Meyer Lemon Tree - Knowledgebase Question

La Tijera, CA (Zone 10)
Avatar for inas1966
Question by inas1966
August 14, 2005
My Husband and I recently planted a small Lemon tree in a large pot on our patio. It's been planted now for about three weeks. We've noticed that all the little White flowers have started to shed and some of the lemons that were on the tree when we purchased it have all fallen off. What do we need to do to care for this tree properly?

Answer from NGA
August 14, 2005
I think your little tree is simply adjusting to its new home. Hot weather can cause fruit and flower drop so I don't think what you're describing is anything to worry about. Lemon trees need moist soil and frequent feeding. I use a half-strength dilution of liquid fertilizer (Miracle Gro or Peter's) and feed every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. This provides a constant source of nutrients to the roots without the chance of over-fertilizing and burning the roots.

The Meyer Lemon Tree is a hardy variety and the best lemon tree for sub-tropical climates, or for growing indoors. The Meyer Lemon is not actually a real lemon but a cross between a lemon, a type of orange and a mandarin. While it retains most of the characteristics of a lemon, it has a bit less acidity, less bitterness, more sweetness and thinner skin. The skin of the Meyer Lemon lacks the typical zest of a real lemon. It has gained favor because it bears a heavy crop and it is a relatively hardy plant. The Meyer Lemon performs best with bright, indirect light (at least 8 hours per day) and when planted in well draining soil. Water regularly as needed ( no wet feet.. ) The Meyer Lemon bears heavily when mature. Its crop size increases as the plant matures. It may bear 10 or more lemons even at 3 years old. The fruit is green in color until it matures. When mature on the tree, the Meyer Lemon changes to a yellow-orange color. That will take longer than you expect. The main crop matures in the summer. In a tropical climate, the Meyer Lemon Tree can bear fruit nearly all year long. After 3 or 4 years in a pot, you need to replace the soil since it will be exhausted of nutrients. You can either replant into a larger pot or cut away some of the outer roots with a sharp, strong knife and replant in the same pot but with fresh soil. Best of all - enjoy your new tree!

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