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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Lemon Tree, Very Pretty...

I have this lemon tree that the ex bought for me for our 2nd or third month anniversary (I can't remember which one it was now). Anyway, the relationship didn't last, but amazingly enough (considering how awful I am with plants), the lemon tree is still growing.

But (and I don't know if you can tell by that first picture) some of the flowers are looking a bit shrivelly... And, sometimes after they bloom, the whole flower dries up and falls off instead of producing any fruit. Does anyone out there know anything about lemon trees? I'm trying to keep it watered, but don't know how much is enough...

Help! (Please!)

I'll leave you with a picture of Gracie inspecting the bottom of the pot (I know, I should probably transplant the thing, but I'm afraid of shocking it and causing further damage.)

10 comments:

Kerri said...

Ask Joie. :)

Joie said...

Good Try.

Unfortunately, I have never had a citrus plant, and all my gardening books are in cartons.

I'll ask my mom. She had a orange tree for many years.

I can tell you why it isn't fruiting though. If the plant is indoors, unless you have a lot of flying insects...I hope not!.. it isn't getting pollenated.

I can also say that while I can't see any folliage to confirm this, usually flowering plants are pretty happy. If it is flowering away, I'd say you're doing it right.

That's all I have for now.
Mom's advice later.

Tami said...

Actually, it's outside on my tiny balcony. And there are 2 little plants that hijacked the pot. Not sure what they are. One looks like it might be the beginning of an olive tree (there's one growing out in the yard), the other looks like a weed. It was fruiting a little bit last year, but not full sized lemons.

Dagny said...

I used to have a dwarf lemon. My aunt explained to me back then that it can take 1-2 years before a tree really starts bearing fruit. I agree with Joie on the flowering thing. The soil for citrus trees should be moist but not soggy. I used to water mine every 2-3 days in the drier months. Also a little misting of the leaves. Oh, and I tended to water either first thing in the morning or around dusk.

Joie said...

Ok, missed on the fruiting....

I think I might pull out those weeds though.
While they might not be much of a problem now, if it is an olive, and the roots go deep it might cause problems.
Plus, any weed competes with the desired plant for water, nutrients and eventually sun.

Dagny said...

Another thought. Do you use a citrus fertilizer? Bearing fruit can pull a lot out of the soil.

Tami said...

No fertilizer yet...(I already admitted I'm a bad plant mommy...) I was thinking about picking some up though. And also a nicer looking pot with a saucer thingy (crap - what are those things called) to catch the excess water. The books I looked at in the library had very little info on citrus trees.

Joie said...

Try the Sunset Gardening guide.

And Mom says: "Yeah, I had one for a long time. I just watered it when it looked thirsty."

Yeah not much help, but she handed me her Time-Life Gardening book.

It says: They grow best in soil with a pH of 6-6.5. It also says they are sensitive to overwatering.

So I guess better to little than too much. :)

Secret Pal said...

I grew up near Davis, and my mom had 2 Meyer lemon trees in the yard. I don't recall that she did anything overly tedious with them - they just grew and bore fruit.

Can you gently tip the tree out of the pot to see if the roots are getting crowded around the edge of the dirt? Maybe it's time for a bigger pot.

Or, it could just be that it's going into a dormant cycle. I think citrus trees are funny things. But it's too cold where I live now to have citrus in the yard, and my cats eat houseplants of any variety. :(

I would second the suggestion to invest in a Sunset gardening book. My Sunset National Garden is my gardening Bible.

SP

Tami said...

Thanks everyone for your great suggestions! I think I'm going to have to peek at that Sunset Gardening Guide...