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Why My Lemon Tree Doesn’t Produce Fruit? Top 5 Reasons!

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If you maintain your home garden, the thought of growing lemons must have crossed your mind at some point. It is not surprising as lemon is not only one of the most diverse fruits but also is relatively easy to grow.

It doesn’t need constant attention, you can grow it in a pot or outside the garden, and the fruit grows well in almost every climate and weather condition.

However, sometimes you may have to face certain problems with the plant. You may see that your lemon plant is not producing fruit which can leave you wondering: “Why my lemon tree doesn’t produce fruit?”

If you have been facing the same dilemma and want to know the answer to this, then keep reading. In this guide, you will explore and understand the reasons why your lemon tree doesn’t produce fruit.

Let’s begin!

A lime plant in a pot—why my lemon tree doesnt produce fruit
Why my lemon tree doesn’t produce fruit? – Image via Reddit.

Why My Lemon Tree Doesn’t Produce Fruit? Reasons & Solutions

Lemon fruit, with its fresh, vibrant color, can be a striking addition to your home garden.

  • You can add it to any meal or drink to instantly amp up the taste and add a zing to the flavor.
  • You can add a splash of lemon to your morning tea, make summer lemonade, or squeeze it over your salad.
  • Lemon is also known to have amazing health benefits owing to its Vitamin C content. It helps reduce weight, maintain blood sugar levels, cure sore throat, and much more.
  • People use it regularly for skin care purposes as well.

With so many uses and benefits, it gets irritating when you can’t taste your home-grown lemons because your plant is not producing fruits.

Before tackling it, you need to know why your plant is not producing fruit.

Let’s find out the answer to your query—why my lemon tree doesn’t produce fruit?

No Source for Pollination

For the plant to grow fruits, it needs to undergo pollination first. After that, there is a specific period for which you will have to wait to let the flowers develop into fruits.

Two different types of pollination take place.

Cross-pollination occurs between two flowers growing on separate plants. The lemon plant undergoes self-pollination, which means that the male part pollinates the female part of the same flower.

While it might not be a big problem for the lemon plant to self-pollinate when placed outside, if your plants are kept indoors, it can create an issue with self-pollination as there are not many agents to help with the process, such as wind and bees.

  • This could be the reason your plants are not producing lemon fruit.
  • If the flowers on your plant are growing in fine condition and the rest of the plant is also well, then it could be that the pollen is not reaching the female parts of the flower.
  • You can solve this issue by gently brushing the flower to spread the pollen.
  • Don’t use too much pesticide for plants outside as they may kill the pollinating insects.
  • Place the plant outside and try attracting insects for pollination.

Once the pollinating period is successfully passed, the plant will be ready to produce fruits.

Fruiting Season

Before you conclude that something is wrong with your plant, make sure that your lemon plant has reached the stage and season of producing fruits.

Plants don’t develop fruits all the time. There is a season in which fruits start appearing on the branches.

  • Besides the season, it is also important to note that not all plants fruit at the same rate.
  • Lemon plants take time to produce fruit, anywhere from 2-10 years.
  • You can get a grafted plant to reduce this time.
  • Be patient when you are waiting for the plants to produce fruit.

It can be difficult, and you might want to see the fruit of your hard work right away, but understand that this is not how plants work.

They will give fruits in their due time.

Lack of Nutrients

Lemon plants grow in a hot and humid environment.

As a result, they need to have a thick layer of foliage to protect them from the harsh summer sun. If these leaves are to grow properly, they need a lot of nutrients, even more than other plants.

If the soil is not rich in nutrients, the lemon plant may suffer the consequences, and the fruits may not grow at all.

Nitrogen is especially vital for healthy, green leaves.

  • If you notice that your plant leaves are drooping and turning yellow, it could be due to a lack of nutrients.
  • If that’s the case, get a fertilizer with enough nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium content. Most fertilizers will also have an adequate amount of other minor nutrients like calcium and iron.
  • Add the fertilizer once every few weeks to ensure not to add more than the necessary amount of fertilizer.

Why my lemon tree doesn’t produce fruit, you say? Try to keep the nutrients in check!

Related article: Do Lemon Trees Have Thorns? How to Pick Them?

The Right Climate

Lemon trees can indeed grow in almost every climate, but low temperatures for long periods are not suitable for your lemon trees.

The unstable climatic conditions could tamper with the fruiting process of your lemons.

  • The temperature variation might not be a huge problem if your plant is placed inside.
  • However, there could be a significant difference in the day and night temperature for trees kept outside.
  • You can bring your plants inside, especially during the early days, as varying temperatures can harm the plant.
  • The lemon tree grows best in temperatures ranging from 55–85°F.

Wait for the warmer days to plant for a healthier plant.

Inadequate Amount of Water

Lemon trees need the right amount of water.

If they don’t get sufficient water, fruiting may stop altogether.

  • To ensure your lemon plants don’t suffer from water stress, make a regular schedule to add enough water.
  • Fewer, deep rounds of watering are better than shallow rounds of regular watering.
  • Take special care of watering when the plants are growing and start producing fruits.
  • The summer months require you to add more water, and you should slow down on watering in the winter months.

That would be all!

Lemon tree—why my lemon tree doesnt produce fruit?
Why my lemon tree doesn’t produce fruit? After fixing everything that seems wrong with your plant and being persistent and patient, you can surely achieve bright yellow citrus—Image via Steve Doig.


It’s hard to see your lemon plant not producing fruit, but be patient!

After reviewing the reasons and their solution, you must have got your answer to: “Why my lemon tree doesn’t produce fruit?”

Ensure all the required prerequisites for your lemon plants are as mentioned above. Keep checking the soil and nutrients, and most importantly, be patient.

Share your view and experiences with us about your lemon plant!

Happy planting!