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Grow Your Own Lemon Air Freshener at Home!
Who doesn’t like a home that smells fresh and clean? However, no one wants to use all those synthetic, chemical filled air fresheners that they sell at your supermarket, but what other choice do you have?
What if we told you that you could use the smell of young lemon tree seedlings to naturally freshen up your home? Beautiful idea and it’s so easy to do!
If you have ever seen or smelled a flowering lemon tree, you will understand why this is such as great idea. If you haven’t, lemon trees have lush, dark green glossy leaves that shimmer in the sun. The flowers are brilliant white with a lemony, citrus scent that is simply intoxicating. Lemon trees grow year-round in warmer, sunny climates, but they can live inside as edible houseplants for those of us who live in colder areas of the country. One organic food store in Canada keeps a lemon tree in their warehouse/garage, where it gives fruit almost year round!
Now if you want to grow some lemon trees for planting, be aware that they take between 3 to 6 years from the time they sprout to the time they produce fruit, but there is a really great feeling when you watch your seed grow from a seedling to a sapling, to a fruit bearing tree. It’s almost like having children; it just makes you feel so good!
Take a look at our step by step directions and see just how easy it can be.
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Things You Will Need
1. Start with a lemon
Obviously! You can’t grow a lemon tree from a peach pit, but be sure you are buying an organic lemon as some non-organic lemons have been sprayed with pesticides and chemicals that can keep the seeds from sprouting. If you can, look for an organic lemon called “Meyer”. Meyer lemons are a smaller sized lemon and the trees are often grown solely for ornamental purposes. These lemons work great for indoor containers. The truth is, though, any lemon will do.
2. Potting Soil
Try to find some potting soil with a mixture of perlite, vermiculite, organic fertilizer, and peat moss. This is the perfect mix for lemons but, in a pinch, any type of potting soil will probably work.
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3. A Container/Pot
Choose a container with drain holes on the bottom that is at least 6 inches deep and 4 or 6 inches in diameter to start. Your seedling will need a larger pot later on, but for now, this size pot will do. Lemon trees like pots that are wider more than deeper, so later on you will want a pot that is about 16 inches deep and 18 inches wide. Your young tree will live quite happily in the second sized pot for several years.
4. Sunlight or a Grow Light
Lemons need a lot of sun, and we mean a lot, like 10 to 14 hours every day. If you don’t have a sunny window that gets that much light, then buy a grow light. They don’t cost much and they will do the job just as well.
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Sprouting Your Lemon Seed
1. Moisten your potting soil
The easiest way is to pour your soil into a large bucket and add water, mixing with your hands, until the soil is wet all the way through.
2. Fill the container
Put the damp potting soil in your container/pot and leave about one inch of space from the rim of your container.
3. Slice the lemon
Cut your lemon and look through the seeds. Find one or two that look like they are fat and full of life. Put the seed(s) in your mouth and suck on them until the entire lemon flavor is gone. Your seed must never dry out or it will never sprout. Leave the seed in your mouth until you are ready to plant it.
4. Planting time
Put your seeds(s) in the pot, about ½ an inch into the soil. Cover it with soil and water it well with a gentle watering can or even a squirt bottle set on “mist”.
5. Cover the pot
Cover your pot/container with a piece of plastic, such as kitchen plastic wrap or a garbage bag, and poke a few small holes in the top with a fork or a toothpick so the pot can breathe. Use a rubber band to keep the plastic in place.
6. Put the container in the sun
Put your plant in a warm spot, like a sunny window, and watch it over the next few days. Your seed needs to be kept damp and warm in order for your seed to sprout. Too much heat will fry your seed and too much wetness could drown it. You want it warm and moist but not too much of either. Try to keep a nice balance.
7. Seedling time!
In just 2 weeks’ time, you should begin to see a little green sprout come up from the soil in your pot. Once you see it, you can remove the plastic. Be sure your little guy is getting lots of sun or is under your grow light.
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How to Care for Your Seedling
Keep the soil damp, especially when your tree is very young. Don’t overwater it, however.
Give it a warm, sunny window so it gets at least 8 hours of sunlight every day.
Once your tree has a few leaves, give it a good organic fertilizer or use a compost tea two or three times per year, but no more.
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Enjoy! Your little tree can live inside in a small pot for years, cleaning the air inside your house, naturally. When it flowers, you will love the sweet, citrus scent one little lemon tree can give you. Just the one tree should fill your entire house with scented flowers! You might want to start another one about this time as your tree will eventually outgrow its pot and need to be moved outdoors. This way you can keep your home filled with an air cleaning, beautiful lemon tree each and every year.