The Q&A Archives: Meyer lemon fruit drop

Question: I purchased a meyer lemon tree about four weeks ago. It had one very small lemon on it at that time which has remained the same size (a little smaller than a ping pong ball) and the color hasn't changed from green and yellow. It also had a couple of little lemons (the size of an eraser on a pencil) that died before getting any bigger. What am I doing wrong? I fed it citrus food about a week ago and am not watering it until the soil is dry.

Answer: What you describe sounds perfectly normal for a Meyer Lemon tree. First, they often set more fruit than they can support, so they drop the baby lemons. This happens several times a year so don't let it surprise you. Second - your tree is probably simply adjusting to living at your house where light, temperature and humidity levels are probably different than the tree was accustomed to. This adjustment period will be short-lived and eventually your tree will adjust and begin performing as it should. Lemons take months to mature and even after they turn yellow they can stay on the tree for several months, so don't be in a hurry to harvest your lemon just yet. One final suggestion - citrus trees like moist but not soggy soil. When you water, water thoroughly, then allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again. You'll know your tree has adjusted when it begins putting out new growth and producing new flower buds.


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