Meyer Lemon Tree Needs Help


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Hi All! I've had this tree for almost two years. The first year it was lush and I got ~10 lemons. Then I left it outside during the heavy rains we got here in So Cal over the winter. It definitely got too much water. The tips of some of the branches turned black and all but the leaves that are currently on it fell off.

I reported it into fresh, fast draining soil with lots of perlite (the top just has a bit of the soil covering the perlite) and pruned all black branches. The roots looked pretty good and I trimmed any roots that were soft (there weren't many). This was three months ago. It did bloom but produced no fruit (which I didn't expect) but no new leaves have grown, and it looks like something is eating the leaves as well.

It's in full sun, I water deeply about once a week (only if I can't feel moisture when I stick my entire finger into the soil). I fertilized once with citrus granules last month and it's due for another dose but I don't know if I should or not since it's not doing anything.

What do you think I should be doing that I'm not? Any idea what's eating it? How long does it take for leaves to grow back after an overwatering like this?

Any help to get this tree healthy again will be much appreciated.

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I think....

Your best bet is do just leave it ,and see what happens, all this moving about does a plant no favours.

On a side note,if you get hot sunshine a black pot absorbs the heat and it can cook the roots, is there any reason why this can't go in the ground?Or switch to a white pot.
 
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It's hard for me to say, while I have a Meyer lemon tree, I don't do container gardening, so I don't feel confident in commenting on plants in containers; however, I do feel that deep watering once per week may be too much.

As for what's munching on the leaf, I wouldn't worry about it. I believe it's normal to lose a few leaves to some type of herbivore. Now if you have a locust invasion of biblical proportions...that's another problem....:D


EDIT: You might need a bigger container...but then again, I don't do container gardening, so it's just a guess....
 

zii

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ok,my opinion is:
Don't do nothing it needs time for recovery.
no- direct sun .
water 1 for week, exclusively if dry.
no fertilized .
good luck
 
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I read through other threads and posted on another forum and got different advice (fertilize, full sun and black pot is good to keep roots warm) so now I'm more confused. Maybe someone who grows these trees in containers will chime in...
 
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Yeah, it's very difficult for me to give advice on trees in containers; my instinct is to plant it in the ground, then go from there...

As for watering, you say you put your finger in the top, but have you ever checked the moisture of the soil by putting your finger in the bottom, where the drain holes are? I just don't trust finger-depth checking of soil moisture level.

I would like someone who is experience on container gardening to weigh in on the size of your pot, given the size of the tree. It just seems to me the pot should be bigger, but admittedly I'm biased since I don't like containers.


P.S. I would keep the plant in full sun conditions; however, I'd probably cover/shade the pot so the roots don't get too hot. I say that because you're just 4 degrees north of me (I'm at latitude 30 deg) and the sun down here is very powerful. The roots do need warming up, but you want to be careful in not baking them.
 
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No worries roadrunner. I really appreciate you trying to help. The roots aren't big since I had to trim some off and they definitely have enough room in that pot. Unfortunately there isn't a place where I can plant this in the ground so it has to stay in the pot. I have checked the bottom and when I water it is damp but never wet. I have also started checking it with a chopstick to ensure it's not wet deeper down than my finger can reach, though I'm not sure how dry I should let it get. Should I wait to water until it's dry at the bottom? The tree is between two other pots that shade it somewhat but I will start checking the sides to see if it gets too hot.
 
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Should I wait to water until it's dry at the bottom?
I'm sorry chrissy, but I'm just too stupid to say:(

Maybe this can help. It kind of makes it sound like you were doing the right thing with watering once per week when soil dry to a finger's length.

Maybe time is all that's needed, but I'd definitely keep it in the sun. I like my fig tree, because its leaves droop when it's thirsty, but my Meyers lemon tree makes me do a Vulcan mind-weld to figure out when it's thirsty:D

https://www.provenwinners.com/learn/water-your-way-happy-plants
 
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I like my fig tree, because its leaves droop when it's thirsty, but my Meyers lemon tree makes me do a Vulcan mind-weld to figure out when it's thirsty:D

https://www.provenwinners.com/learn/water-your-way-happy-plants
Aha! I know. My tree doesn't have enough healthy leaves to tell even if they did wilt. Some are sticking straight up and others are droopy. The only good news for me is that it hasn't gotten any worse since Feb so hopefully it will survive. Thanks for the link!
 
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I bet it will come back just fine. They get to looking a little scraggly, especially in California where they like to hold onto their leaves through winter. They are very forgiving trees in my experience. May/June, you should start seeing new leaf growth if not this year, than next. If you can stand it, pinch off all the flowers next bloom. This won't get you any fruit this season, but the tree will be able to focus it's energy on growth instead of flowers and fruit production. This has worked well for me for my Meyer lemon and other plants
 

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