Indoor Meyer Lemon tree

vanessa york

Dec 30, 2017
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Hello knowledgeable garden people! Please help us save our sad looking indoor lemon tree!

We live in zone 3 (central BC, Canada), and have very long winters, so the light is reduced a lot in winter. We have this plant in the only room that would give it East/SE sunshine, and the temperature ranges from 18-21C (65-70 F). We have been misting it to provide some humidity (house is pretty dry), but honestly, it is looking worse and worse over the past 5 months since we brought it home. It was purchased from an Okanagan nursery, and looked fantastic for the first few months, until it was brought indoors. It has produced many lemons, as the photos attest, but, we fear the plant is unwell. Lots of leaf loss, now leaf tip death... we've tried watering/misting with Epsom salts. We want to keep away from feeding it chemicals...

Generally, my spouse and I disagree about what it needs in terms of water. My fear is overwatering, his fear is underwatering. It looks worse and worse, whether we give it some water, or not much water. I felt the yellowing leaves were indicating too much water low in the pot, and also, in winter, plants need less water, generally. The top few inches are very dry, so he feels we are depriving it. Perhaps the issue is not water at all? What else can we consider?

Thanks for any help!
cheers, vanessa and dean




Jan 5, 2017
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Atlantic Beach, Fl
Hardiness Zone
United States
I have a Meyer lemon tree, but it's in the ground, so I really don't know much about growing one indoors.

FWIW, I had major problems with it for a couple years and I started by removing many plants from around its understory and planting cover crops, especially Fava beans around it in the winter and it came back really nicely.

So based on that my first thought is that your tree needs nutrients, especially nitrogen. I see Overwatering as a possibility (more so than underwatering), and that does have a tendency to wash away nutrients, but then again I have no sense of watering a tree in a container. Also the container seems too small, maybe time to get a larger container and what ever good soil amendments for container growing.

In the long term I would consider storing it in a greenhouse or an area that gets a little cooler and at the same time gives the tree more sunlight; Meyer lemon trees actually like it a little cooler when their fruits are ripening. This provides some really good information and talks about overwatering.

Some ideas of a "Greenhouse"

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