Why lemons won't turn yellow?

sweetsally50October 26, 2006

We have a Meyer's lemon tree. Recently, we've been getting large lemons that won't turn yellow. These lemons have been growing on the tree for 3-4 months. One lemon, in particular, is approx 9" in diameter (size of a small grapefruit) and is very green. Other lemons on the tree are approx 6" in diameter but also very green. What causes lemons to grow to such large sizes but not turn yellow? Thank you for your help!

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Heathen1(10a)

I am going to throw this out there.... maybe it's a lime tree, sometimes there are mislabeled trees? Has it grown out from it's graft? At my old house, there was an old qumquat, where the underlying lemon had grown out underneath the graft which made HUGE lemons, but they turned yellow.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 10:58AM
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skrip(z9/sun19/SoCal.)

um, im no citrus expert but its probably okay. I have a tangerine tree which had tangerines for about 4 months that stood green... this week, i am finally seeing some of them start going yellow. Give them a little more time... Its possible that some of your lemons will be alot bigger than the standard meyer. I used to get tiny tangerines, but when I switched to sprinklers as opposed to rarely watering, every year they got bigger and bigger, some the size of an orange.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 12:38PM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

Citrus can take from 6 - 18 months to ripen. It isn't unusual at all for a Meyer to start throwing out extra large fruit, particularly with sufficient water as per skrip's experience with his tangerines. Citrus is very sensitive to watering. Don't worry and just enjoy them when they do ripen!

I have friends that have the old Meyer Lemon trees. Most of them were destroyed by the state, but some got missed that were in residential yards. I have only the Improved Meyers and there is a difference in size and shape.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 3:54PM
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CA Kate

Heathen: even limes get yellow when they're ripe..... eventually.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 8:38PM
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wanda(Z9 CA)

Are you sure it's a Meyer's? Lemons do take a while to ripen and turn yellow, but Meyer's are generally a small lemon. I assume that it is possible that you could have an occaisonal large-sized one as stated, but most of them should/or would be smaller sized and very thin skinned.

I have one of the larger varieties (Ponderosa, Eureka or Lisbon) in my yard and they take several months to ripen (turn yellow).

wanda

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 2:35AM
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Heathen1(10a)

Westelle ... :o) I dunno! I've had lemon trees for eons and never saw one that didn't turn yellow.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 11:26AM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

Although Meyers are generally thin-skinned, this year -- perhaps due to the cool weather that alternated with a few wildly hot spells -- many of mine were quite thick-skinned. It was a noticeable difference.

I tend to be somewhat erratic in watering, stretching the in-between periods as long as I comfortably can, and my Improved Meyers vary greatly in size as a result.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 12:57PM
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pansysoup(CA 9/10)

Has no one noticed that their citrus is getting leprosy? Gnarly new growth riddled with leafminer (a result, not the culprit), and sometimes horrible thick-skinned fruit with pimples.

I believe we have been visited by a new plague, this one a bacterial disease from Indonesia that has already wiped out half of Brazil's citrus crop and done serious damage in Florida.

The only remedy I've been told is to cut off the grotesque growth (burn it, at least don't compost it) and I'd think keep the trees really clean. I routinely hose down most trees here near L.A. cause of the dust, smog, and forest fire ash, which clogs their poor leaves. I'm going to start hitting the infected trees with soapy water, and maybe dormant oil.

This is as bad as the Eucalyptus psillid (now under control) and the giant white fly that did in half our hibiscus. It doesn't explain why your Meyers aren't turning yellow, or are growing to the size of pomellos (I'm very suspicious here...), but it is something to keep an eye on, especially in young trees.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 4:48AM
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oceannut_swbell_net

I have an Improved Meyer Lemon I bought from a nursery here. It routinely puts out tons of fruit, but only 2 or 3 actually remain on the tree. They only get to the size of a golf ball or slightly larger and never ripen (4 months on the tree). I just recently re-potted it in hopes that would help. I kept it inside during the winter, and keep it outside from after the last frost. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 11:26AM
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sawpnut

Can't ripen our lemons. we feed the tree . What are we doing wrong?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 4:48PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Huge fruit on a lemon=not a Meyer lemon; probably a Eureka or Lisbon. As to difficulties getting a Meyer lemon to ripen/hold onto fruit; conditions which mimic cooler coastal California locations where they thrive should help. Lemons don't do well commercially where citrus that thrive on hot/humid summers do. And yes, there is a new citrus pest on the scene in California, I haven't seen signs of it yet here in the Bay Area in my or design client's gardens.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 1:07AM
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calistoga_al

sawpnut, you don't give a clue as to where you garden, even on your member page. In most areas where the tree will grow it will also fruit. Feeding the tree will not prevent it from fruiting in case that is your concern. A healthy Meyer lemon tree planted where it gets sun, will when mature enough, produce fruit. Al

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 8:23AM
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