leaf drop persian lime

witter15October 10, 2011

I brought my citrus inside for the winter about a month ago and it is flowering like crazy. about a week ago I started getting a lot of leaf drop. The moisture content is good and the soil is about a 1 alkaline. I use a slow release fert. every 6 months as recommended on the package. Also noticed some leaves turning yellow. Otherwise the plant is producing fruit and 95% of the leaves are nice dark green. Just wondering if there's anything I should do at this point or is this just a case of the plant not being acclimated. Kind of new at this citrus thing.

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Proly just the shock of moving it indoors, temp and humidity changes; make sure it is not overwatered and give it a good mist once or twice a day; and if you have a warm day, put it outside and give it a wash with the hose, it does wonders controlling simple things like spider mites which afflict indoor plants. There's lots more knowledgeable people than me on containers and cold climates on this site. I am assuming you are in a cold climate, since you don't say where you live, but you did say you brought your citrus inside.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 12:36AM
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Yes I live in southwestern Ontario Canada so it gets pretty cold around this time. It has been nice the last few days so i'll try spraying it with the hose and misting more often then I do. Thanks, glad to hear it's nothing thats real concerning.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 2:23PM
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Yes. I am with John on this!

Good advice John!


    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 5:25PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

What sort of soil or mix are you using?


    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 5:28PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Dropping leaves because indoor light intensity is *far* less than outdoors. Tree will drop sun-adapted leaves, then will grow shade-adapted leaves.

When yu reutrn it outdoors, it will drop shade-adaapted leaves and then grow sun-adpated leaves.

Not a good thing for an evergreen pant to use up - waste - that much energy. Rig lights as a supplement while indoors.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 10:41PM
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Using a general container potting mix mixed with some compost.

I didn't know plants did that kind of thing with the sun and shade adapted leaves. i'll grab a UV light for the winter. the lime is by a huge window as it is so it does get light but I will still add some extra light.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 9:32AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Jean is right. Leaves don't adapt to lower/higher light areas.
The plant adapts by discarding old or inefficent leaves, and then growing new leaves.
Also remember that outdoor shade is brighter than the brightest spot in your house.

Most importantly, however, I think you should consider changing your mix.
Fertilizer won't do much if your plant's roots aren't healthy and able to
absorb nutrients. If you could post a picture of the current soil, that
would be great. Compost is terrible in a mix, causing problems for many folks.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 12:07PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Don't use a UV light. Instead, rig a 2 or 4 tube shop light, then use normal lights -- coolwhite or warmwhite

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 12:25AM
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Now if you want to keep the leaves you have that have grown on your tree all summer, or all winter, it takes dedication and consistency, practice, and trial and error if you don't heed what many here are saying.

I put mine into shade for days at the end of summer and cut the sunlight levels. They still get lots of light like Josh says. Now while the days start getting shorter and this also helps.
I also bring mine into a room that mimics almost the same temps they are use too.

Lets' say I plan on holding some in a room that holds into the 60's and above all winter, I pull them in before the weather gets colder than that and provide lot's of south facing sunlight.

If I plan on holding them in a room that is not heated in which the temps never rise above the 50's, then I keep those outside longer and they can handle the adjustment just fine in sunny windows or just well lit rooms.

The key is to mimic their conditions as closely as possible indoors as they were use to outdoors. It take practice, but you can get it.
I have NO leaf drop ever when putting the outside in the spring and bringing them indoors in the fall.

Have a great day all.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 9:46AM
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wow thanks for all the help everyone. I'm pretty new to citrus so all these tips I had no clue I should be doing.

When spring comes I will slowly acclimate the tree to the outside conditions as well as in the fall, something I didn't do this time around. I have a few of those tube lights sitting in the garage so i'll rig those up instead of buying those expensive UV lights.

I also re-potted with a better mix that was geared towards flowering and fruiting plants that I got at the greenhouse. When I re-potted the roots looked good, they were bright white and had a lot of fibrous growth along the outside of the main root ball. I'm glad I didn't leave it in that soil long enough to destroy the roots. Thanks again

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 1:16PM
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