A pink lemonade tree is a perfect addition to the edible landscape. The variegated foliage makes it a beautiful ornamental plant with the bonus of a unique pink fleshed lemon with a striped skin. The skin is striped green and yellow and changes to pink and yellow when fully ripened.
The pink lemonade tree is a Eureka type lemon, so the taste is similar to the standard Eureka lemons available in the store. Don't be fooled by the name! The pink lemon is not the main ingredient in pink lemonade. Pink lemonade has extra ingredients to add sweetness and the pink color, but you can still make some delicious lemonade with these. The brightly colored lemons can be used like a regular lemon, but offer a fascinating look that is great for cocktails, desserts and decor.
A pink lemonade tree won't produce as much fruit as a traditional Eureka lemon tree, but it should produce enough for a household if well cared for. This particular strain loves warm weather and is sensitive to cold winters. If you live in an area with warm weather and mild winters, the pink lemonade tree will fit just that. Fortunately, pink lemonade trees grow well in containers, so growing in colder areas is not a problem as long as the tree can be brought indoors during freezing temperatures.
Whether you have a full grown homestead or a humble courtyard garden, the pink lemon tree is a perfect match for adding beauty and providing a unique indulgence that everyone will enjoy.
Brief instructions for care
A pink lemonade tree can be a lovely addition to a home orchard. Source: T. Christensen
|Common Name (s)||Pink lemonade tree, colorful pink Eureka, colorful pink lemon|
|Scientific name||Citrus Limon|
|Days to harvest||4-9 months|
|light||Full to partial sun|
|Water:||Moderate; Water weekly|
|Pests||Mites, thrips, scales, aphids, butterflies, Asian citrus flea seeds|
|Diseases||Phytophthora root rot, anthracnose, botrytis, huanglongbing (HLB)|
Everything about the pink lemonade tree
The pink lemonade tree is a lemon of the Eureka type under the Citrus limon species. It is also commonly referred to as the variegated pink Eureka lemon and variegated pink lemon. The tree's diversity makes it very attractive to home gardeners, and the fruit also has some unique properties, including a striped skin and pink pulp.
The species Citrus limon is native to Southeast Asia, but many varieties have been developed over the years. The original Eureka lemon was grown from seeds in Italy and planted in California. The brightly colored pink lemon tree is from a natural mutation of a traditional Eureka lemon found in a home garden in Burbank, CA. Budwood was taken out of the mutated sport and developed as a new variety.
The pink lemonade tree leaves are alternate, elliptical and variegated green and white. Flower buds are magenta as they develop and fade to a pale pink when the flowers bloom. Flowers and fruits grow in clusters. The fruit is also colorful, but green and yellow. As it ripens, the variation may fade to pink and yellow. The size and shape of the lemons is similar to the standard Eureka lemon, with the peel of the colorful version being a bit rougher and bumpy.
The pink lemonade tree is usually sold on a dwarf or semi-dwarf rhizome, so the size is between 6 and 15 feet tall. It usually blooms in spring and is ready to harvest in fall through late winter. The colorful lemon tree produces year-round when the temperature allows, so flowering and harvesting depend on the growth zone.
Fortunately, the pink lemonade tree is itself fertile so you don't have to grow multiple varieties to bear fruit. Remember that variegated plants have a decreased ability to photosynthesize due to the decreased chlorophyll in the leaves. These grow slower than a normal, non-colorful tree and need more light to thrive.
The best time to plant this is from April to August. Seedlings can be planted in the ground or in a large container. Avoid planting when temperatures are above 100 ° F. Plant in a sunny spot with good drainage. This species should be planted as a grafted tree. Rhizomes offer disease resistance and, in some cases, cold tolerance. Do not bury the graft joint when planting grafted trees. If possible, leave at least 4 to 5 inches of the rhizome above the ground.
Buy yours from a trusted nursery that follows local citrus regulations. Citrus producing states like California, Texas, Arizona, and Florida may have movement restrictions for young trees. Contact your local agricultural advisory office for more information on restrictions in your area.
