Meyer lemon trees are gaining in popularity

The culinary explosion has turned many of us into foodies.

As a result, there’s a greater emphasis on buying locally grown fruits and vegetables.

For more than 16 million U.S. households, that means taking the next step to grow their own fruit trees such as Meyer lemons.

Meyer lemons have become quite popular in this country thanks to celebrity chefs.

Meyer lemons are actually a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange.

They have a smooth, golden-yellow skin.

Things to know before you grow:

• Meyer lemon trees perform best with full sun — at least eight hours a day — and can tolerate temperatures as low as 25 degrees.

• They grow best in well-drained soil and generally reach 8 to 10 feet tall.

• Infrequent, deep waterings are better than frequent, shallow sprinklings. Deeper watering promotes deeper root growth and helps strengthen your tree. Fertilize regularly.

• Watch out for yellow leaves. That can be a sign of overwatering, under-watering or not enough fertilizing. They’re also a warning sign for pests such as aphids, leafhoppers or whiteflies that can damage your Meyer lemon tree.