How Far Apart to Plant Lemon Trees? Best spacing for lemon tree

You may think the more lemon trees you have the better. But, when space is an issue growing lemon trees too close to each other can come with problems. So what is the best spacing for the lemon trees

Spacing of lemon trees from other lemon trees or plants depends on the size of the lemon tree:

  1. Dwarf lemon trees should have spacing of 6 to 10 feet.
  2. Semi-dwarf lemon trees should have spacing of 12 to 18 feet.
  3. Standard lemon trees should have spacing of 18 to 25 feet.

Read on to find out more about lemon tree spacing for growing.

How Far Should I Plant my Lemon Trees! 

Deciding how far to plant lemon trees from other lemon trees or plants will decide on a few factors. But, the most important parameter for deciding on this distance is the type of lemon tree you are growing.

Lemon Tree Types

There are three sizes of lemon trees available. These are dwarf, semi-dwarf, and standard. According to their respective sizes, certain spacing distances are recommended.  

Dwarf Lemon Trees

Most dwarf lemon trees will grow to a height of 8 to 12 feet high. They are the shortest and smallest lemon tree variants. Provide dwarf lemon trees with a spacing of 6 to 10 feet away from other plants or lemon trees.

Semi-Dwarf Lemon Trees

The sizing of semi-dwarf lemon trees is intermediate between dwarf and standard lemon trees. That gives them a height between 12 and 20 feet. These semi-dwarf lemon trees will have to be spaced 12 to 18 feet apart.

Standard Lemon Trees

These are the largest lemon trees of the bunch and they grow to 20 feet or above! Of course, these large trees will need more space than the other two sizes. Give standard lemon trees 18 to 25 feet of spacing between plants. 

Other factors that could influence the spacing between lemon trees are the age of the trees, health, phase of growth, and variant planted. 

Also worth it to know: Do Lemon trees have invasive roots? How to stop invasive lemon roots.

Why is Lemon Tree Spacing Important? 

Lemon tree spacing is especially important if you are growing a lemon tree orchard. But, that’s not to say that spacing is less important when growing one or two trees in the garden!

A lack of spacing could result in poor growth and poor growth leads to poor lemon output. 

By placing lemon trees close to other trees or other plants, you are unintentionally creating a competition for resources. Water, sunlight, and nutrients will be hard to come by when there are too many plants trying to get to it.

Some plants will miss out and it could be your lemon tree that misses out! 

What Happens if Lemon Trees Are Too Close Together? 

Choosing the incorrect spacing distance for your lemon trees can have a few bad effects which can have effects. Some of which are highly damaging! Putting plants too close together will lead to a range of new problems.

Bonding or Tangling

If grown too close together, plants could become tangled above ground and below ground. As a result, transplanting either one of them becomes very difficult.

If the roots and limbs fuse underground, you may have to cut them loose for transplantation.

If too many of the roots are cut, your lemon tree will have reduced chances of surviving after transplantation. This would be a devastating loss! 

Stunted Growth

When lemon trees are planted too close together, it results in a lose-lose situation. Neither of the trees can completely thrive.

There is competition for every resource available and just not enough to satisfy both trees. Sunlight may be blocked out by larger branches. 

You will find your lemon trees fighting for survival instead of actually growing. Foliage will shrink and the tree’s trunk will show much expansion. This is because the tree cannot source enough energy (resources) to power its growth. 

Soil Fertility Issues 

Lemon trees do require a hefty amount of nutrients from the soil. Usually using the best lemon potting mix is adequate.

However, a large number of trees drawing nutrients from the same soil will deplete the soil even faster. These trees need high amounts of Nitrogen for growth as well as flower and fruit production. Lack of Nitrogen can lead to yellowing and wilting of foliage. 

You could argue that providing a Nitrogen-based fertilizer is a solution. Unfortunately, overuse of fertilizer can severely damage your soil. 

