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How to prune lemons: advice on when and how to prune lemons in pots or in the ground. Best time and which branches to cut.
The lemon it is a citrus fruit widely used in many dishes: it can be used to flavor, to make liqueurs, to enrich a flavor or simply to garnish dishes.
There lemon plant now we find it in almost all the gardens of Italy ... but not all are able to obtain good harvests. The reason? A pruninginadequate! If the pruning it is not done in a workmanlike manner, we risk cutting off the branches dedicated to the production of lemons.
Furthermore, the lemon tree tends to develop a thick, dense and branched crown and this is to the detriment of fruit production. Annually, to obtain a good harvest of lemons, it is necessary to intervene with light or radicals pruning.
Can not be done prune the lemonat any time of the year: you will have to wait for the right period. Let's see in detail when ishow to prune lemons.
When to prune lemons: the period of pruning
Synthesis: it is always possible to prune citrus fruits except when it is cold and there is a risk of frost. Six lemons are in full bloom or have small fruits, avoid interventions ofpruning so as not to cause it to fall.
The best time for prune the lemon tree it is between February (in the south) and March (in the north). In fact, the pruningit should respect the climatic trend: citrus fruits should be pruned when the risk of frost has passed.
With climate change, due to late frosts, what was the winter pruning of citrus fruits has often slipped between April (in the south) and May (in the north), when flowering has even begun.
Other interventions by pruning they can be done in late June and mid-September with the so-called summer pruning.
Pruning of citrus fruits in pots
Potted plants can be pruned at the end of spring, it is possible to continue pruning citrus fruits in pots even in the months of May and June with summer pruning.
What to cut?
Top off the main branches by removing a few centimeters. This precaution is also valid for thelemonsgrown in the garden that need to maintain a contained appearance.
To be cut away are also the suckers (jets that develop vertically). This will stimulate the development of horizontally growing twigs, good for fruit production and light filtration.
Afterpruning of lemons in pots, the plants are ready for repotting.
Pruning lemons, what to prune, which branches to cut
Very old and woody branches should be pruned in order to favor the emission of young shoots ready to produce new fruit.
All branches with a tendentially vertical trend should also be cut.
The suckers on the trunk or at the base must also be pruned as they weaken the plant and can penalize fruit production.
Dry and damaged branches should also be pruned, taking care to thin out the foliage in the central part to facilitate the penetration of sunlight and air between the innermost branches.
The branches must be cut with a clean cut to avoid unnecessary fraying that could cause diseases.
Carry out a topping by shortening all the branches by a few centimeters, dwell especially on the highest branches to avoid excessive development of the crown in height compared to the rest of the plant.
Useful hints for prune lemons: during the operation of citrus pruning it is good to respect the harmony of the foliage. To avoid diseases, always cut the branches with oblique cuts in order to favor the drainage of the water.
It will then be necessary to sprinkle some healing product on the cuts to avoid the attack of parasites and fungal diseases. This advice is particularly valid for those who live in the North of Italy (to avoid frost damage in case of pruning in April with the risk of late frosts) or for those who are growing young citrus plants.
You can use a healing product or common mastic for grafting. Putty is a very useful healing agent. You can also prepare it at home from simple ingredients. For all the info: homemade grafting mastic.
How to prune lemons in the garden or pot: what you need
For the pruning of lemons it is advisable to have a pair of scissors with a well sharpened and sterilized blade. Do-it-yourself putty is strongly recommended but not mandatory.
If you have lemon plants that have not been pruned for a long time you will need to have more specific tools such as a hacksaw or even a chainsaw for secondary trunks or more robust branches.
During pruning, use protective gloves and goggles: the thorns of lemons hurt a lot! The thinner shoots that have thorns must all be eliminated.
Disinfect the tools used for pruning, in this way you will avoid any infection during cutting.