The Q&A Archives: Fruit Dropping

Question: My grapefuit tree was purchased last year,stands about5' tall. I had 3 fruits on it last year, this year lots of flowers and when fruit formed, they started falling off. Only have one left. I fertilize with a citrus tree fertilizer. Water twice a day now for 3 minutes at a time. Sprinklers do the watering.

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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