Meyer Lemon

mrsg47(7)August 22, 2012

Hi all, I was given a very expensive 3' Meyer Lemon in a terra-cotta pot. Alas, besides wanting one forever, now that I have it do I just water it and feed it a bit osmacote? Its outdoors now, but I'll bring it in for winter. Besides apple cake, I can now have lemonade! It has three lemons on it. (tiny) but they are there! So excited about this tree. Mrs. G

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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)


There is a citrus board on Garden web and a lot if not most of the people on that board grow potted citrus so might be worth your time to post there also.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:24AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Mrs. G, repot it in something NOT terra cotta. Too drying. Plastic, fiberglass or glazed ceramic. Osmocote Plus with the micronutrients is a better choice, or Dyna Grow Foliage Pro liquid fertilizer, the choice for many folks who grow container citrus. Use a potting mix that allows for very good drainage, Fafard's Professional Heavyweight 3 or 52 mix, or mix your own, which you can find on the Citrus forum by searching for "511" or "gritty" mixes. Good luck! I love my Meyer lemon, makes the BEST lemonade ever.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fafard Professional Heavyweight Mixes

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 2:13PM
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Mrs G,

Now that you have a Meyer, you should be aware that they are a bit sensitive; less so inground than in container, but here are the "rules".

If you water it too much, it will drop its leaves.
If you let it get too dry and then water it, it will drop its leaves.
If you move it abruptly from one quality of light to another, it will drop its leaves.
The good news is it will recover from these changes; what the plant is doing is trying to replace existing leaves with new leaves better suited to the new environment.
Best advice when moving the plant indoors is to first move it from full sun to partial shade; after two weeks move it to full shade; and after another two weeks move it indoors. Reverse this process when you put it out in the Spring and you will avoid the heartbreaking leaf drop that too many people suffer.
Aside from this sensitivity, Patty has given you good advice; if you follow it, you should have good luck. BTW, don't be surprised if your new tree drops the fruits it has now, because of moving shock.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 2:49PM
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Thanks all. (Johnmeer,Hoosier,and Bamboo!) Holy cow, one sensitive little tree. It was outdoors at the nursery when I picked it up and brought it home. Probably the car ride will make it drop its leaves too. LOL. All of your advice(s) were excellent. Just superb. I'll look for a French glazed pot. Thanks so much Mrs. G

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:16PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Do you have a glazed porch or sun room? I had a Myer for around 20 years and always left it outside until the last possible moment ie just before a real frost and then kept it in a just frost free porch over winter. It has only died because I was too lazy to bring it in last year. I fed it a citrus food when I remembered and watered when I got around it. It never dropped its leaves. It was in a terra cotta pot in John Innes no.3 mix and got repotted about four times in those 20years. I never brought it into the house proper. Central heating would have been the end of it.

Watch for scale when it's inside and go over the stems with babywipes to remove them (a tip I got from a citrus grower).

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:22PM
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I have to watch when I bring mine in for spider mites and whiteflies. They never show up outside.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:52PM
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Flora! Good to hear from you: " in John Innes no.3 mix". What is this mix and where do I get it. You silly thing, you should have brought the tree indoors!!!! I have a South facing dining room and that will be good for the lemon. There is filtered light due to the curtain over the door leading out to the terrace where it will be placed.

Itilton, do you spray it before you bring it indoors. I've had whitefly in the house before with other house plants and its nasty. Really don't like them. What should I do?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 9:18PM
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I never know exactly what will infest the citrus, so I wait and see what shows up before I spray.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 9:51PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Hi, again. If you are set on taking it out of the terra cotta a cheaper option than finding a new glazed pot would be to repot in a plastic pot and use the original terra cotta as a cache pot. John Innes is a formulation - maybe you can't get it in the US.

I totally agree with ltilton regarding treating pests. Wait for them to show up before you act. I never sprayed mine but it only ever got scale, which you can wipe off, and aphids which can be washed off. Neither was a problem outside.

Here is a link that might be useful: John Innes

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 4:39AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Its funny watching the bumblebees hit the blooms of my lemon...It was blooming about 2 weeks ago and they were several bumble bees hitting those flowers. Wisconsin bees not use to that citrus nectar :)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 10:56AM
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I have been watching wasps on the leaves of the Meyer. Very interesting. I've only seen a few wasps on my raspberries. Giant 'bumbles' seem to love my raspberries! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:15PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

If there are wasps on the leaves it might be worth checking for pests since, although some forage for nectar, many wasps predate other insects. If you find something then you'll need to find a control which won't kill the wasps too as they are doing a good job.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 5:33AM
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I checked each leaf and there is no visible evidence of other insects or disease. The lemon has now dropped 8 leaves (Johnmeer) but is hanging on to its other leaves. The three tiny lemons have not yet dropped, I'm just waiting for the rest to drop. Boy, John were you ever right! The nights are beginning to go into the high 60's. I will continue reading about citrus and moving the tree slowly towards the shade each week. Flora you are a great source of info. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:26AM
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