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The Lisbon Lemon Tree

Lemons are more than just a garnish for fish, they have found their rightful place in the culinary world as a versatile citrus fruit.  East to grow, wonderful to cook with, and beautiful in your yard or container garden, the Lisbon Lemon is juicy and mostly seedless, rocketing this bright yellow beauty to the top of the preferred lemon tree chart.

Lisbon Lemon Tree
Lisbon Lemon Hanging From Citrus Tree

The History of the Lisbon Lemon Tree

The Lisbon Lemon Tree is an Australian variety that is descended from the Gallego Lemon grown in Portugal. They were introduced to the California growers market around 1950 where they have been growing ever since.

All About The Lisbon Lemon

The sunshine yellow Lisbon Lemon is your super basic, quintessential lemon. This lemon is the one found in your local supermarket, it is juicy, tart, and packed with character. Whether you squeeze it or zest it, the fruit is a citrus bomb of flavor.

The tree is a stunner with pretty white flowers, dark green leaves, and bright yellow fruit. It just screams sunshine. Even in the winter, the evergreen tree makes a pretty landscape or houseplant.

Lisbon Lemons are grown in California and along with Eureka lemons are the varieties commonly found in your local supermarket. When you grow one in your home orchard, you can expect to harvest fruit after about three years. 

Where You Can Grow The Lisbon Lemon

Lisbon Lemons on a Tree
Lemon on tree. One of the varieties grown in Australia, Lisbon lemon hanging from tree branch with leaves. Closeup shot

Essentially, you can grow the Lisbon Lemon Tree everywhere. This versatile citrus tree can be grown as a landscaping plant, orchard tree, or a patio container plant. The USDA Growing zones for the Libson Lemon Tree are between zones 9 and 11. You can also grow this gorgeous tree as a patio plant that winters over indoors in zones 4 through 10. This gives the home orchardist the opportunity to grow lemons all year round even if you don’t live in a hot, arid climate.  

Citrus trees by nature are cold sensitive. The Lisbon Lemon Tree is somewhat hardier than most, but still requires a warm and sunny location to thrive. When grown in pots, choose a sunny window free from cold drafts when moving your plant indoors for the winter.

The Size Of The Lisbon Lemon

At a mature height, the Lisbon Lemon Tree will reach about 10 to 15 feet and a mature width between 4 and 6 feet. However, in perfect conditions, this citrus tree can grow to 30 feet tall with a canopy that is 25 feet wide.

The Lisbon Lemon can maintain a dwarf-like profile with simple pruning for container growing. The National Gardening Association recommends a 15 gallon container with good drainage for lemon trees. These 15 gallon Grow Bags allow for air circulation and have handles to make transporting between the indoor window and outdoor patio easier than a traditional ceramic planter. Choose a container that can sustain the tree for several years, this will help you avoid disturbing the root system and interfering with fruit production.

Pollination For The Lemon Trees

Bee Pollinating A Lemon Tree
Bee pollinating a lemon tree

Lemon trees are self-fruitful and do not need a pollination partner to produce fruit. You can help the process along by planting a pollinator friendly lemon tree or by using a few simple tools to pollinate your tree.

When the tree blooms take a small paintbrush or a tooth pick and transfer the pollen from blossom to blossom. Alternatively, you can sacrifice one blossom and rub it against the other blossoms on the tree. If the blossoms on the tree wilt, then you have done your best bee imitation and successfully pollinated your lemon tree manually. If the blossom falls to the floor, sadly you have not succeeded and should try again.  

Caring For Your Citrus Tree

Plant your Lisbon Lemon in full sun, they love hot, arid weather. Shelter the tree from strong winds, and plant in well-drained soil. They also need consistent watering.


Well-drained soil is non-negotiable for citrus trees, no soggy roots for these plants. Sitting water pooling around the trunk of the tree will cause rot problems. Be sure to plant your lemon tree where the water can run away from the trunk and the roots are not continually wet. 

