How to self pollinate a meyer lemon tree
Is It Necessary and How to Do It
The tart, fragrant, bright, and juicy fruit of a lemon tree is certainly one of the most, if not the most, rewarding and pleasurable aspects of growing a lemon tree. However, many conditions must be right and many processes must happen correctly in order for your lemon tree to bear fruit. One of these processes sometimes overlooked by new indoor lemon tree growers is pollination.
Pollination is a natural process that is necessary for any fruit-bearing plant to bear fruit. However, if you’re a first-time lemon tree grower, pollination might not be something you think of immediately, after all it’s a process that happens in nature without human intervention.
What you might not know is that external forces of nature such as water, wind, butterflies and bees, play a primary role in the pollination of fruit-bearing plants. If you are growing your lemon tree indoors, it won’t have that crucial interaction with the outside forces of nature. Don’t worry, however, as in this case it is easy to do the work of nature by hand.
Read on to find out more about why pollination is necessary, and how you can pollinate your indoor lemon tree by hand.Why Pollination Is Necessary
Pollination is the process during which a plant becomes fertile and able to bear fruit. If a fruit-bearing tree does not undergo the process of pollination, it will not produce fruit.
Pollination is a part of a plant’s reproductive life cycle. Sperm from ripe pollen must be transferred to the central stigma for a flower to become fertilized and produce fruit. The fruit the plant produces contains the seeds. The fruit with the seeds is either dropped or consumed by animals which then carry the seeds to other areas, expel them as digestive waste. When conditions are right, new plants will grow from these seeds. This is how and why we continue to have plants in nature. Pollination is an important step in this process. If pollination does not occur, no other subsequent parts of the reproductive cycle will occur.
However, if you’re growing a lemon tree indoors as a hobby, you probably don’t care too much about the entire reproductive cycle, just as long as your tree produces an abundance of juicy, healthy lemons for you to enjoy. Pollination is a critical step in making sure your indoor lemon tree produces fruit. Read on to find out more.So, How Does Pollination Work?
Pollination happens when the pollen, containing the flower’s sperm, is transferred to the sticky, central stigma, which is the botanical equivalent of an egg.
In nature, pollination usually happens when bees and other insects land on a flower to drink the nectar at the center of the flower, or the stigma. The wings and feet of the insect will brush up against the ends of the surrounding stamens, which contain powdery yellow pollen. The pollen will transfer to the wings and feet of the insect, and when the insect buzzes to another flower on the plant, the pollen will be transferred to the stigma of another flower. If ripe pollen is successfully transferred to the stigma, the bud will become fertile and eventually bear fruit.
Pollination can also happen via the aid of wind, water, and animals. Any activity that might successfully (albeit unknowingly) transfer pollen to stigma helps with this process. This does not always happen within the confines of a single plant or tree. Trees can also cross pollinate each other in nature, and the wind might carry pollen from one tree to another.
In fact, certain species of fruit-bearing trees cannot be pollinated by the pollen from the same tree. Some species of trees produce only male or female acting flowers, and therefore must be fertilized by the pollen of a tree bearing the opposite sex. Luckily, lemon trees are what is called self-pollinating. Lemon trees produce both male and female parts on the same tree, meaning the pollen from the same tree can make the tree fertile and fruit-bearing. You will still need to take some action, however, to help your indoor lemon tree transfer pollen to the stigmas in the absence of bees and other natural forces.How To Pollinate an Indoor Lemon Tree Manually
There are a couple of ways you can pollinate your indoor lemon tree by hand.
- The makeup or paint brush method: One easy way to pollinate an indoor lemon tree is by using a makeup brush or a large paint brush. Take either, and gently rub it over each flower. Make sure that the brush is stroking over both the stamens with the yellow pollen and the central, sticky stigma. Rub your brush over as many flowers as are open, transferring a mixture of the yellow pollen from several flowers to the central stigmas.
- Using a flower: Similarly, you can use a flower as you would a brush. Pick one of the flowers, and rub it against as many of the other open blooms as you can, with the goal of transferring pollen to the stigmas.
It really doesn’t matter which method you choose. The only goal is to transfer ripe pollen to the sticky stigma, so it matters little how you do it. Keep in mind, however, that it is difficult to tell if the pollen from a certain bloom is ripe or not, so it is best to gently rub and transfer between as many different, open flowers as possible for the best chance of fertilization and therefore fruit.
Tip: to increase your chances of fertilization, manually pollinate your lemon tree every few days if there are open blooms.What to Do if Your Lemon Tree is Not Producing Fruit
Keep in mind that lemon trees need to reach somewhere between 3 and 5 years old before they will begin to bear fruit. At that point you will want to make sure you are hand pollinating your indoor lemon tree using the guidelines above, as your lemon tree needs the process of pollination to produce.
If you are hand-pollinating your lemon tree, and it is over five years old and still not producing fruit, there may be another issue preventing your tree from producing. Circumstances such as a lack of nutrients in the soil, over or under watering, or a lack of enough sunlight can all cause your lemon tree have trouble producing fruit. Bearing fruit is an intensely energy-consumptive process for a plant, and it will need plenty of sunlight, water, and nutrients to do so. Make sure you are watering and fertilizing your tree properly, as it will need this in order to produce fruit. Check for other signs your lemon tree might be struggling and take appropriate action.
See these related articles for more information about watering and fertilizing your lemon tree to optimize its overall health:
- How to Fertilize a Lemon Tree
- How often should I water my potted lemon tree?
7 Secrets for Tons of Fruit – FastGrowingTrees.com
When it comes to home-grown citrus trees, there's nothing like the Meyer Lemon. A cross between the tart lemon and the sweeter orange, Meyer Lemons are sweeter and juicier than their more common counterparts - making them sought-after in both grocery stores and home gardens alike.
The Meyer Lemon Tree is a fun tree that always seems to be blooming or fruiting. Many Meyer Lemon Trees are blooming now, bringing beautiful flowers and a wonderfully fresh citrus scent to homes. What’s a better way to prepare for spring cleaning than with an all-natural lemon scent?The Secrets of Meyer Lemon Trees
Like with all citrus trees, Meyer Lemon blooms turn into fruit, so if you don’t have blooms, life won’t give you lemons. So, how exactly do you get these blooms? Make your tree comfortable. Under the proper care conditions, your citrus tree will have a ton of blossoms!
