Saturday, January 24, 2009

When Life Gives You A Lemon Tree....

....take care of the darn thing!

I decided today to check in on my forgotten-about Meyer lemon tree. When I bought it last spring it had two gorgeous full lemons on it already and was looking handsome. I plucked the lemons and tucked the slices into a certain Mexican beer and couldn't wait for the little tree to produce more! So I put it into my greenhouse, fertilized it for a while...but became discouraged when the blossoms turned into nothing but dried-up falling-off morsels. And then the leaves dropped. I made sure to water it as it needed(which I researched online) and continued to give it fertilizer. The tree shot out new leave branches but still had the same issue with the blossoms. I may have to manually pollinate as I did with my squash plants over the summer. You can see in the photo below it is producing blossoms right now.

So today I gave it a nice tune-up prune-up, and while doing so I found that a certain type of tiny caterpillar was using the leaves as shelter for his cocoon-building project. There were several pairs of leaves that were sort of "sewn" together by the insect's silk. It didn't appear that they were actually eating or harming the lemon tree, but I still had to pick them off and let them fend for themselves elsewhere. Below is a photo(as clear as I could get)...that little brown guy between the two leaves in the center of the shot is the culprit.

I also fertilized the tree with a slight acid solution and last week it got a worm-poo treat just like all my other plants.


  1. I had to pop over from Blotanical to see your lemon tree and then of course I had to look at your squash pollinating post, too. I'm always so tempted when I see this little citrus trees in the nursery. Hope you get lots of happy blossoms this time around!

  2. A lemon tree! I wish I had a warm greenhouse- course living in Cal. would help too! I hope it all turns out okay. I'll be sure to check back.

  3. Citrus just seems to have so many ills! I hope the caterpillars were the culprit and you will now have a grand harvest of my favorite lemon in the world!! My in-laws have a tree in Palo Alto, they never do anything to it and it just busts out the lemons year after year. They don't even use them, how nutty is that?!

  4. Hey Ronnie, just saw your comment on my blog. I know borage reseeds like crazy, which is why I've put off bringing it into my garden... but it was the first edible flower I ever encountered, and I miss having blue flowers for salads and cupcakes and stuff, so I guess I'm going to take the plunge. Hope I don't regret it! Would you advise against it, in your experience? For catalogs, not sure if there is a central site, but you can go to individual sites and request catalogs pretty easily, I think. Seeds of Change, Territorial, Nicholl's Garden and Abundant Life of some of my favs. My mom also got Seeds of Italy this year but I didn't get to check it out. Also, if you save seeds, there's a ton of seed saver exchanges out there. Here's a big one: Have fun!