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I purchased a small Meyer lemon plant from a nursery in Florence, OR, and it grew, and blossomed very well, and even produced many tiny lemons - all of which have now, at this point, dropped off. The leaves are yellowing, too. It is in a good size container, in full sun. The container sits in a large saucer which does fill with rainwater. This I empty, but the plant remains wet. New blooms are coming on some of the branches, old blooms are shrivelling. No more lemons coming as yet.
My question is, why did the tiny lemons drop off? And, should the plant get overly wet? My nursery person has no information. I would appreciate any information you have.
The following information comes from Citrus (by Lance Walheim, Ironwood Press, 1996).
It sounds as if your container has good drainage, but maybe the plant is getting too much rainwater. That might be causing the leaves to turn yellow. Another cause could be a nitrogen deficiency, which would be most visible in older leaves, which would yellow from the tip to the base.
As far as the plant's water needs, it will need water when the top two to three inches of soil become dry. Frequent watering (or excess rainwater) can leach nutrients from the soil, so the plant will need to be fertilized regularly -- once or twice a month using a liquid, high-nitrogen fertilizer that includes the micronutrients zinc, iron, and manganese.
The small lemons which drop off may not be anything to worry about, as fruit drop occurs normally as the tree varies its fruit load with its carrying capacity. Pea-sized fruit usually drop about one month after bloom. A more noticeable drop occurs in late spring to early summer, when golfball-sized fruit may drop. Other reasons for fruit drop could be conditions which limit tree growth, such as excess heat, lack of soil moisture (not relevant in your case), and fluctuating weather conditions. It is also possible that the fruit drop is due to lack of nitrogen.
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Test your soil for Ph and nutrients before your next planting project. Our county extension service no longer tests soil, but they do give information on how to take a soil sample and where to send it. Soil Sampling for Home Gardens and Small Acreages by Oregon State University Extension Service will get you started.
After you have your soil test analysis with its recommendations for 200 pounds of nitrogen per acre, use these handy conversion tables to convert that to your 100 square foot P-patch. Fifty other tables and formulas will help you convert just about anything you might need for the garden, including how much potting soil you will need to fill those 10" flower pots. Conversion Tables, Formulas and Suggested Guidelines for Horticultural Use from the Cooperative Extension Service, University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
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April 19 2012 16:02:30