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QUESTION: i purchased a, i beleive to be an indoor manderine tree from a home depot store with a little manderin growing on it.  it matured and we picked it and it was tastey.  this was about 5 months back.  since then, the tree has not flowered and we keep it indoors in a pot with very good sunlight.  we live in the chicago are.  why is it not flowering?  our lemon tree, indoors is doing great.
thanks

ANSWER: Vince,

Your lemon tree I suspect you have owned for sometime and it spent the summer outside in full sun. It got it's buds long before you brought it indoors for the winter and now it is blooming like crazy. For citrus trees to flower indoors they need to be outdoors in full sun for the summer to form their buds then be brought in and set next to a large south facing window with the window covering open all day so the tree gets as much sun as possible. It also needs to be fertilized with blooming plant fertilizer following the directions on the package. it would also help both plants to sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) on top of the soil before watering it next time. That will strengthen the leaves and cause it to bloom more.

In the spring both trees need to go outdoors in full sun. Then by next winter you should have lots of fruit on both. Just be sure to fertilize regularly and give them the Epsom salts now and again in July. If you have more questions feel free to write again. Good luck!

Darlene

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the orange tree answer Darlene.  Hope it works.  I am driving to Florida in April.  While down there I hope to find and get my fill of loquats.  First question do you know where in Florida, anywhere, I can find loquats ?. And if I purchase a little tree and keep it indoors will it produce fruit.  I have heard many conflicting  stories regarding this. I have heard of self pollinating indoor loquat trees.  I have heard that it must be pollinated , I have heard that they d o and don't  grow fruit inside.  Can you help me out on this.  I just love fruit trees but I love fruits that won't grow where I'm from.  Thanks

Answer
Vince,

I live in Fort Wayne, IN about 2 1/2 hours S/E fro Chicago on Highway 30.  I have made many trips to Florida because I have family and friends there. I cannot tell you exactly where but I can tell you there are lots of Fruit markets and lots of grocery stores in Florida where you should be able to buy the fruit. Potted trees should be available at Lowes, Home Depot or Menards. Growing your lemon tree, your mandarin or a loquat indoors year around and have them produce fruit is going to be very difficult because indoors they only get sun on one side. They really need to be outdoors in full sun unless you have a greenhouse so it can get full sun on all 4 sides. As for pollination you can pollinate the flowers with a feather when they are in full bloom and strongly scented. Just tickle the flower with the feather and go from flower to flower. Outside the northern bees will pollinate the flowers as well as the southern bees. Solving the sun problem may be more difficult. Good luck!

Darlene

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Darlene K. Kittle

Expertise

I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.

Experience

I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Organizations
Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

Education/Credentials
I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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