HELP with my new meyer lemon tree

lemontreenewbieJuly 27, 2014

Hi, any advice you all could give me would be greatly appreciated. I have tried reviewing other topics and the web in general, but am overwhelmed by different opinions, and conflicting advice.

I am a complete novice. I have a townhouse with a nice patio, and have recently bought several plants, and two citrus, a Valencia orange and a Meyer lemon. I has to search for a month for one of any size, they are all sold out in my area. It is 15 gallons, not sure how old.

1) I was told to water it only when top soil is dry 4 inches down, likely once a week or so. I bought a meter and check every other day, and it seems to register dry every three days or so. I water well and slowly with two watering cans of water. Some water drains out. It's averaged 80+ degrees three weeks I've had it and it gets 6-8 hours of good hot sun. Am I overwatering? Is my meter flawed?

2) It has one large green lemon, two small egg sized one, and maybe 20 tiny ones in clusters. But, no flowers anywhere. When should it flower? I really want lots of lemons, which is why I got such a large tree, but I see others at nursery now in bloom.

3) should I fertilize it? It says on tag attached that fertilizing while setting fruit may cause fruit drop. What does that mean? Am I supposed to wait until harvest to feed it. That would be months away.

4) leaf miners are rampant here, and the nursery says they can't stop it. It only on a few leaves, so I sprayed it with spinosad, but I believe that has stained the leaves now. I wiped it off all the leaves after a week, and some seem discolored now. Should I be concerned? Should I continue to spray?

I will post photos next.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lemontreenewbie

Smaller Valencia

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lemontreenewbie

Cluster, and you can see how spinosad stained leaves

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lemontreenewbie

Leaf miner?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lemontreenewbie

Miner?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lemontreenewbie

Also, what fertilizer should I buy? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

Your trees look very nice. Knowing what kind of soil your trees are in is very important. Pots are very small compared to in ground and I do not like my soil dry more than an inch or less. If you know your soil is well draining you can water more often. We also need to know temperature, humidity, windy/not, rainfall. Then others in California can fine tune your water/feed program.

I live in Cincinnati and have to break all the rules that keep other's trees alive.

Best of luck and welcome aboard the citrus forum.

Steve

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
johnmerr(11)

Almost any chemical, if applied when the temps are too high will burn leaves. The damage you ask if it is leaf miner is only physical damage. Get some Foliage Pro or Espoma Citrus Tone and apply according to label instructions, and what looks to be a mineral deficiency (the light spots in the leaves) should disappear with time and patience.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
johnmerr(11)

Almost any chemical, if applied when the temps are too high will burn leaves. The damage you ask if it is leaf miner is only physical damage. Get some Foliage Pro or Espoma Citrus Tone and apply according to label instructions, and what looks to be a mineral deficiency (the light spots in the leaves) should disappear with time and patience.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lemontreenewbie

Thanks for the replies! I am located in Los Angeles. There is not much rain. It will be a hot summer here. We easily top the 90s weeks in a row.

So, John I will get the fertilizer. I should feed it now even with the baby fruit on it, and that won't make the fruit fall off?

I am not planning to repot it in larger pot until after I get a harvest. I am terrified of messing it up.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mr_z1(10a/9b)

The damage looks like it is from malnutrition rather than the spinosad...lemon meyers are notorious drama queens when they don't get enough minerals. Keep all spinosad sprayings during evening times and remember not to do it when you have blooms or else you will kill those bees we need in cali. I don't see any leaf miner damage at all. Those missing chunks of leaves look like grasshopper damage.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lemontreenewbie

Thanks mr z. I probably shouldn't have sprayed at all. I am trying to find out answers to my questions I listed in the original post because I have gotten so much conflicting information at all the nurseries I visited looking for a large meyer. One person said water daily, another said once every two weeks, one said all citrus in containers die, another said lemons only bear fruit once a year....it ridiculous, and they are supposed to be experts.

I will not spray anymore if you all feel it isn't significant damage, I just don't know anything, so forgive the beginner questions. And I am reading all I can. I appreciate any advice.

Will it bloom again? Should I feed while fruits are on like in picture? I guess john meant I should since he said follow directions on label?

Should I repot before I get any ripe fruit? Will it cause drop? I am so confused.

I notice on some other threads that some newbie didn't take the advice very well. I appreciate ANY time any of you experienced gardeners take to respond to me, and will do exactly as I'm told. :).

The spots weren't there until I sprayed the spinosad. The leaves were perfect except for the one that were lightly damaged. I think it was that that caused the spotting.

I really need to know when it might bloom again so I know if I'm doing something wrong. Like, it could have fruit and blooms at same time, right?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lemontreenewbie

I guess I am so concerned because there are no blossoms on my meyer or my Valencia. I chose from 15 trees, and none of them had blossoms, but the smaller 5 gallon ones all had blossoms.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
meyermike_1micha(5)

I noticed from experience that my trees will bloom and fruit when ever they feel like it up here in the north...I have 4 Ponderosa trees that never bloom at the same time..

