Have you ever walked through the produce section of your local grocer and thought. “I’m going to Buy Local!” It’s a noble mission, until you realize that many of the fruits and vegetables you love aren’t grown locally. So, what do you do when you need to buy lemons, but you live in Maine? You grow lemon trees indoors with LED Grow Lights.
It’s easy to grow lemon trees indoors with LED Grow Lights!
In a recent blog, we discussed how researchers at Purdue University are growing tomatoes indoors using LED Grow Lights to prove cost savings. This research aimed to expand growing locally. Professor of horticulture Cary Mitchell stated, tomatoes travel about 1,500 miles from where they’re grown to where they’re sold. (source)
The same applies for most citrus.
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of lemons during 2015:
- Spain: US$712.3 million (25.7% of total exported lemons)
- Mexico: $350.5 million (12.6%)
- Turkey: $293.8 million (10.6%)
- South Africa: $231.9 million (8.4%)
- United States: $222 million (8%)
- Netherlands: $220.9 million (7.97%)
- Argentina: $165.4 million (6%)
- Chile: $97.8 million (3.5%)
- Brazil: $78.6 million (2.8%)
- Italy: $55.9 million (2%)
- Germany: $38.9 million (1.4%)
- China: $35.4 million (1.3%)
- France: $23.3 million (0.84%)
- Belgium: $22.1 million (0.8%)
- Hong Kong: $15.5 million (0.6%)
The listed 15 countries shipped 92.5% of all exported lemons in 2015 (by value).
While the Unites States ranked 5th in the world in 2015, the vast majority of lemons are grow in California, Arizona, and Texas. Florida focuses mainly on oranges and grapefruit.
For those living in northern states, this means that at the very least, your fruit is travelling hundred or maybe a few thousand miles to your local store. If you’re the type that likes to take matters into your own hands, you can change this; grow lemon trees indoors with LED grow lights.
All citrus needs a lot of light.
In northern states, it’s impossible to guarantee enough light for citrus, even in summer. This can be overcome in a well-planned indoor environment. During the summer, lemons need full sun for 6 to 8 hours each day. To grow lemon trees indoors with LED grow lights, find an indoor space that receives as much natural light as you’re able to get. If you have a sun room, great; if not, a window will work. The idea is to keep the plant in reach of natural sunlight, while feeding it the amount of supplemental light it needs with LED.
Depending on the size of your lemon tree, one or two 500 watt LED grow lights will do the trick. Being indoors, in some ways, replicates the reduced light that the plants would normally expect. However, since your own daylight will be proportionately reduced based on your growing zone, LED light will need to be increased to make up for the difference. This means, your lemon trees will need 8-12 hours of LED light to get the same energy they would normally have received. It’s important to shut your lights off for about 6 hours each night as the plants need clearly defined day and night periods.
Keep an eye on your indoor lemon trees, they can tell you what they need.
You can help with humidity by misting your lemon trees about an hour before turning the lights back on. Doing so with the lights on can cause the leaves to burn. When watering, be sure to use warm water as your tap water may be colder in the winter.
Do not place trees near heat vents or blowers that could dry it out. Lack of lighting can cause leaves to drop off your lemon tree. If this occurs, increase the number of hours you leave the LED grow lights on, or increase the wattage.
Learn more about growing plants indoors with LED grow lights:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on June 19, 2017
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 19, 2017
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 19, 2017
Wikipedia, Citrus production. Accessed on June 19, 2017
Alibaba, Supplier showroom for lemons. Accessed on June 19, 2017
Lemon Citrus Tree, Winter Recommendations For Inside Citrus. Accessed on June 19, 2017