Citrus Limon is a large shrub or small tree, in any case evergreen. The height of the plant varies between 2 and 7 meters; the diameter instead reaches a maximum of 3 meters.
The leaves are oval in shape, shiny and of an intense green color. The flowers are white, with a pleasant and intense aroma, and appear in spring and summer. The fruits are oval, yellow in color and reach full maturity after about a year.
The lemon is a typical plant of the Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and cool winters but in areas with continental and oceanic climate it can be cultivated in pots to solve climatic problems. The cultivation in pots must include pruning at least every 2 years to contain the regrowth and growth of the lemon, as well as to give a little shape or favor fruiting, depending on whether the lemon is ornamental or production.
Being a plant native to Asian forests, it prefers sunny locations. The minimum temperature must not fall below 3-5 ° C; in this case the plant risks freezing. In areas with a warm climate but cold winters, often the protective sheet is essential in winter to repair plants from the cold and to prevent them from drying out partially or completely.
Although production lemons find their ideal conditions in southern Italy, and in general in the world near the 40th parallel, there are also other areas where these plants can give good results. Lake Garda, the Ligurian Riviera and Lake Maggiore are just some examples of areas where the lemon is able to grow impeccably and the production in these places is of excellent quality.
Generally, the soil for the lemon must be well drained even if it must be kept moist. The soil to be used must be neutral to slightly alkaline.
Lemons prefer a soil rich in nutrients, deep but not heavy. The ideal soil is a soil with a good content of sand, pumice or other porous stones and a very low clay content.
The multiplication of Citrus Limon must take place during the summer season, through the removal of semi-woody cuttings. The lemon is however a plant that bears fruit several times during the year and lemons can take up to 12 months to mature definitively.
In cold areas the Citrus Limon must be grown in a greenhouse; in warm areas outside.
The use of lemon in the kitchen is relevant: as a condiment, thanks to its juice, or as a flavoring thanks to its peel. At the medicinal level, we recall the astringent power of lemon and in particular its juice and the importance of the fruit in the integration of vitamin C. A final mention deserves the use of the essence of the flower in the field of perfumes.
Lemon - Citrus limon: Adversity
The lemon is usually attacked by an easily eliminated cochineal with the use of white oil, and by aphids. The most widespread cryptogamic disease for this essence is the white mal.
For lemons grown in small pots, cochineal can also be removed mechanically with cotton and water.