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Norfolk, United Kingdom Gb

Hi All,
any ideas regarding the Lemon tree pictured, it`s in the polytun for winter but some of the fruit (close up) is big but not ripe. We don`t want to waste it (G&T)
Regards Pete




Lemon will ripen overwinter. I don't know if a polly tunnel will be warm enough though. As it's in a pot it might be better to bring it indoors, place it by a light window and mist the leaves with water regular.

20 Nov, 2011


Even in their natural environment in Med they are not ripe yet, so, provided it can get enough warmth, yours should still be fine for a couple of months yet. G&T with your own lemons - sounds good to me!

20 Nov, 2011


I seem to remember that lemons, and oranges, take two years to ripen. Possibly it is a Myron says and they form during one summer and ripen the next.

20 Nov, 2011


Most lemons flower four times a year, so it's usual to see flowers, small green lemons and ripe yellow ones all on the the same tree.

I had a lemon tree some years ago in a large pot that I brought into my conservatory for the winter, I think it was a Meyer Lemon Tree. It was a bit of a novelty to be able to pick a ripe lemon to have with a Gin & Tonic at Christmas or when having a BBQ in the summer. Sadly I lost the tree when I left it out in the winter.

The lovely fragrance of the flowers filled the conservatory and when you crush one of the leaves it smells very strongly of lemon. I used a couple of the leaves now and then to add to some food dishes. Placed on top of a curry they add that extra visual touch.

20 Nov, 2011


Thanks Everyone,
Just a little more guidance please Myron, I can`t bring it indoors its too big, so how about mooving it into the middle of the pol so the frost cant get it?
Regards Pete.

20 Nov, 2011


You could do Pete, if you're sure it will be frost freem. Maybe you could wrap the pot in bubble wrap and use some fleece over top during the very cold nights for added insurance and remove the fleece during the warmer days, and keep the soil just moist.

I believe that Lemon is the hardiest of the Citrus family anyway Pete. As I said, I lost mine a few years ago, but mine wasn't really protected as yours will be. I just moved it up against my house wall in a sheltered spot thinking that it would survive..... It didn't.

Good luck :o)

20 Nov, 2011


Ive brought my lemon tree indoors I wouldn't chance it in the greenhouse even, mine is in the conservatory its about 3ft the lemons arent as large as yours yet, but I have had them that size last year, they do take a while to turn yellow, not sure how long yours will take, but as long as the temps; dont drop below 5deg I dont know if it is the sunlight or warmth that ripens them but I would be insulating around the pot to protect the roots.
You will have to let us know if yours ripens but I wouldnt be removing them from the plant!!! I dont think!! you could cover with fleece or even make a frame of bubble wrap just to make sure you dont lose it, if you see the leaves start to drop that is a sure sign its too cold.

20 Nov, 2011


The problem with bringing lemon trees indoors is that they don't get enough light, or it could get too warm - central heating would probably kill it. As long as you can keep yours frost-free, as Myron says, it has a good chance of survival as long as the cold isn't too prolonged. Do lag the pot whatever you decide to do. Even Sicily and the southern lemon-growing bits of Italy can get pretty cold winters, and the trees survive well - they're hardier than you might suppose.
P.S. don't mist the leaves in low temperatures in the pt., and cut down the watering. I'm not sure which it is that ripens the fruit - crossed fingers, maybe? I know, as Mr B says, it can take quite a long time. Hold that G & T!

20 Nov, 2011


I'm pretty sure it's the sunlight that causes the lemons to ripen using photosynthesis and not the heat. Although a lot of fruit needs ethylene gas to cause it to ripen and ethylene is produced by heat, I'm pretty sure that's not the case with citrus for this reason: As lemons don't carry on ripening when they are taken from the tree, unlike bananas or tomatoes, which rely on heat to produce and release this gas, I would deduce that it's the sunlight that causes the lemons to ripen.

Your Lemon tree is probably a Meyer or a Ponderosa and it can take 6 - 18 months for the fruit to ripen, so don't worry too much, it will eventually go yellow.

I know that this might sound a strange question, but are you sure that what you have isn't a lime? Still ok for a G&T if it is though :o)

20 Nov, 2011


Thanks for all the advice it will be really helpful we want to try to help this fellow through the winter so fingers crossed.
I think he`s a lemon the fruit is bigger than any lime I`ve seen and it did have a ticket on it when it was bought.
We`re going to keep him in the pol but put bubble wrap etc as reqd.
Thanks again Pete

20 Nov, 2011


Lemons usually taste better if you pick them green, anyway--by the time they turn yellow, they are usually overripe, and dry and bland. In the grocery store,they have been gassed with acetylene to turn them yellow prematurely. Here in citrus heaven--the Arizona low desert--once-blooming lemons bloom in March, and reach optimum ripeness in November. Oranges bloom in March, and ripen anywhere from December through March, depending on the variety. Gray, "chilly" UK conditions will probably slow riening.

22 Nov, 2011

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