Wondering why do Lemon Tree Flowers Drop? Have a look at this detailed article for the reasons and the tips on How to Get More Fruits on Your Lemon Tree!
Lemon Tree Flower Drop might seem tragic, but that doesn’t put an end to your harvest. Wondering how? Check out our detailed article on How to Get More Fruits on Your Lemon Tree for the answer!
Learn how to grow a Lemon tree in a pot here
Why Do Lemon Tree Flowers Drop?
The primary reason behind less fruit production on a lemon tree is flower drop. About 70-80% of the flowers drop before turning into mature fruits.
1. Not Enough Water & Hot and Dry Windy Weather
If you live in warm weather, then it is essential to take care of the plant to save the blooms from falling off the plant.
- Make sure that the plant is protected from the strong winds.
- Keep it safe from prolonged exposure to the harsh afternoon sun in a very hot climate.
- Do not let the growing medium dry out completely, especially in summer. Also, do mulching.
2. Lack of Nitrogen
If there is a lack of nitrogen in the growing medium or the feed, then the flower drop will be more apparent. It will be good to go for a fertilizer with more nitrogen (Higher N in the NPK).
- Feed the plant once before the blooming and then again after you notice the bud formation.
- Dilute the fertilizer to half of its strength. Do refer to the label for instructions.
3. Low Potassium Levels
Potassium nutrient deficiency is quite common in citrus trees and can result in the untimely dropping of flowers, which results in less or even no fruiting. Also famous as potash, it is the ‘K’ that you see in the NPK label of the fertilizer.
Potassium plays a vital role in the flowering and fruit formation in lemon trees. If it is not available in an adequate amount in the growing medium, then the plant will completely stop flowering or drop the blooms that it can grow somehow.
Not only flowering, but the correct amount of potash will also ensure the proper movement of water, nutrient, and carbohydrate in the parts of the plant, resulting in much better growth, flowering, and ultimately, fruiting.
Use a balanced fertilizer, diluted to half of its strength, once in 4-6 weeks. It will aid in blooming.
You can also use seaweed extract and wood ash as they are rich sources of potassium. Buy them from garden centers, and check the label for dosage and instructions. This will help in flower production and will also save them from falling.
The Bottom Line
Even after taking all these measures, if you still notice your plant dropping flowers, then do bear the fact in mind that it is normal for a citrus tree to lose some of its flowers.
The fact is, a lemon tree only needs 1% to 2% of the total blooms to produce good quality fruits. In some plants, they might require only 1% of the total blooms to bear ample fruits.
Learn this secret for growing unlimited lemons in a cup here
How to Get More Fruits on Your Lemon Tree
The foremost way to get more fruits on your lemon tree is to reduce the production of ethylene in the abscission layer, which separates the fruit under stressful conditions.
1. Proper Watering
Follow a deep watering session every week, keeping a check on the top layer of the soil. It is important to keep the soil moist, especially on hot, humid days, to induce more fruit production.
Mulch the soil with 2-3 inches of wood scrapings or bark chip to hold the moisture for a longer time.
2. Ample Sunlight
Lemon Plants need a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight to produce a healthy harvest. If you are growing potted citrus, locate it in the sunniest corner of the garden.
Plants grown in shady spots tend to drop out premature fruits and flowers.
3. Enough Nutrition
Citrus tree needs potassium and nitrogen-rich fertilizer, including micronutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and sulfur, for great fruit production. Feed the plant with NPK fertilizer every 4-6 weeks through spring and summer.
Occasionally, you can use some additional sources of potassium, such as seaweed extract and wood ash. Do not feed in the slow-growing colder months.
4. Attract Pollinators
Plant some nectar-rich flowering varieties around the lemon tree to attract pollinators to the garden. Bottlebrush, Lilac, Lantana, Calendula, and Borage are beautiful flowering shrubs that can be grown as companion plants with a lemon tree.
You can also use a small painting brush to pollinate the flowers.
Grow these flowers to attract pollinators to your garden
5. Protection Against Extreme Weather Conditions
Sudden weather fluctuations and extreme conditions lead to fruit drops in a citrus plant. Avoid frequenting the plant indoors and outdoors. Ensure to water the plant thoroughly on extremely hot days.
Cover the plant with a green screen when the temperature exceeds 95F or 35C. Apply a thick mulch on cold and dry days to retain moisture.
6. Avoid Excessive Pruning
Lemon trees are not very fond of pruning, as excessive trimming can stress the plant, inhibiting fruit production. It will be a good idea to let the plant thrive without snipping it every now and then.
Snipping away dead branches, flowers, and overgrown stems is enough to keep the plant thriving.
7. Control Pest Infestation
Lemon plants are prone to a number of pests like mealybugs, aphids, whitefly, leaf miner, scales which stress the plant growth. Keep a close eye on spider mites as they cause the greatest damage to the plant.
Keep a close eye on the leaves and flower peduncles to spray away the pests with horticulture or insecticidal soap solutions.