Grass hoppers ate my tree.

raisefire(Zone 8)October 26, 2012

I have a 5 year old potted Meyer lemon tree that has been stripped of its leaves by grass hoppers. I recently moved and it didn't like it. I dropped most of its foliage. About a month ago it started to push new leaves and was looking good. I came home the other morning to find it completely bare of new and old leaves. There are 2 leaves that we're not completely eaten with a jaggered maybe 1/2 inch left near the stem. I would like to move it inside for the winter in front of my sw facing window to try and rehab it back to health. I havnt faced this defoliating issue in a while and never right before the dormant season. I have never grown it inside and right now I'm transitioning it to do so (would it even matter to transition with no leaves?). Any advice on how to rehab this tree. I have other Meyers but this is my first citrus tree and it has sentimental value to me, any other and I would probably just throw it out.

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Citrus don't go dormant they just slow down. So yes you would want to bring it inside. With no leaves there's no worry about transitioning it though. Just set it up by a good window and water very infrequently. Wait until the first foliage appears and then a week or two later fertilize lightly. I've read a lot of posts on here about total leaf loss and that always seems to be the remedy and it seems very successful :) good luck


    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 7:59AM
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Hey Nic and Raisefire.

Happy Friday:-)

Let me ask you. Do you live in an area where you can keep your tree outside weeks longer?

If so and if it were me, I would leave it outside as long as possible and I would come up with a plan until the grasshoppers leave, which should not be very long.

To start, you could buy thin bug screen and cover over your plant like a canopy until they leave.

You could sprinkle 'diamtomacious earth' all over your tree discouraging any pest from wanting to ever eat any leafy part of your tree.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:50AM
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raisefire(Zone 8)

I live near waco tx. I put my tree in the window in my unheated garage to escape the grasshoppers. Right now a cold front just blew through last night with lows in the lower 40 to upper 30s but it should warm up next week. But ya Im able to leave mine all out all winter unless a freeze should come through that usually lasts for a day or two. For pest control would bayer and advanced for citrus prevent grass hoppers from feasting next year when they come back?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 1:46PM
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Bayer advanced is imidacloprid; it will kill the grass hoppers, but not before they eat the leaves. I don't know the best defense for grasshoppers; because they are not a problem for me. I sometimes get infestations of Esperanza (what you would call a katydid?); if they are in large numbers, I spray with Bayer Decis, a broad spectrum insecticide that is fairly inocuous; in smaller numbers I let the birds control them.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 4:27PM
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