Q: My citrus fruit is splitting. Why?
A: Citrus fruit splitting could be a combination of several factors. If the tree is allowed to produce too many fruit then the quality of those fruit is often poorer than if fewer fruit were allowed to develop and mature. Heavy fruit loads often produce thin skinned fruit which can readily split under specific weather conditions. Combine the heavy fruit loads with inconsistent watering and/or heavy rains and the skin of citrus can crack and break. Low potassium levels in the soil also result in citrus fruit splitting. Once the fruit splits, nothing can be done to repair it. However, if the fruit is mature and fully ripened, it is safe to eat. The best prevention of fruit splitting is to fertilize and water properly and reduce the number of fruit allowed to mature. It is much better to have 30 sweet, tasty oranges than 100 of reduced quality. This is a wonderful example of “less is more.”