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Growing Meyer Lemons in Containers

Nov 30, 2011 -
   
  Growing Meyer Lemons in Containers
Tricia picks a basket of fragrant Meyer lemons.
 
   

Say the words Meyer lemon and people either throw back their shoulders and proudly announce, I have a Meyer lemon tree!  or they get a sad expression and sigh, I wish I had a Meyer lemon tree.

You can be part of the proud crowd, no matter where you live. In our new video Tricia shows how to plant a Meyer lemon in a container and grow it indoors in the winter—moving it outside when the weather warms up enough in the spring.

Follow Tricia’s planting and care steps and in a few years you could have your own harvest basket full of Meyer lemons.

Meyer lemons are prized for their sweet flavor. They actually are different from other lemons, since they are said to be a Chinese cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. The Meyer lemons on the market today are called improved since they are now resistant to a citrus virus.

Here are some additional tips to help your citrus tree thrive and produce fruit indoors.

POLLINATION

Bees and other flying insects are the natural pollinators for citrus. Our window screens keep the insects outdoors, so if your tree is flowering while it is still inside you should give it an assist. Meyer lemons often flower and fruit twice a year. When the tree is blooming, take a cotton swab and transfer pollen from one blossom to another.

SUPPLEMENTAL LIGHT

Place the tree in the brightest part of your house, near a south-facing window. If that is still not enough light, add some low-energy LED Grow Lights.

FERTILIZERS

Meyer lemons are heavy feeders and the easiest way to meet their needs is with a special citrus fertilizer. We recommend E.B. Stone’s Citrus & Tree Food and Citrus and Avocado Fertilizer Plus Zinc from California Organic Fertilizers. Did we mention they are hungry? Follow the directions for their multiple fertilizings each year.

qwikliftMOVING THE CONTAINER

It’s easy for us to talk about a tree in a container and breezily say, Move it outside when the weather warms up. With all your fertilizing and good care the citrus tree is going to grow and need larger containers over the years. The QwikLift is the tool many of us use to lift heavy planters in our own gardens, and we even give them as gifts to our gardening friends.

TRY THESE CITRUS TOO

Tricia picks a mandarin orange from her outdoor tree. In addition to Meyer lemons, many citrus grow well indoors too.

Bearss lime (also known as the Tahitian or Persian lime)
Lisbon lemon
Washington navel orange

For more information try the popular book The Bountiful Container, with learned advice about growing citrus and other fruits, vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers in containers. Authors are the well-known Rose Marie Nichols McGee (yes, that Nichols) and Maggie Stuckey.


Categories: Fruit Trees, Citrus Trees, Grow Lights, LED Grow Lights, Container Gardening, Edible Landscaping, Organic Gardening 101, Urban Gardening & farming


Breyn Says:
Sep 8th, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Hello,

I am interested in purchasing a dwarfed lemon tree. How long does it take for the tree to produce fruit?

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Sep 9th, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Breyn, Our semi-dwarf Meyer lemon trees can produce within a year, if they have proper light, fertilizer, and water. Our trees are 2-3 years old when sold. A 4 year old tree is considered a “mature” tree. We have even had fruit from trees in their first year http://groworganic.com/organic-gardening/articles/lemons-in-december

Hope this is helpful!

Cynthia Says:
Nov 3rd, 2012 at 10:47 am

Hello,
I have a Meyer Lemon Tree that is about 4’-5’ tall and I’ve brought it indoors for the winter. ..I’m in CT.  It only has one flower blossom and I’ve already maually pollinated it.  My questions are:
1) Is it okay to fertilize? I have an Citrus Tone that I use during the summer but want to know if I can fertilize it indoors as well:

2) How do I get more blossoms?  It’s in a sunroom on the southside of the house…does it need fertilize or a grow light?

