‘Eureka’ lemon trees are notorious for producing freaky looking lemons (especially in cooler coastal climates like ours in the Bay Area.)
Personally, I like the occasional oddball that my tree kicks out – and so do my kids. But if more and more of your lemons are turning out like this, you may want to take some action.
What causes this? It’s a little bud mite which sucks the sap from the lemon flower, causing the poor flower to have a deformed ovary.
The result is a few freaky looking lemons.
If you have lemons like these, don’t worry as it’s rarely life-threatening for your tree.
And you don’t have to use heavy-artillery (aka: chemicals) to get rid of these guys, either. There are lots of naturally occurring predatory mites which will take care of most of the problem.
I don’t use any sprays on my tree and only get a handful of these lemons each year.
If you have a more severe infestation, you can spray the tree with an organic summer oil which causes minimal harm to the beneficial mites, while killing the bud mites.
But if you have just a few of these misfits, you might consider keeping these lemons as it can be quite entertaining to make ‘artwork’ out of them!
Take a peek at what my daughter created:
… a little canary
….a Tim Burton character
….and a scary little hand.
The point is, don’t be so quick to throw away this misshapen fruit.
When it’s raining outside (or we’re in a world-wide pandemic and about ready to pull our hair out!) this can be the perfect outlet for you or your budding little artists!