The Q&A Archives: No Lemons

Question: Four years ago my landscaper planted an Improved Meyer's Lemon. I have had a few flowers since then but no fruit. It is now about 3 feet tall and has a few yellow leaves. I was giving it a citrus fertilizer ( sticks in the ground) but this last year I didn't give it anything. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: If your citrus tree is not behaving as expected, it may be that it is too young, or some environmental factor is affecting performance. Let's consider some of the things that might affect the production of fruit: Citrus trees need full sunshine, ample water, occasional feeding, and warm winter temperatures. Bottom line: having your soil tested would give you some concrete answers about the availability of micronutrients. (extremely high or low soil pH can bind up nutrients and make them unavailable to plant roots) Fruit trees can sometimes get into the habit of alternate year bearing because of some environmental stress. Both leaf and fruit buds can develop at the same time. If winter temperatures are cold enough to damage some, but not all of the buds, you'll end up with more leaves than fruit (trees need leaves to manufacture sugars for growth and fruit development). I would put the tree on a regular feeding schedule (use a specially formulated citrus food and apply in amounts and with the frequency recommended on the label). Be sure your tree is getting adequate sunshine and ample water, especially during the growing season. As your tree matures it should produce more and more flowers which increases your chances of getting more and more fruit each year.

Best wishes with your lemon tree.

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