Meyer Lemon Tree - What's Next

lacey43(6)July 24, 2012

This is my first Meyer Lemon Tree and I would like some advice. My tree is about 3ft high, it has finished blooming and the photo shows how the former flowers look now. What do I do next? Do I have to thin? Are all the green nubs going to become lemons? I really could use some help.

Thanks in advance.

Lacey

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johnmerr(11)

For my garden Meyers, I would usually thin such a cluster of fruit to 4 fruits; later, as they get larger, I would thin to 3. In part it depends on where are the fruits on the branch and on the tree; stronger branches, or closer in to the trunk will support more. In general for a young Meyer, if you leave it alone it will produce too many fruits and the tree will not grow.

Is your tree in a pot, or in the ground? Do you know what rootstock your tree is grafted to?

Now would be a good time to fertilize with a good balanced citrus fertilizer according to label instructions. You should feed your tree 3 times per year if inground; and 4-5 times per year if in a pot. For my garden Meyers I also put a foliar fertilizer every 2 weeks for micronutrients that the plant might not get from the soil. I use Bayer Bayfolan Forte; but others here like Foliage Pro or others.
As for the fruits, they will require 5-6 months to reach maturity, which is defined as 8.5 Brix (percent sugar); after that you can leave them on the tree longer if the deeper yellow color is desired.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 4:09PM
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eahamel(9a)

If it's in the ground (doubtful in 6!), it's best to take all the lemons off and let it produce a strong root system the first year. If in the pot, it doesn't matter, but you should thin them out quite a bit since it can't support very many when it's that young.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 4:19PM
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olympia_gardener(5)

My meyer lemon had a lot of fruits just like that. The tree will thin itself if it can't support so many fruits after flowering. It will also thin itself at later stage too when the fruits are a little big if it can't support so many fruits. So I would just leave them alone for now. If you really want to thin them, do it when fruits are little large.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 4:51PM
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johnmerr(11)

While most citrus are self thinning, including the Meyer, the Meyer is such a prolific producer, that, if you don't thin them by hand in the first few years, the tree will hold so many fruits that it will "forget" to grow.

I do know a little about Meyer lemons; I have 15,000 now, so take your advice from a specialist... or not... it is your tree to do with as you wish.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 7:19PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

I agree with Olympia. Citrus in general will set far more fruit than they can support. Yes, those green nubs are fruit. They are usually very good about dropping extra fruit at the BB stage, and again at about golf ball size, as Olympia has mentioned. If you still end up with too much fruit, you can always thin, later. And, don't be surprised if your young tree drops ALL the fruit. It is just protecting itself as it established its root system and canopy. Wait to see how the fruit develops.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 7:21PM
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lacey43(6)

My thanks to everyone for their excellent advice.
Lacey

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:22PM
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