Growing Lemons from Leaf Cuttings: A Step-by-Step Guide

propagate lemons from cuttings

The lemon tree, scientifically known as Citrus limon, originates from India and stands as an evergreen plant capable of yielding flowers and fruits multiple times throughout the year. Recognized for its elliptical shape, vibrant yellow hue, and distinctive umbone or tip, the lemon finds its place in various culinary applications, from salads to diverse preparations.

The thick peel of the lemon holds fragrant oils within its glands, adding to the versatility of this citrus delight. Cultivating lemons in your garden can be a valuable addition, and we’re here to guide you on how to grow new lemons from leaf cuttings. Read on to discover a popular and effective method of propagation.

Lemon plant

Growing New Lemons from Leaf Cuttings: The Method Unveiled

Propagating a lemon plant through leaf cuttings is a widely embraced and reliable method. In contrast to seed sowing, which can be time-consuming and occasionally ineffective, the cutting approach ensures a plant identical to the original one. To embark on this journey, obtain a lemon branch around March during the pruning season, ensuring it is still green and approximately 20 centimeters long.

Before making the cut, check for multiple buds on the branch and diligently disinfect the knife to be used. The cut should be slightly inclined. Proceed by taking a plastic bottle, cutting about 12 centimeters from the bottom, and filling it with water. Disinfect the cut end of the cutting with a garlic clove before placing it in the water.

Allow the cutting to stay in the water for a minimum of two months, observing the development of small roots. After this period, change the water and leave the cutting for an additional two months, during which you’ll witness the emergence of new leaves with vibrant colors. Approximately four to five months into the process, you can proceed to plant the lemon in a pot.

Lemons from cuttings

Select a pot with damp soil, create a sizable hole in the center, and place the cutting with its roots into the hole. Over time, the plant will grow, gradually transforming into a larger specimen.

However, exercise due care and attention, especially during the initial stages, as young seedlings require proper treatment. Below, find additional tips to ensure the success of your lemon plant. Remember to transplant the lemon into a larger pot when it outgrows its current one, typically around a year into its growth.

Planting a cutting of lemons

Caring for Your Lemon Plant: Essential Tips

During the first few years, focus on irrigation and mulching to support the health and growth of your lemon plant. Adequate water supply is crucial, with lemon trees typically requiring between 20 and 60 m3 of water. Ensure consistent watering, especially during the flowering and fruit-setting phases, to prevent water scarcity.


Mulching plays a pivotal role in the early stages of the plant’s life, shielding its root system from the encroachment of wild herbs. These competitors could potentially strip the lemon tree of essential water and nutrients.

Apply a layer of straw and bark, incorporating natural fertilizer beneath, to create an optimal environment for your growing lemon plant.