By Bonnie L. Grant
Dooryard citrus evokes summer days and provides lovely blooms and colorful fruit. If you are looking forward to homemade lemonade and your tree is not producing, there may be a simple explanation. When you are growing a lemon tree, problems are bound to crop up, but the worst is having no fruit on lemon trees. Read on to learn how I can get my lemon tree to bear fruit.
Reasons for No Fruit on Lemon Trees
The first query here would be, do the trees flower? Flowers lead to fruit, and a lack of blooms means your tree cannot produce. Some reasons for this would be incorrect cultivation, lack of nutrients, insufficient water and bad rootstock.
If the plant does bloom but still fails to fruit, this might be because the tree is not old enough. Lemon tree fruiting occurs at three to five years old, depending upon the rootstock. Blossom drop is one of the key growing lemon tree problems. Many of the newly forming fruits fall off well before they can begin to grow. This lack of “fruit set” may be due to an excess of fruits, too much water, low nutrients or exposure to cold.
How Can I Get My Lemon Tree to Bear Fruit?
There are several cultural situations that prevent fruit. At installation, place the plant on the southern or western side of the home. Lemon tree fruiting will only occur in warm temperatures. Choose a well drained area with shelter from damaging and drying winds. Use thermal covers or even just an old blanket to protect new buds or little fruits when unexpected freezes occur.
Also, make sure the fertilizer you apply in early spring is formulated for citrus trees and is high in potash. Avoid excess nitrogen during the flowering period as this spurs leafy growth and minimizes the production of flowers.
How to Encourage Fruit on Lemon Trees
Water the tree deeply and frequently during fall and half the amount of irrigation in winter. Resume the deep watering in spring and summer as these juicy fruits need plenty of moisture to form.
Fertilize in spring with an appropriate food, including the addition of phosphorus to encourage blooming and fruiting, and prune only where necessary. Fruits set on the ends of branches, so it is best to remove only dead wood and problem branches.
Protect the tree from disease and insects and take appropriate steps at the first sign of trouble. Healthy plants produce the most fruit.
No Fruit on Lemon Tree After Cultural Attempts
If the lemon tree is still not producing fruits, it might be due to a poor rootstock. Dwarf stocks produce the best fruit and will bear more quickly than full sized trees. You can always wait a year after good cultivation and see if fruit comes the second year. This is especially true if you have neglected lemon trees. They may just need a little TLC for a year and then will reward you with a bumper crop of golden lemons.