My Meyer Lemon Tree!

Dr.CitrusMay 10, 2012

Hello all!

I am new to growing, in general, and I ordered a 3-4 year old Meyer Lemon Tree, and have had it for about 6 days now. I think it just got over the transplant shock yesterday. It seems to be growing. I noticed there were these little purple fuzzies coming out of the area where I had trimmed the tree a few days ago. I fertilized for the first time yesterday, using a teaspoon of Miracle Grow Blood Meal and a teaspoon of Jobes organic vegetable and tomato fertilizer. My tree is really green but when it came it had these white spots all over the leaves. They come off when you wipe them down but they seem to reappear later. They haven't seemed to have any negative effect but they still worry me and I don't like them. I have been using a paintbrush and plain water and trying to get them off each leaf. I have definitely removed a good amount of it but its still there. At first I thought it may have been a fungal growth or a powdery mildew but I am not sure. Anyway here are a few pictures. Please let me know if the little purple fuzzies are the start of flowers!!?!?!? Also, let me know what you think about the white spots. OHHHH and by the way, I have my tree by my window in my room and I water it every 3 or 4 days. In the day time its usually between 72-80 degrees and at night it is usually between 60 and 70 degrees with 60 being an ultimate low. I have 4 lights on the plant. 2 100W 3000K CFLS, 1 45W 2700K CFL, and 1 75W 7500K plus whatever sun it gets during the day. I have the lights on at timer: 12hours on, 12hours off - The time they are On is from 7am to 7pm.

Check out my pics and please answer my questions and feel free to comment and make suggestions!

In the two pictures below you can see the white spots as best as I could show them on my camera. Please let me know what you think it is and how I can get rid of it!!!! (It is sort of difficult to see the spots because there are glares on the leaves from the lights but you can see them, the glare is more yellow/red and the spots are totally white and they feel powdery):

Here is the picture of the purple fuzzies (maybe beginnings of a flower). This image is of the very end of a branch. I am also seeing this appearing in other places:

It's kind of tough to see the purple-color in this picture but believe me those little things are PURPLE!

Next I have a picture of my "FOR SURE" new growth. So, I know the thing is definitely growing:

See those little guys coming through? Those weren't there before and I can see it is actually a group of 3 or 4 individual tiny leaves or leaflets and this point! HAHA.

My last picture is of the full tree. It was kind of leaning to one side when I got it and the main branch shooting out from the stem/trunk was broken near the top. I put it back upright and taped it. It seems to be growing back pretty well. I un-taped it the other day and let it get some air for the day. I saw what it looks like underneath. It is healed on the one side where it wasn't COMPLETELY ripped off and on the other side it has a mean gash with some splintered "outer layer," but inside the gash you can see it is connected. Overall, it looks like it bound back together and I re-taped it today just to ensure it is a tight seal and it will be able to get water and nutrients to the tippy top. I also used a wire and connected it from a sturdy part of that wild branch to my window: to pull the branch upright. Hopefully this "training" will fix the lopsidedness. Well without further to do, here she is, in all her entirety, and glory: "Andrea the Lemon Tree":

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olympia_gardener(5)

The purple fuzzies on your Andrea is the new leaf buds, or better, possible new flower buds. I can't tell clearly from the photo. If they are clust of rounded purple, then they are flower buds; if they are pointed , then they are leaf buds.
With the temp. your have outside, I would recommend move your Andrea outside. She will be much happier and healthier being a "wild" girl feel the nature and under the Sun ray...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 4:50PM
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Dr.Citrus

olympia gardener : It looks like they ARE pointed so that is a let down, are you sure this means they are definitely leaves? they look quite different than the new growth I showed in the second picture from the bottom of my original post. Also, just to clear things up those were the estimated temperatures I gave of the current environment (a.k.a my room) The outside temps are much more volatile ranging from 70's to 80's in the day and 40's to 50's at night. Definitely not suitable for my girl Andrea. Plus, the sun hasn't been out much the past few days so she has been getting a lot of good light from my CFL set up. I am ready for her to flower!

