Lemon Tree Follow-Up

My dear friend, Andrea has requested that I put up the photo of the entire lemon tree.
I managed to get Clifford to pose in front of the bush so that you could see the relative size.
The 2 photos in the collage below are taken from 2 different angles with the lemon tree behind Clifford.

I must agree with Bangchik that although caterpillars eat leaves, they do not kill the plants like termites.
My initial experience with this lemon tree was very bad.
The tree was bald most of the time.
Sometimes, I removed the caterpillars together with some leaves so that they could eat them elsewhere and leave the rest of the plant alone.
However, I didn't feel very good about that.

Eventually, I found a solution to the problem.
Instead of scarcity, why not think abundance?
I  transferred the plant from the pot to the ground.
This tree multiplied in size pretty quickly.
Very soon, there were too many leaves for the caterpillars.
I also grew a few lime trees nearby.
Caterpillars and lemon tree grew together in harmony.
There were more than enough leaves, even for the grasshoppers.

It began to flower just a few months ago, giving out wonderful fragrance.

Dear Cat, you wanted to know how much coffee ground I used.
I throw in about 5 bucketfuls last year.
However since yours is in a pot like Karin's, I suggest you use only very sparingly, to avoid toxic buildup.
I am no expert in this but just feel that it is safer to use them on the ground as the environment is more natural and balance.
Hope that helps.

If there are anyone experienced with using coffee grounds in the garden, do feel free to chip in.


  1. Oh I love lemon trees! wish I lived in a climate that could keep one happy. Gorgeous pup too =) Cheers Julia

  2. Beautiful, I have never seen a lemon or a lime tree. I love the blooms and I bet the fragrance is amazing.

    Give Clifford a pet for me.

  3. I've never put coffee grounds directly on the garden but I've put them in the compost bin. Seeing your results I might just try them under my lemon tree.

  4. I love putting the grounds in the compost each day and with one coffee drinker in the house, I do not know how much that adds up to. But each day I add the grounds, egg shells and banana peels, so I have some good compost brewing. Love your tree too.

  5. Clifford looks like a supermodel now. Your lemon tree is growing well and it looks good too. Your initial years with the lemon tree looks like what I am going through now with my kaffir lime plant. I don't have enough land for growing trees on the ground but I have a few pots of old CNY citrus limes that act as food for the caterpillars. Great ideas with the coffee grounds. Cheers!

  6. Your lemon tree is so big and lush! I grew mine in a pot, pea-sized compared to yours! The flowers of your lemon fruit is a beautiful purple, mine is all white. How long does the fruit takes to mature? The fruits on my plant are more than a month old now and they are still so tiny! Waiting very impatiently to harvest the fruits! :)

  7. U Was są problemy z drzewami cytryny, u nas z drzewami np. czereśni. Oprócz szkodników, które niszczą liście i kwiaty, są jeszcze problemy z ptakami(szpakami), które bardzo lubią te owoce. Pod drzewami sa tylko pestki, bo to co dobre zjadły ptaki.Pozdrawiam

  8. I'll be trying the coffee grounds - sparingly! Your lemon tree looks so lush! Mine lost all its leaves this winter so I'll probably not get any lemons...I just hope it survives...

  9. I use a lot of coffee grounds in my garden. They are good for acid-loving plants including citrus and roses. I also put them under my boxwood as mulch. I'd go to Pete's Coffee or Starbucks and bring home a bag full each time. :)

  10. That's huge lemon tree! Mine is small and "botak" most of the time! I shall try the coffee ground method!
    Can i borrow Clifford the cute dog!? hahahhaa....

  11. Your tree looks wonderful, I am very impressed with the plentiful and healthy green leaves. Here the soils are deficient in some nutrients, especially nitrogen, and many evergreens suffer unless fed continuously. My lemon tree does not look nearly as good as yours.

  12. It's quite a strange lemon tree to me: you've grown it as a bush, and here in Italy we grow them as trees. That's interesting.

  13. I don't think it is possible to produce toxic levels of coffee ground mulch. The worms love it! I had great success with a urban "vacant lot" garden, when I had access to five gallon pails of used coffee grounds. It really brought a lot of life to the soil.

  14. Fantastic lemon tree and gorgeous model! I also use coffee grounds, but am not an expert. I empty my grounds daily somewhere in the yard...the azaleas REALLY love it! However, since I'm in Florida and the soil is VERY sandy, there's not much fear of toxic buildup. I would definitely be careful with heavier soils.

  15. i tend to just sprinkle grounds in different areas that need it in the yard also :)

  16. How sad my comment was long and it was gone again. Huh! I said it sometimes is good to be at the end of the comments so you can read most of them. I am glad I urged you to post the tree, because it actually is nice and healthy looking rather than bad. If you will see ours, that's the time to say 'bad-looking'. I follow the comment above that yours is bushy while ours are trees. Maybe that is budded or grafted, ours is from seeds. The flowers are also beautifully colored, ours are white like other oranges.

    I love also the philosophy of making abundance instead of scarcity, that's the wise soul speaking! Now the insects are happy in your environment and you had enough beauty around you. I can even see the bumble bee on the top right of the collage, that is your signature collage, always with an insect.

  17. Fresh lemons and limes! how lucky you are. I visted Australia once and it seemed everyone had these plants in their yards. I couldn't believe my eyes. It seems like such luxury to me to pick these fruits out of your own yard.

  18. Lemon tree growing outdoors now that is novel. Often I have had shrubs in containers which eventually become sickly in spite of feeding and as with your Lemon Tree I have planted them in the ground where they soon become healthy and vigorous. Seems like your coffee grounds would be beneficial to my Camellias and Rhododendrons as they like acidic soil, don't drink enough coffee though.

  19. This may sound like a silly question but I'll ask anyway. Do your lemon fruits turn yellow when they ripen? I just ask this question because it seems like I've never seen yellow lemons in the Philippines and the fruits they call lemon aren't yellow either. Maybe Andrea can answer this also.

    I read that coffee grounds are good for compost piles as they are a great source of nitrogen. As for its acidity, most of the acid is gone after brewing so moderate direct application should not pose any problem.

  20. I use coffee grounds as well. We save what we have at home and also get the freebies accumulated by the nieghborhood Starbucks. I use them directly on the potted soil but mix in some leaves and pureed banana peel. I don't use the mixture on all my plants though.

  21. I have been using coffee grounds for my vegetable patch. So far, there's no problem. I usually collect the coffee grounds over a few days and soak them in some water before pouring them on to the ground.



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