Thank You!
Cynthia

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Jan 30th, 2013 at 11:37 am

Cynthia, The Meyer lemon needs more light and more fertilizer to give more blossoms during the dark of the winter months. Our favorite “fertilizer” for the winter is Thrive Alive which is a kelp, vitamin B based all-purpose plant tonic. It helps to promote flowering without heavy nitrogen.

Lisa Frankel Says:
Feb 11th, 2013 at 11:08 am

Hello, I have an improved Meyer lemon that I bought last summer. It flowered in late fall and I am hoping for some lemons!  Now it has what I believe to be scale (brown bumps that I have been picking off using a paper towel soaked in dish soap).  The sticky substance from the scale is getting thicker each week. It also has what appear to be spiderwebs, although I can’t see any spiders.  Now some of the leaves are turning yellow and dropping.  I have it in a small south-facing greenhouse and I water it once a week, which is when I pick off the scale.  I’ve read that others put lemon trees in their garage to kill scale.  Should I move it to a colder, darker space?  Please tell me what I am doing wrong!  Thanks!,

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Feb 11th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Lisa, Oil smothers the younger, softer shelled scales before they can reproduce. Green Light Neem (neem oil), Organicide (fish and sesame oils) are labelled for use against scale. Bugshooter is a citrus based spray and Safer 3-1 is a sulfur/soap combo - both also labelled for use against scale.

You can put the lemon in your garage if there is sufficient light, as the cooler temperature will help. Warm greenhouses are prime pest habitat. You will need to still be aware of the night temps and possibly cover your citrus if you are in a colder climate.

Hope this is helpful.

Rawd Says:
Mar 2nd, 2013 at 7:06 am

I have enjoyed Meyer lemon trees for 14 years. I don’t know how long they will live though. I have rooted these special trees from cuttings (tops of the young trees) as well as from seeds.  Wow, do they ever take quite a bit of time to sprout, about 45+ days on a damp papertowel in a closed container (rinsed regularly to avoid mold, etc.)  But the fruit ripens in Dec. I will leave some fruits on til April and they get darker and sweeter.  I am happy to help anyone who wants to get started with Meyer lemons. Great growing wishes, Rawd  

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Mar 4th, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Rawd, Thanks for your interesting suggestions!

holes in my leaves Says:
Mar 16th, 2013 at 7:22 am

Hi,
I recently bought a grafter improved meyer lemon tree from the local garden center. It has lots of buds and it had holes in it’s leaves. I asked what they were from and they told me that it was from being watered from above…I have brought it home and the holes are getting bigger.  I don’t see any bugs at all.  A couple of the leaves have turned yellow and dropped off. I am getting worried…also can I fertilize it with Miracle gro?
Thanks in advance,
Lisa

Jeanette Rodman Says:
Mar 18th, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Smart Pot for Meyer Lemon/Citrus?  Can I use a Smart Pot to grow a citrus tree?  How to move?  Can I use a plant lifter?

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Mar 27th, 2013 at 11:03 am

holes in my leaves, My first guess was that the holes were caused by birds trying to get to any bugs that might have been on the plant.  But if they are getting larger, there must be some kind of bug or caterpillar - look on the undersides of the leaves.  Usually citrus critters work from the outside of the leaves inward, but…

I do not know the composition of Miracle Gro products.  Citrus usually like something with a higher N than P and K (E.B.Stone 7-3-3 or Dr. Earth 8-5-4) so they need to look at the N-P-K of the Miracle gro product they are thinking of using. We recommend organic fertilizers that support both the plant and the soil.

Sean Says:
Mar 31st, 2013 at 12:37 am

The holes in the leaves could be a sickness the plant gets. We’ve had problems down here in Florida with it. Look it up its called a Citrus canker. Hope that’s not what it is!
Best of luck

Lois Birk Says:
May 25th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

My Meyer Lemon tree is just covered in small lemons.  My husband keeps telling me I should remove some of them so the others will grow.  I don’t want to do this.  Is this necessary?

