Eureka, Lisbon, Improved Meyer, Santa Teresa... There are so many varieties available to grow yourself, how do you choose the right lemon tree?
Across the country, the Meyer Lemon Tree is the most popular choice. It is a sweet version of a lemon, with thin skin and fragrant blossoms. You can use Meyer lemons in any recipe that you would use a regular lemon, with the amount of sugar reduced to account for the sweetness that the Meyer brings.
But, perhaps you would prefer something more traditional. In that case, a Eureka Lemon Tree tree is a good choice, known for it's vigor and abundance of lemons. The Eureka and Lisbon lemons are the type of lemons that you would find in a grocery store. They have thicker skin and a wonderful classic lemon flavor. The zest is also wonderful, fragrant and flavorful. The Lisbon Lemon Tree, from Portugal, has a classic strong acid flavor, thin skin, and is very juicy. They are typically seedless.
Lately, a popular choice has been the Italian and Spanish Lemon varieties. The Santa Teresa Feminello Lemon Tree and the Villafranca Lemon Tree are perfect for making limoncello because of its high oil content and are also beautiful enough to make a lovely table centerpiece or basket gift. Their flavor is similar to the Eureka- tart, sour and tangy.
The more exotic lemon varieties include the Pink Lemon Tree, with variegated fruit and leaves, and the New Zealand Lemonade Tree. The Pink Lemon tree has stunning fruit and foliage, with delicious sour flavored fruit and is a decorative as well as useful tree. The New Zealand Lemonade is a low acid, sweet lemon which has the flavor of a lemon with extra sugar mixed in.
No matter what variety you choose, all lemon trees need full all-day sun, regular deep watering, plenty of aeration in the soil, and good air flow in order to be happy and healthy. With regular maintenance, they can provide you with a lifetime of lemons for you, your friends and your family.