CITRUS limon 'Pomona'
Plant Common Name
Lemon, Pomona Sweet Lemon
Puckery, cold lemonade and tart, sweet pies are modern pleasures made from the fruits of Citrus limon or lemon trees. However, lemons have been used for centuries and prized for their medicinal qualities. The true origin of lemons is unknown, but most likely from the northwestern reaches of India. The trees have moved with civilization and burgeoning transportation routes around the globe. It is said Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds with him to Hispaniola in 1493, and it was among the first fruits Spaniards introduced to St. Augustine.
Lemon ‘Pomona’ trees are medium to large, evergreen and have sharp thorns on their branches and twigs. The fragrant leaves are elliptical to oval and often have winged petioles (leaf stems). The flowers are born throughout the year. Solitary or a few grouped flower buds are produced in the leaf axils (joint between the leaf and stem). The flower buds are red to purple-hued opening to reveal white, fragrant blooms. Most lemons are grafted on to rootstocks which impart tolerances to local soils, pests and climate conditions as well as preserving the desired varietal characteristics.
Pomona lemons are sweet lemons. The trees are small and vigorous. The fruit is considered low-acid or acidless and has no or few seeds. An ever-bearing cultivar, ‘Pomona’ has fruit throughout the year once it reaches bearing age. The yellow fruit is oval with a protuberance at the end, the thick, leathery skin dotted with oil glands and the flesh juicy with few seeds.
Lemon trees are more cold sensitive than other citrus. They prefer warm, dry winters, cool summers and can only tolerate a few degrees below freezing for a few hours. They require full sun and are tolerant of most soil conditions, even poor soils, as long as it is very well drained. The trees are somewhat drought tolerant once established, but must have regular applications of water for good fruit production. Citrus trees are heavy feeders and require regular applications of fertilizer. Lemons ripen individually and are harvested by hand as the fruits mature.
No backyard orchard in subtropical and tropical zones is complete without at least one variety of a prolific-bearing and long-lived lemon. Lemons make great tub or conservatory specimens where not hardy. Grow ‘Pomona’ lemons in home orchards for the very juicy fruits which are good for eating, juicing and cooking.
AHS Heat Zone
12 - 1
USDA Hardiness Zone
9 - 12
H1, H2, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
8'-15' / 2.4m - 4.6m (15)
6'-15' / 1.8m - 4.6m (15)
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Container, Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Hedges, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier, Tropical
Sharp or Has Thorns