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Advice on citrus trees please if possible? 🍋🍊

I have several citrus trees at our house in france. Last year, we had a late freak frost which damaged 3 of my trees (lemon, lime and orange) to the point that they lost all of their leaves and gradually the branches started to die off but then, in summer, they grew back again but, haven’t fruited. I am asking for advice one how likely it is that they will ever fruit again and if so, what do i need to do to help this process?


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,164
    Calling in no particular order  @Busy-Lizzie, @floralies, @Obelixx and @tui34 for help.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,506
    No good calling me @pansyface, Dordogne is far too cold in winter, -4° yesterday, to grow citrus trees outside. @Nicbar must live a lot further south than me.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • tui34tui34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 1,986
    Hi there @pansyface

    @Nicbar I cover my lemon tree form November until frosty bits have passed.  I got bitten about 3 years ago with an early frost and lost the whole thing and was madly plucking lemons and salting them to preserve.  (We are just on the last jar). 

    Yes, they come back.  Why isn't it fruiting?  May need something to eat - like fertiliser for citrus on a regular basis.  If the ground is dry, then I would give it a weekly dose of this from now on.  Lemon trees aren't dormant.  They are one of the few fruit trees that can bear fruit and flowers at the same time.  Worth a go anyway.

    Whereabouts in France are you?  Yes, we got hit last year by that lovely frosty month of April as did the vineyards around here and gardeners that had planted their toms early.

    Let us know.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 1,689
    Depends on your location in France for growing Citrus to fruit.  You may get away with it in some of the south western areas but on the whole, Citrus aren't really "French" plants any more than they are UK plants.
    If you look at the conditions they require, that should answer your query  :)

  • Ante1Ante1 Senj, CroatiaPosts: 2,048
    @Nicbar, that happend to one of my grapefruit tree two years ago. Year after that he grove new branches and leaves and this year I again have fruit. I think that your citruses will have fruits again, just give them time.

    This photo is a week old.

  • floraliesfloralies Haute-Garonne SW FrancePosts: 1,809
    I don't grow them here, they would have to be sheltered inside somewhere in the winter, I guess you must be down near the Med?
  • NicbarNicbar Posts: 5
    Thank you all @pansyface, @tui34, @philippasmith2, @Ante30 and @floralies for the advice. I now have a greenhouse and so, is much easier in winter but last year they were just in a coldframe and it just seemed to be totally inadequate. I only put them outdoors in late spring. It seems from your advice that i probably just need to have a little confidence in them?!😄
    I will do what you say and keep feeding them.
    One of them has really long, leggy branches and I don’t know if i need to prune these back? Do any of you have an idea what I should do?

  • tui34tui34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 1,986
    edited 9 January

    Those grapefruit look really juicy and sweet @Ante30
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,736
    edited 9 January
    They will loose their leaves below 10c, oranges are much more tender. Ours are in the conservatory. The lemons and grapefruit green house which is insulated with thick bubble wrap,has a tubular heater,they are covered with another layer of bubble wrap. They get summer and winter feed
     Depending on temperature,they will go outside in march in the day,then back in the green house. I live in the mildest SE corner  of the UK10 minutes from the sea. It takes an average of 2 years for the lemons to bear full size fruit.
  • tui34tui34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 1,986
    You haven't said where you are in France.  @Nicbar  Many people around here have orange, lemon, grapefruit trees etc in the ground which are covered with fleece over the winter months.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

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