Before fruiting, Meyer Lemon Trees need to see the light! They won’t flower without getting enough light. Make sure your trees get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. You can do this by placing your tree by a large, sunny window. If you can, try to place your tree near an area that faces South. Southern-facing areas tend to get more light.
Also, if your tree is potted in a container and kept indoors, rotate it every three weeks. This way, the entire tree gets time in the sunshine!
Next, make sure that your trees get the right amount of water. Overwatering or under-watering your tree can harm fruit production. Let your Meyer Lemon dry out a little in between waterings, but it should never be completely dry - they'll grow best when the soil stays moist.
Check on your soil once a week. If it feels dry to the touch 2 inches below the surface, it’s time for more water. Slowly pour water into the pot and count to 20, or wait until you see water running out of the bottom of the pot.
Generally, Meyer Lemon Trees need water every one to two weeks. Leaves can be an indicator as to how your tree feels. If the leaves are drooping like they’re too heavy for the branches, the tree is getting too much water. If the leaves are crispy and dry or curl upwards, this is a sign of under-watering.
Don’t immediately overcorrect under-watering. Gradually add more water to your tree over time. If you immediately saturate the roots with a ton of water, your tree may become stressed.
Another way to keep your tree healthy and productive? Make sure that it gets all of its vitamin and minerals. When potting or planting your tree, it’s beneficial to mix in some citrus planting mix with your natural soil.
Also, to give your tree an extra boost, give it some fertilizer designed for citrus trees! Give your tree two tablespoons of fertilizer three to four times per year. Fertilize once in the early spring, once in early summer, then again in the late summer and in the fall. Space out your fertilizing by about four to six weeks.
Meyer Lemon Trees are very cold hardy and can withstand temperatures down to about 20 degrees. If your area gets colder than that, your tree will need to be planted in a container and brought inside when the temperature drops.
But when they’re inside, winter heat can dry them out. Be careful not to place them under a vent. If your leaves start to dry, you can mist them daily with a spray bottle for extra humidity.
Once it warms up, don’t just stick your tree out in the hot sun for hours! It will need time to adjust to the heat. Move your tree outside for a few hours each day, gradually increasing the amount of time it spends outdoors, before letting it live outside all summer.
Once the blooms open on your tree, they’ll need to be pollinated. Good thing that these trees are self-pollinating! However, having two or more trees will greatly increase the amount of pollinated blooms.
Meyer Lemon Trees can bloom all year, but they have two main blooming times: fall and early spring. If they bloom while it’s too cold for them to be outside, simply keep your tree indoors. However, when placed indoors, they won’t have the wind and bees to carry their pollen from bloom to bloom for them. You could release a few bees inside of your home to help with pollination, but we wouldn’t recommend it!
However, you can pollinate your indoor trees by hand. Simply take a small, dry paintbrush, and run it over each bloom as if you’re painting them. Do this once daily, and don’t wash the paintbrush until after the blooms have been pollinated.
Another way to keep your Meyer Lemon Tree happy is by pruning it. Meyer Lemon Trees don’t have to be tall to produce fruit – just healthy. Keep them wide and branched out. When you decide to prune your trees in the early fall or early spring, look for branches that are growing straight upwards. Generally, these aren’t fruit-producing branches. Also, remove any damaged or crossing branches. Make your cuts at 45-degree angles facing upwards to promote new growth.
Also, look for areas that block the sunlight from the center of the tree. Removing these branches will increase air circulation and the amount of sunlight that hits these branches, which will decrease your tree’s risk of mold and fungi.
Be sure to look at the number of lemons you have growing. In order to prevent fruit overbearing, when your tree starts to fruit, you’ll want to remove a few lemons in large clusters when they’re pea sized. This will promote the growth of larger lemons when they reach maturity.
7. Patience is a Virtue
Your Meyer Lemon Tree will need time to get adjusted to its new environment before it starts producing fruit. Once your lemons start to grow, give them time to mature. They can take around six months to mature. Don’t harvest them until their skin changes from green to dark yellow. When your sweet Meyer Lemons are ready, their skin will be a shade of yellow that’s similar to the color of an egg yolk.
Meyer Lemon FAQs
What is an improved Meyer Lemon Tree?An "improved" Meyer Lemon Tree is a specific cultivar that was bred to be more resistant to disease than traditional Meyer Lemons. That means they are easier to grow, with less maintenance required - particularly for home gardeners.
Do you need two Meyer lemon trees to produce fruit?You don't need two Meyer Lemons to produce fruit - since they are self-fertile, a single tree will produce lemons. However, having multiple trees can increase pollination and lead to larger harvests.
What is the best potting soil for Meyer Lemon Trees?Meyer Lemon Trees will grow best in soil that is nutrient-rich and well-draining. All-purpose potting soil typically works well, or you can add in a potting mix designed for citrus trees, which will help with drainage.
How long does it take for Meyer Lemon Trees to produce fruit?It all depends on the age of your Meyer Lemon Tree. If you purchase a more mature tree, you could get fruit as soon as the very first growing season. If you buy a younger, less mature tree, you can expect it to bear fruit within a few years.
Blair is the Content Marketing Manager at FastGrowingTrees. com, and though she's not your traditional gardener, the planting world is definitely growing on her (pun intended!). She's enjoyed digging into plant care and maintenance and growing her plant collection, especially with exotic indoor varieties.
Homemade lemon tree. How to grow and care for
The decorative lemon tree appeared in the homes of Europeans several centuries ago. And in the 21st century continues to hold its position in popularity among indoor plants. Lemon is a home culture that has many useful properties and fits incredibly stylishly into the design of home and office interiors.
- Description of the plant
- Hybrid species of lemon trees for home cultivation
- Lemon propagation methods
- Diseases, problems, pests and treatment
- How to grow a lemon from a seed. Video lesson
Description of the plant
Lemon (Citrus limon) is a small fruit-bearing, evergreen tree belonging to the genus Citrus (Citrus), the Rutaceae family (Rutacea) and the subtribe Citrus (Citreae).
The first written mention of the lemon tree and its unusual fruit dates back to the 12th century AD. Mention it in their writings by Chinese and Indian scientists of that time. Therefore, the subtropical regions of these countries are considered to be the birthplace of this plant.
But the origin of the lemon remains a mystery to this day, because this plant does not exist in the wild. Research indicates that the tree is a hybrid, likely derived from wild bitter orange and citron. The plant, formed as a result of the merger of two citrus fruits, began to develop independently and now stands out as an independent subspecies.
