Lemon Tree Pt 2 - Dropping leaves, breaking hearts
January 23, 2017 12:36 AM   Subscribe

My lemon tree has been dropping leaves after coming indoors for the winter. Not unusual — but now the remaining few look like they've been burnt.

Hi mefites,

After the great help you were before, I hope you can help give some direction on how to nurse my Meyer lemon tree back to health. It has dropped a lot of leaves, and I am concerned. Up until a few months ago, it was living on the east-facing deck of my house. It was doing pretty well, although it got a scale infestation that hit it hard. I cleaned it off and am still dealing with it now, although it is a lot better. When the temperatures started to get low (I'm in Vancouver BC), I brought it inside. It also got attacked by a squirrel, so I needed to protect the new growth that hadn't been gnawed off already.

It did well indoors for a while. I sprayed it with water to try and keep it damp. But when it started to get really cold outside, I think it got affected because it was near the door. Many of the small older leaves started falling off. I figured this was a typical response to adjusting to the indoors, and so I wasn't too worried. But the rate of dropping kept accelerating at a concerning speed. I thought that maybe it was because it wasn't getting enough light, so I got a light and put it nearby. The dropping leaves slowed, so I thought I was in the clear.

But now the large leaves that recently grew have started to brown at the edges, and some of them have dropped too. This is happening to leaves all around the tree, not just the ones near the light. A couple of the lemons have fallen off as well. I read that it might be a buildup of fertilizer, so I watered it well to get a good amount of water draining out the bottom (one solid watering a few days ago). But I am concerned it may be something quite serious. Any thoughts? It's started to get warmer, so it might be able to go outside again soon without being hit with frost.

Here are some pictures of what's going on: http://imgur.com/a/iIgWH
posted by smasuch to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: My lemon tree went through plagues of mites and needing to be radically cut back. It has had no leaves several times. It was indoors in a covered patio, but it finally came back like crazy after a few months outside. It was so dead appearing that I almost ripped it out of the pot and just didn't get around to it before it covered itself with leaves. It's now absolutely majestic and had never looked better. Whatever is going on with yours (I'd guess stress from scale infestation and being switched from outdoors to indoors triggering some shock), don't give up on it even if it starts looking really dead.

For now, let it dry a bit and take off any blossoms or fruit so that the plant has energy to recover. Trim back dead branches to green wood.
posted by quince at 3:35 AM on January 23, 2017

Best answer: It sounds really over watered. Mine is watered once a month, if that, and is happy. The brown leaves are often from too much water. So just leave it alone for a while (although I totally agree about pulling off any remaining fruit and flowers, they will add stress to the plant) and see if it comes back.
posted by shelleycat at 5:58 AM on January 23, 2017

Response by poster: Thanks! I've removed the fruit, and we'll see how it develops.
posted by smasuch at 9:21 PM on January 25, 2017

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