If you or anyone could answer my other questions.... I took the liberty of concluding that I definitely have powdery mildew so I applied a water based mixture of: a tiny bit of vegetable oil and baking soda with the tiniest drop of antibacterial soap. What do you guys think? I am going to Lowes to see if I can grab some fungicide that will kill it off all-together. Comments and suggestions are appreciated!

Thanks,
Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 5:56PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

My temps are the same and my citrus are starting to flourish! They survived winters lows of 36F. If you are concerned with the low night time temps just bring your gal inside for the night. My temps get into the 50's every night with no problems.

If you want to grow inside your going to need better lights than that. When you use indoor lights you want LUMENS. You can go by watts but I have known people to use 500w lights with less than 20k lumens. I have a 100w floro with 15k lumens that I would use to keep my mother plant alive for cloning. I used to flower with two(2) 1000w Combo lights that pushed a total of over 300k Lumens (Thats 300,000). That many lumens still did not deliver the results I was looking for, anyways...I would put her outside during the day as the sun has something that no light can really duplicate. The temps you speak of are more than good enough.

Other than that I dont see anything wrong with your plant other than maybe changing up your feeding and watering schedule. I dont know. Your plant looks good to me:-)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 7:38PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

I would not worry about the white spots. Unless someone thinks otherwise, I would say that is fertilizer or pesticide stains and will keep reappearing.

A nice tree by the way:-)

Mike

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 7:47PM
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johnmerr(11)

I'm with Mike; doesn't look like anything to stress about... unless..it is salt.. are you by any chance watering your plant with water from a water softener? You would be surprised how common that is with houseplants.

Water softeners replace "hard" minerals with NaCl.. table salt; and that is poison to plants.

As for the "broken" top, I would just prune it below the break; citrus are soooo resilient, you will be rewarded with new branches.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:44PM
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Dr.Citrus

Hey thanks guys. Just to be safe I bought some Daconil fungicide. I sprayed it down tonight so I am hoping that will get rid of the white fuzz. Other than that all is well. Thank you meyermike and blazeaglory for your comments and suggestions. Right now I see no problem with my light set up so I am not changing it but if I notice that the plant isn't progressing by next week i will figure something out. What would you say a good feeding and watering schedule is? I was told it is good to fert. every two months and as for watering I just water heavy and then wait till the soil is nearly dry for my next watering.... comments? concerns?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:48PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

How you fertilize in containers is not cut and dry.

If you buy one that is bagged for container plants, the directions should be on there to be safe.

As for the frequency? Many times it can depend on something as simple as the mix you use.
I use a mix that allows me and in fact is much needed by my plants to fertilize at every watering all year long.
It can also depend upon temps you expose your plants to.

As for in-ground, I would follow as John suggests since I have seen his beautiful trees.

If you would like to keep them that green, call your water supply company and ask them for the pH.
If it is kind of high like mine is at an 8.2, use a capful of vinegar every time you water with tap water.

If you are using rain water, then you are golden without vinegar.

Mike

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:25PM
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Dr.Citrus

Thank you john and mike, you both put my worries aside. I would love to make this thread last and post pictures periodically. Please bookmark my page and check back from time to time. I will probably have more questions and I can't imagine my tree blooming any later than a month or so. So I will definitely have pictures up when that happens. For now I am going to stick to watering every 3-6 days depending on soil moistness. I will also fertilize as needed. If I start to see some yellowing I will know I need to fertilize. Otherwise I will stick to my regimen of every 1-2 months depending on the season.

Thanks guys,
Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:47PM
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johnmerr(11)

Fertilizer monitoring for Meyers is relatively easy; no need to wait until you see yellowing leaves. If your Meyer is adequately fertilized, the new growth will at first be slightly red/purple color; and later will be light green, then darker green. If you over fertilize, the new growth may be a bit twisted; and it will attract aphids; if you under fertilize the new leaves will be lighter green and the leaf size will be smaller.
There are different concepts of fertilizing; some fertilize 3 or 4 times per year; and others every time they water... sometimes called "weakly weekly".