The leaves of this variety look just like Eureka lemon tree leaves. Source: jdehaan
Growing a pink lemonade tree is extremely easy. Follow the care instructions below for problem-free growth.
Sun and temperature
Although they can withstand partial sun, the pink lemonade tree grows stronger in full sunlight. Since the tree is colorful, it needs more light than a non-colorful tree due to its inhibited photosynthesis ability. It requires at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.
Eureka lemons are not very cold tolerant. The brightly colored pink lemon is hardy against USDA zones 9-10. Ideal temperatures in winter are 45-55 ° F and summer 85-95 ° F. These can be grown in a colder zone as long as they can be brought inside at freezing temperatures.
Trees should not be exposed to freezing temperatures for long periods of time as damage or death could result. They are more tolerant of high temperatures above 100 ° F. Suntans or sunburns can occur on leaves and fruits if the temperatures remain high for a long period of time. Frost cloth and shade cloth can be used to protect the trees from excessive cold or heat. Stress can cause fruits to fall off prematurely, including stress caused by extreme heat.
Water and moisture
Water the plants in the soil once a week during the dry periods until the soil is moist but not damp. Use water tubing or drip irrigation to prevent wetting of the trunk and excessive drainage. There is no need to keep watering during wet periods. Monitor soil and water moisture levels as needed.
Colorful lemon trees planted in containers need to be watered more often, especially in summer. Let the water dry to saturation and before the next watering until it is slightly damp. Expect to water your tree 1-3 times a week. Irrigation can be done by drip irrigation or manual watering with a hose. When watering manually, avoid wetting the trunk of the tree.
Eureka lemons can grow in all types of soil as long as they are well drained. Clay soils are best because they contain the optimal amount of water and nutrients. Keep the pH between 5.5 and 6.5 to avoid micronutrient deficiencies or toxicity.
Colorful lemon trees survive in suboptimal conditions, but the effects are felt in the quality and rate of growth of the tree. If the desired planting area has poor soil quality, modify it with organic matter and plant it in a raised bed to improve soil drainage.
Fertilize from spring to summer. Do not fertilize in autumn or winter. Fertilizing before the colder season leads to a new flush, which is more prone to cold damage. Use a fertilizer formulation specifically made for citrus fruits. There are many options offered in constant feed or slow release fertilizers. Follow the directions on the label for frequency and frequency of use. If the correct formulation is not available, 12-6-6 can be used as a substitute. Look for fertilizer mixes that also contain micronutrients like magnesium, zinc, iron, and copper.
Prune your lemon trees in spring and summer and avoid flowers and fruits. Lemons don't need older wood to produce fruit. Flower buds are very showy. Cutting off flower buds will reduce the amount of fruit for the season. Lemons are non-deciduous, so they keep their leaves all year round. The pruning should be done to remove dead or diseased branches, maintain size, remove suction cups and open the canopy.
Suction cups are shoots that grow out of the rhizome. These shoots will be very noticeable as they are not colorful. Rootstock suckers do not produce good fruit and absorb energy that the plant needs for other purposes. Remove the suction cups by cutting them flush with the main stem.
To open the canopy, remove any overlapping branches or branches that are at a tight angle on the main trunk. When removing dead wood or diseased branches, prune the branches a few inches below the dead or diseased branch to ensure that all of the infection or the dead part is removed. Old fruits should also be removed manually. It should fall off, of course, but removing the old fruit will prevent disease and save resources for the development and flowering of the shoots.
Before citrus propagation, check to see if citrus propagation is restricted locally. In some areas, it is illegal to propagate citrus material that is not from a clean stock program. If you can propagate citrus fruits in your area, there are several reliable methods of citrus propagation available. Methods include grafting, root cuttings, and layers of air.
Grafting is the most reliable way to produce a strong disease resistant lemon tree. There are a few different rhizomes compatible with Eureka lemons such as C35, Trifoliate, and Flying Dragon. Root stocks are grown from seeds but can be purchased as liners. Once the rhizome is thick enough, it can be grafted. Chip budding is the most common method of grafting citrus fruits.
