lemon tree dropping fruit

butterflutter(8)June 17, 2007

I bought a lemon tree this spring that was just loaded with blooms and fruit.

I repotted it in a mixture of pete, pine bark, cactus mix and a little sand, being careful not to disturb the root ball. I placed it on the stone walk in my garden where it receives full sun.

Because it is so hot and dry here in Mississippi right now (90+ every day) I water it about every other day. It's in a twelve inch pot and is approximately 4 feet tall.

About 6 weeks ago the top leaves yellowed and the fruit began dropping. The fruit was about the size of a dried pea. When all was said and done I was left with only two lemons. They are about the size of a large marble right now.

I then began a fertilize regiment that includes osomocote, ironite and millinite. I have been doing this for about a month and add one of the three to it at least every other week. I just came in from adding about half a cup of millinite to it. It has greened back up but the fruit continues to turn yellow and drop as soon as it sets. I know it is being pollinated because there are various bees and wasps on it constantly.

I am at my wits end because I just don't know what to do for it. I did read, on this site, and trust me I have read them all, that some of the fruit will just naturally

drop but I was really hoping that I would have fruit in severaly different stages of ripening at all times. Is this asking too much? Will I just have to wait until the two lemons that are on it are mature and picked before I can expect more fruit to stay? Citrus lovers------ I need your help and expert advise very soon!!!!!

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I'm new to the citrus thing also and was also panicked by dropping fruits (smaller than golf-ball) and wondered if my tree was sick. Basically it just comes down to, if everything else is right with the tree (container sizer, soil condition, nutrients, watering, sunlight), that the trees will only support the fruit that it's able to support and the rest will fall away from the tree. Hard to see, I know, trust me. But it's a matter of patience and letting Mother Nature play her part and letting your tree do what comes naturally. There's no rushing that perfect fruit.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 1:35AM
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Thanks for the info,herboholic, I was afraid that may be the case. However, if it has all it can support, shouldn't it just quit blooming as well?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 7:09PM
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Not necessarily. Blooms come as a natural process of the plants evolution and growth and is a good thing! The fruitlets it produces and whether they're to stay on the tree, in subject to the tree itself. Really nothing to be done about it. It's hard, I know. I literally mourned when three of my fruits dropped off my Eureka. I thought there was something terribly wrong. I have since been reassured, given my climate, growing conditions and care, that the tree is just doing what comes naturally. I wish I could force the tree to hold on to those fruits, but it basically comes down to what the tree will hold on to and produce mature, ripe fruit and those that it will let go of.

Do what I do. Get your digital camera and take pictures of those beautiful blossoms to remember them by. It's also a great way to keep a "snapshot" diary of your trees growth. You can look back on photos and see it's progress, or in worse cases, see where it started to go downhill and be more informed as to how to diagnose it.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 1:00AM
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wetfeet101b(z9 Riverside - So Cal- USA)

>> shouldn't it just quit blooming as well?
You have to remember that the flowers are not just for your tree's benefit.
Those flowers are also there to provide pollen to other trees.
So even if your tree was not able to bear much fruit, it was able to help other citrus trees bear their fruit.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 12:09PM
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Butter, even though it's hot and dry there, are you allowing soil to dry a bit between waterings? You don't want soil muddy..Soil should dry before adding more water..
Also, it sounds like you're adding too many chemicals for a new plant..Are u following fertilizer and other checmical, instructions?
When you think about it, most plants that come from a nursery are given a dose of food, many times, timed-release fertilizers..So, you don't want to overdo it..
A well-balanced fertilizer should do fine..adding an iron suppliment is something I feel is needed 2-3 times a yr, whether or not citrus has chlorosis..I use it as a preventative and never have chlorosis problems..
Yes, it's normal for a certain amount of fruit to drop, but it's upsetting..Especailly when we see pics of trees packed w/fruit..(S)
As long as your citrus is getting adequate sun, and sufficient water, it should be fine..Toni

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 2:24PM
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