If your Meyers are in ground and are garden trees, they will likely benefit from added foliar fert every 15 day; they are poor competitors with grass and other plants stealing the nutrients you thought you were giving to your lemons.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:54PM
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Dr.Citrus

John,

What great pieces of information. Thank you. As you can see in the pictures I posted, my plant in in a pot in my room so all the fertilizer is going towards the plant. The pot is filled with soil about 1.5 feet high and 1.5 feet wide. What do you think an adequate amount of fertilizer would be for this type of container? It seems to be happy with the amount I gave it but that was only a day ago and I will be waiting a few more days before I water it again. The blood meal is strictly nitrogen and the Jobes is very little nitrogen and more phosphorus and potassium so I use both, making sure to under-do the blood meal since the jobes has some nitrogen too. I just dont know when I will need to fertilize again.

-Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 12:25AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

My Meyer, and the others, have been out since early march and at that time we had nights in the 40's. I never lost sleep and they all have flushed new growth and bloomed several times. In fact the Meyer has had 3 separate bloom periods already

Doc, I guarantee if you put it outside and get some real sun and good humidity it will bloom for you.

Mike

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 8:54AM
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johnmerr(11)

The general wisdom of citrus fertilizer is a 5-1-3 NPK ratio; for producing Meyers I find you need to bump up the P and K a bit... maybe 6-2-4; and they also need occasional Magnesium, a little Calcium, Iron and Zinc; most foliar ferts take care of those.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 12:38PM
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Dr.Citrus

mksmth - I put the plant out today and in less than an hour the top looked to be wilting in the sun. I sprayed the entire tree down with plain water to keep it from burning up but the top was a goner. I ended up doing as someone suggested earlier, and cut the top off (this was the part that I had mended) I cut it right below the broken area. I still have it sitting out there now so I hope the rest of the plant can handle it. It is much shorter now without that top long branch.

Johnmerr - I used a granulated fertilizer so I don't supplement mag, cal, iron, or zinc. is there any product you know that has only these elements?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 4:27PM
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johnmerr(11)

Don't know the answer to that; I use a mix of chelated minerals for my field trees, applied twice per year; for my garden trees I use Bayer Bayfolan Forte foliar every 15 days. I also put Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt) on my garden trees a couple times per year, at the same time I put it on my roses.

BTW, the Meyer is most sensitive to light changes; often dropping most or all of its leaves, to be replaced with new leaves better "designed" for the new light condition. Best when moving the plant outside to put it in shade for 2 weeks; then part shade for 2 weeks; then to full sun. Reverse this in the Fall when bringing it in.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 5:26PM
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olympia_gardener(5)

I thought it is Meyer . It is supposed to be put out in stages, to get used to the light.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 5:57PM
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cearbhaill

When you posted yesterday you mentioned having had the tree six days.
In this amount of time you have:

"fertilized for the first time yesterday"
"trimmed the tree a few days ago"
"I took the liberty of concluding that I definitely have powdery mildew"
"I applied a water based mixture of: a tiny bit of vegetable oil and baking soda with the tiniest drop of antibacterial soap."
"I bought some Daconil fungicide. I sprayed it down tonight"

I mention these things because I fear you are going to micro-manage this tree to death, killing it with kindness so to speak. Trees don't need or benefit from this degree of fuss- the self diagnosis and knee jerk response of spraying it down with Daconil just because you thought you had powdery mildew... well, it boggles my mind.

Never treat anything with anything until you have a firm diagnosis and/or identification of what the problem is.
More plants are killed by well meaning owners than anything else.
Put the tree in a decent potting mix and get out of its way.

Nothing is going to happen to this tree so quickly that you can't take the time to be certain that your actions are 1)necessary and 2)correct.

Post and ask questions but stop fussing!!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 8:28PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

I agree with cearbhail. Powdery Mildew is not bad. I think you can just wipe it off. Oragnocide works good as a preventative and it is safer than Daconil.

