Help with Lemon tree that does not flower

Discussion in 'Trees, Shrubs and Roses' started by chiropod, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. chiropod

    chiropod New Seed

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    I have a lemon tree that I is probably 8 or so years old. It has not produced flowers and as such lemons in many years. The tree spends the summers outside and then is returned to my greenhouse in October/November. I do fertilize it and make sure not to overwater it. I have removed suckers over the past year, hoping that was the issue. In addition, the tree has what appears to be two trunks. Should I remove one of the trunks and trim the other one back more so that more energy is put to use developing flowers? I have not looked at the roots to see if the tree is root bound. Any other suggestions?
     



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  2. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Hi again,

    Fertilizer for lemon trees should be high in nitrogen and should not have any number in the formula higher than 8.
    When growing a lemon tree, you want to make sure that you apply fertilizer at the proper times.
    Lemon trees should be fertilized no more than four times a year and should not be fertilized in the coolest season when it is not in as active growth.
    Knowing how to grow a lemon tree that produces fruit means you need to know how to apply fertilizer for a lemon tree. You want to apply the fertilizer in a circle around the tree that is as wide as the tree is tall. Many people make the mistake of placing fertilizer just at the base of growing lemon trees, which means that the fertilizer does not get to the root system. If your lemon tree is 3 feet tall, apply fertilizer for the lemon tree in a 3 foot circle around the tree. If your lemon tree is 20 feet tall, apply fertilizer for the lemon tree in a 20 foot circle around the tree. This ensures that the fertilizer will reach the entire root system of the tree.

    'Information taken from 'Gardening know How.'
     
  3. chiropod

    chiropod New Seed

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    Hi Eileen.

    Did I mention that this tree has been growing in a pot for many years. I do fertilize as per your recommendations, with the last application in August. Any other recommendations as to the second trunk on the tree?
     
  4. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    If it were my tree then I'd be inclined to either plant the tree into the garden or a larger pot chiropod. As for the second trunk I would remove it if one of them is weaker and smaller than the other. Hopefully your tree will produce plenty of flowers and fruit next year for you.
     
  5. chiropod

    chiropod New Seed

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    The garden is not a viable option as I live in New Jersey. Thanks again
     
  6. grownforyou

    grownforyou New Seed

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    What is the average summer temperature?

    I would say that you might want to try and keep it inside for a summer and see if that helps.

    I would also give it a prune every year.

    As well as following Eileens advice, try and look for some specific Lemon Tree fertilisers, particularly for the winter.

    Most important for Lemons is the pH of the soil. You can throw as much fertiliser on as you like but if the pH is too high the plant wont be able to take up the nutrients.
     
  7. chiropod

    chiropod New Seed

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    Not sure what the average summer temperature is as it does vary quite a bit here in NJ. For example, the month of May typically is in the lower 80, June upper 80 and July/August upper 80's to lower 90's with 2-3 heat spells when the temperature hits the mid to upper 90's. I recently performed a large prune as well as root prune (not sure if that's the correct term. Not sure of the PH, but will check the potting soil.
     
  8. grownforyou

    grownforyou New Seed

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    Ideally it wants to be somewhere in the 5.5 region.

    If you are getting up to 6.5/7 that is probably a lot of the issue.
     
  9. chiropod

    chiropod New Seed

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    Thank you grownforyou. I'll find a way of checking the soil ph in the container.