Meyer lemon coming back, now what?

vp_78July 12, 2012

My Meyer lemon tree recently had a tough go of it, and dropped almost all of its leaves. But it's coming back! Suddenly, it's covered with what seems like hundreds of purple flower buds, and I also see little baby leaves growing. I haven't fertilized or done anything else to it, and it probably can stand to be repotted, but I'm afraid to touch it!

So far, all it's getting is sunlight, water and a little love by my kids and the bees... Should I wait to do anything? Fertilize? Repot?

And will any of these little buds turn into real, live lemons, or is it too late in the season? I'm in Southern CA, btw, not exactly coastal but about 10 miles inland so we kind of get a hybrid between hot and dry, and coastal marine layer.

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Yes, you should definitely start to fertilize to encourage the new growth. And you can repot if needed if you don't need to do major root disturbance.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 7:57AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Even if you think it needs repotting, I would not do it now, next spring will be soon enough. Right now you want to keep it growing. Most of the flowers will fall off without forming fruit which is a good thing right now. Yes start fertilizing now and keep it up monthly. About a tablespoon of citrus labelled plant food every month. Citrus grow year around, and in a container they need to be fed year around. Al

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:16AM
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I'm not sure what you mean about root disturbance. It's in a small planter right now, the one that came from the nursery. Maybe a 3 gallon? I think it's smaller than the 5 gallon pot that my patio tomato is in...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:30AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

If you bought your citrus this year in a 3 gallon container, which is a common size for retailing citrus, the size will be OK at least till next year. I would not recommend repotting your struggling tree now. Al

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 9:32AM
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OK, I'll get to fertilizing. Bummer it won't produce fruit this year, but it sure is pretty right now with all those little blossoms! Gonna be smelling great around here if they all open, so at least I've got that :)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 12:05PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Even if it manages to form fruit this year, I would cut them off early so it doesnt spend any energy on them. They will probably be terrible from a stressed plant anyway.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:57AM
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Oh it will be so sad to pluck those little baby lemons! But ok. The tree has a wayward branch that's about a cm above the graft line. Should I prune that off?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:18AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I like my citrus close to the ground, just not touching. I would shorten it to keep the tree shape. Al

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 10:04AM
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