My lemons taste terrible!

hrivera2585June 10, 2009

I just bought a home and the lemons on the tree in my backyard taste awful. They are not sour at all and have a very strange flavor that's kind of hard to describe. They are almost sweet. The skin of the fruit before you cut it smells great, like a lemon should.

I don't know what I can do. Is there a type of fertilizer or mulch that I could possibly put around the trunk? I read in an article that says there shouldn't be any grass growing around the base, which there is, but I don't think this would be the cause?? I have tried looking up this problem on various websites, but have not had much luck. I'd appreciate any input or suggesstions. Thanks!

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It could be a meyer lemon, they are sweeter than `normal` lemons, if so they can be harvested a bit earlier than when they are fully ripe and they will not be as sweet, if you take a photo of the fruit and of a leaf someone should be able to say wether its a meyer lemon or not as they have slightly different leaves and the fruit is usualy slightly more orange/darker yellow when fully ripe

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 7:16PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Not to disagree...but, I don't think its Meyer lemon, I have this one and it taste great! Although, Meyer lemons are not known to be as sour as Lisbon or Eureka lemons, it definitely doesn't have a strange flavor in my opinion. It is of excellent quality and taste IMHO.

This is only a guess, but maybe it is some type of unknown seedling or a grafted lemon that lost its graft somehow and the rootstock is what's left and bearing fruit. This happened to a friend's neighbor. He gave me some of the lemon fruit, it looks and smells like lemons...but was "horrible"! He told me its some type of unknown lemon that grew after the hurricane broke the tree, this seedling grew from the ground and now these are the lemons that it produces. He has since replaced it with a Meyer Lemon tree. Again, this is just a guess... hopefully someone here might be of more help.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 8:38PM
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The description of smells and looks like a lemon, but not sour at all, to me sounds like a meyer, i have a meyer and thats how i would describe it, to me i would also use words like nasty about the meyer
I would think if it was rootstock off the tree, then maybe a volkamer lemon as it is used as a rootstock sometimes, they taste like a regular lemon, the usual trifolate rootstocks etc all have very nasty taste and i would say were very very sour and bitter, not sweet at all, most do not look like lemons either

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 9:14AM
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Thanks for the in-put, everyone. I will look up the meyer lemons and see if this is what I have.

Interesting note about the rootstock. I will have to look into this, as well.

Also, my home was vacant for about 2 years before we bought it, so I know that the lemon tree and other plants have not been tended to in at least that long. And since we live quite inland from the coast, it gets very hot here during the spring and summer months. If the lemons still taste this bad after several months of proper care, then I think I will replace it. It's a big tree though, so hopefully we don't have to take it out.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 2:37PM
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If it isnt one you like, it would probably be better to graft onto the tree as its already established, just add extra varietys to it

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 4:21PM
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I think it's likely Palestine sweet lime, which does look like a lemon, smells good, but when you taste it, it's like extremely diluted lemon Koolaid (maybe 2-3 times as much water as you're supposed to use) with just a touch of baby shampoo as an aftertaste. Then the aftertaste a few minutes later is dilute floor wax. Is that what you're trying to describe? If that's what it is, it was likely a rootstock, onto which some other citrus was originally grafted, but the graft was lost. And if that's what it is, nothing will ever make it taste better. You could graft something else onto it, or just replace it.

Malcolm Manners
John and Ruth Tyndall Professor of Citrus Science
Florida Southern College

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 5:28PM
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I agree I do think it is a Palestine sweet lime. I am new here and actually just found this thread because I was trying to figure out what our lemon looking fruit is. I knew it wasnt lemon because we do have a lemon tree already. I was thinking maybe it was some awful grapefruit. I dont take care of it because I dont like the fruit so I thought that may have been why the flavor was off but after reading up on this sweet lime the description fits exactly. Dont know what to do with ours now that I know tho, maybe take it out. :(

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 6:25PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Agree with Dr. Manners on this one. Improved Meyer is slightly sweeter than say a Eureka, but not "sweet" by any stretch. Not like an orange "sweet". Still makes ME pucker up :-) And I'm still laughing at your description, Dr. Manners, HAH!! Love the "baby shampoo" after taste. Or, you can just call in "insipid", lol!

Watch for my post about trying to identify a citrus in my yard. It is the mystery fruit for now...

Patty S.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 7:18PM
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