Meyer Lemon Tree Yellowing Leaves

Mrs.Leo(7)October 25, 2012

Hi all, I'm new to gardening and to this forum, and I'm really excited to know that there are so many of you out there who are so kind to share your gardening knowledge and experience. We welcomed our first tree (Mr. Lemon) into our home back in July. The Meyer lemon tree has been out in the yard for the past few months. We moved the tree indoor 2 weeks ago. It's currently being placed under 3 light bar plant grow light (15 watt T8 fluorescent bulb each).

We noticed the tree has produced lots of flower buds since moving indoor and at the same time some of the leaves are turning yellow.

We fertilized the tree with Dr Earth's fruit tree fertilizer, coffee ground and crushed egg shells.

The last time we watered we noticed that there were springtails in the soil.

Any ideas on why the leaves are having yellow spots? I've been reading up and the reasons could possibly be rotting roots, manganese deficiency, over watering, not getting enough light... What should we do to prevent the problem from getting worse? Mr. Lemon appreciates all your help! :)

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johnmerr(11)

First, you did what so many people do with Meyers in containers; you made an abrupt light condition change. Meyers are quite sensitive to such changes and will often drop many leaves to later replace them with leaves better suited to the new light. It looks to me like the two top yellow leaves got burned... maybe too close to the light?
The lower yellowing leaves is reaction to the light change.

Does your container have good drainage?... not clear in the foto. The tree looks very healthy; not like it has been overwatered. In the future, Spring and Fall, when moving the tree, do it from full sun; 2 weeks then to partial sun; another two weeks to full shade; then 2 weeks to indoors; reverse in the Spring and you should avoid the common leaf drop. I would also limit the fruit on this size tree to no more than 5 or 6; any more than that, the tree will "forget" to grow.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:02PM
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Mrs.Leo(7)

Here's a picture of the lemon tree under the 3 fluorescent grow light.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:04PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

You're burning the leaves, Mrs.Leo, that's pretty apparent, considering how close that poor tree is to the tubes! Put your nice tree outside during the day, bring it inside at night if temps are threatening to drop to freezing. Bring it in gradually. Leave it in a bright window. If you feel compelled to give in additional light, then be sure this light is stationed at least 18" above your little tree.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:09PM
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Mrs.Leo(7)

Johnmerr, Thanks for your insight. I think you're right regarding the light issue. We live in the Seattle area and it's started to get cloudy and overcast these past two weeks. We were worried that the tree is not getting enough warmth and light. We were even considering to get an additional grow light last night! As you can see from the picture I just posted, the light is just an inch or two above the tree. Should we reduce to 1 light instead of turning on all 3 for the moment or leave them all off?

The tree was transplanted into this current pot 1.5 months ago. It's supposed to be a self watering pot. I don't use it for that purpose but more for drainage. There are holes on the bottom of the inner pot and I've put some small pebbles on the bottom to facilitate drainage. The tree hasn't really grown any taller since we got it. It looks more like a bush than a tree at the moment. We were hesitate to prune it due to our inexperience. We were also not sure whether we should remove the fruits as well. There are 12 on the tree right now. Thanks for your advice, we will remove some fruits from the tree tonight.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:23PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Nice to meet you.

My goodness! I am with Patty and John!

Please, remove that tree from being that close as soon a possible. Have a good night.

Mike

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:32PM
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Mrs.Leo(7)

Thank you all for pointing out the obvious problem, which for some reason was not obvious to us. We just kept thinking that we're not giving the tree enough light for keeping it indoor. Poor Mr. Lemon... He will promptly be removed from his tanning booth before he's getting further damage.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:43PM
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