Meyer Lemon has sticky leaves - is this good?

dpolson37(7a VA)January 12, 2011

Happy Winter everyone. I am new to growing my meyer lemon tree and not sure if this is normal behavior or some bug that has invaded. I bought my tree last spring at Lowes and kept it outside all summer. It produced about 10 lemons which finally ripened in the fall. I moved the potted tree in my garage till the temps got in the 30's and then brought it inside. It now is almost finished flowering and it appears to have tiny lemons growing. What I've noticed though is a sticky substance thicker than honey covering the leaves and even on the floor below. The leaves appear healthy and other than some mites the tree seems to be happy. Should I be concerned about the sticky leaves? Is this normal while the tree is blooming? Any suggestions? Here are two photos of the tree.

From Garden 2010

From Garden 2010

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subtropix

You have SCALE.--This is exactly why I leave my citrus in the garage for the whole winter (down into the 30's at the lowest). Know what? No scale--guess it's too cold for the critters.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 9:34PM
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birdsnblooms

Dpol..you said, "other than some mites, the tree appears to be happy."

Your ML looks great, but if you don't rid those mites, they'll kill your tree.

I agree with NJ regarding scale. Scale are brown bumps that can be scraped off. They hide on upper and lower leaves and stems, in-between stems.

The sticky residue is honeydew, secreted by scale, mealy or aphids. Honeydew attracts ants.
Inspect your tree thoroughly to ID which insect might be on your ML.

I make a home-made insectide to rid and kill mites. In a 16oz or so sprayer bottle, water, 2-4 drops dish soap, lemon ride or juice, garlic and hot pepper. Liquids can be replaced for garlic, citrus rind and hot pepper.

There are different types of insecticides and oils. My favorite is Fish Emulsion, although many people like Neem Oil. Both are organic.
One reason I prefer FE to Neem is, it's an organic fertilizer. When leaves are sprayed, it not only rids/kills scale, but works as a foliar feeding, too.

Keep an eye on your Meyer's, see how it does. Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 12:09AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hey Dave,

Same here my friend...I had the sticky mess on my DR that I have under lights...then noticed mites on the Plumeria.

Kevin told me to get Mitacide with neem oil...I am having a hard time trying to find this, but right now I am using 3-1 by Bayer..seemd to work well..but I would like to use the neem oil now, especially when they won't burn from spraying them outside...Hope it clears up for you...I 'm having a time with my critters as well...

Hope all is well in NOVA? WHen is the date?

Email me when you are leaving...Thanks... : )

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 1:12AM
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dpolson37(7a VA)

SCALE, drat! Where does that nastiness come from? I got that last year on one of my desert roses, but it was very visible on the leaves as round areas that I could remove. I see nothing on the lemon tree leaves except sticky goo.

Well, I promptly put the tree out in the garage to hopefully kill the scale and mites and give me time to cleanup. It's supposed to be near 40 this weekend so I will spray it down with a soap, water, neem oil mix and hope for the best.

Thanks for the unfortunate bad news.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 8:24AM
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