Return to the Florida Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
When Life Gives You Lemons

Posted by amberroses 9b-Pinellas Co. (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 5, 11 at 21:15

Well, life hasn't given me any lemons at least not the fruit kind. That's the problem. I have a lemon tree that has never produced. It has been in the ground for 7 years. It gets full sun and doesn't look too unhealthy just very small. For many years it didn't grow at all and then just last year it started to grow a little and produce a few flowers. There have been no flowers this year. I fertilize it with citrus fertilizer along with the orange trees. Anyone have any tips to trigger blooms and maybe fruit? More fertilizer or higher P? It is a Eureka variety I think.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

How much water is it getting?

Mine was initially in a spot that was too wet. Then a new spot was too dry. Seems happiest with a couple of inches of water, twice a week, with excellent drainage.


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

Not all plants have the same vigor, some thrive while some just survive. Of my 12 or so citrus the lemon is my fastest grower but gets damaged the easiest in the winter. I would make sure it is not too deep in the ground. If you scrape around the base of the tree with your fingers the roots should be just under the surface. I would not fertilize it on the same cycle as bearing trees but instead fertilize it monthly.


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

Thanks for the suggestions. Maybe it is just a lack of plant vigor. I will try to fertilize more frequently in smaller amounts. I think it gets a good amount of water and drainage.


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

  • Posted by whgille Oakland FL Zone 9B (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 7, 11 at 6:47

Hi Amber

In my opinion some citrus, any variety sometimes are just not good. I have a pink lemon planted for about 2 years, I got the plant very sickly and I thought I can return it back to health, which I did. It is so robust and healthy and has few fruit on it, but the fruit is such a poor quality and you know our space is limited so I have a plan, when it gets cooler it is going to come out and I will replace it with a very good tasting variety of figs that I have growing in a pot. Just yesterday a friend came to see the garden, then he remembers his meyer lemon tree, he said that for 7 years it did not give any fruit and for the first time this year is loaded and this week it just died. He asked me if I know what happened to the tree, all I told him some trees are just no good.:(

Silvia


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

If it's a Meyer lemon, you don't fertilize them the same way you do other citrus. Since they are everbearing, you fertilize them monthly during the growing season instead of every 3 months. I had the same problem until I started doing that. I just tossed a few handfuls around mine at the beginning of each month starting in late February/early March and ending in November, and usually had two flushes of fruit.


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

You may be right Silvia, but it is so hard to remove a tree. Emotionally hard I mean because it is small enough for me to take out myself. I think I will give it one last chance at rehabilitation and try the more frequent fertilization approach.


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

Read an interesting piece from Perdue- see link.
Other literature supports what they say-
Eurekas are not suitable for Florida.
Eureka lemon trees are listed as cold sensitive, not vigorous,
short lived and not pest resistant.

Bearss or Lisbon is a preferred variety for Florida.
UF has a great link: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs402

Here is a link that might be useful: Citrus limon


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

I am getting closer to pulling it. I have a tiny yard.


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

  • Posted by katkin 9b/10a PSLFl (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 9, 11 at 6:02

Gattormom, I am confused. That link says Lisbon's aren't suitable for Fl. You seem to disagree. :o)


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

I really doubted whether to include the link from Perdue at all and you are right.
The UF link states:
The ( Lisbon ) tree is large, vigorous, densely foliated, thorny, prolific and tolerant of cold and high temperatures and wind conditions (Davies and Albrigo, 1994; Morton, 1987).
Conflicting information for sure.
The proof is on your property in real world conditions.
Someone may have the perfect micro-climate for a Lisbon where it will thrive.

I have read reports that the best selection is the Bearss.
Again- from UF:
'Bearrs'. Selected in 1952 from a seedling planted in 1892 from the Bearrs Grove in Lutz, Florida (Morton, 1987). The tree is vigorous, thornless to nearly thornless, and tends to produce many water sprouts (Jackson, 1991).

This is from the UF publication in my first post.
Since the Bearss originated in Florida, it seems that this selection would have the best chance of success.


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

I agree with Silvia...like all plants -- even fruit trees--sometimes you just get a 'dud'.

My 3 yr old HoneyBell orange tree looks just as pathetic as the day I brought it home. This is it's last year. It's on probation. I bought a chain saw last weekend at HomeDepot....I like to threaten it with it now since coddling seems to have no impact. ;)

My Key Lime produced nothing this year either -- not one bloom. Lot's of new growth leaves, so I have to think it's just 'growing'.

I don't know...fruits trees feel like a frustrating relationship to me where you give, give, give and get nothing in return!....(sigh)...


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

I got my Meyer lemon from Low*s 2yrs ago. It had 5 small fruit on it & they all remained & ripened. Last year there were about 25 which all ripened. This year I am having to place supports under the branches because it is so loaded with fruit. I have never fertilized it at all. Sprayed it twice with neem oil for leaf miners. Planted 3 seed from a Key Lime 3 yrs. ago. Now, one of the trees is about 10 ft. tall & bloomed for the first time this spring. Only a few flowers on the lower limbs but just last week I found ONE fruit hidden there among the leaves. Yea!


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

Citrus are famous for taking a long time to mature.
One of our grapefruit trees took 10 years before it ever bore fruit.
It was 20 feet tall by then and made up for lost time with a truck load of grapefruits.
Patience is definitely needed for a HoneyBell.
It has grapefruit in it's genes.
The wait is well worth it for the delicious fruit.

From UF:
The Minneola tangelo (Honeybell) is a Duncan grapefruit x Dancy tangerine hybrid released in 1931 by the United States Department of Agriculture Horticultural Research Station in Orlando. This tangelo (like other tangelo cultivars) is therefore 1/2 tangerine and 1/2 grapefruit. The fruit is quite handsome and a genuine pleasure to eat.


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

I got so mad at my Hamlin that I chopped off all the limbs and just left the trunk. 3 years later, it bloomed, and the year I left my house, it was loaded with fruit...all pithy. I should have dug that sucker up and tossed it, and I would have if I hadn't paid $75 for it. None of my trees ever even paid for themselves. I hate citrus, and I will never grow it again.


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

Key limes can be finicky and ours produced tons of fruit sevral times during the year but it would produce well one year and then take a year off and come back strong the next year. Our Meyers lemon took over the yard and we had so many lemons it was not funny. The Hamlin produced well one year little the next and tons the next. The Valencia and Ruby Reds produced tons yearly. The sour orange produced well year after year. The honey tangerine took forever to fruit but when it began fruiting it produced yearly. It took time for some of them to mature and then you just have to learn your trees and know their cycle. Some of ours just fruited heavily and then rested the next year. We always had fruit though and it was so nice to walk outside and pick a fresh grapefruit for breakfast or oranges to make orange juice and lemons or limes whenever you needed them. Now I am attempting to grow citrus in containers and it is taking time but things will pay off down the road. Linda


 o
RE: When Life Gives You Lemons

I just found this thread and it seems the place to pose this question. My minneloa has been in the ground for 4 years (it replaced a very old tree) and it is definitely "failing to thrive." My elderly neighbor said that her father had a grove and brought back a young tree like mine by hitting the trunk with a chain, thereby stressing the tree, and it brought it back to life. Any opinions about this? I'm getting to the point where I might try anything.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Florida Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here