Want to take a cutting from your citrus tree? Here’s a step by step guide on how to propagate a variegated lemon tree!
Variegated lemon trees are beautiful citrus trees. They grow leaves with multiple shades of green and lemons with green and yellow stripes!
I got my variegated lemon tree on Facebook marketplace and it was looking a bit bushy. I decided to remove the lower branches to raise the canopy and give it more of a tree-like shape.
Since I love to propagate, I decided to root the cuttings! Here is the result of my experiment.
Can you root lemon tree cuttings in water?
All of the cuttings that I tried to root in water rotted. It was not successful. I had better success rooting lemon tree cuttings directly in soil!
How long does it take lemon tree cuttings to root?
I found these cuttings to be very slow to root. It took at least a month to see the first roots, and 2-3 months before the roots were significant!
Will lemon trees grown from cuttings produce fruit?
I took these cuttings last summer and 2 of my 3 successful cuttings bloomed this year! They are only about 1 foot tall but had many blooms. We will have to see if any of them get fruit!
When is the best time to take a lemon tree cutting?
You want to aim for a “semi-hardwood” cutting. This is the new year’s growth beginning to turn brown into hard wood. The best time for this is late summer!
How to propagate a variegated lemon tree
- Sharp plant shears
- Pot of moist soil
- Plastic bag (like from the produce section at a grocery store)
- Rooting hormone
Steps to propagate a variegated lemon tree
STEP 1: Identify a branch
Ideally choose a branch with new growth to indicate that it is healthy. You don’t want a branch growing fruit because you want the energy to go towards root growth, not fruit maintenance.
STEP 2: Cut the branch
Cut the branch. I cut mine at the trunk, but you want to be sure you get at least 2 nodes on your cutting. Nodes are the bumps where leaves grow from the stem – and where roots will grow.
STEP 3: Remove lower leaves
Remove the lower leaves, only leaving leaves at the end of the cutting.
STEP 4: Dip in rooting hormone
Dip the cutting in rooting hormone to encourage root growth.
STEP 5: Stick in moist soil
Stick directly into a pot of moist soil.
STEP 6: Cover
Cover with a clear plastic bag. This creates a greenhouse effect. Place in bright indirect light.
STEP 7: Wait
Be patient, it takes a while! I checked my cuttings once a week and watered as needed.
A great thing about rooting in soil is you don’t have to transplant them. Once roots are established, leave them in soil. I pulled mine out to take this photo, but otherwise leave them in the pot!
Once the cutting is 1 year old, you can plant it in the ground outside!
Any questions about propagating lemon trees?