Outdoor lemons do not exceed eight meters in height. Home and greenhouse specimens can grow up to three meters. The life span of a tree is 40-50 years. The main trunk of the tree and its branches are covered with bark. Young shoots have purple, red or green bark and may produce small spines. With age, the bark darkens and cracks. The spines disappear.
Despite the simple leaf appearance, biologists classify lemon leaves as compound. The fact is that the lemon petiole and the leaf plate are not separate parts of the plant, but one whole. It's just that as a result of hybrid changes, these parts have changed and the connecting lobes have disappeared. Therefore, the leaf lobe falls first, and the petiole remains on the branch and falls off later, while in simple leaves, the petiole falls and pulls the leaf blade along with it.
The leaves are broad oval in shape with a glossy surface. The outer part of the leaf is dark green, and the outer is lighter.
The tree blooms beautifully with delicate white flowers with a delicate pleasant aroma. After flowering, the ovary is formed, an oval yellow or orange fruit, which is also called "lemon", ripens.
All parts of the tree are saturated with valuable substances. So the whole lemon (from the rhizome to the pits of the fruit) contains lemon essential oil, which is the reason for the aroma emanating from the tree. Fruits in their composition have organic acids, sugar, vitamins, rutin, carotene and much more.
Lemon is widely used in many areas. It is used in cooking, cosmetology, pharmaceuticals and light industry.
Hybrid species of lemon trees for home cultivation
Since the lemon is a natural hybrid, the tree does not have separate species. Based on the alpha hybrid, varieties have been bred by breeders for growing an ornamental lemon tree. These hybrids do not have differences in the form of foliage, root system and do not require an individual approach to care. The shade of flowers, the peel of the fruit, as well as its size and yield may differ.
Grows up to two meters. Lush crown with thorns on the branches. For a year it can bring up to two hundred small fruits.
Also does not exceed two meters in height. The crown is not very lush. The annual harvest is up to 50 fruits. However, lemons are very large, 100-150 grams each. The skin of the fruit is very thin.
Standard 2m tree with thorns on the branches. Gives approximately 40-60 thick-skinned, large fruits per year.
A miniature tree about a meter high. Lush crown and thorns on the branches. Lemons are orange-skinned, large and weighty. The yield is up to 50 fruits per year.
Trees grow up to half a meter. It differs in the size of the fetus. Some specimens weigh half a kilogram.
Small tree within a metre. Very dense crown. There are no spikes. The peel of the fruit has a greenish tint, but the taste is not typical for lemon - the pulp is saturated with sugars. It produces several hundred fruits a year.
Lemon tree care at home
The lemon tree prefers rest, so it needs a permanent place. Lemon should be provided with a long daylight hours of 12 hours. There should be a lot of light, but it should be diffused. If the length of daylight does not meet the lemon standard, it must be extended by light lamps. However, if the room temperature drops below 15 degrees, then the lemon will "fall asleep" and will not need light.
Lemon prefers stability not only in light and place, but also in temperature. The tree does not like temperature fluctuations even of 1-2 degrees, so ventilation and drafts can make it lose all its foliage. The best year-round temperature for growing lemons is between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.
Watering and humidity
Watering the lemon should be purified, settled and slightly warm water. The frequency of watering depends on the temperature in the room - the lower it is, the less often there is a need for watering. However, the soil must not be completely dry. The earth ball should always be slightly damp.
The lemon tree loves moisture, and dry air can cause leaf fall. Therefore, a place with a lemon should be equipped with air humidifiers and additionally moisten the lemon with daily spraying.
The lemon tree grows in neutral soil. The earth should be light, pass air and water well, and be saturated with useful substances.
Shops offer ready-made substrates for growing citrus fruits. The composition of the soil consists of sand, leafy and soddy soil, peat and humus (1:1:2:1:1). The drainage layer is an essential element of the substrate.
The lemon tree is alternately fertilized with organic and mineral liquid substances. Feeding should be done every two weeks. If the tree was given the opportunity to “rest” in winter, then fertilizers do not need to be applied during this period.
Flowering and pollination
In order for a home tree to give juicy fruits, it is necessary to carry out the procedure of artificial pollination. When the tree blooms, with the help of a soft thin brush, you need to transfer the pollen to the pestle. If pollination is successful, then very soon fruits will begin to set in place of the flowers.
Lemons will ripen long enough. Therefore, a edible ripe fruit will have to wait almost nine months. In order for the fruits to be large and juicy, it is better to thread the ovaries in advance and remove the extra ones so as not to overload and deplete the tree. During the fruit ripening period, the lemon should not be disturbed - moved, rotated, and even raised or lowered in temperature. Otherwise, the tree will drop ovaries or even large, but not ripened fruits.
Pruning and trimming the crown
It takes a little effort to form a decorative lemon tree with a lush crown. Pruning is carried out once a year before the start of bud formation and after the last fruit is harvested from the tree.
Pruning is carried out using the tweezing method, which consists in cutting off shoots growing upwards. If you do not allow vertical shoots to grow, then the side branches will grow more intensively and densely. But, the side stems tend to reach for the light. Therefore, in order for the crown to have uniform dimensions, the container with the tree must be rotated regularly.
This manipulation is best done with young trees that are in the formation stage: they do not bloom and do not bear fruit. You need to scroll the pot very carefully, once every couple of weeks no more than 20-30 degrees, so that the lemon does not notice changes. A tree with buds, flowers or fruits can no longer be disturbed.
Lateral and lower branches also need to be shortened by 10-15 centimeters once a year. The fruits draw the vital juices from the branches of the tree. After the lemon is plucked from the branch, it must be immediately cut off a few centimeters so that the branch can gain strength. Proper and systematic pruning not only affects the appearance of the lemon tree, but also increases its yield.
Trees less than seven years old should be repotted once a year. The best time for this is the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
The pot should be chosen literally a couple of centimeters wider and deeper than the previous one.
The root system of the lemon tree lives in symbiosis with fungi called "mycorrhiza". These mushrooms appear in the soil and completely populate the lemon rhizome, nourishing it with the necessary elements. Therefore, transplantation must be carried out very carefully, using the transshipment method, trying to save the entire earthen clod.
The voids in the new pot can already be filled with fresh substrate. Remove the soil from the roots and wash them only in an emergency, such as treating root rot.
Mature plants do not need to be transplanted, just renew the top soil layer.
