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Greenhouse: Help...My myer lemon tree is loosing it's leaves

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Hallchinalady
Central Pa
United States

December 10, 2010
9:45 AM

Post #8253301

at an alarming rate...I still have a few of the bottom leaves but the tops are nude...anyone have any ideas on what I'm doing wrong...?????

It's in a sunroom with about 70* heat and close to a window (doublt paned)...and under a grow light...I have no idea what's wrong. Does anyone have a clue??? I've checked for bugs and found none.

HELP...before I loose it altogether.
laurawege
Wayland, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 10, 2010
9:53 AM

Post #8253312

I hope some one answers this post as I am in the same boat ! My myer lemon is completely naked ! I have hope though the branches are still nice and green, what I am hoping is happening is that the plant needs to grow " indoor " leaves to compensate for the lower light , there does seem to be swelling at the joints where the leaves were . I am not sure if it would go dormant given the chance does anyone know? I am tempted to put it n the basement with the clivia's and Calla's.
RDZinny
Mechanicsville, VA

December 10, 2010
11:55 AM

Post #8253444

Is the humidity low in your house ? Is it close to a heater ? I have mine in a sunroom and also have a humidifier. I keep mine away from the heater too because it will dry it out.
I dare not put it in the greenhouse because last year I had a problem with scale, which is common for Meyers Lemon Trees. I didn't want my orchids to get scale so now I keep it in the sunroom.
Hallchinalady
Central Pa
United States

December 10, 2010
1:10 PM

Post #8253534

It's in the room with the hottub...I wouldn't think it would need humidity as it has lots of orchids growing around it and they're fine with the humidity...not too hot in there either...low about 62* at night and high of about 70* during the day...
I have no scale...just all the top leaves have fallen off...the lower two branches that are the bigger of them all still has leaves but getting worried now...the branches are still green and look like it might...just might be able to bud again...but it's a LONG time till it can get outside for some good summer sun.
Also not close to a heater ...It gets watered when the orchids do...about twice a week...too much water...too little??? Needs feed?????? I have no ideas...
Hallchinalady
Central Pa
United States

December 10, 2010
1:22 PM

Post #8253564

OK..on doing some research online...here MIGHT be my problem...



Q. My leaves are turning yellow and falling. What is wrong with my citrus tree?

A. Yellowing leaves are an indication of a watering problem, which includes over-watering, inadequate drainage or a combination of the two. The problem can be easily treated and prevented by using the correct soil mixture. We recommend using Peters or Miracle Grow 5lb bag for about $7 at Wal-Mart or at any local garden center. Whatever the soil mix, the key is to make sure that it drains and doesnít stay overly moist.

OR it could be:


Fertilizer
Citrus trees feed heavily on nitrogen. Your fertilizer should have more nitrogen (N) than phosphorous (P) or potassium (K). Use at least a 2-1-1 ratio. Miracid Soil Acidifier is a water-soluble product that works well and is a 3-1-1 ratio. In some regions, you may be able to find specialized citrus/avocado fertilizers. Buy a good brand and apply according to package directions.

Also important are trace minerals like iron, zinc, and manganese, so make sure those are included as well. Many all-purpose products will work. We prefer slow release fertilizers in the granular form rather than fertilizer stakes. Follow rates on the package carefully as fertilizers come in different strengths, release rates, and application schedules. We recommend that you fertilize more often than recommended with most slow release fertilizers. Yellowing leaves indicate lack of fertilizer or poor drainage.

OR:

Some Final Rules of Thumb
Regardless of how (or when) you transplant or repot, plants always go through an adjustment period. Some plants rebound more quickly than others. Think of it as a person or family moving into a new home. The new home may better fit their size and comfort requirements, but they still must become familiar with their new surroundings before life can get back to normal. Plants are much the same way. In most cases, transplanting or repotting will only slow plant growth for a brief period. But there are a few exceptions. For example, some plants are more prone to heavy leaf loss. Donít become overly concerned about this. In the proper conditions, new growth should begin to appear soon.

