Citrus Trees Not Producing Fruit

September 16, 2017

We have a Meyer lemon tree and a key lime tree. We bought them at a nursery about 2 years ago. They are about 3 feet tall. The first year they flowered. Last winter although I covered them with sheets they got cold and almost looked dead.


After some talc they're beautiful green and pretty. What can we do to get flowers and eventually fruit? Or is it too late? I might as well warn you I have a black thumb and have killed the most hardy cactus! Thank you.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
September 16, 20170 found this helpful

Make you tree comfortable and with the proper care your tree will have tons of blooms

Step 1
The tree needs plenty of light before it will bloom. Give the tree at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.

Step 2
Make sure the tree has the right amount of water. The soil should be dried out between watering. Check the soil once a week. Normally the tree needs watering every one to two weeks. Look at the leaves on the tree. If they are drooping or turning brown it is time to water your plant.


Step 3
The tree needs plenty of vitamins and minerals. Use citrus fertilizer. You will give the tree 2 tablespoon of citrus fertilizer 4 times a year. Space out the fertilizer to every 4 to 6 weeks.

Step 4
The tree can withstand temperatures as low as 20 degrees. If it is colder than this the tree needs to be brought indoors.

Step 5
Considering you covered the tree with a sheet during the cold winter this will take time to adjust again. Give the tree plenty of time to adjust and it will produce flowers for you.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
September 16, 20170 found this helpful

Your citrus trees may not be mature enough to produce many blooms or fruit. The nurseries have their own methods for making trees bloom "before their time" so you cannot go by what happened the first year. What you are needing now is information on how to take care of my trees so they will be ready to bloom and produce fruit when the time is right.


Step 1
Wait for your citrus tree to mature if it's not blooming up to your expectations. Many trees must be at least 3 to 4 years old before they begin to bloom in earnest and produce fruit.

Step 2
Trees should be hardy to your zone for a chance to survive winters and summers. Are you located in a zone that is recommended for outdoor planting?

Step 3
Citrus trees usually grow little during the first year after they are planted. If they receive enough water and fertilizer, they grow substantially during the spring and summer between their second and fourth year. During this time, they may occasionally flower and yield fruit.

Step 4
From the fifth year onward, citrus trees enter their fruit-bearing stage. When they begin bearing fruit, they grow more slowly, especially during the winter. They reach their full size 10 to 14 years after planting. After 20 to 25 years, the trees reach their peak production and their yield of fruit declines.


Step 5
As with all fruit trees, the Meyer lemon needs to reach a basic level of maturity before it will begin setting fruit. For trees that are grown from the seed harvested from a lemon, it will take up to seven years to get fruit from the young tree. Grafted trees, which you can usually find at garden centers, tend to start flowering and fruiting after just two to three years, especially when the scions were attached to a well-established root stock.

Step 6
Water your plants sparingly in the early winter to induce blooming. Severe drought prevents blooming, but a small amount of water stress helps the blooms develop in the spring. When the weather turns coolest, usually between December and February, water your citrus trees once every two weeks, or whenever the soil feels dry an inch below the surface. Begin watering once a week as it gets closer to spring.


Step 7
Prune citrus trees in the fall to remove dead branches or those infested with insects.

Step 8
Fertilize citrus trees three times a year, spacing out the fertilization. For example, if you fertilize in November, add more in March. Time it so that your early spring fertilization uses a low-nitrogen fertilizer, such as a 0-10-10, which helps induce blooming. For the other two applications, use a balanced fertilizer such as an 8-8-8.

Step 9
Collect rain in barrels and use this water for your citrus trees. Groundwater and water from your house may be high in saline, which can keep citrus trees from blooming. Use the rainwater for deep waterings several times a year to help lower the salinity of the ground around your citrus trees to induce blooming in the spring.


Step 10
All of this information was supplied by the University of Florida Ag department.

Give your trees the care they need this winter and you may see lots of blooms and fruit next spring.

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October 10, 2010

I don't know what happened, but none of my citrus fruited this year. There were blossoms, but no fruit.

Hardiness Zone: 8b

By Lynne from Gulf Coast AL


October 10, 20100 found this helpful

In Australia if the fruit trees do not set their fruit it can sometimes be the bees have not been able to pollinate the flowers if there has been a cold snap or a lot of rain. I have 1 Lemon, 1 Mandarin, 1 Orange, 1 Lime and all bear fruit with no close neighbours. I also sprinkle washing soda granules around the base of the tree, water it in and I have an abundance of fruit.

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October 17, 20100 found this helpful

This is a world wide problem with the bees not pollinating. My summer gardens were sparse, our fruit trees slighted greatly. This is sad when we depend on the bee to ensure us our crops. Those who have not seen the movie Bees, needs to get it. Even though it is a children's cartoon movie, it tells the story and the importance of their jobs. Without them, we can't exist.

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August 9, 2013

This page is about lemon tree not blooming or producing fruit. Lemon fruits are produced from blooms nearly year round under good conditions.

Lemon and blossoms on tree

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4 Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 16, 2010

We have one each lemon, pink lemon, lime, tangelo, and grapefruit tree in our yard. We planted them from 1-3 yrs ago.

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