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Lemon Tree

I have had a lemon tree for about a year, and I know the basics.  But it has just come into flower for the first time and now I need some advice.

It has a huge number of flowers and buds. Should I remove some?   Some have fallen off.

Do I need to pollinate it, as it is now indoors for the winter?  The flowers are extremely fragile and touching them causes them to fall apart.

Is there anything else I should know?

Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,590

    imageCitrus plants make far too many fruitlets. Most fall off when they are tiny. Some stay on. Let them grow until they are about the size of a baked bean - that way you know that they are pollinated - then pick them off until you just have one per branch.

    Generally speaking the flowers often pollinate themselves (maybe midges or tiny flies do it, I don't know) but sometimes you have to give them a little bit of help. A quick tickle with your finger is enough.

    Depending on the size of the tree, you should be able to grow decent fruits, but don't overstretch the plant's strength. Use common sense.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,730

    pansyface's last point is important. Young trees can't support anything like the amount of fruit as more mature ones. I have three trees of varying ages in containers. When young, I took off most of the baby lemons, leaving only three or four, letting the plant nourish those few. 

  • Dux2Dux2 Posts: 9

    Thanks, guys, that was a great help.  It is more or less what I was thinking, but now I know.image

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 3,317

    Dux2, where are you overwintering? We have 6 lemons, Hubby likes them in the conservatory, where they will flower in winter, but the warmth keeps the scale insects going, everywhere sticky, so they are in unheated greenhouse, they have quite large fruit, lost their leaves, though. (frost warning tonight) so going to bubble wrap as soons as it gets light.  He pollinates them with a kids paintbrush.  |We dont remove any fruit, we let the plant do that.  It is nice to have the flowers in winter nice smell, but I dont think the fruit would do well.  The fruit on ours has been growing several months.

  • Dux2Dux2 Posts: 9

    Thanks for your help.  My tree is in the conservatory, which is heated during the day but not to a high temperature - unless the sun's out, of course - and I would prefer it to stay there if poss.  I too have been going round with a paintbrush, and there are the first signs of fruit forming so I will keep an eye on how many stay on and remove some if necessary as pansyface and italophile advise.  This first year is bound to be a bit of trial and error, but that is the fun of it.  Again, my thanks to all. 

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 3,317

    I know Monty says do not put them in a conservatory, mine faces north east, but in the summer can get into the 30s.

  • Dux2Dux2 Posts: 9

    Mine faces south and can get very hot even with blinds.  But during the summer my lemon tree spent its time in the fresh air sunning itself (well, sometimes!) on the terrace.  It seems to be thriving so far.

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