citrus trees not blooming

marchw8(8-9)March 20, 2009

i have 2 citrus trees, one being possibly dwarf navel orange, the other being possibly dwarf improved meyer lemon. they started out in pots from 2000 to 2004, then were planted in the ground. they grew bigtime after planting in ground. in the 9 years we have had them , there has never been a bloom on either of these trees. i am thinking seriously about digging them up and throwing them out and replacing with some from a local nursery. can anyone tell me why these would possibly not bloom and make fruit? they get plenty of sunshine. when i wrote the company i got them from they said they should have bloomed in the second season or so.

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If your trees were initially grown from a seedling versus a graft you may have to wait another 3 to 5 yrs if you have the patience. Grafted trees of your variety normally will produce blooms and a few fruits the 2nd or 3rd year whether there grown in a container or planted in the ground.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 4:21PM
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thank you for your quick response.
we bought them from michigan bulb company back in feb 2000.the kit contained 3 plants, 10" planter, soil and saucer.
Bearing Age
Dwarf Citrus Tree: Improved Meyer Lemon produces fruit second season - year round
Orange, Navel Orange Dwarf Citrus TreeBotanical Name
Citrus sinensis 'Washington Navel'
Bearing Age
fruit from Nov to April--probably second season

the other one said it was tangerine on my order page, however when i emailed them back in 2006 they gave me care instructions for Citrus Lime Tree (aka Lime or Key Lime)
Botanical Name
Citrus aurantifolia
instead of the tangerine.
one of these trees died so i dont know for sure which i have left. one smells more like orange, the other lemon. and they both have thorns.(one larger than the other)

yesterday, i found 3 blooms on ONE of the trees. first time in the 9 years i have had it.
when we first got them my husband said he saw the graft site.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 1:16PM
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hello i have a valencia orange tree that i planted about 1 year ago and it has not gotten any bigger and now i found some worms on the leaves that look like cittrus v shape swallowtail and the reason i say that is because i got one off the leave and looked for it on the internet, i might be wrong on the name of it, i saw a v shape line on the back part of it and it has black and baige colors, and my tree is not bluming, i want to know what do i spray to get rid of this worm, because i think it is not letting the tree grow, and some of the leaves are with holes in them, i thank you.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 10:07PM
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Marchw: Wow, 9 years. You have tremendous patience and I don't blame you for wanting to dig it up. I didn't see it mentioned:

Fertilizer? Mulch, etc? Pruning? How tall are they? How much foliage does they have? Does they lose any leaves and have any new growth?

A few pictures would be helpful before you get too angry at them.

Many of my friends have citrus and complain "they never have fruit" but when I ask them what they feed them they say "they get water and sunlight, just like my other (non-fruit) trees". That's when I have to explain the difference.

It's possible the trees have produced some buds in the past, but if it's not healthy "enough" they would wilt and be gone within days.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 2:18AM
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can't figure out how to upload pics. yes , they have lost leaves through the years, but they are replaced by new leaves. yes we mulch and fertilize. usually citrus fertilizer, but the last two years we have been putting super bloom on them for a couple of months before and during spring.i think i would have seen buds because we look them over pretty good every year.

1 Like    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 2:03PM
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lali(z9, Sunset z18, CA)

We had a similar issue with our lime tree. We have a Bearss lime tree that looked healthy (lots of branches, leaves, etc), but like yours did not have any flowers. At the time, I didn't know any better and just let the tree grow on its own without much inspection. So it sprouted a ton of grown, but no flowers for the last 4 years.

This past year, I decided to get to the bottom of this. Like you I was ready to dig the tree out and get a new one from the nursery. I was so close to doing it too. But I looked at the tree closely and found that it was overrun by the root stock. My tree did have a scion union and we were able to identify the scion thanks to hubby who left the tag on all these years. We removed all the root stock overgrowth and left just the scion portion to remain. In just a few months, we have a ton of leaves, flowers and now even fruit on our little tree. Turns out the root stock took over much of the tree and even though the tree looked healthy, it was the undesirable rootstock that was growing like a weed and not the desired variety of the scion.

I'm not sure if this is the case with you, but definitely something to look into. Check out any book on growing citrus to get more information on identifying the "unwanted" growth.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 3:18PM
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I am going to take a guess and say that the company probably sold you seedlings and advertized differently. Maybe made they made an honest mistake...?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 4:31PM
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dont think it is growing from root stock. i think i was sold seedlings. i thought i was finally gonna find out what one of these trees was because finally three blooms came on one of them which produced one fruit. however, it is not getting any bigger so i think it is in the process of maybe falling off. it has been on there for a month now.
i would send a pic however i havent been able to figure out how to do that.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 9:34AM
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If the tree was a seedling, it would have had a very thorny trunk while growing (although this should have reduced over the years). If it did not have a bunch of 1-2" thorns on the trunk during the first several years, then it wasn't a seedling.

Thorns are a sign of an immature citrus. Scions from named cultivars that are grafted onto rootstock don't have the large thorns (as a general rule) because they have been cut from mature/fruiting trees. Even when they are just a few inches long, the scions have the memory of being fully mature. This is also why grafted trees will fruit much younger than a plant grown from seed.

Any limbs that sprout from the rootstock are thorny not because 'rootstock is thorny' but rather because the rootstock was grown from seed and is therefore much younger than the scion that was grafted to it.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 9:14PM
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I too have ordered citrus via mail order and I do not believe they are seed grown, rather they appear to be rooted cuttings.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 8:19PM
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My amla (Emblica officinalis, Emblica officinalis) tree does not blossom. it is around 10 years old and is tall and healthy.. can anyone give me a solution for this.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 9:24AM
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I have a citrus that I planted from seed about 7 years ago. I live in New England, so it is in a pot that I put out in the summer and take indoors in the winter.

I know that I won't get the same fruit that I got the seeds from, but my great grandmother had passed along a similar plant to my mother 50+ years ago. It used to produce small sour oranges, that as kids we loved to eat.

Has anyone had success getting seeds to bloom and produce fruit? I'm assuming my tree is still young as it still has thorns, but looks healthy and is over 6 feet tall.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 9:07AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

jpowers, first off, you might want to start a brand new thread, since your topic is really different, and you then would have your own thread you can be notified of responses for. To answer your question - first, most citrus are polyembryonic, thus you may, indeed, end up with a clone of the mother tree that produced the fruit. Sweet oranges are highly polyembryonic, but the Bergamot sour orange is not. It is zygotic monoembryonic, which means the seeds will be a cross between the egg parent and the pollen parent. Now, that all being said, seedlings can take years and years to produce. Sometimes up to 12 years. Sooner if they are in the ground, later for container citrus. I would top your tree to encourage new flush, and hopefully, some flower buds.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 4:41PM
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