The top reasons why lemon trees grow flowers but not fruit include lack of water during Spring and Summer, receiving less than 6 hours of sunlight, not enough potassium, lack of pollination, a tree aged less than 2 years or extreme weather conditions. Here are 6 easy hacks to solve these problems for your lemon trees at home.
Reasons why lemon trees flower but have no fruit
|Not enough water||Set a watering schedule for your lemon tree. Check it 3 times per week and deep water outdoor trees.||Pre-fill a watering can ready to water your indoor lemon tree.|
|Not enough sun||Make sure the place you will plant your lemon tree gets at least 6 hours of sun.||Plant flowering annuals around your garden and see which flower the most. Plant your lemon tree in the area where your annuals are flowering best because this will be where there is the most sun.|
|Not enough potassium||Feed your lemon tree with a fruiting fertilizer or sulphate of potash in spring.||Keep a container of fruiting fertilizer in your garden shed ready to add to your plants in spring.|
|Flowers not pollinated||Encourage bees to visit your lemon tree by planting lavender or marigolds nearby||Use a small paint brush to move pollen from one lemon flower to another to hand-pollinate indoor lemon trees.|
|Plant is too young||Buy a more advanced lemon tree or a grafted varieties||Grafted varieties of lemon will flower and grow fruit quicker.|
|Extreme weather||Protect trees from spring frost by covering with a sheet overnight.||Insulate root zones with a 2-3 inch layer of bark chips to stop rapid root temperature changes.|
These are the top 6 reasons your lemon tree will form flowers with no fruit. Each problem has an easy hack to encourage your tree to form fruit after flowering.
Reasons lemon trees have flowers but no fruit
Not enough water
If the tree dries out while the fruit are forming it can drop flowers or young fruit. Check your lemon tree every 2 days during spring and summer. Place your finger 1-2 inches below the surface of the soil and if it feels dry, deep water with your garden hose.
Pre-fill a watering can inside so you can easily water indoor plants. Add a small amount of liquid fruiting fertilizer to the watering can to top up the nutrients as you water.
Add a 2-3 inch layer of bark chip mulch under outdoor trees to keep soil moisture in for longer
Not enough sun
Lemon trees will grow flowers and fruit if they are getting at least 6 hours of sunlight during the day. Potted lemon trees can be moved into a sunnier position if they are not producing flowers.
Before you plant your lemon tree out into your garden use annuals to see which areas get the most sun. Plant bright flowering annuals like violas around your garden and see which ones flower best. This will give you a good idea about which areas of your garden get the most sun and will be the best spot for your lemon tree.
Not enough potassium
Give your lemon tree a citrus fertilizer or sulphate of potash to increase the potassium to nitrogen content. Potassium is needed by your lemon tree to form flowers and fruit. This help your plant to set fruit instead of dropping flowers.
Higher nitrogen fertilizers are great for getting your plant established in its first year in your garden. Once it has settled in the ground increase the potassium levels to encourage it to set fruit.
Indoor lemon trees will need to be hand pollinated to get the flowers to turn into fruit. Use a small paint brush to transfer pollen from flower to flower. Outdoor lemon trees can be fertilized by insects or the wind.
Plant your garden with a variety of flowering plants to attract bees. Lavender is a great companion to lemon trees as it flowers well at the same time as your lemon. This will attract more pollinating insects to your garden to help your lemon tree to grow fruit.
Lemon tree is too young
A lemon tree that is less than 2-3 years old will not fruit well. The best way is to encourage the lemon tree to grow fruit is to allow the first year for it to settle in and grow more stems and leaves. Plant the tree in soil with added compost, aged cow manure and pelleted chicken manure.
Water your lemon tree well during the warm weather and add an extra handful of pelleted chicken manure in Spring and Fall. This will help your lemon tree to establish quickly.
Lemon trees that have been grafted or are more advanced will usually then produce fruit in the next season after they have settled into the ground.
Extreme weather conditions
Weather conditions like extreme heat over summer can cause your lemon tree to drop flowers instead of growing fruit. Very cold spring weather and frosts can stop your lemon tree fruit fruiting.
Outdoor trees can be protected from frosts by laying a thick layer of mulch over the root zone and placing a cover over the tree branches at night to keep frosts off the leaves and stems. Watching the weather predictions can help you to know when the next frosts are likely and you can protect your trees.
Remove any covers placed over your plant the next day after the sun comes up and this can help your tree to keep its fruit.
Lemon tree flowers but no fruit – summary
Lemon trees thrive on regular water and lots of nutrients. Protecting your lemon tree root system with a layer of compost and tree mulch will help the feeder roots to absorb the nutrients they need to grow flowers and fruit. You will soon be rewarded with delicious lemons.