Potted Dwarf Meyer Lemon tree stuck in a rut

Ash7681June 16, 2013

Hello, I planted a Dwarf Meyer Lemon tree 2 months ago in a 15 gallon pot. It has since not grown even a tiny bit. It came with 5 partially ripe lemons, and they have since not shown any growth either. All the growth buds on the tree appear to be dead and black (picture posted). Some of the leaves at the bottom are turning yellow and falling off. I have been controlling the watering and allowing the soil to dry before waterings but that isn't helping. Desperately need some help to figure out what is going on with my tree.

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Here is an image of a yellowing leaf.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 2:01AM
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I recently purchased a dwarf eureka lemon from walmart and am experiencing the exact same issues since transplanting into a larger pot... would also like this question to be answered

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 2:25AM
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Potted Meyers are sensitive beings. They do not need to dry out between waterings; I would try to keep them moderately moist. If you give a Meyer too much water, it will drop leaves; if you let it get too dry and then water, it will drop leaves. The yellowing leaves are simply lack of food; the tree sucks the nutrients out of older leaves to use for making new leaves/fruits/flowers. Give it a shot of fertilizer; and soon enough you should see new growth.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 2:09PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yep, fertilize it....


    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 7:22PM
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Thanks for the replies folks. I do want to point out a few observations:

1) The tree was growing fine at the nursery. The problem with yellowing leaves started after I brought the plant home but before I had repotted it into a 15 gallon pot. I am not sure though if I watered it too much or too little during the 1 week it sat in its original pot in my backyard.

2) Regarding the need to fertilize it, I want to mention that I put in some bone meal near the bottom of the container and filled it until halfway point with 2 parts potting soil and 1 part compost; then potting soil for the remaining portion. Is this not good enough? I did add some Miracle Gro solution today based on the recommendations.

3) I recollect noticing that the soil in the original pot (from the nursery) seemed hard. I didn't break it beyond the periphery before repotting. Could this be affecting the roots?

Would repotting again help? If so, what things could I do to make things better for my Meyer tree?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 1:20AM
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Hello Josh and John! Hoping you guys are well.
Josh, I will chat with you soon."=)

Um Ash, do you water your plant in sips, or give it a good soaking so that water runs out from the bottom between waterings?

The reason why I ask is because your second pic shows dry soil near the edge while other places are wet.
Could be too that an entirely different mix is drying out while the center and or root ball is staying wet.

These could cause severe issues.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 9:46PM
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Mike, I use a 4 gallon per hour drip irrigation tube to water the pot. It opens near the center of the pot (though not too close to the tree stem). I am assuming the water spreads out through-out the pot as it moves down. So the top soil at the farther edge is dry (as seen in the pic).

The other thing is that the pot is buried in the ground, so I do not know if I have watered it sufficiently. I let the water flow for about 12 minutes which is 0.8 gallons of water for a 15 gallon pot. I water every 4th day. The area is shaded by tall trees through-out the day, so it doesn't get much hot, plus the cooler California weather. Do you think the watering is enough or too much?

I do use a moisture meter in another pot with similar schedule and it stays moist down in the pot between the waterings.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 10:42AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Mike!

Ash, bonemeal takes months to become available, which is why it's best to incorporate into your mix early in the season before planting/re-potting. Moreover, bonemeal doesn't provide the Nitrogen that this tree needs.

The mix you describe is most certainly not good enough to sustain a growing tree. Potting mixes seldom have more than 2 - 6 months worth of nutrition, and that doesn't take into account the hungry nature of Meyer Lemons.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 3:29PM
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