I was the same way a couple years ago. I micro managed a couple of my trees to half death. Its no big deal but the best thing to do is follow a schedule of watering and fertilizing with the best methods to prevent disease by using PREVENTATIVE methods. Organocide is one small step because it stays on the plant for a while. There is more but Ill let the pros handle that;-)

As for micro nutes. Alot of general water soluble ferts have micros and you can get a foliage spray. This is a good foliage spray:

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/outdoors-garden-center-lawn-plant-care-shrub-tree-fertilizers/1-pint-citrus-nutritional-spray-125242.html

And here is a good water soluble general fertilizer:

http://www.sunshinegardensfl.com/servlet/the-Fertilizers/Categories

These are just suggestions but you get the idea. A granule fertilizer for main feeding (If you choose) and an all purpose fertilizer with micro nutes, or a fertilizer with just micro nutes, to pick up the rest of your plants needs. This is just a suggestion so please dont take this as a DO WHAT I SAY OR ELSE thing...hehehe You have to listen to your plant and adjust to its needs. Also, come here when you have problems and these people will set you straight:-)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Dr.Citrus

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I know I am "micro-managing" my plant but I want it to be the best and healthiest plant it can be. The way I am adapting it to outside is I have it inside overnight, and for the first couple hours of the day when the sun shines through my window and it also gets light from my CFL setup. Then midway through the day I bring it outside in the sun to get a nice sun-bath, then back in over night. I watered her today. I am seeing a bunch of new growth now! I am very excited. Here she is from a few hours ago today:

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 9:09PM
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johnmerr(11)

Isuggest you are over feeding it... or fitting with your doting philosophy, are you putting plant shine on the leaves? My suggestion.. don't do anything to it for awhile except water it and move it gradually into full sun.

If every one of my 8,000 trees looked that healthy, I would be a happy guy.

My other, SERIOUS suggestion would be to lose the stake.

Meyers don't need support; and if you DO support them, they will likely break down the road.

John

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 9:28PM
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Dr.Citrus

John,

Thank you for your suggestions. I just removed the steak and it didn't really change much so I am happy that my tree can stand oh her own. As for plant shine, haha, no I don't even know what that is. My plant is just shiny in the sun :) it could also be some of the fungicide still on the leaves although I washed a lot of that off with plain water. I don't think I am overfeeding the plant. There are no signs that I am doing so. I haven't lost a single leaf yet and there is no yellowing or leaf burn. I watered it yesterday after 4 days of no water and 2 days in the hot sun, which sucked the soil dry. I read, and follow a watering schedule that lets me water heavily and then wait until the soil is nearly dry. I use my pointer finger or pinky as an indicator, sticking it down into the soil to feel how moist it is. Oh by the way... what is this doting philosophy you speak of?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Dr.Citrus

Hey fellas,

Remember that spout of new growth from my first post? Well its even bigger now :) check it out, it also has a little friend popping out right next to it:

In this next picture you can see the extra little guys popping out.

And here are a few more spots where I have noticed new growth:

and this one

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:02AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

That's awesome. I am very happy for you! It can be very exciting for sure.

Mike

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 9:13AM
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Dr.Citrus

Thanks Mike! I will be keeping everyone up to date. Hopefully I can post some beautiful flowers soon! Check out these pictures I took with weird effects on the plant, they are kindof cool:

and this one:

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 10:40AM
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Dr.Citrus

I also bought my mom a miniature rose bush, (pink) for mothers day. In my opinion, much better than flower cuttings that just die shortly (wasted money). It will be cloudy and rainy the next few days so I brought it inside to enjoy my mini-sun-room:

And let's not forget the "lucky bamboo" this is my mom's too. She nearly let the thing die. I am nursing it back to health:

Nothing like a little jungle producing fresh oxygen and sucking up the carbon dioxide in my room :)

-Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 11:23AM
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olympia_gardener(5)

Dr. Citrus, understand that you are excited about having a new plant and wanting take best care of it. We all do. Your plant is doing fine. Just leave it alone for now. Let it get use to the new environment, let it grow on its own rate. With the size of the tree you have, soon it will send out flower buds, more excitment uhm. Meanwhile, just relax and enjoy the plant. It will tell you if it needs more fertilizer, more water, or anything else.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Dr.Citrus

I know I am so excited! (it shows with how many posts I have made) I am doing my best to take a laze-faire approach and I water (IMO) nearly perfectly. She seems to want water every 4-6 days depending on the sun conditions. I don't plan to fertilize for another 2 weeks, at least. I will just keep posting pictures and updates. Whoever is interested can read them and I will just use it as a person log.

