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Lemon
Citrus limon
What Should You Know About Pollinating Lemon?
Lemon thrives through entomophily, primarily attracting bees and birds with its vibrant flowers and refreshing scent. The transfer of pollen occurs when these pollinators rummage for nectar, initiating the crucial fertilization process. Timing is pivotal as lemon's blossoms appear throughout the year but are most abundant in spring, ensuring efficient cross-pollination and fruit yield.
Which Pollinators are Suitable for Lemon?
Bloom Time
Spring, Summer
Primary pollinators
Bees, Birds
Potential pollinators
Wind
How Does Pollination Occur in Lemon?
Lemon's flowers are known as 'perfect' as they contain both male and female parts, thus being hermaphroditic. Their petals are white with a purple base, making them more visible to pollinators.

Lemon's flowers mainly rely on cross-pollination between different plants, though self-pollination can also occur as the flowers are hermaphroditic.
How Can You Enhance the Pollination of Lemon?
Plant Diversity
Ensure to incorporate a variety of plants in your garden or farm that have different colors, scents, and bloom times. This variety increases the attractiveness of the area to a diverse range of pollinators including bees and birds, thereby helping to improve the natural pollination of the lemon trees.
Water Source
Provide a shallow water source for bees and birds, such as a bird bath or a puddle with stones for bees to stand on. This not only attracts these pollinators to your garden or farm, but also supports their overall health and survival.
Pesticides
Try to reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides. If necessary, use only targeted treatments and apply them well after dark when bees are not active. These chemicals can be harmful or deadly to pollinators like bees and beneficial insects. Consider using organic or integrated pest management strategies.
Nesting Sites
Providing safe and abundant nesting sites can attract and encourage more pollinators. For bees, consider adding a bee house; for birds, install bird houses, feeders, or a tree with dense foliage. These practices give the pollinators a place to rest and reproduce, leading to an increase in their population.
How Can You Determine if Lemon has Been Pollinated?
Flower Blossom Fall
If pollination in lemon is successful, you'll notice the blossoming flowers drop, leaving the baby fruits behind.
Fruit Set
Successful pollination results in the formation of small, round, green fruits on lemon. Keep an eye on the blossom sites for any fruit-set.
Pollen Presence
Yellow pollen on the stigma of lemon signifies that pollination has taken place.
Understanding Hand-Pollination in Lemon
Normal
Difficulty
45 mins
Duration
What Tools are Necessary for Hand-Pollinating Lemon?
Small Brush
A small, soft brush or cotton swab can be used to transfer pollen from the male part (stamen) to the female part (pistil) of the flower.
Gloves
Wear garden gloves during the process to prevent any potential allergic reactions.
Water Spray
A water spray bottle can be used to moisten the pollen, making it more adhesive.
What is the Optimal Time for Hand-Pollinating Lemon?
Early morning is the best time for hand-pollination as this is when lemon's flowers open and release their pollen. The best period in the plant's growth cycle to perform hand-pollination is in the blooming season - typically late winter or early spring, when the flowers are fully open and not wilted.
Steps to Hand-Pollinate Lemon
Step1: Collect Pollen
Using your small brush or cotton swab, gently collect pollen from the stamen of one of lemon's flowers. The pollen should be yellow and powdery.
Step2: Transfer Pollen
Carefully transfer the collected pollen to the pistil (the middle part) of the same or a different flower. Pollen should be visible on the tip of the pistil after transfer.
Step3: Moisten Pollen
Spritz a little water onto the pollen-covered pistil. This moisture can help the pollen bond better.
Step4: Repeat
Repeat process for each blossom on lemon.
Step5: Monitor
Regularly monitor the plant in the upcoming days to ensure fruits are forming.
Why Aren't There Fruits on Lemon Despite the Presence of Flowers?
Poor Pollinator Attraction
If lemon isn't attracting enough pollinators, increase attractiveness by planting flowering plants nearby or consider hand-pollination.
Inadequate Pollen Transfer
For indoor lemon plants, use a soft brush to lightly transfer pollen from stamens to pistils to aid pollination.
Unfavorable Conditions
Lemon pollination can be hindered by high temperatures or high humidity. Ensure optimal conditions by offering shade in intense heat and good ventilation during wet conditions.
Discover care info about seasonal tips, plant diseases, and more?
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