My Meyer Lemon tree was full of flowers this spring. I hand pollinated them using a q-tip, along with help from some insects, when the tree was outside.

After the blossoms fell off, it didn't produce fruit. Is this common? It is three years old and very healthy.

I made a blog post about pollinating the lemon tree: http://simplyresourceful.blogspot.com/2015/04/how-to-pollinate-meyer-lemon-tree.html

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I live in WV. I took it outside when the weather was warm in early spring but kept it inside during the cold winter. I use citrus tree soil and fertilize with chicken compost tea. The chicken tea keeps the leaves from turning yellow & it works great for the other tropical plants that I have. We live in the mountains so there is no "true" sunny window here, but it is always placed in the sunniest location on the south side of the house. Yes, it is well-watered. I use a moisture meter monthly. The tree is currently putting out new leaves.

UPDATE: The tree is blossoming again. Let's hope for the best.

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    Hi! Can you please post some pictures of your tree? Other details would be helpful too, such as where you live; the type of soil it's in; whether it's in the sun or shade. You said it "was" outside. Does that mean it's inside now? Also, I recommend looking for information at some of the other questions about lemon trees. This one might be a good place to start. I hope you get some fruit! Commented May 23, 2015 at 15:59
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    Did you keep it well watered, particularly during and after flowering? If it dried out, the flowers may have fallen before fruit initiation took place.
    – Bamboo
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 16:02
  • @Bamboo Yes,, watering was tricky since it was spring and we didn't want it to rot. I just hope we gave it enough... Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 12:18

5 Answers 5


You've said watering was 'tricky' and you were worried more about over watering and rotting. When a plant flowers, its water supplies should be increased, because if there isn't enough fluid around, fruit initiation doesn't occur and the flowers simply fall off.

From the angle of the photograph, its difficult to tell whether it might also be somewhat rootbound because I can't judge the depth of the pot - if it is, it would need more frequent watering, so I'd usually advise you to turn it out of its pot, or at least check the bottom to see if there are roots hanging out. Turning it out of its pot is a better way to tell, but the pot you've used, unfortunately, is narrower at the top than it is in the middle, so the only way that plant is coming out is if you break the pot, if it is rootbound. Certainly, if its been in the same pot for three years, it likely needs potting on.


By the looks of your plant it is not yet old enough to produce fruit. If you started it from a seed, it could take up to 7 years to produce. If has been grafted 2-3 years is about normal.

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    We've had it 3 years and when we got it, it was supposed to come ready-to-produce. Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 12:12
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    It appears leggy and doesn't have enough leaves to support fruit production. It probably isn't getting enough light, in a perfect world they prefer full sun. Also I think @bamboo is right about the pot being too small.
    – Debbie M.
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 17:56

Not all lemon flowers get fertilized which means that you won't get fruit on every flower and you have to be patient


Same happened with us. We got a special fertilizer for citrus and brushed the flowers with a little paint brush not used for anything else and we finally got some. Hope this works for you. It's like being pregnant for 2 or 3 years and not having a baby you are waiting for. So exciting when we FINALLY got fruit. haha

  • Helpful answer. Also, the amount of nutrient that was applied, and the variety & size of the tree could be helpful.
    – M H
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 13:07

As mentioned, the foliage is sparse. The leaf color looks relatively good, but needs more light exposure. Light exposure should be increased gradually to avoid leaf burn.

Your tree is mature enough to bear fruit, but needs increased foliage to support the fruit. Pollination can be accomplished with a small paint brush, or in the weather allows it outdoor exposure so bees can perform the pollination.

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