Thanks,
Doc Ditrus M.D., Ph.D.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 11:53AM
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Dr.Citrus

Hello all,

I have a ton of new growth for you guys. I think they look like little freddie krueger hands:





and here is Andrea in full form:

Enjoy,
Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 12:23PM
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olympia_gardener(5)

Great pictures. Keep post all you want. I enjoy reading the progress your plant made and your experiences.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 1:54PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Your plant certainly does look oily. Is that the vegetable oil? Since the stomata of citrus leaves are located almost exclusively on the under surface of the leaves, you'll not be clogging up the works with that vegetable oil, but it sure could attract dust and dirt. I would also be very careful about exposing an oily plant to full outdoor mid-day sunlight.

If you sprayed a mixture of oil on both surfaces of the leaves, I'd suggest that you do a bit of cleaning with a soft, warm soapy cloth or sponge. It is imperative that the stomata work efficiently and such a thick vegetable coating could pose problems.

By the way, a COMMERCIAL horticultural oil is what I was going to suggest if the stuff on your citrus turned out to be powdery mildew. I really couldn't tell one way or the other. Usually, hard water stains can be rubbed away with a soft cloth moistened with a bit of vinegar water. Put one hand under the leaf to support it while you gently rub with the other.

Neem oil is a great option for PM. It not only protects your plant from infection but can cure the disease.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 3:52PM
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Dr.Citrus

Fellas,

Thanks for the replies. Olympia, I will be posting plenty more picture. Thanks for stopping by. Rhizo, for some reason my plant leaves have stayed shiny, I don't know why. They have been wiped with warm water multiple times, sprayed with plain clean water numberous times as well and when I applied the vegetable oil solution, it wasn't too much vegie oil. I think they are fine. I will be spraying the leaves with a spray bottle and wiping them down more over the next few weeks so I am sure there won't be any problem.

-Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 4:20PM
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Dr.Citrus

I had my girl Andrea (The Lemon Tree) out all day yesterday soaking up that sun and I even left her out overnight! I walked outside and it was cooooooold this morning. But Andrea looked unscathed and stronger than ever, so I placed her where she could get full sun all day long. She is really feeling good (I think). I will be putting some more fertilizer in there and watering her tomorrow, or possibly Saturday depending how moist the soil is. Here are a few pictures I took the first one is of the tree outside and the rest are some cool pictures of the tree and the rose bush I got my mom for mothers day:





    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 2:06PM
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Dr.Citrus

Okay Guys,

Here are some more updates on the new growth. I am literally seeing new little green fuzzies comming out of everywhere. I fertilized and watered yesterday. I have noticed the major weight change that occurs from when you first water the plant and its heavy to when she drinks up all the water and feels so much lighter:



I'll be sure to send some more interesting pictures soon. BTW I have been giving my tree more than 12 hours of light for the past 2 days: I have only seen benefits so please tell me if I will be keeping her in vegetation or if this is fine and she will still flower and everything.

Thanks,
Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 7:34PM
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Dr.Citrus

Could it be? It must be! It has to be!?!? Are these little buddlets or flowers forming?????:

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 12:05AM
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chopinlover

Dude, methinks you need a girlfriend more than a tree... lol...

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Dr.Citrus

Hey chopinlover, thanks for stopping by. Keep your rude comments to yourself.

Hey Fellas!

I know it's been a while but boy do I have some updates for you!:

Here we have the BUDS [smilie=rk01_aola.gif] from a day or two ago:

And here they are tonight! (They are purple now!!!!):


I also have new growth sprouting from literally every branch on my tree. Some new growth is over 6-7 inches:


And here she is loooookin good (I must be doing something right?):

Enjoy,

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 12:51AM
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Dr.Citrus

EURIKA! FLOWERS!!

I just used a Q-Tip to pollinate the few that were open. I am sure more will open up soon. I just got back from being away for the weekend and there they were, just as I assumed they would be! How long till lemons now? I also have brownish purplish hairs growing out of the very tips of multiple new growth areas and I am not sure what they are. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 12:07AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Well, you are doing a wonderful job Doc!

