Meyer Lemon nailed with DEET! :-(

jgpyke(z7 NC)August 19, 2011

I am completely heartbroken. After coddling my potted Meyer lemons for the past three years, I was finally ready to get a decent crop...

That is, until my daughter and niece decided to coat themselves in DEET while standing right next to my plants yesterday. The leaves are now spotted, having lost green pigmentation in the spots (looks like Roundup overspray, for example). The fruits are likewise spotted, the shiny green citrus skin eaten away to the pith, in spots.

What should I do? Let it go, as is, and hope the plants and fruits survive? And if so, can I eat these lemons when they're finally ripe, three or four months from now? Or do I cut off all parts of the plants, including the fruits, that got hit with the DEET.

I am so bummed right now. Any help or encouragement would be appreciated.



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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

I think you're fine, Garvey, just hose down your little tree best you can. Meyer's are very hardy citrus, it will rebound nicely, and any DEET that might have been absorbed should be gone and out of the fruit by the time you're ready to eat it. The tree will still need those damaged leaves for photosynthesis, so try to over look the damage and next time, tell the kids to watch it! I had a very similar thing happen to a stunning Echeveria 'Afterglo' that got sprayed with suntan oil last summer, which promptly ruined the dusty finish and etched little spots in it. I was heartsick, but it's recovered and doing fine, now. I think your Meyer will be fine, and so will the fruit. I'd just let it recover, and wash it down thoroughly.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 7:53PM
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it should be ok, spray it down with some soapy water, then rinse it off really well.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 1:02AM
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jgpyke(z7 NC)

Thanks, y'all. I gave it a washing/drenching. I truly appreciate the advice and encouragement.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 12:31PM
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