Rooted cuttings are another option for citrus tree propagation. Cuttings should have 2-5 leaves or knots. Use a root hormone and keep cuttings under high humidity until they form a sizeable root system. Planting these in the ground is not recommended as they are prone to root diseases. They are also less cold tolerant than grafted trees.
Layers of air produce the same product as rooted cuttings, but the initial size is much larger. For the air stratification, choose a small branch no longer than a foot. Peel off about an inch of the bark from the branch. Cover the wound with substrates like peat moss or coconut and wrap it tightly in plastic. Keep the substrate moist and monitor root development. Once a root system has formed, the branch can be cut from the main tree and transplanted. Planting these in the ground is not recommended as they are prone to root diseases. They're also less cold tolerant than grafted ones.
Harvesting and storing
The colorful pink Eureka fruit has a striped skin. Source: JHochstat
Harvesting lemons is flexible and easy. There are several options for short-term and long-term storage.
The harvest time for lemons is quite flexible. Lemons that are harvested early have a higher acid content than lemons that are allowed to ripen longer on the tree. The color of the fruit is the best indicator of the harvest. When the peel is light yellow and the variation is starting to fade slightly, they are ready to be harvested. The lemons can stay on the tree much longer before they start to turn pink. At this point, they're much sweeter and less acidic.
To harvest, turn the lemons upwards at an angle to detach them from the tree. Scissors can also be used to cut products from the tree. After harvesting, wash the lemons with soap and water.
Lemons can be stored at room temperature for about a week and in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. Remember that store-bought products have a waxy coating to prevent moisture loss and extend shelf life. Fruits grown at home don't have a waxy coating, so they won't last as long due to moisture loss.
For long-term storage, these can be frozen or dehydrated. Lemons can be frozen whole and later used for the peel. If the juice is desired, the juice can also be placed in the freezer for long-term storage. Freezing lemon juice in ice cube trays comes in handy when you only need small amounts of lemon juice at a time. Dehydrated lemon wedges are a great addition to desserts, cocktails, and teas. They are also ideal as accessories for home decor.
Problems can arise when growing your Eureka lemon tree. Here are some common problems and ways to fix them.
Brightly colored pink Eureka trees are often planted for ornamental purposes with little regard to production. It is common to plant these decorative plants near homes or patios where they may not get enough sunlight for fruit production. The tree will continue to grow in partial sun, however may not produceor produce very little. If the tree is to grow fruit, it is important to choose a sunny location with at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.
Another problem with growing colorful lemon trees is frost. Lemons are nowhere near as frost tolerant as other types of citrus fruits. Hence, it is important to protect them when predicting freezing temperatures.
Mites are small arachnids that feed on the leaves of lemon trees. There are several types of mites that feed on citrus fruits. The most common mites leave punctual damage. Heavy infestation leads to leaf drops. Mites are extremely small and difficult to spot. Usually the damage is noticed before the insect. A hand lens or microscope must be used to identify the type of mite. All adult mites are small, eight-legged, and tend to stay in groups on the undersides of the leaves. Some mites produce webbing, while others do not. Mites tend to attack weak or stressed plants. Maintaining a healthy tree is the most important defense against mites as they have a balance between pests and the predatory insects that fall prey to them. When mite populations get out of hand, horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps can be used to control severe infestations.
Thrips are small yellow to orange-colored insects that feed on the leaves and flowers of the Eureka lemon trees. Feeding damage causes leaf curl / scars and scars on young fruits. In general, thrips are not harmful enough to treat mature trees. They can slow down the growth of seedlings. Creating an environment that encourages beneficial insects is the best way to keep thrips populations under control. Thrips are very difficult to control by spraying, so this is not recommended. If thrips become a major problem in younger plants, a good option is to protect the tree with insect screens until the new foliage is no longer tender and attractive to thrips.