How to propagate lemons
You can grow a lemon tree from the seeds of a lemon bought in a store. To do this, you need to get a few seeds from the fruit and plant them at a distance of several centimeters from each other in a mixture of peat and flower soil (1: 1), to a centimeter depth.
The seed germination container must first be covered with a good layer of drainage. The soil in the container should be kept moderately moist. Seeds will begin to germinate in 15-20 days. Sprouts should be covered with a transparent cap (plastic or glass jar).
Sprouts should be kept warm, well lit and ventilated regularly to prevent condensation. Under such conditions, seedlings should live until a few leaves appear. Strong specimens with foliage can be dived and planted in a personal small pot.
The substrate should be changed to a mixture of humus and flower soil. There should be drainage at the bottom of the pot. In this mixture, the sprout should spend several months until it gets stronger and grows up to 20-30 centimeters. Only then can it be transplanted into a citrus substrate, into a container slightly larger than the previous one, and start caring for an adult lemon, forming its height and crown.
A tree grown from a stone will begin to blossom and bear fruit not earlier than in 7 years.
To obtain planting material in the form of cuttings, you need to choose a healthy, not too thin (about 5 millimeters in diameter) branch. Cut it into segments of ten centimeters (+ - cm) so that on each lobe there are several buds and a couple of leaves.
The tops of the leaves should be cut off, and the cuttings themselves should be cut at both ends with secateurs at an angle of 45 degrees. Ready cuttings are either put in water for several days, or for several hours in a stimulating liquid for root growth.
Plant cuttings in a wet mixture of coarse sand and flower soil (1:1). The rooting process takes from several weeks to one and a half months. When the cuttings begin to produce new leaves, they can be planted in stationary pots.
Ready-made lemon tree seedlings can be purchased from specialized stores and planted at home in citrus soil. Buying adult lemon trees should be avoided as the plant does not tolerate changing conditions and transportation well, and may die a few weeks after the change of location.
Diseases, problems, pests and treatments
The lemon tree can suffer from improper care. Overflows, dry air and anxiety of the tree can lead not only to the loss of decorativeness, but also to the death of the plant.
Violation of the rules of maintenance often leads to the appearance of fungal diseases (soot fungus, root rot, scab, wart). It will take a long time to treat a tree for these ailments, providing additional care and treatment with fungicides.
Injuries to the bark during pruning can lead to infection with an infectious disease called gommosis or gum disease. In this case, it will be necessary to treat damaged, oozing wounds, regularly treating them with antiseptic preparations and cauterizing them with garden pitch. To avoid this disease, all cuts, breaks and damage should be immediately treated with crushed activated charcoal.
Despite the abundance of essential oils in the composition of the lemon tree, it is very tasty for parasites. Garden slug, aphids, mealybugs, nematodes and spider mites are very fond of lemon. They can be driven out with factory-made insecticides and home remedies such as onion, tobacco, garlic tinctures, or liquid soap solutions.
How to grow a lemon from a seed. Video lesson
How to grow a lemon tree
Lemon tree. How to plant and grow a lemon at home.
Lemon tree is a citrus evergreen perennial plant that grows in subtropical climates and therefore does not tolerate frost well. The growth of the lemon tree in warm climates occurs year-round, the plant is medium-sized, reaches a height of 8 m in open ground. There are also dwarf varieties up to 3 m. Thermophilicity and relative unpretentiousness allows you to successfully grow lemon at home. A lemon tree at home, with proper care, will bear fruit and be able to reach large sizes.
Many domesticated, specially grown lemon varieties can bear fruit all year round and have a small crown size. These varieties (the most famous Pavlovsky variety) allow you to get a small crop of lemons at home on a regular basis. And a few plants can fully provide a small family with citrus fruits.
Lemon planting at home.
Propagation of lemon trees is carried out in two ways: cuttings or seeds. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
First of all, you need to get planting material somewhere. Everything is clear with seeds - we go to the store and buy the first fruit we like. As with growing a lemon at home, the lemon fruit must be ripe, i.e. uniform yellow. Almost all lemon fruits contain seeds. Cuttings need to be taken somewhere: ask a friend who already has a homemade lemon, you can buy a seedling in a store, or, if you are lucky enough to meet on a trip, cut a sprig of a lemon growing in the open field.
A lemon planted at home from seed is stronger by itself. It grows more actively, adapts better to new conditions, is more unpretentious to diseases, the plant acquires a beautiful crown, which cannot be said about trees propagated by cuttings. However, it is worth bearing in mind that a lemon grown from seed will have slightly different biological characteristics than its parent tree. Planting by cuttings naturally involves 100% transfer of the parent's genetic material.
And the most important thing that can affect the choice of how to plant a lemon at home is the beginning of fruiting. A tree from a seed will begin to bloom and bear fruit at the age of 8-10 years, the cutting method of propagation reduces this period by half.
Growing a lemon tree from seed.
Select well-formed, neat seeds from the lemon fruit. Sow for fidelity at once several pieces from different fruits to exclude unripe specimens. Plant immediately after removing the seeds, in small pots or long boxes at a distance of 5 cm from each other and 3 cm from the walls. The soil should be a mixture of peat and flower soil in a ratio of 1:1, with good drainage.
Dig in the seeds to a depth of 1 cm and keep the soil moist but without overflow. The optimum temperature for seedlings will be 18-22 degrees. Lemon sprouts at home appear, as a rule, after 2 weeks. Among the hatched lemons, choose the strongest, most powerful, with the correct shape. Growing should be done by covering the sprout with a jar - to create a microclimate, in a bright place, but without direct sunlight. Once a day, remove the jar for a while to refresh the air around the lemon. After the appearance of a pair of true leaves, plant the specimens you like in separate pots, no more than 10 cm in diameter, provide drainage. Keep the roots and peat mixture around them intact. To fill the pot, use a mixture of humus and flower soil. In this pot, the lemon should grow to 15-20 cm, then a transplant is necessary.
Lemon propagation by cuttings.
