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Lemon Symbolism (Top 9 Meanings)

Lemon Symbolism (Top 9 Meanings)

Lemons are a staple in kitchens all over the world and are known for their unmistakable, sour taste. Their juice is often used to add tanginess to food and drinks, from dips to summer cocktails, making them a versatile ingredient.

They’ve also been used for centuries for their medicinal properties in many parts of the world. That is why lemons symbolize healing and cleansing. They can also symbolize abundance, fortune, spirituality, friendship, creativity, and bitterness in life.

In this article, I’ll explain lemon symbolism in detail, along with common lemon dreams and their possible meanings.

Lemon Symbolism Meaning

Lemons are not only recognized for their distinctive sour taste but also for their bright yellow hue. Because of these properties, lemons symbolize a lot of things, including the following.

Healing and Cleansing

Lemons are often associated with cleansing and purifying, both spiritually and physically. In many cultures, it is believed that planting a lemon tree in front of your house or placing cut lemons in a room can ward off negative energy.

Women taking a citrus fruit cleanse bath with lemon and various cut citrus fruits.
Women taking a citrus fruit cleanse in a bath with lemon and various cut citrus fruits

Drinking lemon-infused water or taking a lemon bath is also thought to cleanse the body and flush out toxins. In Chinese culture, placing 7 to 9 lemons in a bowl in the southwest kitchen is said to attract positive chi energy into the home [1].


The lemon tree is often seen as a symbol of prosperity and abundance due to its ability to bear fruit year-round and its generous harvest. It is believed that planting a lemon tree in healthy soil and a sunny location will bring financial stability and success to the household.

Lemons in a brown basket.
Photo by Sarah Elizabeth on Unsplash


Lemons are sometimes considered to have spiritual properties, emitting a high frequency of spiritual intuition. When you eat a lemon, you are tapping into this energy, which is thought to bring positive effects on you and your loved ones.

Keeping lemons in the house is believed to bring spiritual knowledge. If a rotten lemon is seen, it is thought to signal the end of a phase in your life, prompting you to change direction and seek new opportunities.


Lemons are often associated with freshness, both in their sour taste and scent, making them a symbol of new beginnings and revitalization. Drinking lemon water, using lemon-scented products, or simply having a few lemons in your home can help promote a sense of freshness and renewal.


In Mediterranean cultures, lemons are used as a symbol of friendship and hospitality [2]. It’s common to offer guests a slice of lemon in their drinks as a sign of goodwill and generosity.

Lemonade in mason jars with straw.

The bright yellow color and tart flavor of the lemon is seen as invigorating and uplifting, making it a fitting symbol for friendship and positive social connections.

Creativity and Wit

The playful and creative use of lemons in food and drinks makes them a symbol of wit and cleverness. The tart flavor of this fruit is often used to add interest and excitement to recipes, while the bright yellow color adds a pop of fun to food and drink presentations.

Light bulb in the shape of a Lemon.
Light bulb in the shape of a Lemon

Whether you’re whipping up a creative drink or making a clever dish, incorporating lemons can help bring a sense of humor and cleverness to your endeavors.


Lemon is also seen as a symbol of bitterness. This can be reflected in different aspects of life, such as relationships, situations, or even experiences. The sour taste represents the negativity and harshness that one might be facing or has faced in the past.

This bitterness can lead to feelings of disappointment, frustration, and sadness. However, it is important to recognize that this bitterness is only temporary and that it’s possible to move on and find happiness again.

Rotten Relationships

If you dream about rotten lemons, it may symbolize that your relationships with certain people are not healthy. These people may be draining your energy and hindering your success.

A basket filled with rotten lemons may serve as a reminder to be careful about the company you keep and how it affects your moral values.

Common Lemon Dreams and Their Meaning

Dreams about lemons can have various interpretations based on the context in which they appear. Here is a list of common lemon dreams and their possible meanings.

Lemons in a bowl on a table.
Photo by Sardor Mamirov
  • Lemons on a tree: This could symbolize good luck and success in your business endeavors. However, if the lemons are falling off, this may indicate that some unfortunate events will soon happen and bring you sadness.
  • A pile of lemons: This vision can represent abundance and wealth and could mean good fortune is about to enter your home.
  • Fresh and ripe lemons: It could signify a positive change or small gain about to occur in your life.
  • Throwing lemons away: This action can indicate acceptance of a new future and letting go of the past. However, if someone is throwing lemons at you in the dream, this could suggest that some people are jealous and seeking to damage your reputation.
  • Planting lemons: This vision could reflect an increased focus on self-care and a newfound commitment to making healthy choices.
  • Buying lemons: It may indicate that others have misunderstood your actions or have a negative impression of you.
  • Squeezing lemons: It could suggest that bad times are ahead, and you may face financial difficulties or relationship problems.
  • Watching someone else squeeze or pick lemons: This could be a warning to be more aware of those around you as someone may try to harbor revenge against you.
  • Drinking lemon juice: This dream could serve as a reminder to take better care of your health, as your body may be at risk of getting sick.
  • Cutting lemons: This dream could signify that your relationship is experiencing problems, and you feel worried or sad about it.

Final Words

Lemons symbolize a lot of different things, and their interpretation can vary greatly depending on the context in which it is seen.

From dreams to everyday life, the lemon is a symbol of freshness, purity, healing, and cleansing, but it can also represent negative aspects, such as bitterness.

Whether it represents a need for self-care or a sign of good fortune and prosperity, it’s a powerful symbol that is sure to evoke strong feelings and memories for many people.