Yellowing Meyer Lemon Leaves


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Hi everyone,

I am new to the forums and a relatively new gardener. I've had a dwarf meyer lemon tree for about 4 months now. For about the last month or so, the leaves have started turning yellow around the edges (pictures attached). I feel like this started happening after I prophylactically sprayed the leaves with neem oil and gave it some citrus branded fertilizer one time (picture attached). That was the first time I fertilized it and I haven't fertilized since because I drew this connection in my mind.

yellow_leaves_1.jpg yellow_leaves_2.jpg
citrus_fertilizer.jpg

I've left the tree in its original 1 gallon plastic container. It hasn't grown much since I got it so I thought that would be sufficient for now; plus it's easier to move to the bath tub to water it. I water it about twice a week in the bath tub by slowly adding water until the soil is fully saturated. I live in the Pacific Northwest, so I had it indoors but now this past week, I've been taking it outside for a few hours at a time while the weather is warming up. Otherwise, I spray the leaves once or twice a week to help keep them moist.

Any idea what might be happening? Thank you so much for your time and help! Apologies in advance for my gardening ignorance!
 
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Hi everyone,

I am new to the forums and a relatively new gardener. I've had a dwarf meyer lemon tree for about 4 months now. For about the last month or so, the leaves have started turning yellow around the edges (pictures attached). I feel like this started happening after I prophylactically sprayed the leaves with neem oil and gave it some citrus branded fertilizer one time (picture attached). That was the first time I fertilized it and I haven't fertilized since because I drew this connection in my mind.

View attachment 63202 View attachment 63203
View attachment 63204

I've left the tree in its original 1 gallon plastic container. It hasn't grown much since I got it so I thought that would be sufficient for now; plus it's easier to move to the bath tub to water it. I water it about twice a week in the bath tub by slowly adding water until the soil is fully saturated. I live in the Pacific Northwest, so I had it indoors but now this past week, I've been taking it outside for a few hours at a time while the weather is warming up. Otherwise, I spray the leaves once or twice a week to help keep them moist.

Any idea what might be happening? Thank you so much for your time and help! Apologies in advance for my gardening ignorance!
I haven't seen this in quite some time. Your tree is suffering from magnesium deficiency. MD is usually caused by irregular or improper watering techniques or by the soil being too acidic. It can also be caused by magnesium leaching from the soil. Too much potassium is also a likely culprit because it can build up in soil and stop magnesium uptake. Since your tree is in a container with (I suppose) potting soil we can rule out acidity as the cause. That leaves improper water and leaching as the cause since you have only fertilized once. When watering you MUST water all of the roots which you seem to be doing but at the same time you are watering too often. As the tree doesn't show any signs of overwatering I suspect that the trees is rootbound in the container and a rootbound plant is very difficult to water properly. Here is what I would do. Repot into a 2 gallon container and when repotting MAKE SURE there are no encircling roots. You need to fertilize more often to stop this and other things from happening to your tree. Since you are using Espoma liquid you need to fertilize about once or twice every month. And once you repot you shouldn't have to water but about once per week or 10 days. And when you water, water from the bottom up not top down. Fertilize from the top down not bottom up. To get this tree out of the funk it is in, water in from the top a couple of handfuls of Epsom Salts
 
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It could be magnesium deficiency or an iron deficiency but its due to using Tap water and saturating the soil. You have plenty of nutrients in the container. You are watering too much and it's locking out the trace minerals. You can increase the size of the container with fresh soil in the next size pot. Just transplant up 2 inches up in a larger pot size and hold off on the fertilizer would be the easiest fix. Epsom salts is salt and if you put on your plant you will kill it.
 
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It could be magnesium deficiency or an iron deficiency but its due to using Tap water and saturating the soil. You have plenty of nutrients in the container. You are watering too much and it's locking out the trace minerals. You can increase the size of the container with fresh soil in the next size pot. Just transplant up 2 inches up in a larger pot size and hold off on the fertilizer would be the easiest fix. Epsom salts is salt and if you put on your plant you will kill it.
It is not an iron deficiency. The pictures show classic MD. There is no yellowing with green veins, it is totally the dark green V. It is not a nitrogen deficiency either where the veins are yellow and the leaf green. There is no evidence shown of too much water. No browning of the leaf tips and margins, no curling either. About Epsom Salts. ES is NOT a salt, it is magnesium sulfate and is widely used in gardening. Here in Texas in alkaline soils it completely stops Blossom End Rot in tomatoes among other things. It even enhances blooming and color on roses. You will get a mineral salts buildup by using synthetic fertilizer but not with ES as there is ZERO salt of any kind in ES. If the poster was fertilizing with a granular or pelleted fertilizer I would agree with you about the holding off on the fertilizer but with organic liquids or soluables there is minimal residual and in fact zero residual after 5 or 6 weeks. That is why the manufacturers say to fertilize every 2 weeks, to keep nutrients in the soil. The poster said he fertilized once in 4 months. I wonder how long it was in the container before being fertilized. I really doubt if there was an abundance of nutrients of any type before the posters use of Espoma.
 
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Thank you both so much for taking the time to help me out!

Chuck, I appreciate your advice. I read about magnesium deficiency online and the pictures and description match my tree. I think you're right on. I had only fertilized it one time since I bought the tree from the nursery 4 months ago.

I went ahead and repotted the lemon tree in a container twice the size and tried my best to untangle the encircling roots. I also ordered some magnesium sulfate and will apply a little to the top of the soil and water it in when it arrives. Thank you again for your time and expertise!
 
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Hi everyone, I seek your expertise again. I repotted the lemon tree and tried to untangle the circling roots. I also just received magnesium sulfate and haven’t applied it yet (wasn’t available at store so had to have it shipped). However, the leaves have changed and I wonder if this is signifying another or additional issue going on with my tree or my care of it. The leaves are falling off and the middle of the leaves have started browning (picture below). Any additional thoughts on what could be wrong?
 

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Joined
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Hi everyone, I seek your expertise again. I repotted the lemon tree and tried to untangle the circling roots. I also just received magnesium sulfate and haven’t applied it yet (wasn’t available at store so had to have it shipped). However, the leaves have changed and I wonder if this is signifying another or additional issue going on with my tree or my care of it. The leaves are falling off and the middle of the leaves have started browning (picture below). Any additional thoughts on what could be wrong?
It's part of the same issue. The plants are not making chlorophyll and when water is uptaken it is unused and browning the leaf tips. The same thing almost as watering too often. APPLY ES NOW, about 2 cups worth scattered over the entire soil surface and water it in.

 
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