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Jeanette, Yes, Smart Pots were developed for the tree nursery business. Here are some plant lifters if you want to move the tree that way http://www.groworganic.com/garden-tools/garden-accessories.html

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Sean, Thanks for your suggestion!

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Lois, It is not necessary, but here is some incentive to make the sacrifice.  Most fruit trees - citrus among them - can be overly taxed by bearing an excessively large crop.  They may successfully bear one year and then require a rest period the following season.  So, for a consistent crop, thinning can help lessen the stresses that cause alternate year production.

Citrus will usually do some self-thinning on their own, but under stressful conditions - such as heat waves - a bush that has not been thinned may already be trying to carry such a load that it will drop all fruit.

And, of course, the quality and size of the fruit will benefit. 

How much to thin?  Common practice is to leave one bud per cluster.  This is not a hard and fast rule -  consider the age, health and rootstock of the bush when deciding how large a harvest can be carried without stress.  Luckily citrus will usually drop their fruit before their health is compromised, but as a general practice, reducing stress on a plant is usually rewarded by a longer, more productive lifespan.

Sheila Says:
Jun 11th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Bought a 18” improved dwarf meyer lemon tree that had 9-10 lemons already growing with buds about 6weeks ago. Have been watering and fertilizing as suggested as above and the fruit is still green and lime sized. Tasted one and they do taste like very sour limes. How long might it take for fruit to ripen, or might I actually have a lime tree? I’m in Southern California.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Jun 12th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Sheila, It is usually about 6 months from blossom to ripe fruit.  So, you probably do have a lemon that has not ripened yet. Be aware that citrus often react significantly to stresses (such as transplanting) and can drop all their fruit and even leaves. 

If your tree is very young, there may be too many fruits for it to support, but it will most often self-thin itself. If the fruits are all in a cluster, you should thin that to one or two in a cluster for larger, better fruits and less stress on the tree.

Christie Says:
Jul 11th, 2013 at 10:56 pm

i am interested in getting a couple meyer lemon trees. i’m in eastern washington, so intend to grow the trees inside. i’ve read that they need a lot of sunlight- i have the perfect south facing windows for this! however, i’ve also read that they don’t like direct sunlight… as a novice gardener, I really don’t know what this means. I have a living room with two walls full of windows (south and west facing). can i put the meyer lemon in the corners of these walls? or is that direct sun? thank you so much for clarifying for me! also- can i keep these inside year round? or do i have to put them outside in the summer? are their pros or cons?
thank you!

Brenda from Louisiana Says:
Jul 18th, 2013 at 7:09 am

We have had 9 lemons on our tree, but now only 5.  Noticed the green lemons have what looks like tiny holes near the stem area.  Some have brown spots on them as well.  Any idea what we need to do to have healthy lemons?

Barbra Says:
Aug 2nd, 2013 at 11:26 am

I have six dwarf Meyer Lemon trees and they are all starting to grow new sprouts/leaves but during mid day, these new growths seem sad and wilted. Is it the direct hot sun making them wilt? And if so, will the older branches and leaves be ok if I move them to an indirect area of the yard? The temperature has been in the high 80’s lately.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Aug 5th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Barbra, If the leaves are only wilted at midday and then perk up again in the evening through morning, it is most likely the heat/direct sun that is the cause.  Try moving them to a partially sunny spot and give our Organic Liquid Kelp to help with any stress that comes from temperature extremes; it is a tonic not a fertilizer so can be used daily as a foliar feed, or weekly as a soil drench (diluted in water either way).