Now as I didn't repot or transplant...I'm gonna
A. Let it dry out completely before I water again
B. Fertilize weekly - weakly
C. Not get too concerned...(And pray!)








ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 10, 2010
1:27 PM

Post #8253570

I'd check on the watering--stick your finger down a couple inches into the soil and see how wet it feels. That's a better way to judge if it needs water vs going by time. Also make sure if you've got a saucer under it to catch excess water that you're emptying that promptly after you've watered rather than letting the plant sit around with wet feet. And keep in mind if it's lost all/most of its leaves, it's not going to go through water nearly as fast as when it had leaves. If the watering looks OK, then one other thing you might check is whether there's a heating vent blowing directly on it--that can cause problems sometimes. I wouldn't fertilize it until you figure out that the problem's not due to something else--it's best not to fertilize stressed plants (think of it like feeding a steak dinner to someone who is sick--probably not the best thing for them until after they've fully recovered!)
laurawege
Wayland, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 10, 2010
2:30 PM

Post #8253663

I did repot mine before I brought it in . It was given to me by a friend who took a little whip and put it in a HUGE pot with what I considered to heavy a soil. I knew the pot was tp big and the soil to heavy but did nothing about it till it was time to find space for it inside . I am encouraged that it looks like it might push out new leaves. good luck with yours Hallchinalady
Hallchinalady
Central Pa
United States

December 12, 2010
5:22 AM

Post #8255696

Yes...I think I've been watering it too much...and I do have a suaucer under it...has drainage...but it's next to a window and gets a bit colder than I'd like...but need the light...might have to pull it back a bit. I do have it in a bigger pot than it needs but if it was outside, would be the same...didn't want to stress it each time by repotting it up. I did use regular potting mix and not dirt from the garden.
I'll wait to fertilize it but do you think, when I DO water it next, to have a weak worm tea manure...it's supposed to help with soil and such...
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 12, 2010
7:56 AM

Post #8255928

I suspect watering is your main problem then. If it's in a pot that's a bit too big for it that makes it even easier to overwater (and it's not that hard even with a proper size pot). So I'd make a habit of doing the finger test before every time you water, and don't water unless the soil is drying out a couple inches down. And make sure you empty the saucer promptly after watering. Plants that are indoors for the winter are not going to need to be watered nearly as often as when they were outdoors during the warmer months, and now that it doesn't have leaves it'll go through water even slower.

The trouble then with having the overly large pot is that you water and the soil gets soaked, but since the plant is going through water so slowly then the roots end up staying wet for a really long time even if you're waiting until things dry out a bit in between waterings. If the pot's just a tiny bit too big, then you can probably manage things just by watching that you let it dry out between waterings, but if the pot's more oversized than that then I would give some thought to repotting it into something that's a more appropriate size.
Hallchinalady
Central Pa
United States

December 12, 2010
12:36 PM

Post #8256261

Will keep this all in mind and yes...I've been over watering it...will cut down drastically.

This message was edited Dec 12, 2010 12:36 PM
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 15, 2010
4:25 AM

Post #8261075

Also, it is not uncommon for these types of plants to shed leaves if there is a noted change in lighting conditions. Many potted plants (ficus comes to mind) go thru this when brought in from outdoors. With reduced watering and a mild fertilizer, it should be fine.
gallesfarm
Tamworth, NH
(Zone 4b)

December 15, 2010
5:55 AM

Post #8261199

It's so easy to overwater these guys. I have a dwarf Meyer lemon and a dwarf Mexican Sweet LIme I got this summer as 2-3 year old trees from Four Winds. They were on a south facing screen porch for a while, so they had bright light, but it was indirect light, and I overwatered at first. Having high humidity this summer didn't help. Mine didn't drop their leaves but they did start to roll up lengthwise. I sent an email to Four Winds and a photo or two and described what I'd been doing, and they said it was overwatering. They recommend a moisture meter because they say the finger test isn't that reliable. The probe needs to go down where the roots are.

