Why are my lemons rotting on the tree?


Hi Tui, why are my lemons rotting on the tree? The little branches are dying off and the tree has yellow leaves. I have given it Epsom Salt and fertiliser, but they did not make any difference.



Hi Evelyn

The rotten fruit is Brown rot, which is a fungal disease. It can be controlled in winter with regular applications of copper based sprays. Spray again after flowering has finished. A few things can be done to help prevent brown rot - collect up fallen leaves and fruit and dispose of in the rubbish rather than place in the compost, this will help prevent the spread of the disease. Wet weather during flowering is when the disease is prevalent. Thin out the foliage of the tree to improve the air circulation throughout the tree, this will reduce the incidence of the disease finding ideal conditions to multiply and infect your fruit. Pick off the infected fruit as leaving them there will only help spread the disease, dispose of in the rubbish, not the compost.

Leave the tree for now, do not feed until spring. If it is in a pot, make sure it has good drainage holes and still gets watered over winter. If you want to, apply Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic every 7-10 days at 70ml per 9L watering can. This is a pick me up tonic and not a fertiliser, it will help strengthen the plants resistance to disease and stimulate root growth.

Thanks, Tui Team. 

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Why are my lemons rotting on the tree? Comments

  • Hi Tui, can you help? The skin of the fruit on my lemon tree are dry and changing colour to brown, what can I do?

    Tui Team

    Hi Rami,

    Without seeing a photo, it is likely caused by irregular watering over the growing season, but it could also be caused by a lack of nutrients, mainly magnesium and calcium. Feed your tree every three months with a specially blended citrus fertiliser such as Tui Citrus food. Mulch around your tree in spring and again in autumn to conserve soil moisture, you can use Tui Mulch & Feed, pea straw or any organic material to mulch with. Make sure the tree gets watered regularly through the growing season. It also helps to regularly apply Tui Seaweed Plant tonic to your tree. This will help build up natural resistance to pest and disease, as well as stimulate root growth and help with overall plant health. Remove the fruit that are turning brown and dispose of in the rubbish as they won't amount to anything now and the trees energies are going into producing that fruit. In about another months time in August apply fertiliser and mulch around your tree. Tui Team.