Look at how long them branches are. Mine get cut off at the path by any insect that feels like teasing me. The other day, it was earwigs that cut off all my new growth. You should be proud of yourself, especially indoors since spider mites can be worst.

When will you put them outdoors, or do you?

I think it very nice to see the excitement you share with us.

Mike

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Dr.Citrus

Mike,

Your comments are always appreciated. Thank You. I put the tree outside for a few days when it was very sunny and I found that all it did was make the new growth wilt or hang down from the intensity of the sun. I also recieved a nice infestation of gnats (which I hope cant harm the tree) They seem to be sticking to roaming around the soil, with an occasional few on some leaves. They don't seem to be eating the leaves or to be harmful at all for that matter. They are most likely attracted to my organic ferts and I assume they are eating some of it, which is the only problem I see currently. Other than that, I just went over the other flower or two that popped open today with a Q-Tip to pollinate everything. I want to make sure those flowers become lemons! I don't see any true benefit of putting "MY" meyer lemon tree outside as it has done much better inside. It receives partial sunlight through my window as well as 4 CFL's which almost cover the entire light spectrum. I have found that the tree likes to be fertilized every time I water it and I water every 4-5 days depending on how dry the soil gets. I am very happy with the progress so far and I don't see a need to change my strategy anytime soon.

Thanks,
Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 2:51PM
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Dr.Citrus

So, once the flowers are pollinated and the little yellow center part (kinda looks like a mini lollipop) Is fully pollinated, does that part fall off or stay on? One of my flowers it fell off but there is still something growing out of the base cap and it looks like a mini green lemon:


All my other flowers have their pistil? I think it is. Let me know fellas!

And look! I just picked up some hot banana peppers:

Enjoy,
Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 2:55PM
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Dr.Citrus

Hello All! Here is an update. I have pictures of the mini lemons from two different angles. Let me know how it looks and if everything is as it should be:

I removed a bud or two that were late bloomers and one or two also fell off. These are the ones left. I have 3 that looks to be lemons for sure (2 I am positive, one is a little smaller). I am still waiting for that last flower to completely fall off and then I will ave 4 little lemons HOPEFULLY!!! I am very excited for these puppies to start blowing up!

Thanks,
Doc, Citrus

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 1:46AM
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lacey43(6)

I just bought a Meyer Lemon Tree 10 days ago and just read your post and the follow ups. What happened after June 10th? My tree is at about the same stage as your last photo. Very curious.
Lacey

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 1:47PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Good for you! Funny thing was that as I was looking through some older threads, I spotted this one just a couple of hours ago and wondered how you and your trees were doing!

What a surprise to see you come back and post after thinking of you..

Thanks for updating us and for being as excited as many of us are here.

Hello Lacey.

Mike_0)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 4:20PM
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Dr.Citrus

Hey Mike, Hey Lacey,

It has been ages since I have been on here but the good news is one of those little things turned into a lemon.... It's still growing and looks like it has some time before it turns yellow but as a side note I now have about a hundred or more buds on the tree some of which have already flowered. Take a look at her progress!

Enjoy,
Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 7:30PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Doc Citrus! If that is what your tree looks like for just growing under lights, then you the man!

I am very proud of you. In fact, even if you just brought it inside, it still is a very beautiful tree and beautiful color. Must smell heavenly.

Bravo and thanks for thinking of us:-)

Mike

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 7:54PM
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Dr.Citrus

Mike,

I just brought it in about a week ago but I actually don't enjoy the smell of the flowers to much. They definitely don't smell lemony. They smell like pollen more than anything, there is a hint of sweetness but whatever.... it is brightening up my place and gives me some fresh oxygen. I am actually having a major issue with gnats. Could you recommend anything?

-Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 8:02PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Hey Doc.

The only way I was able to get rid of gnats was to change my soil mix completely, or water with a mild organic soap along with Neem Oil. It would take about 3 waterings over a 3 week period to see them disappear after the watering technique.

If they were plants you did not plan on eating, I would say water them with the Bayer Disease and Pest control before you bring it in, and to not see after that again.

