Capitol Corridor
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Posts Tagged: Meyer lemon

The Story of a Sad Lemon Tree

Sometimes gardening problems really stump me as this one has now, so maybe someone who reads this will be able to help.

I have a lemon tree that some of you might have heard me talk about, if not this is the story.

I was given this ‘Meyer’ lemon about 4 years ago.  It had bright, healthy green leaves and over all, the plant looked good.  I planted it just like I have planted my other citrus. However, about 7 months later I noticed it was losing its leaves.  Not knowing what was going on, I looked in our California Master Gardener Handbook for an answer, and I also went on the IPM website ( for information on what the problem might be.  I found no answers there either, so I contacted Lance Walheim who had written a book on citrus called Citrus: Complete Guide to Selecting & Growing More Than 100 Varieties.  I figured he knows citrus and their problems, but it turns out that he was as baffled as I was and didn’t have an answer for me either.

During this time the tree had blossoms, but no leaves!  The next year it had leaves on one side, no blossoms on the other side. Then the leaves fell off and blossoms on one side appeared.

This year again blossoms, no leaves.  After exhausting all the places and people for ideas and being baffled I have decided to let the leafless, blossom bearing lemon do its own thing.  I don’t know how long it will go on like this as it goes into its 5th year of life. Oh by the way it has never had fruit.

Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 8:51 AM
Tags: 'Meyer' lemon (0), buds (0), citrus (0), lemon tree (0)


One of the things I love about living in Solano County is that we can successfully grow all kinds of citrus trees. I've got quite a few in my backyard - a Meyer lemon tree (Citrus x meyeri), a Robertson orange (Citrus sinensis 'Robertson'), a Bearss lime (Citrus latifolia), and unknown varieties of a blood orange tree (Citrus sinensis) and a kumquat tree (Fortunella spp). They have all been planted over the last 10 years, and slowly, they've grown quite tall (save for the kumquat!). Production has slowly increased, too. In the case of the lemon and orange trees, maybe a bit too good.

Am I the only one who has this little dilemma? The orange tree produces so many oranges, and there are only so many oranges my family is willing to eat. The blood orange tree had four fruits last year. This year, about fifty. I'm a bit nervous to see what happens next year.

The one that amazes me is the Meyer. Our lemon tree has been pruned, hacked, topped, and chopped, yet it still produces what I would certainly call "tons" of lemons. What do I do with all of them? I've made lemon meringue pie (2 lemons), a pitcher of homemade lemonade (10 lemons), hot tea with lemon for a sore throat (1 lemon), bags of lemons for the neighbors (maybe 50 or 60 lemons). Yet still, my tree is heavily drooping with lemons.

Don't misunderstand, I'm glad to have such a bountiful harvest of citrus fruits every winter. There's nothing to brighten up a gray winter January day than to look out and see the orange and yellow fruits hanging sweetly on the trees. Unfortunately, they won't last out there forever, so we need to be creative and find ways to enjoy them without having to partake of them. I recently learned a great new decorating technique - fill a large glass vase with citrus fruits, and enjoy the sweet smell of lemons and oranges in your home as they slowly dry.

So…until I learn of another way to make use of my citrus fruits, my home will be filled with all sizes of glass vessels full of lemons and oranges.

Posted on Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 9:09 AM

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