Pollenating of Meyers Lemon Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Utica, Mi
Avatar for hossross
Question by hossross
January 23, 2006
I have a grafted Monrovia Meyers Lemon tree graft (not a bush)

It is currently either blooming or will have blooms open over the next two weeks. There are currently 12 flowers open, some with a stamen and some without. How do I ensure the flowers get pollinated and and is there a time after opening that the pollen needs to dry or mature before being transfered? Is it better for the pollen of one flower to be transferred to another rather than to the same one it opened with? How should I help transfer the pollen, Q tip?
Since some flowers will be probably dropping before others open, how should I pollinate over time?
Also the tree currently has only about 8 mature leaves, and new ones sprouting, so he is trying to make a come back. Can it try to support too many lemons if I help the pollenation?
What is a recommended brand and type(s) of citrius liquid food that I could use? Frequency and concentration given the above condition. Is more nitrogen preferred due to the few leaves??

If not liquid then dry. It will be a house plant for several more months as I live in Michigan.

Sun is a problem in my house, and Michigan does it need full spectrum lights or is 40 watt cool floursencent just as good?

Thanks, lots of questions, but I would like to have success and lemons

Answer from NGA
January 23, 2006
Citrus trees can grow indoors and many produce fruit. Blossoms are a good sign and while they are generally self-fruitful, you can help things along by transferring pollen from one open flower to another. Do this with a small artist's paint brush. Even if there is only one blossom open, you can make sure the pollen falls from the stamens onto the stigma by gently brushing the inside of the flower with your brush. If your tree is strong enough to support all of the fruit it begins to develop, they will hold on to maturity. If the tree cannot sustain its health and develop fruit, it will drop the fruit. Since there are only 8 leaves on the plant, it may drop some of the fruit, so be prepared for a smaller harvest.

If your tree does not receive several hours of direct sunlight, you can supplement the natural light with artificial lights. Either fluorescent lights or specialized Gro-Lights will work. Don't use regular incandescent lights, though. They put off too much heat and can burn the leaves on your tree.

There are specialized citrus foods on the market that contain trace minerals that your tree needs. However, since it is in a container, be sure to use less than the recommended amount of fertilizer or you could burn the roots of your tree.

I have good success by using a half-strength dilution of liquid ferilizer (20-20-20) and I apply it every 3 weeks. This provides a constant source of nutrients to the roots of my containerized lemon tree.

Best wishes with your tree!

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