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Lemon tree questions

Hello to all,

This is 1st post from me , a very amateur gardener.

I received a lemon tree on my birthday last August and it lived in an unheated conservatory until winter last when I bought it indoors scared of the cold! 

I have bravely put this outside (Monty said it would be ok a week or so back ) and even though it has been cold and wet non stop since it seems ok. 

To the point of my post. I have noticed it has attracted ants, they are not swarming over it but there are a few climbing it

.Does anyone know it ants will cause problems.

Also it said on the label that it was for 'ornamental use only'  implying that the fruits would not be edible, They look and smell like lemons ! Does anyone know if this is usual and there is a reason not to eat them?

I look forward to any help on these queries that any of you can give.


  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    Now regarding the ornamental part of your question  I believe they put ornamental on the trees as a safety catch. It prevents producers

    - not having to use food safe ppesticides or soil when growing the plant 

    - having to worry about people eating the actual plant I.e. leads (remember when shops had to put a note telling people not yo eat the daffodils?!)


    As for your ants; have you checked to see if the ants are actually eating aphids or other small bug? If you think they are nesting in the soil just make it uncomfortably damp and they'll move on.

  • Thank you Clarington.

     I will take a closer look at those pesky ants and hope they are looking after it rather than eating it. 

    I am grateful for your time.

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,343

    depends where you live, I start putting my citrus trees outside in march in the day, if its warm, they dont like full direct mid day sun.  Even an unheated conservatory, will be pretty cosy, ours overwinter in an unheated greenhouse, if you keep them too warm over winter, you get scale insect.  Have never had ants on any of mine, yes, the ones I bought in supermarkets, do say ornamental use do not consume, I eat the fruit, and am still alive!

  • Thank you Nanny Beach,

    I have a horrible feeling I might have scale insect on the lemon tree although it has many a blossom waiting to open and new growth of leaves. 

    I will look into getting rid of the scale insects but hopefully the ants are helping by eating them and not eating any part of the tree itself.


  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,343

    Neem oil is meant to be good, Hubby helps pollintation with kids paint brush when flowers open

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