For cuttings, choose branches 4-5 mm thick and about 10 cm long. The cut should be made directly below the bud from below, and above the bud from above. 3-4 formed buds and 2-3 leaves should remain on the handle. It is desirable to treat the twig with a root growth stimulator, and then place it 1/2 length in water for 3 days. For rooting homemade lemon cuttings, use boxes or pots with a mixture of humus, coarse sand and flower soil in equal proportions. Dig the cuttings into a compacted substrate to a depth of 3 cm. The absence of roots at the first stage does not allow you to get enough moisture from the soil, so the lemon tree needs daily spraying of the leaves. The soil should be well moistened, without stagnant water. The optimum temperature for rooting is 20-25 degrees. The final rooting occurs after 30-45 days. The homemade lemon tree can then be transplanted into a small pot.
Conditions for growing and caring for homemade lemon.
The soil for growing lemon at home should have a good supply of mineral and organic nutrients. A flower mixture sold in stores, or soil from a summer cottage enriched with humus, is quite suitable. Be sure to organize good drainage at the bottom of the pot using expanded clay or charcoal. Stagnation of water in a pot during irrigation is unacceptable, however, you need to ensure that the entire earthen ball receives moisture, otherwise the plant will begin to lose roots and hurt. Watering is carried out about 2 times a week, allowing the soil to be completely saturated with moisture, and then dry. In case of overflow and decay of the soil, it must be completely replaced. An ideal container for growing lemons is a clay pot. Due to its moisture permeability, it helps to balance soil moisture by absorbing and evaporating excess.
Lemon is a photophilous plant, a grown tree needs direct sunlight for about 2 hours a day. Lemon at home does not tolerate rearrangement to a new place, so it is advisable from the very beginning to determine a permanent place for a home tree in a room with south-facing windows. You can turn the lemon pot to form the correct crown, but gradually, every day at a small angle so that the plant has time to turn the foliage. Every year, as a homemade lemon grows, it needs to be transplanted into a new pot. The new container should be slightly larger than the previous one by 1-2 cm in diameter. The old earthen ball with roots must be removed with the least damage and transferred to a larger pot, and the difference filled with new earth. When the pot reaches 8-10 liters in volume, transplants can be replaced with top dressing, and the topsoil can be renewed 2 times a year.
Optimum temperature for growing lemon: 18-27 degrees. Lemon, like all indoor plants, does not like drafts, especially in winter. It is advisable to spray homemade lemon with water several times a week to maintain a comfortable humidity. In winter, during the heating season, daily spraying is required.
To give an aesthetic appearance to a lemon at home, it is necessary to form a crown of the type you need. In the first year of life, the tree gives one shoot up to 30 cm high. In the second year, before the start of active growth - in spring, it is necessary to cut off the upper part of the shoot with a secateurs or a sharp knife, leaving about 20 cm. This stimulates the tree to release lateral buds. Then you need to remove the lower kidneys, leaving the top 3. Of these, the skeletal main branches of the homemade lemon crown will develop. The next year, we perform the same operation with the lateral branches of the second order: we shorten them, stimulating them to lateral growth, and leave a few upper buds on each. Often, after cutting the central shoot, the lemon releases only one new sprout from above, then it is necessary to re-cut the branch along with the top, and if the length allows, then the second bud from the top. A lemon tree usually takes on a beautiful appearance with main branches up to 5-6 branching levels. In the future, to maintain shape, it is enough to pinch individual rapidly growing shoots, or remove them altogether.
With proper care, after a few years, a home-grown lemon will begin to bloom. To form the ovaries, transfer the pollen with a cotton swab from the anther to the sticky stamen. If a lot of fruits are tied, then some will need to be removed. Otherwise, the plant may die from exhaustion. For normal development, one fruit should have 10-15 leaves.
A citrus tree will bring a piece of subtropical warmth into the house, the aroma emitted by the leaves will provide a pleasant atmosphere in the room, and if you have patience, you can easily get your own, albeit small, lemon harvest.
Growing a lemon tree at home
The lemon tree is a perennial plant that loves warmth and sufficient moisture. Under natural conditions, it grows in a subtropical climate and reaches a height of three meters (dwarf varieties) to eight. Due to its unpretentiousness and love of warmth, a lemon tree can be grown in an ordinary city apartment or house.
Lemon tree sprouts. © Megs
Home-grown lemon trees produce edible fruits all year round if properly cared for. True, such trees begin to bear fruit at the age of 7-10 years from the moment of planting. Planting can be done in two ways: from a simple lemon seed bought at any store, or from cuttings and seedlings. Lemon trees grown from seeds grow more actively, they are healthier and more unpretentious than those grown from seedlings or cuttings, but the latter begin to bear fruit much faster.
To grow a lemon tree from seed, it is necessary to choose neat, ripe and well-formed lemons in the store, without signs of spoilage. Seeds are extracted from them, the best specimens of which are used for planting. It must be done immediately after extracting the seeds from lemons.
Seeds are planted in small pots or boxes five centimeters apart. Suitable for planting soil, mixed from peat and flower soil in equal proportions. At the bottom of the pots, drainage from expanded clay or small stones must be present. Seeds are planted to a depth of 1 centimeter.
Lemon tree. © Pam
The soil must not be allowed to dry out, but it must not be overfilled with water. Shoots of a lemon tree will appear within a couple of weeks after planting. Among the sprouts that appear, you need to choose only the strongest and grow them until several true leaves appear. Growing is done by covering the lemon sprouts with a jar and placing them in a bright place. In this case, direct sunlight should be avoided. Once a day, the jar rises briefly so that the plant gains access to fresh air.
When the leaves appear, the strongest sprouts of the lemon tree are transplanted into separate small pots with soil from flower soil and humus. A layer of drainage is laid out at the bottom of the pot. Lemon sprouts should be in this pot until they reach a height of about twenty centimeters, after which they are transplanted into larger containers. Growing lemons need to be watered twice a week. Soil moisture should be balanced: without drying out or waterlogging.
Lemon tree sprout ready for transplanting. © Megs
To grow lemon from cuttings, you need to take a branch that is five millimeters thick and about ten centimeters long. The cut stalk is placed in water for several days, after which the twig should be planted in a small pot or box.
The soil for rooting such a seedling should consist of sand, flower soil and humus, which are taken in equal proportions. The branch is buried in the ground to a depth of about three centimeters. The soil is well moistened (without flooding), and the plant itself is sprayed daily with water from a spray bottle. After a month and a half, the plant that has taken root can be transplanted into a pot.
Meyer lemon seedling. © Josh Puetz
For a permanent place in which the lemon tree pot will be located, it is necessary to choose a bright room where the grown plant would have access to direct sunlight. The lemon tree does not like moving around the house, so it is better to immediately find a suitable place for it, where the plant will be all the time. It is only allowed to slightly turn different sides of the plant towards the light to form a uniform crown. Yes, and this must be done carefully, gradually turning the lemon tree at a small angle.
