Mejer Dwarf Lemon Pic

Hi, I ordered 2 Dwarf Meyer Lemon tree’s from Gurneys back in March. They were real tiny when I received them. I potted them up in a good potting soil and kept them in my unheated GH all summer. I have repotted as needed and one is almost 2 feet tall already. It blossomed a few weeks ago, and even though I get a few bees in my GH, I still made sure to hand pollinate. I now have what I believe are baby lemons and they are close together. What do I do now? Will they fully develop into lemons, should I pick them off and let the plant grow and develop more stronger roots? We had frost last Saturday and a few cool nights, so I brought all my citrus and bananas inside. I had them outside for a few day’s when the weather was nice so they would get acclimated for fall before I bring them inside. I have a small heated sunroom I will keep them in for the winter. I will supplement light with some grow lights that I still need to buy. I know it is getting late in the season and the plant is getting more flowers. I would really like to try to get some lemons from it if possible. This is the first time for me growing lemons and I could use some suggestions. Thank you


Ginny, you don’t need to pollinate nearly any citrus (there are a very few exceptions). Nearly all citrus are parthenocarpic - have the ability to set fruit without pollination :slight_smile: So, put down the paintbrush. Meyer lemons are particularly prolific producers, so be sure to provide extra fertilizer for them. They will bloom off and on all year 'round., that is perfectly normal. One of the best products for indoor citrus is DyaGro’s Foliage Pro. That, and I would also supplement with Osmocote Plus (must be the “Plus” formulation for the proper NPK ratio and all the micros.) And, you’ll want to thin out the fruit set if your little tree doesn’t drop some on its own. I’d wait until fruit is golf-balled sized to thin. Most young citrus trees will drop a significant amount of their fruit set, even all of it, so don’t worry, it is perfectly normal. It is the tree’s way of putting its energies into developing a nice leaf canopy that CAN support fruit set in the future. Once you bring your citrus in, keep an eagle eye out for the two dreaded indoor citrus pests - spider mites and scale. I would spray prior to bringing your trees inside, to discourage any “hitchhikers”. Then, vigilant eye through the winter months. I would keep them outside as long as possible.



Thank you so much for the wonderful, informative, information. I thought I read on the web that the Meyer Dwarf Lemon should be pollinized. LOL! :blush:

You gave me some real good information I can use. I have been fertilizing with some fish fertilizer I have on hand and have been meaning on getting some fertilizer just for citrus. I will look for some DyaGro’s Foliage Pro, and also the Osmocote Plus.

I had a small case of spider mites in my GH during the later part of summer. I cut plants back and took out all my potted citrus, bananas, potted roses etc. and gave them a blast with the hose making sure to get the underside of leaves and the pots. And while the pots were outside, I gave the rest of the in-ground plants a good blast also. I hosed down the windows, ceiling and shelves etc… Any web I saw I took care of. I have been inspecting everything on a daily basis. I have my magnifying glasses on when I do. I also made sure to hose everything down well before I brought my plants in. The main plant the spider mites did damage too was my 6 foot tall anise hyssop. I cut it down to the ground. Darn things…

I am so excited to think I can grow citrus in my zone, but will expect some fruit drop. It wont be long before they will be brought indoors permanently. I love the idea of having citrus growing during the long winter months. I want to be well prepared.

PS: The flowers smell amazing! I am sure you know that! :smile:

Thank you again.


I second everything that Patty said. I grow my citrus indoors as well. I cannot stress enough Patty’s words on ‘Scale’, it can get really bad, very quickly. I spray my trees and soak the soil with Triazicide with a sticker before I bring them indoors, then watch them like a hawk!. If they need a spray during the winter, (this is difficult) but I get help moving the fifteen gallon pot out doors for another spray then return it promptly indoors. Scale will be your worst enemy. Most of your lemons will drop. Mine spent the summer outdoors and has eight almost medium sized lemons. Those are the lemons I will have for this winter. The tree will continue to bloom and has the largest and most fragrant bloom about ‘New Years’. The huge jasmine-like fragrance of the blossoms really helps you to welcome in the New Year. My tree seems to self edit. Since your tree will spend six months indoors it will hold as much fruit as it can handle. My tree is now five years old and healthy and it will produce up to six to twelve full sized lemons per year. They are wonderful! Lemon pie! I also have a very large ‘Key Lime’ and I will have my first ‘Moro’ blood oranges this year! This winter will have a few nights of fabulous ‘Margaritas’!

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Thank you mrsg,

I am not familiar with scale, but will be on the lookout for the insects. I would like a non toxic alternative if I come across any infestations.

Since the lemon tree is a dwarf, would wiping off the leaves and branches with some gauze soaked in rubbing alcohol be effective? Have you tried Dyna-Gro Pure Neem Oil?


What part of the country do you live and what zone mrsg?

Yes, lemon pies and margarita’s… mmmm

I’ve used ‘Neem’ instead of Horticultural oil for spraying my trees outdoors but have never used it on citrus. A Q-tip soaked in half water/half rubbing alcohol works on stems. It can burn leaves. I do not know if a lesser measurement of rubbing alcohol would prevent burning and getting rid of the scale as well. Hopefully someone on this board will fill in the gaps for you.

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I’ve used neem on mine in the winter, but I take them outdoors to do it and bring them in later in the day, well after it’s dry. I never use it here in the summer because the temperatures are too high.

It’s different here, though, because I’ve been able to take mine outside to rinse and/or treat them with neem oil or insecticidal soap at least once a week in the winter on days when temps were warm enough. Other areas don’t regularly have balmy winter days.

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No cross pollination necessary :slight_smile: If there is pollination, you’ll have seeds. But Improved Meyer can set (a ton) of fruit without the need of pollination. They are partially polyembryonic, but only minimally so. If you try to grow one from seed, most likely you’re going to get a hybrid of the mother plant (Improved Meyer) and the pollen parent (whatever other citrus pollen the bee carried with it into the flower).

Scale tends to attach on branches. You can try to use rubbing alcohol, but be sure to wash it off… Neem can work as a suffocant, but you must be both vigilant and repetitive in your treatments. It is very tough to get rid of, as are spider mites. If you already have had spider mites in your sunroom, you still have them. So, just watch for them to reappear and treat appropriately.

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I live in RI zone 7a.

When I had my Meyer (just gave it away to someone with a greenhouse) it would usually drop most of the fruit after a little while, especially when I brought it inside for the winter.

Somehow, I had the tree for nearly 10 years and never once had scale. Go figure.

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Thank you for the helpful replies everyone. So far the plant has dropped one fruit. It is setting more flower buds, and I hope I will get at least a couple fruit to the mature stage. The plant is beautiful and I hope I do right by them by giving the right care for the lemons and my small key lime. I will post updates in the future. :smile: