Dward lemon tree won't bloom

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by WoodlandJennifer, May 14, 2007.

  1. WoodlandJennifer

    WoodlandJennifer Member

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    I have had a dwarf lemon tree for five years now and not had one bloom. It lives in the greenhouse all winter and now, in May, it is out during the day and back in greenhouse at night. In summer it is out all day, part day sun and never the hot sun. It stays out over night. I am in Zone 5, the Kootenays.
    Thank you, Jennifer
     
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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    Your in/out regimen for the tree sounds reasonable for our northern climate. Some questions:
    • Is the tree healthy?
    • Does it continue to increase in size? How big is it?
    • Is it fertilized regularly? If so, what is the NPK specification of the fertilizer?
    • Has it flowered in the past?
    • Your description included the word 'dwarf' which implies the tree is grafted. Is this the case?
     
  3. WoodlandJennifer

    WoodlandJennifer Member

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    Thank you for your reply.

    Yes, the lemon tree is healthy.
    Yes it did increase in size, but last winter it was cut back as it had a lot of rust.
    20 20 20, weak solution. Fertilized about every two months.
    No, it has never flowered.
    This tree was purchased as a Dwarf Lemon Tree, Meyer, and bought as a potted plant about five years ago.
    I can't find exact date on my file.
    I can't find suggestion of a graft unless it is deeply in soil.

    I previously had a lemon tree in the house which continually bloomed but had to give it away due to smell, no greenhouse at the time.
    Thank you. Jennifer
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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    I asked about the graft as I wanted to discount the possibility of this being a seedling tree that has yet to mature. Perhaps it is the result of a cutting taken from a dwarfed tree. (As an aside, in the absence of a graft indicating the presence of a dwarfing rootstock the tree cannot be considered to be a dwarf. Grafts are normally above the soil.) The fact that it has never flowered makes me wonder if it is a seedling in which case pruning will prolong its juvenility period. Do you know one way or another? Would it be possible to ask the vendor? Going forward assuming the tree is of mature wood, the lack of flowering must be a cultural issue.

    You may want to consider using a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content; one containing micro-nutrients with a NPK ratio approximating 5-1-3 is often suggested. Apply regularly, generally once a month, during the active growth season. You could try increasing the amount of light the tree receives. Check the root mass and repot as necessary using a well-draining medium (of course). I can't think of anything else to suggest.

    What is the 'rust' that you mentioned?
     
  5. WoodlandJennifer

    WoodlandJennifer Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I shall phone the supplier, Spring Garden in Ontario tomorrow. I shall take another look at the rust. Since you query it, I wonder if it is scale. The tree at the moment is about two feet high. I shall come back to you tomorrow if I may. Thanks you. Jennifer
     
  6. WoodlandJennifer

    WoodlandJennifer Member

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    The company from whom I bought the lemon tree don't know whether it is grafted or a seedling, they don't have it in their current catalogue, also, have a new supplier. They said they would phone if they could find out, but I have given up waiting.
    I brought some leaves into the house and looked at the brown spots, which I thought were rust, under the magnifying glass. There are raised bumps in the brown. I wonder if it is scale. Should I give up on this tree.
    Would I be better to buy another tree, and make sure there is a graft?
    Thank you. Jennifer
     
  7. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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    Almost all Meyer lemon trees I've encountered are rooted cuttings; grafted ones are the exception. In either case, if a tree is from a reputable source, it should be ready to flower given the proper conditions. In fact flower buds and blooms are often seen on ones in the stores. It's the seedling trees you'd want to avoid. They're typically much more thorny than their mature counterparts. Here in Vancouver much of the citrus stock originate from Monrovia and Record Buck Farms in the States.

    Here is a document to help you determine whether your tree has scale. Signs of infestation include the presence of bumps or shells on stems and leaf surfaces and sticky honeydew.
     

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