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Aug 5th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

More ideas Barbra, It could also be too little water, perhaps mulch the trees so the water retains more moisture? Are they in pots? If so, they could be rootbound.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Aug 7th, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Christie, Typically Meyer lemons like direct sunlight and you want that when growing them indoors. A south facing window sounds good. A western window would be even more direct sun. Trees like to get fresh air and sun in the summer, so if possible move them outdoors once all danger of frost has passed, and move them back in before the first frost of the fall.  Liquid Kelp will help them deal with the stress of being moved—use it as diluted soil drench.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Aug 7th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Brenda, Fruit drop is not unusual in citrus, according to UC Davis http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/GARDEN/FRUIT/ENVIRON/fruitdrop.html or it could be the result of a sudden change in temperature or irrigation. The blemishes on the lemons are probably just a cosmetic issue. But the holes near the stem are a concern; they might be thrips or orange worms. Look at this diagnostic chart and see if either one of those pests causes damage like that on your lemons http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/530-15.pdf Here are photos to help you too if you had any leaf damage http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/C107/m107apyoungtrees.html

Kelli Says:
Aug 14th, 2013 at 6:19 am

Hi, I have a small dwarf lemon tree I purchased from a local home and garden center in the early spring. We’re in central Louisiana so it’s spent most of its time outside where it gets direct morning sun all morning, then shade. When I first got it, I though I’d over watered it. The leaves quickly turned yellow and all the lemons dropped. Then it budded again and now there are 2 lemons that are growing well. It had one spurt of new growth then started dropping all the new growth and many of the green healthy leaves. Now it drops a healthy green leaf on occasion and it’s getting pretty bare. What would cause this? The trees that sat next to mine at the nursery are still there and have grown twice my tree’s size and have many large growing lemons, as well as all their leaves…. Why is mine so sad?

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Aug 14th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Keill, Sorry about your lemon problems! First of all, the tree needs 6-8 hrs of direct sun so it may not be getting enough with just morning sun. Fruit drop and leaf drop are common citrus reactions to stress (moving home with you, a change in irrigation, a hot spell of weather). Dose the plant with Thrive Alive http://www.groworganic.com/thrive-alive-b-1-green-label-250-ml-bottle.html which, contains kelp, as a tonic for these things. To see if your tree has a pest or disease, consult these photos from UC Davis and compare them with the appearance of your lemon leaves http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/C107/m107bpleaftwigdis.html Here is excellent information about caring for lemon trees in Louisiana http://www.lsuagcenter.com/NR/rdonlyres/D88C319D-8F9D-41A3-AF2E-8CF09F60C57B/81678/pub1234lahomecitruslowres.pdf

Kelli Says:
Aug 14th, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Thank you thank you thank you! Based on the link you provided it’s likely my little tree has a nitrogen deficiency. What would you recommend using for nitrogen deficiency? It might have also gone through a bit of shock. The first month or so that I had it, it was inside. After thinking that I’d overwatered it I put it outside where it gets extremely hot. It does get a solid 6 hours of sunlight a day at least. For the longest time I thought it was doomed. Luckily it’s coming back, i found a little new growth yesterday.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Aug 20th, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Kelli, Yay that this info was helpful! For nitrogen, use some Citrus Food like this one http://www.groworganic.com/citrus-and-fruit-tree-food-7-3-3-4-lb-box.html

Barbara Says:
Aug 31st, 2013 at 5:08 am

Hi Charlotte! I have 5 Dwarf Meyer Lemon Trees that I had in pots but they were growing so rapidly that I decided to plant them outside along my wood fence where they are still continuing to grow and appear quite happy. My problem, however, will come with the winter. I’m in the North Georgia/South Tennessee area and we have quite a lot of freezing and snow. I have read up on how people protect these trees in the winter time which gives me some comfort but I just wanted to ask you, do you believe there really is a chance they will live if I do all I can to protect them? And, when I do start protecting them (blankets/plastic…etc), do I still water them or do I just let them be still till spring arrives? Thank you for all of your advise! Barbara

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Sep 11th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Barbara, Yes, there is hope of your citrus surviving with diligent care.  Using Agribon fabric and create a tent so the fabric and the leaves are not touching, or just barely touching.  You can also add the old-fashioned large Christmas tree lights and turn them on during the cold nights. The fabric should be removed during the days unless there is snow or frost.