All of mine bloom, and have fruit on them at the same time..
The only thing I can say about re potting is that the ultimate best time to do so is in the spring for me, but for you I suppose anytime of the year other than when it's brutally hot, like the peak of summer.

Your tree will probably never have a moment when their is just leaves as mine don'tever, so I never worry about loosing fruit or buds...

If you transplant in a way so as not to disturb the roots then you will loose nothing. If you do a bare root, then you might loose fruit and buds depending on your process.

I think your tree looks awesome, and as said, might be missing a nutrient or two..A good fertilizer will correct that.

The damage you see looks mechanical and as stated grasshopper...Have you ever seen a grasshopper eat a leaf away? Amazing..

I hear you about people not appreciating the help or just plain ole rude, but the amount of people that do appreciate it far out way those that don't We can add you on to the list of appreciative ones)

Mike

Good to have you...

This post was edited by meyermike_1micha on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 8:26

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
maggyby

Hi Lemontreenewbie. I also wanted to welcome you here. I too am new to growing citrus . I started with three trees and in a few weeks they have grown to seven and about to increase again. You will find so much valuable information here. At first I was overwhelmed like you but Mike, Brian, Steve,Cory and others are very knowledgable . They are very willing to share their experience and expertise . I have learned so much from them and they are very nice people . I have several of my trees in the 5-1-1 mix and they love it. The rest will be repotted as well. I bare rooted them and they are growing very nicely in the 5-1-1 . No loss of flowers .It is light and drains well. As per the advise I have a feeding schedule and give them 1 tsp of dyna gro foilage pro with a cap of vinegar in a gallon of water every Friday. I water in between if needed. Mike suggested using a wooden dowel in your pot to check if it needs water. That works well for me.I have had some bud drop but Brian has told me that is normal for young trees as they will only retain what they can support. Kind of natures way of balance I guess. Recently I got a greenhouse so I can overwinter them but of course you don't have that problem where you live.. I too have found that the nurseries do give conflicting advise . Listen to those I mentioned here. They have been very successful and know what works. I really ,really appreciate them . Best of luck with your trees. Maggy

This post was edited by maggyby on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 16:36

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
BarbJP CA 15-16/9B

You're getting very good advice here, much better than at most nurserys. But don't fault the staff there too much, the pay at most nurserys and garden centers is at or just a little above minimum wage for most of the staff, so don't expect much. Some of them who love plants will educate themselves anyway, but most just repeat what they heard someone else say, if that.
You've done the best you can so far by coming here to get information. Welcome and Good Luck!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 11:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
johnmerr(11)

Yes, go ahead and feed it now with the fruit you have. For future reference if you give a Meyer too much Nitrogen when it is blooming, it will often drop the flowers and make more leaves; the time to feed it is after the fruits have set.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 12:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lemontreenewbie

Thanks so much! I am off to find FP locally. I will also roll the dice and do vinegar as well. It never occurred to me that the tap water could be an issue. I just killed two hydrangeas the I had in an acid soil mix, couldn't figure out why. Perhaps is was the tap water. The nursery is certainly not watering with tap water, and I wonder if there water is different.

I assume since the tree is doing well the soil is okay. It seems pretty rocky and sandy so perhaps it is already in a better mix than say, a simple potting soil. But it is tight. It is hard to stick in the water meter. I have to force it. Is that bad.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 1:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
meyermike_1micha(5)

If you have a problem sticking the meter into your mix, then I would be concerned...It should be porous, so porous you can stick your fingers through like slicing butter...Easily and without a struggle...

How will oxygen feed the roots if the soil is that tight?
How will disolved salts escape that kill fine roots?

Tap water can do damage if not careful..It is alwasy good to see what your tap water is made of and pH..

MIke

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 2:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lemontreenewbie

I got the foliage pro and vinegar in today. Wouldn't it be wild if they started blooming in a few weeks? I shudder to think if I had followed label instructions or nursery advice. The leaves also seem to uncurl when I water the tree.

Another question, since the tree is over 5 feet should I give more Foliage pro? There are no dosing instructions for size of tree on bottle? Doesn't a bigger tree need more?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 6:03PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need help with my Meyer lemon!
Hi everyone, new to this forum and to gardening in...
wanderess
Please diagnose my citrus
My indoor Meyer that I grew from a cutting is developing...
garret_87
New leaves - possible too much watering?
Hi! New member here. I haven't had a chance to go back...
springddd
Sap on citrus leaves, but no insects
I have been studying the many comments regarding sap...
diekle
Leaf drop question, meyermike, johnmerr, or all expert advice please
I've been watching one of my two meyer lemon tree's...
stickstring (Northern California 8b)
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™