and rewire as needed or whenever new growth comes in because the branches will grow outwards instead of up or down.

Lemon Bonsai Care Guide

Once your lemon tree starts growing, you will want to keep it healthy.

The key to successful Bonsai is understanding how the plant naturally grows. This will help you decide on a style and give you an idea of what you need to do to encourage growth in certain areas.

Follow these tips to keep your bonsai lemon tree healthy and alive:

How Often Should I Water Lemon Bonsai?

Lemon Bonsai trees need frequent watering, especially in the hot summer months. When watering a lemon bonsai tree, make sure the soil is completely saturated, and then let it dry out before you water it again.

This can be anywhere from every three days to every two weeks depending on the season, the size of your bonsai, and how humid it is.

A good way to tell if you need to water your tree is to stick your finger into the soil up to the first knuckle. If the soil is dry then it’s time to water!

In nature, lemon trees thrive in semi-moist conditions. To maintain this condition in your bonsai pot, you must water your plant regularly when the soil gets dry. However, you should never let the soil get too dry or become soggy; both will stress your tree and may cause it to die.


Lemon trees like humidity so misting with a spray bottle is recommended from time to time. You can also use a humidifier like this to skip the process.

Another way to increase a little bit of humidity is to add a humidity tray and some pebbles at the bottom of your pot.

Ideal Location For Lemon Bonsai Trees:

Lemon trees require plenty of light, Place your lemon tree in a position, like next to a window, so that it can get at least six hours of sunlight per day.

Morning or evening sun works best for lemon trees. If necessary arrange some afternoon shade.

If you do want to grow them indoors, though, you’ll need a window that gets plenty of sunlight and heat. If you’re struggling to provide enough sunlight indoors, supplement with strong artificial lighting.


Lemon trees prefer a warm environment and do not tolerate frost. Although they can withstand hot summer, ideally you should maintain temperatures between 55 and 65 degrees F during the day and 40 to 50 degrees F at night, for the bonsai to be happy.

In winter, keep your lemon tree at temperatures between 10-15 degrees Celcius. Do not place the bonsai outdoors if the temperature drops below 40 degrees F at night.


Lemon bonsai trees need the right growing soil to survive. The ideal growing soil for lemon bonsai trees has a pH between 5.5 and 6.5, which is slightly acidic.

It also needs to be able to drain well, so that it never stays too soggy or waterlogged after watering or rainfall.


One of the most important aspects of growing a healthy lemon bonsai is fertilizing it properly. Because it is kept in a small pot without much soil, your plant will not get enough nutrients from the soil alone and must be fed regularly to remain healthy.

Feed your lemon tree bonsai tree about once a month with an organic fertilizer like this one.

How Do You Prune Lemon Bonsai?

Pruning is one of the most important parts of the process when it comes to lemon bonsai trees. You should prune your tree at least once every three months to encourage new growth and keep it looking neat and trimmed.

Without proper pruning, a lemon tree bonsai will grow into an unmanageable mess of branches and stems. This is especially true with old trees that have grown large and are starting to develop unsightly growths.

The goal of lemon tree bonsai pruning is to maintain the overall aesthetic of the bonsai.

The time of year when you choose to prune your lemon tree bonsai can make a difference in how well it performs over the long term. Wait until the tree has finished blooming to begin pruning.

During this time, you can safely remove any dead or diseased wood without damaging the health of your bonsai. However, reserve any heavy pruning of main branches or stems for the winter months.

The best way to begin pruning a new lemon bonsai is to inspect each branch thoroughly for signs of disease or rot. Clip off any dead or damaged branches and try to leave leaf buds on branches you want to keep.

Be extra cautious while pruning new growth and never remove all of the shoots from a given branch as this will damage the health of your bonsai.

Use sharp scissors or pruning shears for this job.

Be sure to disinfect your cutting tools between uses with a 10 percent bleach solution.

Shaping Lemon Bonsai

Shaping a lemon bonsai can be a bit tricky. If you try to wire the trunk too tightly it may break down as it is too brittle to hold the shape.

Instead, wrap the wire around the branches to shape them or to train them down from the top of the canopy. This will make it easier for you to maintain your lemon bonsai’s elegant form.

The best time to wire a lemon bonsai tree would be when there are no leaves on the tree. it will make the whole process easier.

How Often Should I Repot Lemon Bonsai?

Re-pot every two years. Take your tree out of its container and remove any dead or damaged roots. Add new soil and place the tree back in the container.


If you love plant life, but don’t necessarily have enough free time to care for a fully-grown tree, a lemon bonsai tree is a perfect addition to your house.

With minimal maintenance and upkeep, your bonsai can survive during all four seasons of the year. It will bring elegance to any room of your home, and it is sure to impress any guests that stop by.

I hope this post was helpful to you and you are confident enough to try your hand at growing a successful lemon bonsai tree. If you like the information please share it with others.