first time meyer lemon tree owner with problems

hsernulka(7)November 19, 2011

Hello Fellow Citrus lovers,

I work at a retail nursery and one of my customers offered me a potted Meyer Lemon tree. I don't know much about the plant, such as age or what the potting medium is, however it is about 2 feet tall in the pot. I live in Maryland in Zone 7, so I brought it inside for the winter and set it in front of a north facing window. I read that citrus like moist but not wet soil, so I have been watering it every 3-4 days with a few cups of water each time. The healthy green leaves are starting to fall off and some of the leaves are turning yellow and falling off. The plant came to me with lots of small, green fruit and fragrant blooms all over it. Now, a lot of the small fruits are yellowing, some turning black, and falling off. I have noticed some small insects that look like fruit flies flying around the plant, but they don't seem to be attacking it in any way. Anyone have any ideas on what the problem could be?

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Not enough light might be the issue. Citrus needs all the light it can get. That's not a north window in winter. It could also be too wet. Don't water until the media is pretty dry.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 7:41PM
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Thanks fruitnut. I wish I had a better light situation for it, but north is really my only option. I may have to rearrange some furniture, because I love this lemon tree!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 10:33PM
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have you thought about artificial lighting? cheap pvc piping, brooder clamp on lamps and large CFL bulbs, and timers.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 4:13AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Most likely you're overwatering. It's practically assured, infact.
Watering should be thorough, wetting and flushing the entire soil-mass.
Then, the soil should be allowed to dry out between waterings.

Use a wooden dowel or skewer stuck all the way into the container to measure
the amount of moisture in the deeper layers (this is key). If the stick comes
out clean and dry, water. If the stick comes out damp or dark, don't water. re-test
every 2 days until the soil is dry enough to water again. A wick (synthetic fiber/string)
can also be stuffed into a drainage hole and allowed to dangle below the container to
reduce excess moisture in the bottom of the pot.

These tricks will help you limp your plant through the winter, but they won't take the
place of a properly made mix and a full re-potting next Spring/Summer.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 11:20AM
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I have a potted Meyer lemon tree, that I've had for almost 2 years. It spent the summer outside getting afternoon sun, and only got watered when dry, unless it rained. I'm in zone 7 as well, and on days when it's not going to freeze or frost overnight I leave it outside. It's now full of blooms, and forming lemons.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 9:34PM
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