Thomas J. Story

Meet the lemon that took the gardening world by storm—if you plant only one citrus this year, make it this tree

The tree: The variegated pink Eureka lemon is usually sold in a 5-gallon container when it’s 2 to 3 years old.

In the ground, it grows 12 to 15 feet tall. Keep it small enough for a pot by pruning the foliage and roots every four to five years.

The foliage: Apple green leaves have creamy white to pale yellow edges.

Where to grow: Display in a site that gets at least 4 hours of sun a day (8 is better), and is protected from wind and frost.

Which zones: It grows well outdoors in Sunset climate zones 8, 9, 12–24, H1, H2; indoors elsewhere. Find your zone in the Sunset Plant Finder

The pale yellow fruit is streaked with green before fully matured.
 Bob Wigand

The fruit: Green streaked ​ with gold when young, it matures to pale yellow. Pink flesh produces clear juice. Expect a few lemons early on; more when the plant is four to ​five years old.

How to plant: Choose a pot at least 16 inches in diameter. Fill the bottom inch with fast-draining potting mix, set in the rootball, fill around it with more soil, then water.

More tips on how to grow citrus

3 more cool citrus for pots:

'Gold Nugget' mandarin.
 University of California, Riverside, citrus variety collection

Gold Nugget’ mandarin: Seedless and super-sweet, these easy-to-peel mandarins ripen on the tree from early spring through summer.

Australian finger lime.
 University of California, Riverside, citrus variety collection

Australian finger lime: Its jalapeño-shaped fruit can reach ​ 5 inches long. Inside, “beads” filled with tart juice burst when you bite into them.

Organic Meyer lemon tree.
 University of California, Riverside, citrus variety collection

Organic Meyer lemon: The favored sweet-tart fruit is now available on an organically grown tree. It starts bearing fruit early on and can produce all year.

More: 21 top crops for your edible garden

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