These drought tolerant citrus trees are very adaptable to a variety of soil types but perform best with an acidic pH soil.


Lemon trees need lots of nutrients to stay healthy and produce a bumper crop, be sure to fertilize your tree twice a year with a product specifically designed for citrus fruits. Select a trusted producer like, Jobe’s Organics Fruit & Citrus Tree Fertilizer Spikes. 


Pruning a lemon tree
Gardener pruning a citrus tree in the garden.

With an upright and spreading formation, regularly pruning your lemon tree will improve its shape, strengthen the tree’s structure, and encourage an abundant harvest. Although your established Lisbon Lemon Tree can produce fruit year-round, a minimal pruning is still required. After a heavy harvest, prune away cross branches andlow-hanging branches. Prune for shape if you are growing your tree in a container. Always prune away dead or diseased branches as they become apparent.

Learn how to prevent and treat lemon tree diseases and lemon tree pests.

Container Growing

When grown in a container and moved indoors, rotate the plant regularly (daily if possible) so all sides of the plant receive adequate sunshine.

Common Uses For The Fruit

The Lisbon Lemon is your basic, all-purpose lemon. The smooth skin is perfect for zesting to add flavor to dressings and sauces. The flesh is tart and juicy making the fruit perfect for juicing. This is your every day, go-to lemon that has its very own spot in your refrigerator. Please do not buy the container of “real lemon juice.†You know the one, if you have that plastic lemon in your refrigerator — toss it out and get the real thing. 


Lemons are perfect for making lemonade, but they are also perfect for infusing a bright flavor enlivening humdrum recipes. A little squeeze of fresh lemon can take a dish from good to great!

Nothing says summertime more than a glass of ice-cold lemonade. Martha Stewart’s Extra-Lemony Lemonade is the perfect way to showcase your beautiful Lisbon Lemon Tree bounty. If you are looking for something with a little more kick, try The Chunky Chef’s Kentucky Lemonade Cocktail. It takes evenings sitting on the porch to an entirely different level.

Lemons can turn a simple weeknight dinner and turn it into a dining experience. Look no further than Ina Garten’s Lemon Chicken Breasts. With only 15 minutes prep time, and 35 minutes in the oven, you will have a standout, healthy dinner with very little effort.

Lemon zest and juice mixed with olive oil, salt, and pepper combine to create a bright and flavorful salad dressing. The addition of fresh or dried herbs will up the flavor profile and provide variety. Making your own dressing is an easy way to ensure the nutritional benefits of your salad and also help you avoid bottle dressings filled with additives you can’t pronounce.

The zest from the Lisbon Lemon is flavorful and aromatic. Be sure to use a zester or rasp to scrape off only they yellow skin and not the bitter pith beneath.  

When purchasing a lemon, look for a fruit that is about three inches long and feels heavy. The skin should be tight but not hard. The lemon should have a slight give when squeezed. You can store your lemons in your refrigerator for about two weeks.

Health Benefits of Lemons

Lemons are super healthy and simple to incorporate in your everyday routine. Lemons are high in Vitamin C and naturally occurring flavonoids that offer superior immune boosting benefits and antioxidant protection. Drinking water every day and staying hydrated is important to your overall health. Adding lemon to your water is a simple way to reap the health benefits of lemon juice at the same time. To learn more about what this incredible citrus fruit has to offer, check out The Incredible Health Benefits of Lemons.

Time To Plant Your Own Lisbon Lemon Tree

Growing a lemon tree is easy and rewarding. The plant is decorative with its dark green leaves and showy yellow fruit. You will be delighted when you pick your first lemon and use it in your very best recipe. When you purchase your Lisbon Lemon Tree, choose a reputable garden center that offers a quality product, this will save you time and money. You can find the Lisbon Lemon Tree at Nature Hills Nursery; they are a trusted source for home gardeners. 

Let’s Keep In Touch

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Ready for more lemon content? Next, visit our lemon trees page to discover more useful and fun information on lemon planting, growing, harvesting, cooking, and more!