Why is my lemon tree not flowering?
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If your lemon tree isn’t flowering, then it doesn’t produce lemons. It takes a lot of energy on the tree’s part to produce the flowers. So anything that interferes with the amount of energy that the tree has affects the number of flowers, if any, that it produces.
Not enough sunlight / heat
The lemon tree needs between four to six hours of sunlight per day to produce its energy. The best light is from off-peak hours – in the morning and in the afternoon. Too much light and heat, especially from the noon-time hours, can overwhelm the tree and cause root burn.
Lack of nutrients
Your lemon tree needs the right nutrients to flourish. Even if you’ve planted it in nutrient-rich soil, it may need an extra boost from fertiliser especially made for lemon or citrus trees. The growth and fruit production period of a lemon tree is in the summer months so apply a high nitrogen fertiliser frequently then.
Watering not only keeps the soil moist but provides the correct humid environment for the lemon tree. In the growth period (summer) especially, make sure that you have a regular watering schedule to keep the soil from drying out. Lemon trees don’t like drought-and-flood situations in which you water them deeply and then let them fully dry out.
Not enough dormancy
Lemon trees need to be dormant over the winter time to have a rest period. A lack of flowers is often due to the tree not being in a cool enough environment over winter for long enough. The plant needs to be winterised properly. See my Can I leave my lemon tree outside in winter? article for recommendations as to how to do this in the best way.
Change in location
Lemon trees don’t tolerate changes of any kind well. If you’ve moved your tree pot to a location with very different conditions, the tree may experience environmental shock. This shock throws the tree into confusion. Energy for flower making goes into just surviving the new location. If you must move your tree, make sure to change the conditions gradually so it can acclimatise.
Pests and disease
Pests and diseases always cause damage to a plant and can result in a lemon tree not flowering. Although most infestations don’t cause an abrupt change in the tree’s health, it’s always good to periodically check for nasty bugs and insects or mould. My article, Why has my lemon tree got sticky leaves?, highlights what bugs to look for and how to treat them if you do find them.