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My lemon tree is blooming!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
When I was a littel girl in Italy, we had lemon and blood orange trees in our yard that grew effortlessly. Now I am adult in the U.S., and I have been trying for years to grow citrus trees in house. No matter how hard I try, they come up with new and interesting ways to die. I did have a lemon tree that had tiny fruit on it several years ago, but I noticed that something was eating the plant: every day, there would be fewer leaves. Eventually, it ate the fruit. I couldn't figure out the problem, until I found a bug on the tree tree that looked like a green stick. I think they're called walking sticks. How it found its way into my house, onto my lemon tree, I have no idea. I mean, I've never seen one in the wild. I put it outside, (he's lucky I am kindhearted - I was mad enough to kill him!) Alas, the damage was done...no lemons. Anyway, I ordered a lemon tree from someone on eBay last year and now it has about 10 blooms! I was so happy and excited, I wanted to share.
post #2 of 16
Wow, I've never seen a lemon tree. I'll bet it's beautiful.
that it stays healthy!
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you! It is pretty - it has bi-colored leaves, but it does have thorns. The lemons are also to be bi-colored...if the walking stick doesn't find them. I'm still puzzled over how he found the first tree. I don't have a good rapor with bugs.
post #4 of 16
Not in a million years would I guess that a lemon tree sports thorns.
My guess is that the walking stick was real young on the first tree and you didn't notice till it grew?
I can handle a mouse, rat and snake, but when it comes to bugs ... ewwww!
post #5 of 16
That is great it is blooming.
My Grapefruits,Oranges and Kumquats are blooming also.
Can you get a picture of your tree.
post #6 of 16
Walking sticks are one of the few bugs I can handle...I think they're fascinating. Then again, I haven't had one eat a tree! They may be all over your area and you just don't notice them since they blend in so well, but I'll bet it was in your tree when you bought it.

I don't think I've ever seen lemon blooms. I would love a picture too. Do they have a good fragrance?
post #7 of 16
Lots of vibes for some lemons!!

I would love to have a lemon or lime tree, but our climate here is not good for citrus fruit. Too cold at times.

Back when I was around 8 or 9 years old (almost 30 years ago) my Mom worked at one of our large city parks that houses our Zoo. There is a Conservatory that has a greenhouse as well as a restaurant attached. She was the restaurant manager.

Here is a picture of a portion of the greenhouse and a path where people can walk about:

http://i.pbase.com/u46/topical_optic...3.P2190001.jpg

I remember having had an orange that had seeds. The guy who was running the greenhouse portion let me plant a couple of orange seeds. They actually grew and eventually produced oranges. I haven't been there in many years so I don't know if the threes are still there. I don't know how long citrus trees live.
post #8 of 16
That is great! I had the same issue (bug eating my fruit trees) but this year they are all blooming I have apples,pears and peaches!! I would love a lemon and an orange tree I may have to look intoi that!
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I was trying to answer using quotes but I got all messed up. Sorry. The blooms do smell good - very sweet. Plus, the leaves are non-toxic to people and cats. You can actually make "chocolate leaves" to decorate a cake by washing lemon tree leaves, putting them on wax paper, coating the ridged side with melted chocolate and freezing. Then you can peel the lemon leaf away from the chocolate and you have a chocolate leaf. I think this can be done with orange leaves, as well.

I would love to have a kumquat tree, but mine died.

I think most citrus trees that have not been grafted do have thorns.

My yard is most likely full of those walking stick characters. They do blend in. They, like every other insect on earth, are probably indigenous to North Carolina.
post #10 of 16
My grandparents house had a giant lemon tree and I hated to go near it as a kid.
I would get stuck on the thorns.
Do you know why the Kumquat died?
I will post a picture of mine this week.

post #11 of 16
Lemon trees have thorns?!
post #12 of 16
I think the insect you are describing as a "walking stick" are Preying Mantis. Preying Mantis eat smaller insects and larvae such as aphids,swamp knats, white fly, and more. Leaves and fruit wouldn't suddenly disappear, they will show symptoms like fall from the tree, signs of damage, spotting, curling, discoloration, or other symptoms.
post #13 of 16
This is my first season with a lemon and lime tree. Congrats on your blooms. Both of my trees are covered in blooms.


Lime trees are just a thorny as lemons. Those thorns are nasty.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
I think the insect you are describing as a "walking stick" are Preying Mantis. Preying Mantis eat smaller insects and larvae such as aphids,swamp knats, white fly, and more. Leaves and fruit wouldn't suddenly disappear, they will show symptoms like fall from the tree, signs of damage, spotting, curling, discoloration, or other symptoms.
No, they are two different types on insects, although they are similar and probably related somehow because they are both really weird!

walking stick:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phasmatodea

praying mantis:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praying_mantis

They both are actually good insects, and I think praying mantis (manti?) are actually protected because of what they eat. I think walking sticks just eat folige.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
I think the insect you are describing as a "walking stick" are Preying Mantis. Preying Mantis eat smaller insects and larvae such as aphids,swamp knats, white fly, and more. Leaves and fruit wouldn't suddenly disappear, they will show symptoms like fall from the tree, signs of damage, spotting, curling, discoloration, or other symptoms.
Eek! No, it wasn't a preying mantis. I would have probably had to sell my house if one of those come in on me! Seriously, I would have been on the phone with Orkin so fast. Preying mantis are actually consider beneficial insects because they eat bugs that are pests as far as attacking crops, as you mentioned. However, I consider no bug beneficial...nothing that may jump in my hair and cause me to have a heart attack is beneficial in my way of thinking. Some insects are just plain scarier than others. I like to watch preying mantis from a distance because they almost look like alien creatures. They turn there heads to look at you in the oddest way. This walking stick fellow, he looked exactly like part of the tree. I may have never found him, except he devoured most of the leaves, which were his camo, a stupid move on his part. That made him easier to spot. I was like "wait a minute...that stick has legs!"
post #16 of 16
Awwww, I like praying matis. They are one of the few bugs I will let crawl on me. But, I do have to admit, if I looked down and unexpectedly saw one of those alien faces looking up at me, I would probably freak too!

At my old apartment there must have been a nest of praying mantis that hatched outside our window on day (the screen didn't fit tight on the window). I woke up one morning and there were a ton of what I thought were mosquitos all over the counters in the kitchen. I started to kill them (freaking out and itching already) until I looked at them closer. They were all little, tinnie, tiny, centimeter high praying mantis! I moved as many as I could out into the yard but after about 15 minutes of trips back and forth I gave up and killed the rest. Terrible, I know. Of course, my BF at the time said the ones I did "save" probably just became bird food.
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