Having a lemon tree at home is useful because of the many benefits the tree and fruits give. Lemon trees are among the most cold-sensitive trees; thus, making them thrive and blossom could be difficult if proper care is not implemented. With information about taking care of a lemon tree, making it blossom and produce fruits won't be too challenging. One method to get a lemon tree to blossom is known as the Verdelli process, and it has been used by lemon growers in Sicily for the past 50 years.
Things You'll Need
- Lemon tree
- Citrus fertilizer
- Blanket (optional)
Make sure your lemon tree gets enough sunlight. Sunshine is among the top needs of any citrus tree, keeping it healthy and producing fruits and flowers. Lemon trees need a minimum of 6 hours of sunshine a day.
Water the lemon tree about a couple of inches down every time the soil dries out. Regardless of the variety of lemon tree, it is important to keep it well watered but not soaked. This ensures your lemon tree will not wither or dry out. Watering is particularly essential during the first 2 years after the lemon tree has been planted.
Add a citrus fertilizer to the soil so that your lemon tree will absorb the needed nutrients. Make sure that the fertilizer contains essential macro- and micronutrients. Do not use quick-release fertilizers during the cold months of August to February; doing so will produce blossoms and eventually fruits that will be prone to freeze damage. Lemon trees blossom during spring but can also produce flowers during other seasons when certain quick-release fertilizers are used.
Place a potted lemon tree inside the house during the cold months. This will protect the lemon tree and the buds from the harsh weather. A lemon tree produces more blossoms when it experiences less injury from the cold weather. If the lemon tree is too big and can't be taken indoors, place a cozy blanket around it to protect the tree from cold damage.
Use a trowel to remove weeds growing around the lemon tree. Weeds filch nutrients from the tree. Hence, the lemon tree doesn't get properly nourished if stubborn weeds surround it. For a lemon tree to produce flowers, it must get all needed nutrients.
After the lemon tree is more than 1 year old, stop watering the tree during the summer season for around 35 to 60 days until the leaves begin to wilt. Then heavily irrigate the lemon tree and fertilize it with a high-nitrogen-content fertilizer. This technique, known as the Verdelli process, will force the tree into bloom in August or early September.
Tips & Warnings
- Avoid using herbicides to control weeds. Lemon trees are highly sensitive to herbicides. It is recommended to pull out weeds instead of using herbicides to get rid of these wild plants.
- Lemon tree flowers and fruits are damaged and later killed at temperatures of 29 degrees F or lower. Place the lemon tree indoors when experiencing such temperatures to avoid damage.
- Do not let a 1-year-old lemon tree to bear fruits. Lemon trees blossom as early as their first year. However, a young lemon tree cannot support the blossoms and fruits this early because it's still frail. Lemon blossoms take 6 to 10 months to form into fruits; thus, a very young lemon tree cannot sustain these. Ideally, lemon trees will be ready to bloom and bear fruits after the first year or two.
- In cold regions or places where severely freezing winters are experienced, a lemon tree must be grown in a pot so that it can be moved indoors or in a sunny spot to get ample sunlight during winter.
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