Lemon Bonsai Progression (2016 – Now)

This is my Lemon tree that I started from seed. I am trying to grow as bonsai and I will be going through its progression below.

It is still has a lot of development, but I still think it’s coming along nicely.

If you want to watch it in video format, you can watch the YouTube playlist below. The videos show the progression every month throughout the year, sort of like a time lapse.

Just be aware some of my earlier videos are not the best quality, but just like my trees, the quality slowly improves over time, so stick with them and they both get a little better towards the end.

Lemons are a small evergreen citrus tree with lovely dark green leaves. You can read more about their suitability in Are Lemons Good Trees For Bonsai?


I started this lemon tree from seed in the spring. It was just from a supermarket lemon.

Once it germinated it was left to grow unchecked for the rest of the year.

Late 2016


After being left to grow wildly it was just one long single shoot. I chopped this down in height.

That’s all the work I could do. It just needed one cut.

Spring 2017

I then repotted into a small pot in spring and it was then left to grow out for the rest of the year.


At the start of 2018 I pruned the tree back in late winter and then repotted it in spring when the new buds started to swell.

Late 2018

After this it was left to grow out for the rest of the year.


2019 started with another hard prune in late winter before repotting it again in spring. It is in a small pot and had been growing wildly, so the pot gets pretty full of roots and really needs the repot.

Early 2019
Spring 2019

It was then again left alone and allowed to just grow out for the rest of the year.


Early 2020

In 2020 I started the year with a prune at the end of winter. A few weeks later I repotted the tree at the start of spring.

Spring 2020

It was then left to grow until the end of the year. I had started growing this tree under a grow light during this year, before it had pretty much just be on a windowsill and when it would go dormant I would put it outside in the shed to have a cool period.

Spring 2020

However, this year I left it under the grow light all winter. Lemons grow naturally in regions that do not really have much of a winter, so I wanted to see what would happen.

Summer 2020
Late 2020

So towards the end of the year I pruned it back then defoliation it. A few weeks later all the leaves grew back, but much small.

Late 2020


At the start of 2021 I pruned the tree back as it had gotten long and leggy over winter. It shot back very quickly

Early 2021

It shot back again, extremely quickly so I pruned it again. At this point it was late winter and a few weeks later I repotted it as the spring arrived.

Spring 2021

After all this I just left to grow wild for the rest of the year. This time keeping it inside again over the winter, but not doing any more work to it.

Spring 2021
Summer 2021
Late 2021


At the start of the year I pruned the tree back hard and then repotted it in spring once the new buds started to push.

Early 2022

The tree was very slow to leaf out after the repot, but it seems to waking up now.

Spring 2022
Spring 2022

and that is where we are now with this tree. The plan going forward is pretty much going to be the same. Let it grow, then trim it back. Then we will see what happens.

If you also have a Lemon and are wondering how I look after it, you can read my Lemon Bonsai Care Guide.