Every year, the lemon should be transplanted into a slightly larger container, carefully moving the roots and the old earth ball into a new pot. After that, new soil is poured into the free space in the pot. When the size of the pots used to transplant the lemon tree reaches 10 liters, you can limit yourself to updating the topsoil and regular top dressing. Also, once a week, you need to spray the lemon from the sprayer. During the heating season, this should be done daily.
Lemon tree seedling. © Maja Dumat
To form a beautiful dense crown, the upper shoots of the lemon tree must be pinched off. Thanks to this, the plant will produce side branches, thereby ensuring density.
When the plant begins to bloom, it should be pollinated with a cotton swab or brush, with which the pollen is gently transferred from the anther to the sticky stamen. Further, active fruit setting will begin. To avoid depleting the tree with too many ripening fruits, some of them are best removed when the ovary is abundant.
How to grow a lemon tree
The lemon tree does quite well at home. The plant begins to bear fruit approximately 4 years after planting an ordinary seed. Blooms and bears fruit all year round.
- Height: up to 2.5 m, grow 45 years or more;
- Stem: straight woody;
- Leaves: dark green, glossy;
- Flowers: simple;
- Fruits: lemons. Up to 20 fruits can ripen on one tree.
Importance of a lemon tree in an apartment
- Fruits are a source of vitamins;
- The leaves contain substances - phytoncides, which disinfect the air in the apartment;
- Gives decorative effect to the interior.
How to grow a lemon tree
There are several ways to grow these plants.
Lemon tree from the stone
You can grow a lemon tree from the stone of a mature lemon as follows:
- Take or buy a ripe lemon;
- Remove bones;
- At the bottom of small pots or cups lay drainage from pebbles, fragments of tiles, etc.;
- Fill containers with soil consisting of garden soil, ash and humus (a tablespoon) and a glass of river sand;
- Stones should be buried 1.5-2 cm into the ground;
- It is better to plant several seeds in each container. If all germinate, then the weak ones can be removed;
- After planting, containers should be covered with polyethylene or glass to promote germination;
- The optimum temperature for sprouting lemon is normal room temperature: 18-20 degrees;
- Periodically, the soil should be watered and ventilated. Watering should be carried out carefully. It is better to use a spray gun for this. In order not to injure the plants once again, it is better to combine watering and airing;
- When 3rd and 4th sheets appear, film or glass must be removed;
- Move containers to a well-lit place, but avoid direct sunlight.
The disadvantage of such cultivation is that the plant will begin to bear fruit only 4-7 years after planting.
How to grow a lemon tree in a cup
- The seeds are peeled and soaked for a week in water, changing the water periodically;
- In the same way as in normal cultivation, put drainage and pour earth into the cup;
- Seeds are placed with a sharp end in the ground at a distance of 5 mm from each other;
- From above they are covered with gravel or coarse sand;
- After planting, the mug can be covered with polyethylene or glass;
- Spray with water every two to three days;
- If many plants have sprouted, they can be transplanted into another container.
Growing by grafting
This procedure will produce fruits much earlier than when growing a lemon from a seed, but it is quite complicated and involves the following steps:
- Cut a bud from a lemon that has reached the age of 2-3 years;
- Make a cut on a young tree with a crown diameter of at least 5 cm;
- Transplant a kidney into this section;
- It is better to perform the procedure in May or at the end of August.
Growing lemon trees from cuttings
Growing lemon trees from cuttings is the easiest way. For cultivation you need:
- Take a 15 cm cutting with several buds or leaves from a fruiting lemon. Preferably in early spring;
- Plant the cutting in the ground and spray with water;
- Cover with plastic bag;
- Before rooting, carefully water and periodically ventilate the plant;
- Rooting occurs within 3-4 weeks.
But plants grown in this way do not always bear fruit, but grow into very large trees.
To make them bear fruit, they must be grafted as described in the previous case.
Lemon tree maintenance
Place a lemon tree in an apartment, taking into account the following requirements:
- The plant does not tolerate drafts and too dry air;
- Lemon is not picky about lighting, so any place in the room will do;
- Lemon tree should be placed away from heating appliances.
Plant care includes the following activities;
- Watering is carried out as the soil dries up, while water must be let in along the contour of the pot until water appears in the pan. It is not advisable to pour water directly on the roots, this can lead to the exposure of the root system. And excessive and too frequent watering leads to leaf fall and stunted growth.
- Top dressing begins in the spring during the period of active growth and fruit ripening. At the same time, fertilizers containing copper, nitrogen, and zinc are applied. In the rest of the time, it is better not to fertilize, as they can lead to leaf fall.
- Transplantation is carried out during the first five years of active growth, the tree is transplanted every year in spring into a larger container.
- Tree pruning is necessary for the lemon to bear fruit well and have a decorative appearance.
How to prune a lemon tree?
Pruned in spring, which is most preferred, or in winter:
- Spring pruned in March before growth or during flowering.
- Winter or autumn pruning after harvest.
Young plants can only be pruned when they reach a height of 20 cm.
- Start pruning at a height of 20 cm, leaving 4 buds from which the main shoots are formed;
- When these shoots reach a length of 30 cm, pinch them;
- In the future, only excess shoots are removed, the tops of the desired shoots are pinched when 6-7 leaves appear;
- Second-order shoots, formed on 4 main shoots, are shortened to a length of up to 15 cm;
- And all other shoots (3rd and 4th orders) up to 5-7;
- During the subsequent period, remove or shorten by 25 cm all non-fruiting "fat" shoots;
- When old branches appear, they are also pruned;
- Keep in mind that you can prune and pinch during the entire growth period to speed up fruiting.
At home, it is better to form a flat crown near a lemon, which will allow you to place the plant on the windowsill. To do this, you need to cut and direct the branches towards the window sill, and when the width of the crown reaches the borders of the window sill, all branches should be cut or pinched.
Lemon tree diseases
- Sooty fungus looks like ash on the plant. To get rid of it, just rinse the leaves with warm water using a rag or sponge.
- Scab manifests itself in the form of rotting leaves, branches and fruits. When a fungus appears, all diseased leaves should be removed and burned. And treat the plant with Bordeaux liquid (5%) or Strobilin. To avoid this disease in the spring, you need to treat the plants with a solution of copper sulfate (2%).
