Where is the Best Place to Plant a Lemon Tree?

Lemon trees are not your typical garden plant. Putting them in the same place you would put roses just won’t work! Besides, novice gardeners don’t know where is the best place to plant a lemon tree. 

So, what decides the best location for planting a lemon tree?

How to Find the Best Location to Plant Lemon Trees?

Lemon trees need the best elements and care if they are to flourish. So naturally, a few of the factors that really influence the best place to plant a lemon tree are: 

  1. Sunlight 
  2. Shelter from cold or frost
  3. Nearby plants (companion plants)
  4. Space availability
  5. Soil quality

Read on to find out how each factor can possibly help your lemon tree grow to its full size and faster. 

1. At Least 6 Hours of Sunlight- A Sunny Spot

Lemon trees, like all evergreen plants, need a lot of energy to keep their green leaves throughout the year. A key component of maintaining this green appearance is sunlight. How does sunlight help? 

Sunlight is one of the core ingredients in photosynthesis, the process used to make energy. The other important components are water and carbon dioxide. Neither of which are normally in short supply.

Hence, making sure sunlight is present is important for the tree to carry out photosynthesis. 

How to ensure lemon trees have enough sunlight:

  1. Make sure there are no taller objects like buildings or trees blocking off sunlight.
  2. Also, placing your lemon tree in an open area can help it get the most sunlight. 
  3. Ensure your lemon tree gets the correct intensity and duration of sun. 
  4. If forced to choose, lemon trees should get afternoon sun due to higher intensity. 

Ideally, lemon trees need 6 to 8+ hours of intense sunlight. The afternoon sun is more intense in normally mild climates. However, in severely hot climates morning sun and afternoon shade are suggested. 

Are Lemons Trees or Bushes? How to Tell them Apart

2. Protection From Cold and Wind

Young and even older lemon trees are vulnerable to cold, frost, and wind. Providing them with some sort of protection is a good idea if you want a long-lived lemon tree. 

A location that keeps lemon trees safe from cold, frost, and wind:

  1. The lemon tree should not be planted in the same direction that the wind blows. 
  2. Having obstacles in the path will help to shelter it from cold, snow, heavy rain, etc. 
  3. If in the open, the lemon tree should be located in such a way that there is enough space to build a shield around the tree. 

You might be interested in bringing your lemon tree indoors during winter. But, your lemon tree will have to be young or a dwarf variant to pull this off. 

These are the 5 best dwarf lemon trees to plant in pots indoors. 

Additionally, younger lemon trees are more vulnerable to cold. Thus, protecting them is essential for their survival!

3. Consider the Surrounding Companions

Not all plants and trees will be the best neighbor to your lemon tree. Some will offer benefits and others may compromise your lemon tree. 

For instance, some may steal nutrients from your lemon tree. So, picking wisely is a good idea!

If you are basing your garden off of the lemon tree, you’ll get to choose the best spot for it. But, if your garden is already full you will have to carefully fit in your lemon tree. 

Benefits of planting lemon trees with good companion plants:

  1. Pest resistance due to deterrent chemicals
  2. Attracting pollinators to assist in the pollination process.
  3. Improves the appearance and scent of the garden. Particularly those areas around lemon trees.
  4. Some plants improve soil quality, examples are peas and alfalfa. 

Strategically placing your lemon tree will help it grow thanks to the presence of good companions. 

Read our blog on good and bad companion plants for lemon trees if you’re struggling to identify them. 

4. Allocate Enough Space

Lemon trees don’t have deep roots. Instead, the roots tend to spread out outwards and sometimes they can become destructive. If you have water pipes or wells in the vicinity, the roots may find it and cause damage to infrastructure and utilities. 

Therefore, providing enough space for your lemon tree is essential. 

The same can be said about the spacing between lemon trees and their respective companion plants.

Planting them too close to other plants of the same or different kinds may even result in the intertwining of roots. This makes transplanting a nightmare!

Thus, give lemon trees the following spacing:

  • Dwarf lemon trees: 8 to 10 feet 
  • Semi-dwarf lemon trees: 12 to 15 feet
  • Standard lemon trees: 18 to 26 feet

5. Soil Quality Highly Influences Location

If you are lucky enough every spot in your garden has highly fertile acidic soil. But, these chances are slim and everyone has that spot or two that isn’t great for lemon trees or perhaps for any plant!

Your lemon tree will mostly be located in that area of the garden which is most capable of supporting the lemon tree. So, this means acidic soil that is highly fertile. Particularly with Nitrogen and other trace elements. 

Lemon trees are particular about their soil. However, any deviance from these will result in no growth, stunted growth, or poor fruit output.

Regardless, bad soil points to disappointing results. You will definitely have to pick out a spot in the garden with good soil. 

So, in short, if your garden lacks that spot, you will have to make it! Switch out the old soil with amended soil that will lead your lemon tree to better growth and fruiting. Using a fertilizer for lemon trees will be unavoidable since they are heavy feeders. 

Want to know the secret to boosting lemon tree growth and fruiting? Check out these best lemon tree fertilizers.  


The best place to plant a lemon tree should be in such a location that it offers the tree everything it needs to grow unhindered. 

Ideally, the best place to plant a lemon tree should:

  • Provide full sun for a minimum of 6 hours with 8+ hours being most ideal. 
  • Shield the lemon tree from the brunt of cold weather.
  • Must be near appropriate plants that make good lemon tree companions.
  • Give your lemon tree enough space to grow (including the roots).
  • Soil that is fertile enough.

Ultimately, with all these terms satisfied, your yield of lemon fruit will be excellent. 

Find out why your lemon tree doesn’t produce fruits.


Do lemon trees need full sun?

Yes, lemon trees need full sun. But, be warned anything less than 6 hours of intense sunlight may lead to growth deficiencies or poor-tasting lemons if any! Also, yellowing or browning of leaves could be a sign of too much or too little sun so stay aware. 

Can lemon trees grow in pots?

Yes, lemon trees grow in pots. If it is a dwarf variant then a pot may be the best place to plant a lemon tree since it stays small. Because of the pot, it can even be moved indoors.