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Lemon - Citrus x limon

Cultivars, or varieties of lemon in New Zealand largely fall into two broad groups: the Eureka group (Villafranca, Genoa, and Eureka selections) and the Lisbon group, (Yen Ben, Lisbon). There are two important differences to distinguish between these two groups, firstly all the Lisbon selections are relatively thorny whereas the Eureka group is virtually thornless; and secondly that only the Lisbon selections have good compatibility with the trifoliata rootstocks, which is often used to help the variety  to be more cold tolerant and disease resistant. The Meyer lemon, which is arguably New Zealand's most popular lemon for the home grower is actually a lemon/mandarin hybrid and is the most cold hardy of all citrus varieties. 

Lemon trees are subtropical (or tropical) and don't love frosts or temperatures below -2˚C. If you are in a particularly cool climate, you could consider growing your lemons in containers and under cover - or bringing them into a glasshouse, or inside, at least during the winter season. They like to be watered well during the early stages and during long dry periods, particularly when the fruit is developing.

Lemons are 'gross feeders', which means they require regular and heavy feeding - ideally with a specialist citrus fertiliser. You can prune to shape (they like an enclosed centre), but allow sunlight and wind movement. Prune all rootstock growth and watch out for the rootstock spikes when you do (particularly true with Trifoliata). 

Lemon varieties

Click on a row, or scroll right, to view more information. To look up your climate zone click here.

Fruit Type
Months Harvest
Good Keeper
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