They say that over watering is the main cause, but they come no matter what you do and are impossible to rid of unless action is taken.

Have a great night.

Mike:-)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 8:43PM
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RyanLo(NC 7B)

Ive had luck with Safer organic soap spray for the same problem. You could try spraying the soil about once a day or so until they are gone, you don't need to soak the soil or anything, just a few pumps, the gnat larvae are very close to the top of the soil feeding on the roots of your tree. this pared with letting the soil dry out a little will surely end your soil gnat issue. You may add some stick yellow fly paper for good measure, this will warn you of any new pests that may arrive too.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 9:58PM
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ssmdgardener(7)

Doc, when you put your tree outside, did you acclimate it to the sun by first putting it in full shade?

Like Mike said, I've had huge problems with fungus gnats with commercial potting mixes. They're not an issue at all with the gritty mix.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 1:41PM
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Dr.Citrus

gardener,

Nope, I threw it right into full sun. It did very well too. Although that was the case with my tree I wouldn't advise you to do that since everyone cautions against it. Also, I new strategy for the bugs: I put a ton of cellophane wrap over the top of the pot and wrapped in around the lowest point of the trunk. hopefully this will eventually kill the bugs. I will leave it on for about a week and then check under there. And don't worry I watered the tree yesterday, she won't need much water since it isn't in the hot sun anymore and it will be getting colder soon.

And thank you Ryan and Mike for the suggestions.

-Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 6:38PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Now that sounds like an idea!

Please, come back and let us know if that works for you Doc Citrus. I am very curious. I hope it does.

Mike

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 6:58PM
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Dr.Citrus

Hey fellas,

I took some better pictures and you can also see my "bug cover rig"

By the way the bugs have died down quite a bit. I can't image hot many are under that cellophane.

Enjoy,
Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 11:27PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Hey, not bad Doc Citrus!

Now, I am going to keep my fingers crossed and hope they don't find an exit stragety out the bottom air drain holes.

They are smart little buggers and find all kinds of ways to survive or get out.

Good luck!

Mike

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 10:48AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Gosh, I can't help but wonder just how the root system is going to 'breathe' in that kind of situation!! I appreciate that your theory is to smother the fungus gnat larvae, but you are forgetting one BIG concept.

Roots absolutely must have access to the atmosphere. Roots require free access to oxygen (which they obtain from a porous soil system) in order to survive. Roots also respire...give off CO2 which must be allowed to escape the soil system or toxic levels will build up.

That is what is called the 'gas exchange' we often talk about as being so important in a good potting mix (or outdoor soil).

Also, our container plants evaporate a great deal of water from the surface of the soil. That process is important.

I strongly urge that you take a good look at your potting mix and your watering practices as the two causes of a fungus gnat population. Without problems in one or both, the fungus gnats would cease to be interested. As I recall, you are a 'micro-manager' of your plants. People who do that to their plants often complain about fungus gnats.

If you are not going to change your potting mix into something highly porous and coarse textured, you should visit the garden center soon and pick up either mosquito dunks OR another form of larvacide called Gnatrol. Mosquito dunks contain the same active ingredient as the Gnatrol, a biological agent that targets ONLY the larva of certain insects such as fungus gnats, mosquitoes, black flies, etc. It's safe to use in your home and on your plants, even if you intend harvest citrus.

Soak a few little pieces of the dunks in your watering can for several hours or over night. Use that water when it's time to water your plant. No extra watering please; I suspect that that is part of your problem.

But, the permanent solution to your problem is to change your potting mix. Most of who use a very porous potting medium never see a fungus gnat. Even if you reduce your watering frequency, fungus gnat larvae can thrive in a dense, peaty medium. Kill the larvae with the Bt-Israelensis (gnatrol or dunks), not a general pesticide. But even that is merely a stop-gap measure, and not a permanent solution.