Soft and armored scales can be found on twigs and twigs.There are different types of scales in a variety of colors ranging from yellow to brown to black. Damage doesn't come straight from the scales. Dandruff produces excessive amounts of honeydew, which leads to sooty mold. Sooty mold covers the leaves, which inhibits photosynthesis and leads to leaf droplets. The dandruff is usually controlled with natural predators and parasites. When treatment is required, oil sprays are effective.
Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on the sap of delicate plant tissue. They are available in different colors like yellow, orange, green and black. Aphids can cause some deformation of the leaves. They also produce honeydew, which can lead to other problems like soot mold. They are usually controlled by natural predators, but the populations can still be unbalanced and harmful. Remove heavily infested leaves manually and spray the leaves with water. Horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps are also effective in controlling aphids.
Butterfly pests This includes several types of moth larvae that damage the leaves. There are some types of leaf rolls that damage tender new leaves. Citrus Leaf Miner is also a butterfly pest that causes mining damage, typically to the underside of leaves. Lepidopteran pest damage is mostly cosmetic in nature, but can slow the growth of young trees. Larvae can be removed manually from young trees. No treatment should be required in mature patients. If the damage to Citrus Leaf Miner is bothersome, there are pheromone traps that can be placed in the branches to disrupt mating.
Asian citrus syllable is a small spotty brown insect about the size of an aphid. Nymphs are yellow to green and lie flat on leaves and twigs. These flea seeds produce white, spindle-shaped excrement, which makes identification easier. Psyllids inject a toxin during feeding that can cause burns on young leaves. Feeding damage is not the main concern, however. They are considered a major pest because they carry a devastating disease called huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus green disease. Depending on your region, the presence of Asian citrus flea seeds will require different responses. Find out about local regulations and contact your farm extension if you have any questions.
Phytophthora is one of the most common root diseases in citrus fruits. This leads to a general decline. The foliage looks paler than usual. Advanced stages show "gum" or sap seeping from the trunk of the tree. Trunks can also have a water-soaked appearance. Phytophthora is prevented by using the best methods of irrigation and planting in well-drained soil. Some rhizomes are resistant or more tolerant to the disease. It is extremely important to leave at least a few inches of the rhizome above the soil line. Most types of fruit are very susceptible to Phytophthora. Leaving the graft near the ground increases the risk of infection. There are beneficial microbes and mycorrhizal products that can be used to improve plant health and immunity to diseases such as Phytophthora. However, good irrigation practices will be enough to prevent this disease.
Anthracnose and Botrytis are both leaf diseases that thrive in humid conditions. Symptoms of these two diseases are branch death, leaf droplets, and fruit decay. Anthracnose is identified by the dark spores on the leaves and branches, while Botrytis spores are a lighter gray. Both diseases can be treated with good cultural practices. It's important to keep them cropped to allow adequate airflow. Removing dead or diseased branches and old fruit will prevent the disease from becoming infected the following season. Using appropriate cultural practices, chemical fungicide sprays are no longer required.
Huanglongbing (HLB) is also known as Citrus Greening Disease. This disease is devastating to citrus fruits as there is no cure. Symptoms of this disease include yellow speckled leaves, sudden death in young seedlings, small or deformed fruits, and discolored or green fruits. This disease is spread by the Asian citrus flea seed, so fighting the insect prevents the disease. The disease can also be transmitted when infected plant material is transplanted. Once a tree is infected, it must be removed. It is important to ensure that all new plantings come from reliable nursery sources that comply with regulations established by individual states. For example, citrus trees grown in California should have a CDFA label ensuring they come from clean nursery stocks.
frequently asked Questions
Q: How big does a pink lemon tree get?
A: A brightly colored pink lemon tree grows between 6 and 15 feet when mature. The height depends on the rhizome used.
Q: Do pink lemons taste different?
A: Pink lemons taste just like Eureka lemons. The main difference is that as they age they get less sour and sweeter than the average Eureka lemon.
Q: Is pink lemonade made from pink lemons?
A: Pink lemonade is not made from pink lemons. Pink lemonade is regular lemonade with added coloring or flavoring with red fruits such as strawberry or raspberry to give it a pink hue and sweet taste.
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