How To Grow A Lemon Tree and Make Vegan Lemon Bars

The Meyers Lemon Tree produces juicy and delicious tart flavor fruit with a hint of sweetness. Unlike the standard lemon, this variety has thin skin, a rounder shape, and is sweeter and less acidic than the traditional Eureka lemon, making it great for cooking and baking. It was first introduced to the United States from China by Frank Meyer in the early 20th century and is a cross between a citron (lemon) and a mandarin/pomelo hybrid. With a rich flavor, this lemon became popular in the late ’90s when featured by Martha Stewart.

The Meyers Lemon Tree is hardy, evergreen, and has dark green, glossy leaves, and few thorns. The tree is powerfully aromatic, giving off a mix of sweet and citrus from the fruit and its white flower blossoms. Being a very prolific fruiter, you can harvest fruit as soon as the tree is planted even at a young age and is also great for containers.

The Meyers Lemon is an excellent choice for a home garden as they are relatively small citrus trees. Most homeowners prune their trees to keep them as short as 7-12 feet. Its small size will serve as a beautiful ornamental, as well as provide an abundance of fruit.

How To Plant?

The first thing you need to think about when growing your lemon tree is its position. It’s essential to plant your tree where it’s going to get the most sun. To create a healthy growing environment for your lemon tree, you will want to avoid waterlogged soil.

Step One: Plant in soil that drains well. Dig a hole that is as deep as the tree’s roots and at least twice as wide.

Step Two: Place the tree in the hole and backfill around the plant’s roots with a mixture of the native soil and high-quality planting mix with washed sand and organic fertilizer.

Step Three: Create a basin around the roots drip zone that water collects. Water deeply until the roots and nearby soil is saturated and reaches field capacity.

How To Care?

You’ll need to plant your lemon tree in full sun as lemon trees require at least six hours of sunlight per day. In extremely hot climates, it’s best to plant lemon trees with morning sun and afternoon shade. Lemon trees grow best in soil that drains well yet retains moisture. Newly planted trees need to be watered twice per week during the Spring through Summer. In Fall and Winter, when the weather is cool, they can be watered once per week. It’s also important to note that trees in hot climates or sandy soils may need water more frequently.

Spring is the most crucial time to fertilize a citrus tree. Use a citrus food fertilizer with a 2-1-1 NPK ratio in the Spring through Summer. 2-1-1 NPK means to use twice as much Nitrogen to Phosphorus or Potassium. If you’re looking to go the organic route, blood meal and manure are great sources of Nitrogen. To prepare for the flowering and fruiting process during the Winter season, use a fertilizer with more Phosphorus and Potassium like Humus or bone meal. Yellowing leaves will tell if that the tree either needs water or fertilizer.

Prune your Meyer Lemon Tree in the early Fall or early Spring. Aim for the branches that grow straight upwards as these typically do not produce fruit. Also, remove branches that block sunlight from the tree’s trunk to promote air circulation and decrease the risk of fungus growth.

When To Harvest?

Lemons ripen on the tree. Once the fruit starts to grow, they’ll need around six months to mature. You’ll be able to tell is your lemons are ripening when their skin develops a glossy appearance with a dark yellow color.

Vegan Lemon Bars Recipe:

Lemons are a staple in many dishes and drinks. Use them for your cocktails or summer lemonade, your salad dressings, to prepare meat dishes, enhance vegetables’ flavors, zest, or make tea with their leaves.

Make use of your lemon tree with this delicious vegan lemon bar dessert.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Servings: 18

Shortbread Crust Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegan butter, melted
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Lemon Filling Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (or about 4 lemons)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • 1 can of coconut cream

Make the crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 glass baking dish with parchment paper leaving a little hanging over the edge. Mix melted vegan butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and salt together. Gradually mix in the flour. Once doughy, press the mixture into the bottom of your baking dish and bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden.

Make the filling:

While the crust is baking, use a medium saucepan to add the lemon juice, sugar, coconut cream, vegan butter, and cornstarch. Whisk well over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.

Now combined:

Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 15 minutes. Let the bars cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then refrigerate for 1-2 hours until set.


Lift bars out of the pan with the excess parchment paper, dust with powdered sugar if desired, and slice into squares. Eat within a week and store it in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Read more

View our available Lemon Trees.
Learn about Watering Citrus Trees.
Learn more about the best Fruit Trees for Southern California.