The Q&A Archives: Grapefruit Tree Drops Fruit

Question: In the fall, my miniature grapefruit tree dropped 40 grapefruits about the size of an orange or a little smaller, and left about 10 fruits on the tree that never got much larger. Taste was not bad only a little sour. What happened and what can I do to prevent it this year?

Answer: Citrus drop is a natural occurence. The tree drops fruit so that other fruits can get larger, and because if all the fruit developed, the weight would break the branches! Citrus is extremely moisture-dependent and needs fertilizing three times per year with nitrogen. If you are not feeding or watering adequately, that may be the reason the other fruit didn't get larger. The longer the fruit stays on the tree, the sweeter it becomes (assuming the tree is being cared for adequately). Most citrus can be harvested over a period of months, and taste testing periodically is the best way to determine when it's ready to be picked. Water your tree slowly and deeply so that the water moves past the root zone and out past the tree's canopy. Fertilize in Jan/Feb, April/May and Aug/Sept. with 1/3 of the tree's annual requirements. Water thoroughly before and after applying fertilizer and follow package instructions. I hope this info helps!

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