Meyer Lemon, Lemon Drop & Mexican Lime Trees

bigtxJuly 6, 2008

I am brand new to gardening. I bought (from Home Depot) the three trees described above. The Meyer Lemon had 5 fruit that had set, but growth has stagnated and one of the fruits died and fell off onto the ground. I admit to over-watering at first. I had it inside because I wanted the glorious fragrance in my home that everyone talks about. It developed nats and leaves started dropping like crazy. I bought a water meter and took them outside and the leaves started burning up in this BLISTERING Texas sun. My house gets almost no shade in the backyard, and daily temps are near 100. I only water them when the meter shows they're nearly dry and them I try to water until it's running out of the bottom of the pots. Still a few areas will show nearly dry on the meter in a day or two. I do have a pretty shady front porch. Should I put them out there? If so, what can I protect them with?

Similarly, my lemon drop tree had little white flowers all over it and I excitedly thought I was going to get a bunch of lemons. They all have withered and died. I use SuperThrive and Osmocote on all three trees, even added some organic compost to the Lime tree but they look miserable and I am not getting a single fruit. The lime tree isn't even putting out white flowers. I am afraid that I will lose the few on the Meyer Lemon. What can I do? What am I doing wrong? I need help! I desperately want lemons!


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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

Well, I grow in the ground, not in pots, so I'm not an expert, but in general they old school thought on water for citrus was to let them dry between waterings. Now folks seen to agree that a little too dry and you need to water a little more often. Still, not so much that you start water logging or getting root rot problems, but a little sooner, not quite so dry, may help.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 6:07PM
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If they are in the black plastic pots from HD, and in the sun all day, the pots may be cooking the roots and stressing the plants. You also may have over-fertilized them. You could try putting them on the porch and see if they start putting out new shoots in a few weeks. Or you could get a bale of straw and pile lose straw up around the pots to the rim, to keep them cool.
But it is normal for lemons to have most of the little lemons fall off, so you haven't necessarily done anything too terrible. I should also mention that citrus only bloom once a year, usually in the spring, so you'll have to be patient to get your lemons and limes! If you have no fruit now, you'll have to wait for next spring.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 8:45PM
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I would like to debate that citrus only bloom once a year. I bought a Robinson Tangerine in the fall that bloomed in December and is no in full bloom again.

I also purchased a Meyer Lemon that had just finished blooming and had a single fruit on it with no signs of growth or blooms on June 16th. I Heavily pruned the branches and roots back and as of today it is in full bloom. Maybe I am just lucky or something?

June 16th:

July 17th:

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 10:47PM
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To answer the original question it seems as tho the plants are just super stressed, and when they get stressed they drop their leaves and fruit to survive. They are getting much different conditions than they were at HD, where they outside or inside a greenhouse in HD? I am going to guess that they were inside or at least shaded, they had to be hardened off in before just putting them in full sun. This is done by SLOWLY introducing them to the sun for a short period of time gradually working up to full day sunlight.

Stop fertilizing and watering until you know for sure they are dried out. Than completely soak and repeat the cycle. Citrus will survive slightly dehydrated better than they will flooded. The meter you are using measures the electric conductivity of the soil so if it is littered with fertilizers you will get false readings.

Are you able to post pics of the trees and their pots? I would suggest a re-potting and pruning, but as you said you are new to gardening and this may scare you a bit. Do you have any friends with a green thumb that could help you with this?

Don't expect any flowers or fruits till next year as said since the plants are so stressed, but you never know with some TLC and luck you may get some winter blooms.

Again pics would really help, and good luck!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 11:00PM
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I have a lime tree and it is full of little limes, however,
the tree is dropping leaves. What might I be doing wrong.
I am going to put it outside when the frost danger is over. Will that help? Dot

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 8:27PM
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