- Wart appears as warts on the leaves, you can get rid of the fungus in the same way as scab.
- Bacterial diseases: gommosis causes stem rot, root rot causes roots. To fight, you should remove the plant from the soil and clean the roots, cut off the rotten areas, and then place it in a weak solution of potassium permanganate for an hour. After drying, treat the cut with ash. The earth needs to be calcined, and pour fresh into the pot. To prevent these diseases, the root neck should not be buried in the soil, and watering should be carried out only with warm water.
- Viral diseases: leaf mosaic causes spiderweb patterns on the leaves, and cancer that causes the tree to rot from the inside, are incurable, so it is better to destroy the plants to avoid infecting others.
Lemon tree pests
Aphids on leaves cause curling, root aphids cause root destruction.
If the number of these insects is small, it is better to remove them manually and feed the tree with complex fertilizers.
In case of large damage, it is better to use spraying with infusion of garlic (7-8 crushed heads are infused in 10 liters of water per day) or insecticides (diazmnon).
The scale insect weakens the tree and leads to its drying and other diseases.
You can fight this insect in the same way as with aphids. In addition, spraying with a solution of soap helps (2 tablespoons of liquid soap are diluted in a liter of water). After an hour, the solution is washed off with water.
The procedure should be repeated after 2-3 days.
- Spider mites also cause leaf curl. To combat it, you should spray the plant with a solution of boric acid.
If you follow the correct care of the plant, then most diseases can be avoided.
How to grow a lemon at home
An interesting fact: one homemade lemon tree completely cleans the space around it from harmful microorganisms within a radius of 5-7 meters. The leaves and trunk emit about 85 volatile substances that have a beneficial effect not only on indoor air, but also on the human immune and nervous systems. If we add to this the unique composition and healing properties of lemon fruits, then our desire to have our own indoor lemon tree in the house is understandable.
Conditions for keeping homemade lemon
What needs to be done in order not only to grow a tropical tree, but also to get lemons from it for tea? First of all, it is necessary to provide a comfortable microclimate. If you properly care for a lemon, then already in the second year of life, your pet will give a rich harvest.
A huge role in the process of growth and fruiting is played by the presence of four factors:
- Air humidity - must be at least 70%. With the beginning of the heating season, it is recommended to spray the crown from a spray bottle with water at room temperature. With the onset of warm spring days, it is better to put the tub with the plant in the open air.
- Temperature. Optimal temperature values: 15 -17° in winter and +20 to +25° in summer.
- Lighting. Lemon is undemanding to light. A lemon tree can develop even in a shady place. But the duration of lighting less than 10-12 hours will negatively affect the development of the seedling. Does not tolerate exposure to direct sunlight.
- Watering. The frequency of watering directly depends on the time of year and the level of humidity in the room. In winter, the amount of watering is reduced to the required minimum - 3 times a month. The need for water is determined by the state of the top layer of the earth. If the soil at a depth of 2-3 cm is dry, then it's time to water.
What kind of soil does homemade lemon need? Increased acidity will simply kill the plant. The ideal pH for citrus fruits is between 5.5 and 6.0. This is especially true of the soil mixture for growing lemon from the stone in a pot.
A good soil for lemon is a mixture that includes:
- soddy soil - 1 part
- leaf earth - 1 part
- humus - 1 part
- river sand (coarse) - 0.5 part
When buying ready-made substrate in the store, pay attention to the composition. Choose the one in which the minimum amount of peat.
Transplantation of a lemon tree
Transplantation of citrus fruits in general and lemon trees in particular is allowed no earlier than 3 years of age. Phytotechnologists consider it inappropriate to stress a tree without urgent need.
Pay attention to the size of the new pot - it should be slightly larger than the root ball. The larger the container, the more reluctantly the indoor lemon seedling enters the fruiting phase.
- The bottom of the tub is lined with a layer of drainage from 2 cm to 4 cm thick.
- Lightly loosen and water the soil a day before transplanting.
- Turning the pot over, carefully remove the plant, holding it by the root collar.
- We examine the roots, remove dry or rotten ones. At the same time, we try to leave the earthen room monolithic.
- Having installed the tree in a new container, we cover it with an earthen mixture so that the root neck is at the level of the soil surface. Do not try to plant the shoot deeper - this gross mistake will cause the roots to rot.
Lightly tread the space around the root collar for better adaptation.
Pruning a lemon tree at home
Forming the crown of indoor lemon tree seedlings is needed to speed up the fruiting process and increase yields. The fact is that as they grow, not only fruit branches develop, but also the so-called wen.
You can distinguish one from the other by the size of the leaves - in fattening shoots they are much larger and denser. In addition, infertile branches are distinguished by the presence of thorns and a large trunk diameter. Wen, taking nutrients, drown out the growth of fruit branches. Therefore, at the end of the first year of life, pruning of the seedling is required.
The first pruning is done, depending on the variety, at a height of approximately 20-30 cm at the level of 4-5 buds. It is not worth cutting out fattening shoots completely, as they can be reborn into fruitful ones and give a good harvest.
The first grown lower side shoots are shortened to 25 cm. All subsequent branches that appear on the side shoots are cut off by 5-6 cm. Vertically growing ones are stopped first.
The formation of the crown of the fruiting specimen is carried out only after the removal of the fruit. The procedure is performed annually at the same time, in February or March.
Why lemon leaves turn yellow
As mentioned above, soil conditions play a decisive role in development. If an indoor lemon turns yellow, first test the soil for acidity. You can determine the pH using special tools - litmus paper, Alyamovsky's device, soil meter - and folk methods.
If the leaves turn yellow in winter, this may indicate a lack of sufficient ultraviolet radiation and high, more than + 18 °, indoor temperature. To correct the situation in this case, you need to transfer the flower to a cool room and provide additional lighting with a phytolamp.
Another common cause of pigment loss and lemon disease is a deficiency of nutrients in the substrate: phosphorus, nitrogen, magnesium, zinc, etc. The tree is cured by applying complex fertilizers.
The reason for 50% of indoor lemon diseases is spider mite infection. As an emergency measure, a thorough washing of the leaf plates with a mild soapy solution, followed by rinsing in the shower, can be recommended. If the method did not help, treat the crown with special chemicals.
