Another WLD Question

baconquestFebruary 7, 2013

Hello again!

So I have yet another leaf drop question for the forum, I think this brings the total to 100000 posts on the subject! This is more an observation than anything else. I recently moved my meyer )which I got as a christmas present this year) from an ESE facing window to one facing true south. About a month before that point I had purchased a 5000 lumen, full spectrum CFL and had it cranking about 6" above the plant. Very little leaf drop till I moved it to the south facing window. Now the leaves lowest and closest to the trunk are falling off. I'm not really concerned, there's actualy new growth and buds all over the tree and it seems happy in the 5-1-1 mix I have it sitting in, and i'm trickling in 1/4 tsp foliage pro every watering (about every 10 days right now, using a moisture meter AND the dowel method to confirm). I'm just not sure if its common for the lowest leaves by the trunk to be the most succeptable to WLD, or if its trying to tell me something else. Most of the leaves look fairly healthy when they drop, but I'm noticing the deep green, bigger leaves seem to be anchored on better.

Only question for everyone here would be, do you think I should pull the CFL light now? I'm honestly not sure how much its doing for the plant, but I'm not seeing much harm in keeping it on the tree, unless it could be the culprit. My room hovers between 60 and 68 F (rarely gets above or below that).

As always, thanks for the help, folks!

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Well, a photo is always helpful, but I suspect it is just a factor of moving the Meyer Lemon, which is rather sensitive to changes in light, good or bad. If you're seeing new flush at those nodes, or elsewhere, I wouldn't worry about it. Older leaves drop as a normal course of events for citrus trees. My only concern about the CFL lights is to make sure it is high enough above your tree so it doesn't burn the closest leaves. But, I'm not an indoor container expert by any stretch. Hopefully some of our more experienced indoor citrus folks will comment. Add some photos which will help to stimulate some feedback.
Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:15PM
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Hi Patty!

Thanks, I've been digging out of 2+ feet of snow here :( I'll get some pictures posted once I get a few seconds. I did some research before getting the CFL, most experts on the "Growing Under Lights" forum say you need at least 5000 lumens to have any effect, but since mine is only supplimenting natural light, it seems pretty effective. Also, they spell out safe distance from the light, and most people say 6-12" is more than enough and its not very effective beyond that range. The leaves closest to the lamp actually seem to be doing the best. They're very full, deep green color and show little sign of stress.

Then changing of the environment situation makes sense to me. It gets a good amount of light now that its on the south side of my house, although its still weak at this time of year. I'm using the gauge of new growth and buds as an indicator that overall it was the right decision, could it be shedding some leaves to divert energy to the growth?

I can't wait for spring. This snow and short days are killing me. I'll get some pics soon. Thanks!!!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:19AM
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Hello Again,

Took some pictures of the tree. This picture shows where i have the CFL positioned relative to the tree. Tough to tell but there is about 6" between the closest leaves and the bulb. I'll post another follow-up with some other pictures.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:23PM
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New growth!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:27PM
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Here's the problem I'm seeing up close. 2 leaves right next to each other, one is deep green, the next closest to the trunk is developing chlorosis and will probably slough off in the next few days.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:30PM
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I think your tree needs more fertilizer as the new upper leaves are stealing Nitrogen from your lower older leaves.

You are keeping your trees in extreme growth mode with that much artificial and natural light with that kind of warmth which calls for more nutrients.

I think your trees over all looks terrific and in fact nice and green! You are doing great with the 5.1.1 mix and the Foliage Pro...
Watch for a bit of yellowing throught as the day gets longer.
If this happens, then check to see what the pH of your water is, and if it's higher than 7.0, use vinegar to acidify your watering solution.

Great job and I am so happy to see such beautiful trees grown in just about the same fashion as I do.

Just don't be afraid to up your fertilizer to about 1/2 teaspoon at every watering since you are only fertilizing once every other week since you said you only water once every two weeks.
Great job!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:19PM
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Thanks Mike!!

I was wondering that about the fertilization... I'll double up on my next few waterings to see how it reacts. These days I'm hardly watering it at all it seems, on account of the cool indoor conditions. My water is definitely basic. The Worcester water report shows an average pH of almost 8, so starting with my last feeding I threw a capful of vinegar into my watering can.

I have to say its very encouraging hearing such kind words from someone who's trees look as good as yours!! I am a complete newbie when it comes to container gardening in general, so I'm just glad following the advice of yourself and the other experts on this forum is paying off.

On a side note how did you make out in the storm? I got trapped in New Haven for the weekend waiting for the plows to come. Over 3' of snow there. It was incredible.


-Mike B

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:46PM
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You are very welcome and thanks for your comments!

Yes, I did make it and now you would not even know it was that bad, right? The snow has melted so much since then but boy was I buried at that time! I could not get out of my house and had to shovel 4 feet off my flat roof.

It's great to see you using vinegar. You should notice a remarkable difference in the over all vigor of your trees.

Yes, I would say I can tell you are feeding yours well and that tree has much vivid green in it, what I look for in mine. Great job!

When the spring is in full swing and the days longer, it will be looking for more nutrients than what you are already supplying, so be prepared for that.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:47AM
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