Ask a Question forum: Meyer Lemon Tree Help

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Name: Jared Nicholes
Post Falls, Idaho
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jnicholes
Sep 17, 2016 10:15 AM CST
Hello!

I have a Meyer Lemon tree that has a lot of flower buds on it and I had some question. Last time I hand pollinated the flowers, after a couple of days the flower buds came off from the wind. I do not know if it was because I didn't pollinate properly or if it was another problem. Does anyone know what the problem was? I don't want it to happen again.

Also, how do you properly hand pollinate one of the flowers?

Should I use some citrus plant food to help it produce?

Thanks!

Jared

PS I think I made a post like this one before, but I couldn't find it.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 17, 2016 10:59 AM CST
How about a picture of the plant? Tell us what you did when you tried to hand-pollinate before? Were the flowers wide open when you did it? The flowers must both be mature enough to produce viable pollen, and to receive it. You said above "the flower buds came off from the wind" so if the flowers were still buds you couldn't have pollinated them. You need to look at the flowers with a magnifying glass when they are open all the way to see if there is pollen, and if it is ready - fluffy and dry - to just brush off with a tiny artist's paintbrush.

If you've only had this lemon tree for less than a year, you really should not be thinking about letting it make fruit anyway. You need to let it grow roots, and get established for at least a year before putting any of the plant's energy into making fruit for you.

You definitely should be fertilizing it with citrus food regularly. If the fert you have says "every 3 months" then where you are you would put fert on the plant in March and again in June I would think. Not now. Look ahead to the future when you will have grown a nice lusty little tree well grown in a big pot, THEN think about pollination and fruit production - maybe next summer.

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Sep 18, 2016 7:49 AM CST
Actually, citrus is one plant that should be fertilized even in winter if in pots. Don't rush the fruit thing though - they'll flower and set fruit when they're ready. I only hand-pollinate during the winter when they're indoors and happen to bloom.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 18, 2016 8:47 AM CST
That far north (Idaho) I would sure go lightly on fertilizer in the winter unless you have an indoor spot with lots of sun and warmth. The plant is sure to slow down with the short days and weak sun, even if the indoor temperatures drop only into the 60's at night.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Sep 18, 2016 8:53 AM CST
Supplemental light is a "must" up here because of reduced sunlight during winter. Otherwise, all of the leaves will drop.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Sep 18, 2016 9:00 AM CST
Kind of figured that, Cindy. Wonder if Jared knows this though?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jared Nicholes
Post Falls, Idaho
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jnicholes
Sep 18, 2016 9:12 AM CST
Hello!

Sorry I didnt get back earlier, Kind of busy up here. Anyway, a lot of this stuff I actually did not know. Thank you so much for the help! Do you think I need a grow light for indoors?

Thanks!

Jared
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Sep 18, 2016 9:34 AM CST
You will need some sort of supplemental light indoors for your lemon tree. The angle of sun in the northern states is low and, coupled with increased cloudy days, it's hard to get enough light for lemon trees to do well. A south-facing window will definitely help but it's often not enough. The size of you lemon tree will almost dictate what type of light fixture you'll need.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Sep 18, 2016 12:00 PM CST
I agree Definitely need more light. One "Gro-light" bulb in a lamp will not be enough for even a small lemon tree let alone as it grows. It will be twice it's size by next summer if you grow it well.

I'd go for a fluorescent fixture that holds 4ft. bulbs and use the T6 bright Daylight bulbs in it. Put it on a timer so you don't forget to turn it on and off, then in the afternoons during winter say 4pm or even earlier than that, have the timer turn it on for an extra 4 or 5 hours.

We're also assuming you have a full-sun south facing window for that plant to go through the winter? If not, it will need even longer.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Sep 18, 2016 3:22 PM CST
Elaine - good advice.

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