I still don't have a moisture meter though. :)

Oh, and they also recommended to be sure the crown roots are showing above the soil at the trunk. So I had to remove some soil.

Since bringing them inside for the winter, I've had them in an east window, which is the only place I have room for them. They are up on a desk. I mist them daily with water since it's very dry inside, but I only water them with Miracid when the soil is dry. Yes, I still do the finger poke test, but it seems to be working so far. :) They seem to be doing OK. No loss of leaves (which I had happen all the time before with a smaller 1 year old tree I got from Logee's and I finally gave up on it) beyond a few small ones here and there, and there is one leaf that is looking a little yellow on one of them.

I've been worrying that my pots are too small, but maybe they are just right for now. They are 12 inch pots, but they have a fairly sharp taper from top to bottom, so they are maybe only 8 inches at the bottom of the pot. I'm afraid the roots may be crowded, but I'll wait until spring to repot them into different containers.

Crossing my fingers for all our citrus to be happy and healthy!


This message was edited Dec 15, 2010 8:57 AM
Hallchinalady
Central Pa
United States

December 16, 2010
3:28 AM

Post #8262904

Two more big leaves shed overnight...not many left...will share a picture when I get a chance...I have not watered it in two weeks...think maybe when I do...I can use a weak worm maure tea on it to give it a boost? It's also supposed to be good if it has any root rot...the sad part is...it doesn't look like it's ready to sprout any more leaves...
Hallchinalady
Central Pa
United States

December 16, 2010
5:08 AM

Post #8263001

Ok...Here's my picture:

Thumbnail by Hallchinalady
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 16, 2010
6:35 AM

Post #8263155

Give it time on sprouting new leaves--it doesn't happen overnight. As long as the branches are still flexible and if you scrape the bark there's green underneath then the branches are still alive and assuming it's cared for properly it'll sprout new leaves when it's ready. The leaves it does have do look a little chlorotic so a little bit if dilute fertilizer might be helpful (just make sure not to use too much). And only feed it if you were going to be watering anyway--on the chance that you were watering it too much you don't want to give it extra water just so that you can get the fertilizer in there. The manure tea won't hurt it either--won't be enough nutrients to get rid of the chlorosis though. Again don't use it unless it was time to water anyway.
Hallchinalady
Central Pa
United States

December 16, 2010
7:23 AM

Post #8263241

Thanks so much!
Hallchinalady
Central Pa
United States

December 16, 2010
4:13 PM

Post #8264037

2 more things I forgot to mention...the greenhouse is currently at 58*...and I have a hottub that is opened daily...would the humidity or the bleachy humidity I should say, hurt this tree?
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 16, 2010
5:28 PM

Post #8264102

It shouldn't be a problem, people have enclosed swimming pools and grow plants in those enclosures without problems. If you're splashing hot tub water on the plant that could cause problems, but just the vapors shouldn't be an issue especially since you're just opening it once a day. Too much humidity can lead to fungal problems, but I don't see any signs of fungal issues in your pictures.
Hallchinalady
Central Pa
United States

December 17, 2010
2:14 AM

Post #8264481

No fungal problems here. Just trying to cover all my bases.

Thanks again...
Hallchinalady
Central Pa
United States

January 2, 2011
3:06 AM

Post #8287710

Ok...Have new leaves and buds starting...thanks for the help!
Hallchinalady
Central Pa
United States

January 10, 2011
3:37 PM

Post #8303161

Will post pictures tomorrow! It's really starting to perk up!
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

January 10, 2011
5:35 PM

Post #8303430

Glad to hear that!
Hallchinalady
Central Pa
United States

January 10, 2011
6:05 PM

Post #8303485

Ok...Here it is - I cut back on the water and fed it...and have left it alone since Christmas...

Thumbnail by Hallchinalady
Click the image for an enlarged view.

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