Poor Fruit Production

Sunlight plays a vital role in lemon production. But when lemon trees are planted too close together sun coverage is usually not enough for lemon production. Branches and taller trees will block out the sun’s rays.

As a result, trees will not be able to photosynthesize enough energy and food to make fruits. This will either result in poor fruit output, deformed fruits, or even a lack of fruits altogether!

The presence of too much shade (lack of sun) could also be inviting for fungi and bacteria. 

Is it Possible to Plant Different Citrus Trees Together? 

Many people often think that you cannot plant two same or different citrus trees together. This is actually false. You can grow other citrus trees with lemon trees so long as a distance large enough is provided. 

You can plant your lemon trees 12 to 25 feet apart to prevent competition for resources. This spacing is just to make sure each tree grows to its full potential and does not incur diseases.

Many people fear cross-pollination between the different citrus plants which could change the taste of each tree’s fruits. But, this won’t exactly happen since these trees are self-pollinating. Flowers on the same tree fertilize each other. 

But even if another citrus tree fertilizes your lemon tree, the lemon fruits will taste the same but may have more seeds. 

Solve the mystery of Lemon trees with sticky leaves? 

How to Space Citrus Trees in an Orchard?

Have an open space and want to plant an orchard of lemons? Why not if you have the space and time to do so. But, growing lemons on such a scale will require planning and careful spacing to make sure you have an impressive harvest!  

Standard lemon trees must be 15 feet apart in a row while each row should be 25 to 30 feet apart.

Here are other tips to grow lemons in an orchard:

  • Select a position that receives at least 8 hours of sunlight. Also, make sure buildings, other trees, and landscapes do not block the sun for too long.
  • Provide spacing based on the citrus tree grown- dwarf, semi-dwarf, or standard size. This equates to anywhere between 15 and 25 feet. 
  • Use fertile soil made from peat, sand, perlite, and compost. Add a Nitrogen-based fertilizer only if necessary. Soil has to be mildly acidic. 

Following the above tips should lead to healthy lemons during the harvesting season. 

Best Location for Lemon Trees

The most ideal location to plant lemon trees would have the best conditions to favor high lemon output as well as tree growth. Here are some tips of what the best location for lemon trees is:

  • Pick a spot that is sunny for a minimum of 5/6 hours a day (direct sunlight).
  • Fertile soil with good drainage, avoid clay-based soils. Additionally, soil must be slightly acidic (pH5.5.-6.5).
  • Sheltered from cold and wind due to the vulnerability of lemon trees. 
  • Lemon trees need a lot of Nitrogen. Make sure the soil has this, if it doesn’t provide a Nitrogen-based fertilizer. 
  • Indoors or outdoors? If you live in USDA zones 9 and lower you must plant your lemon tree in a pot and bring it indoors. Else outdoor lemon trees will need winter protection. 


Lemon trees don’t have the deepest of roots with most of their roots concentrated in the top two to five feet of soil. But, their roots may tend to spread more sideways.

As a result, you must give them enough space for their roots to venture and source resources.

Generally, lemon trees need 6-10 feet (dwarf), 12-18 feet (semi-dwarf), or 12-25 feet (standard) spacing from the next tree/plant. 

Giving your lemon trees this much space will prevent the fusing of roots, depletion of nutrients, competition for resources, and poor lemon output. 


Can you plant two lemon trees together?

Yes, you can plant two lemon trees together. But, leave enough space between each of them. So, this will help to prevent competition for resources and trees being stunted due to lack of resources. 

How close can you plant lemon trees?

How close you can plant lemon trees depends on their respective variants (dwarf/semi-dwarf/standard). Dwarf lemon trees should be 6-10 feet apart, semi-dwarf lemon trees should be 12-18 feet away, and standard lemon trees must be 18-25 feet away.

Can a lemon tree be planted next to an orange tree?

Yes, a lemon tree can be planted next to an orange tree as long as enough spacing is put between these two trees. Also, this is very necessary if you really want to stop the two trees from competing for resources.