The Joy of Growing Citrus Trees
Do you have a citrus trees in your garden? I do.
I have two trees – a Meyer lemon and a brand new ‘Trovita’ orange tree. I use the citrus in all kinds of fun ways and the trees have become a family pleasure.
Nostalgic Citrus Memories
As a child in California, we always had citrus trees in our backyard. I would pick lemons from my favorite tree just off the back patio. Later, we moved to a larger ranch-style home that had several citrus. I honestly never paid much attention to them, because as a teenager I had more important things to think about – like boys and how to get perfect-perm for my hair (it was the 80’s).
Embracing Citrus Trees After the Bloom
Now as an adult (with permed hair thankfully in my past), I do pay attention to my trees. Consequently, I look forward to the fragrant blossoms that cover citrus trees in mid-winter.
As the blooms fade, tiny green fruit is left behind, which are baby citrus fruit. When spring progresses, some of the small, green fruit drop to the ground. Not surprisingly, this concerns gardeners who don’t understand why.
Understanding Citrus Tree Behavior
The Natural Process of Citrus Fruit Drop
Well, let me put all your worries to rest. This is a normal occurrence and not a citrus disease. Citrus trees produce more blossoms than it can grow into mature fruit. They do this in order to attract the most pollinators and after the flower petals drop, little green fruit is left behind, which ideally grow into large delicious fruit ready to harvest in winter. However, the tree cannot support that much fruit, so the tree figures out how much fruit it can grow to maturity and then drops the rest.
Managing Expectations with Young Trees
For those of you who have young citrus trees, I want to warn you that most of the little green fruit will drop. Citrus tree need a large root system and a lot of leaves to support a good amount of fruit and that only comes with age. So, if you see tiny, green citrus on the ground every spring – don’t panic. It is all part of the normal cycle of growing citrus.