Grapefruit Tree Info: Why Doesn't My Grapefruit Tree Bear Fruit

Grapefruit Hanging From Tree
grapefruit tree
(Image credit: amit erez)

It's disappointing for the home gardener to patiently care for a fruit tree that does not bear fruit. You may find that you have no grapefruit on a tree that you've watered and pruned for several years. Grapefruit problems are common, and it is sometimes difficult to get grapefruits on trees. Grapefruit tree info indicates there are several areas to question if you're wondering, "Why doesn't my grapefruit tree bear fruit?"

Why Doesn't My Grapefruit Tree Bear Fruit?

Is the tree mature enough to bear fruit? You may have started the tree from a seed or a sprout that developed on a grapefruit you bought at the store. Grapefruit tree info says that seed-grown trees may not be mature enough to get grapefruits on trees for 25 years. Grapefruit on a tree does not develop until the tree reaches a certain height. Yearly pruning for shape is second nature to the dedicated gardener, but it may be the reason there is no grapefruit on a tree. How much sunlight does the grapefruit tree get? Trees will grow and appear to flourish in a shady environment, but without at least eight hours of daily sun, you won't get grapefruits on trees. Perhaps your grapefruit problems with production result from the tree being planted in a shady area. If the tree is too big to relocate, you might consider trimming or removing surrounding trees that shade the grapefruit tree. Have you fertilized the grapefruit tree? Growing grapefruit on a tree develops best with regular fertilization, every four to six weeks. Begin fertilization to get grapefruits on trees in February and continue through August. Has your grapefruit tree experienced a freeze or temperatures below 28 degrees F. (-2 C.)? You won't get grapefruits on trees if the blooms have been damaged by cold temperatures. The blooms may not look damaged, but the small pistil in the center of the bloom is where the fruit is produced. If you believe this is the reason you're getting no grapefruit on a tree, cover the tree or bring it indoors, if possible, next time temperatures are expected to dip this low. If you're not willing to wait for grapefruit to grow on a seed grown tree, check with your local nursery and purchase a grapefruit tree that's been grafted onto compatible rootstock. You'll have fruit sooner-- probably within a year or two you'll have grapefruit on a tree. Now that you know the reasons for, “Why doesn't my grapefruit tree bear fruit,” you'll be better equipped with handling the situation so that next year you may get grapefruit on trees in abundance.

Becca Badgett

Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.