Why Citrus Fruit Get Thick Peels And Little Pulp

For a citrus grower, nothing can be more frustrating than waiting all season for an lemon, lime, orange or other citrus fruit to ripen only to discover that the inside of the fruit has a very thick peel and is more rind than pulp. A citrus tree can look healthy, and get all the water it needs and this can still happen. But, you can fix it and you can make sure that your citrus fruits never end up with a thick rind again.

What Causes A Thick Rind In Citrus Fruit

Very simply, a thick peel on any kind of citrus fruit is cause by a nutrient imbalance. The thick rind is cause by either too much nitrogen or too little phosphorous. Technically, these two issues are one in the same, as too much nitrogen will affect how much phosphorous a plant will take up, thus causing a phosphorous deficiency.

Nitrogen and phosphorous are a citrus grower’s best friends. Nitrogen is responsible for foliage growth, and will help the tree looking lush and green and able to take in energy from the sun. Phosphorous helps the plant to form flowers and fruit. When these two nutrients are in balance, the tree looks beautiful and the fruit are perfect.

But when the two are out of balance, it will cause problems. A citrus tree growing in soil that has too much nitrogen will look very healthy, except for the fact that it will have very few, if any blossoms. If it does produce blossoms, the fruit themselves will be dry, with little or no pulp inside and a bitter, thick rind.

A phosphorous deficiency will cause almost the same results, but depending on the levels of nitrogen, the tree may not look as lush. Regardless, the rinds on citrus fruits from citrus trees affected by too little phosphorous little be thick and the fruit will be inedible.

The easiest way to fix both too much nitrogen or too little phosphorous is to add phosphorous to the soil. This can be done with a phosphorous rich fertilizer or, if you are looking for an organic phosphorous fertilizer, bone meal and rock phosphate are both rich in phosphorous.

Thick rinds on citrus fruit does not just happen. There is a reason for thick peels on lemons, limes, oranges and other citrus fruit. You can fix this problem so that you never have to experience the disappointment of waiting so long for a fruit you can’t eat again.


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