I suggest that you take your plant outside when you release it from all of that plastic wrap. I suspect that you might have created a big gnat nursery in there...with the larvae developing into adults who lay more eggs, etc.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 1:02PM
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RyanLo(NC 7B)

Yup, Rhizo is exactly correct, cannot agree more. Unless somehow the toxic gasses build up killing the pests under the wrap. Even if this did happen, your approach to deal with the gnats is not a good one as is can possibly damage/kill the tree too. Not to mention they can access the soil from the bottom drainage holes too! I don't agree with the need to change your soil, It wont hurt if you did but, I don't think its necessary. What you do need to do is eliminate the pests not cover them and hope they go away, they surely will not. Gnatrol is a good product as is the mosquito dunk, I have used mosquito dunks with success on my citrus in the winter for gnats. However, these only deal with the larvae though, if you use this product you must use something else for the adults. Ill recommend you this again as I have battled them successfully before: Get a bottle of insect killing soap spray surface once every few days until gone. This kills larvae and on contact adults too and yellow stick tape catches adults in the mean time let the soil surface try out.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 2:02PM
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Dr.Citrus

Okay fellas, I took the cellophane off and swished the soil around a bit outside. Then I watered the tree and brought it back in. I am hoping the bugs will just go away lol. I don't have the cash right now to buy the pesticides nor would I know where to buy them.

Thanks,
Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 5:18PM
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Doglips(8b/9a)

This thread is hilarious, I love the enthusiasm.
It looks like a tragic love story unfolding.
"Loved to Death" by Doc Citrus.

Patience Grasshopper.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 2:14AM
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johnmerr(11)

I think this thread is degenerating into Proverbs 18.2. This fellow has gotten a mountain of good advice and still does whatever he wants.

Can we move on to something that we can actually help with?

Curmudgeon John

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 10:36PM
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citrusnewby

Hi,
We have had some very hot weather here this summer. I just noticed my lemons (which are for the most part still green) have oval yellow spots on one side of them. In some cases the yellow spot has started to decay the fruit.
What could this be?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 12:55PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

citrusnewby, why don't you start your own thread. Your question is entirely different than the original poster's thread. That way, you can have your answers all in your own message thread, and be notified of answers coming your way.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 4:24PM
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Dr.Citrus

Hey All,

So my meyer lemon tree is doing great. I have a question though, I have a lemon that was produced about 3 months ago and is still green. It's growth had seemed to slow and during this time I had a ton of new flowers, growth, and now about 40 small, solid lemons coming along. Is this normal to have more lemons produced before the one from an earlier flowering has ripened?

Thanks,
Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 4:29PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Yes, perfectly normal with lemons. The lemon cultivar in general will have all 3 on a tree at one time - flowers, young fruit and ripening fruit. Quite normal for lemons.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 1:10AM
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Dr.Citrus

Thank you patty. This lemon is taking forever to ripen. I can't wait to eat it

Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 2:04AM
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Dr.Citrus

Hey!

So my lemon is nearly ripe now. I suspect only a few more weeks. It has taken a LONG time! I am so excited! I went on break for a few weeks and right before I left I gave my tree double watering with no nutrients. When I came back there had been a lot of new growth and color development in the big guy/girl. I also have a neighbor (an older lady) who has had it rough (her husband dying, her daughter has cancer, a few of her dogs died; etc.) and I would always talk to her about plants when I went out back, on the deck, at my mom's house. They are both very kind, her and the daughter, but I don't know them all that well. Anyway, this christmas/channukah, my mom received this box on the doorstep, and what was it? A mineola tangelo tree (3 years old from four-winds). How sick? So I have some pictures of the Meyer, which I have had for about 7 month or more now and a picture of the new little gal, Susane (Mineola Tangelo):

Susane (mineola tangelo - This is either a tangerine crossed with a pumelo OR a manderine orange crossed with a grapefruit) Maybe someone can make heads or tails of it. I have read about these and know about their non-self-pollinating characteristic. I will hopefully be able to pollinate it with my meyer. We will see.

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the New Year! Happy 2013,
Doc Citrus

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 5:18PM
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MountainCitrus

Hi Doc Citrus-
I'm super impressed with the progress of your tree! How are things still going in 2013? Do you have Andrea outside this summer? I am interested in your grow lights- can you get them at a standard store like ACE or did you have to find them specially online or at plant store? Thanks for the post and pictures!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 11:39AM
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