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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Winter Cold Limiting Factor for Citrus in the Mojave

Q. I have read your blog extensively.  I really like that you have stuff on there month to month so I know what to watch out for. Inspired by you, I have planted a tree from your recommended tree list and another that I don't think is in there, a Meyer lemon. I planted a lemon after seeing other people in the valley having success with it. I would like to know what precautions I should take growing a lemon tree here.
The orange tree died back and the sour orange rootstock
took over. Notice there is no trunk left on this tree.
A. I have not included citrus on my list because it is too cold at the Orchard in North Las Vegas to grow citrus. However, there are numerous microclimates in backyards that will support citrus in the Las Vegas Valley. It is not a crop to be grown commercially here but you certainly can grow a few here and there including some of the more tender types of citrus.

            We have very few citrus problems here. The biggest problem is winter cold and freezing or dieback. Fertilize citrus just as you would any of the other fruit trees. Allow lemon fruits to mature into late November and December and then pick them. You should be getting the fruit off of the tree no later than early January as this may interrupt production for the coming year if you don't.


  1. Thank you for the article regarding thorns on orange trees as we have one with many thorns,the tree grew about 10 ft. tall with mostly thorns,we did cut all the thorns with the branches,now the tree is about 3ft. I hope we did it right, thanks again.

  2. extremehort@AOL.COMMay 3, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    Sweet orange trees will usually have thorns as well so the presence of thorns is not the ONLY indicator of suckers from the rootstock. You must look where the suckers originate. If they originate from the rootstock or below the graft then remove them. These suckers are usually very vigorous as well.

  3. I have contacted you in the past for help with our dwarf Meyer lemon.
    Last year after a great crop in 2015, I think I pruned the tree too late (Feb or March 2016) and therefore got only one large lemon this winter (2016)
    This winter I left it alone and now have lots and lots of buds and flowers.
    My question is: there are many buds and flowers close to each other on the same branch, some small, some large. Should I remove some of the smaller buds so I get fewer larger lemons instead of lots of small ones?
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Usually thinning fruit on citrus will not make the remaining fruit larger. Enjoy what you have and be thankful you did not have late freezing temperatures that could eliminate the fruit.