The best varieties for home breeding with photos and descriptions
- Variety Pavlovsky . With proper care for the season gives 5-6 round lemons. Differs in year-round flowering and a high percentage of essential oils. The maximum height is 1.5 meters. The fruiting stage is not earlier than 3-4 years of life. Pictured below is a 5 year old tree.
- Meyer Lemon. Popular name - "Chinese lemon". It gained its popularity due to year-round flowering and the ability to produce 3-4 crops per year. The height of an adult trunk is 1 m. The largest fruits weigh 150 g.
- Mr. Stuart. The first flowering is already at the age of one. Long-liver - if properly cared for, lives up to 60 years! The remontant "Mr. Stuart" is the record holder in terms of yield: it bears fruit 4 times a year. Fruit weight reaches 600-700 gr. Among other advantages, it has a spectacular dense crown and a strong aroma. The maximum height is 2.5 meters.
- "Lyubimchik" is a bushy, self-pollinating variety with a round crown and large glossy dark green leaves. Flowering and fruiting - year-round. Productivity depends on habitat conditions, but not less than 6-8 fruits per year.
Read about how to grow lime and orange at home here and here.
Video: Shaping and pruning citrus fruits
How to grow a homemade lemon tree?
The lush flowering of indoor flowers no longer surprises anyone. Now, when a huge number of varietal plants are being sold, from outright exotic to quite traditional, flower growers really appreciate the experience of growing an exotic fruit crop from seed on their own.
One of the most common exotics in modern apartments is lemon. To grow a fruit-bearing lemon tree at home, following certain rules, even a novice in the field of indoor plant breeding can do it.
Description of the lemon tree
Homemade lemon tree is a fairly tall tree, reaching one and a half meters. A photo of a lemon tree of various species is widely distributed on the Internet and allows you to comprehensively consider this plant.
Lemon tree flowering
Flowering time is March-April. Buds are formed on young shoots of the current year. The flowers are very showy with a strong fragrant aroma. Depending on the variety, they can be arranged in clusters of 3-5 inflorescences, or singly.
Help. The leaves are large, leathery dark green. Fruits, depending on the variety, from pale yellow to yellow-orange. Fruit ripening occurs within 8-9 months.
Lemon belongs to remontant plants, that is, fruits and flowers can develop on the plant at the same time.
The plant prefers good light and warm moist air.
There are two ways to plant and grow a lemon tree at home:
- by rooting a cutting;
- grown from a lemon seed.
How to grow a lemon tree from a stone
To grow a lemon tree from a stone, a stone from a fruit bought in a store is quite suitable, the main thing is that it does not have mechanical damage from a knife or anything else.
Planting Lemon Seeds
The planting pot should have sufficient drainage holes to drain excess moisture. Drainage is laid at the bottom, it can be expanded clay or any other small stones.
The largest seeds are removed from ripe fresh lemons and planted in a container filled with seedling soil or any other rooting soil mixture available in specialty stores.
Seeds are placed at a depth of 1.5-2 cm, watered abundantly and covered with a transparent polyethylene film. It is worth making 2-3 small holes in the film for air circulation so that the earth does not become moldy from excess moisture. The pot must be placed in a warm and bright place and wait for seedlings.
As a rule, the first shoots appear on 14 - 21 days. The film is removed after the appearance of the second pair of leaves. Young plants are watered with warm and settled water. Plants also respond well to fine spraying of leaves. The first one and a half to two months, young plants do not need to be fed. Then gradually introduce mineral and organic fertilizers.
The grown seedlings are sorted according to the characteristics of a productive tree. Signs include:
- strong leaves;
- developed root system;
- the presence of shoots.
After growing a lemon tree from a stone, you can go further.
How to grow a lemon tree from a cutting
It is widely believed that growing a lemon tree from a cutting is a more promising process than growing from a stone, in addition, the productivity of the tree increases significantly.
The cuttings are planted from February to May in seedling soil mixture, a little charcoal and sand can be added for better rooting. The pot must have drainage holes.
Cuttings are cut from fruit-bearing trees at the age of 6 years. For pruning, take slightly slackened cuttings. A few leaves should remain on the branch, the lower ones are subsequently removed, and the rest, except for the top sheet, are cut in half.
After planting, abundant watering is carried out and covered with a glass jar, creating an impromptu greenhouse.
The can is removed after the plants are fully rooted and new leaves appear. The plant is often sprayed with settled water, creating the usual humidity.
Lemon tree care
Lemon tree care consists of the following obligatory measures:
- watering and spraying;
- top dressing;
- crown formation;
- replanting as needed;
- inspection and removal of pests.
Shaping the crown of the lemon tree
Whether the lemon tree is grown from a stone or from a cutting, it needs to form a beautiful, well-branched crown. The formation of the crown is not just an aesthetic necessity, but a mandatory procedure that guarantees the correct development of the tree. Even if in your plans there is no desire to get a fruit-bearing tree, since the dark leathery leaves of the lemon tree in themselves make it worthy of decorating any interior, to give the plant a well-groomed, attention should be paid to pruning and pinching unnecessary shoots.
Forming the crown of a lemon tree
When the seedling reaches a height of 25-30 cm, pinch off the top, stopping its growth in height. After some time, side shoots will begin to actively form at the tree, which, when they reach a length of 25-30 cm, should also be pinched. With subsequent shoots, you need to do the same.
Watering and spraying
Homemade lemon tree should be watered with moderately settled water for 1-2 days. In nature, citrus fruits grow in a warm and humid climate, so daily spraying with settled water will bring tangible benefits to plants.
Lemon top dressing
In spring and summer, lemon top dressing can be done once a week. In the autumn-winter period, reduce to 1 time per month. Top dressing can be done both with complex fertilizers sold in specialized stores, and with self-prepared solutions.
Transplantation of homemade lemon
Citrus fruits do not tolerate the transplantation procedure, so it is not necessary to do it unless absolutely necessary. Young plants before flowering can be transplanted annually. Plants that have developed flower ovaries are best left alone.
Lemon tree at home
Transplanting consists in transferring the earthy clod with the root system to a larger pot, trying not to disturb the roots and not destroy the clod. After transplantation, the plant is not fed for 1-2 months, so as not to damage the broken small roots, if any.
Lemon is quite resistant to pests. Most often, a scale insect or spider mite attacks a lemon tree. A good prevention of this is to maintain moisture with daily spraying. But if the pests are still wound up, the plant should be immediately treated with special preparations, an infected plant can shed flower buds or fruits.