lemons falling off my tree

toni010101March 11, 2008

I have a lemon tree that produced many flowers and lemons this December, but they are falling off before they have a chance to mature. They are pea-size. It is indoors under a grow-light and I water it when the dirt looks dry. The plant is about 10 years old. I gave it food when I brought it inside for the winter, and then the flowers started coming out. I am still getting flowers. Any suggestions that will help to keep the lemons on the tree?

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suzannesks(z 7 WA.)

toni, usually the answer for this would be "PROPER" watering.If your lemon tree is a Meyers, they usually have this habit of dropping their extra young ones.Your tree really should be on a watering schedule of some kind,when you can put 3 fingers down in the soil and those fingers are dry then it's time to water. Suzanne

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 4:13PM
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Toni, you say the plant is about 10 years old, but have YOU had it for 10 years or is it new to you? How has it performed in the past? How many lemons does it normally produce for you annually? What kind of lemon is it?

It is very normal for a citrus to flower heavily, set fruit, and drop what it cannot support.

It sounds like you are doing quit well with it otherwise, so don't worry, just keep doing what you're doing. The thing I would change is do not fertilize your plant when you bring it for the winter because that is it's time to slow down its growth and relax. Fertilizing when it flowered is good.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 1:24PM
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My father's brother gave it to him as a gift when he went to FL. He took really good care of it. When he got sick, his brother started trimming it and it didn't get lemons any more. Since my dad has passed away, 2 yrs. now I have been caring for it and really want to keep it healthy. You know sentimental to me. I didn't trim it and last year I got 3 flowers and 1 lemon and these really large leaves in the new growth. The lemon fell off. So, this year, not trimming, I have so many flowers and lemons on the tree. Since I posted this, I noticed I am even getting flowers deep inside the tree and the really large leaves are coming out again.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 1:07PM
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Hi Toni..Spring is the time for flowers/fruit..I wouldn't prune, unless a branch goes astray, or if your citrus is grafted, removing rootstock..otherwise, let it be..Good luck, I sure understand what you mean about sentimental plants..Toni

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 1:29PM
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My two cents: my Meyer lemon sets about a quarter of the fruit that begin to develop during the winter months. It has about 15 now that have set since November when it started flowering. It gets direct west sunlight here in Connecticut.

While all my other citrus that have fruited to date have also set fruit during the winter, I have Key lime that never seems to set fruit during the winter despite flowering profusely. It sets fruit as soon as I put it outside in late May. So, it is possible your Lemon will do the same.

I am a bit worried about the large leaves you describe: they are, in my experience, a symptom of too little light. You say you have the plant under a grow light. What kind? the old florescent bulb-style and the flood-style grow bulbs probably are not really adequate for a ten year old citrus. If you have window with a southern or western exposure, that gets direct sunlight, I would move the citrus to that location.

Hope this helps,


    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 11:54AM
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