Watering during the winter months needs to take into account the dormant state of the plant.  Usually a young plant will be watered once every 2-3 weeks and mature plants between 3-4 week with a deep watering.

We explain the kinds of Agribon fabric and their uses here http://groworganic.com/organic-gardening/articles/find-the-right-floating-row-cover-for-plant-protection

Dianne Says:
Sep 15th, 2013 at 10:44 am

My Improved Meyer Lemon tree needs help.  I’ve had it for four months and it had 8 lemons and lots of flowers when I bought it.  It is in a pot and has lost all new flowers and buds.  Now the leaves are curling, turning yellow, and dropping.  I live on the central coast of Ca. and we’ve just gone through a heat wave that lasted over a week.  I need help!

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Sep 16th, 2013 at 11:05 am

Dianne, That was a brutal heat wave you had! Glad it is over. Here are some thoughts about why your tree is ailing.

Citrus can be very susceptible to temperature extremes.  Given care, they usually respond relatively rapidly. You can either prune down the branches, or leave them as is and continue to water and lightly feed.  You should begin to see new leaf growth within the next few weeks. It will take a while for the new flowers and then fruit, but temperature extremes (both heat and cold) are conditions that must be considered when growing citrus. It is rare for these extremes to kill the tree if it is healthy and well rooted prior to the onset.

Whenever you see the leaves begin to curl or change in color, also look for pests such as mites or scale which can have the same effects. Pruning or washing these off as soon as you detect them will keep the damage at a minimum.

Henri Posio Says:
Oct 9th, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Hello, I live in Finland and have a small Meyer Lemon Tree that is about 18inches. Its pot is in a dish with rocks and water at the bottom and is in our bathroom. The winter here has very little sun though, so we have a fluorescent in the bathroom. The bathroom is heated and has a good humidity. How long should I leave the light on? I have been leaving the light on 24/7 because i dont think it is a full spectrum light. It has grown some since (most leaves are getting bigger but a few were stunted and about 4 fell off), but since it was moved from the balcony to the restroom it lost all its new leaf buds. Do you have any advice on if I am doing the right thing, and what I should feed it as fertilizers are very different here.

Amy Says:
Oct 11th, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I just got a small lemon meyer plant - trunk diameter about 1/4”, 2 1/2” feet tall, in a one-gallon container.  From what I have read, a 5-gallon pot would be good for a mature indoor tree.  Is there any reason why I shouldn’t go straight to a 5-gallon pot vs, incrementally increasing the pot size over time?  Thanks so much!

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Oct 15th, 2013 at 11:24 am

Henri, Light is an essential for citrus, but they can survive on less than optimal conditions during the cold months if you realize you will now be dealing with a dormant or partially dormant plant. You can eliminate food until around February and then feed lightly until you are able to move outdoors. Under variable conditions, it is difficult to define how many hours are necessary to maintain health, but 8 hours would be minimal.  Keep the bush away from any heat sources or fans as that will create stress. Ideal temperatures to maintain are 70 degrees during the day and 50 degrees at night.

Citrus will show signs of stress whenever moved or transplanted. They are hardy and recover well even if the majority of the leaves fall.  Defining the stress is the key. Water, heat source, lack of air circulation, light and pests can all be factors. Not to be discouraged though—the idea is to pay attention if leaves begin to curl or discolor. Do not expect quick leaf recovery until more favorable conditions are available since the plant should not push new leaf growth until it is strong enough to sustain it.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Oct 16th, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Amy, It is fine to start with the larger pot. Growing in pots does present issues with replenishing the soil after 3 years. Therefore, if you wanted to work with a smaller pot initially and then switch to the larger size after 2 to 3 years, that would be timely. Citrus stress easily, so expect some shock when transplanting or repotting. This can be helped by giving a soil soak of either PVFS Organic Liquid Kelp or Thrive Alive B-1 at time of the transplant, or during any other stress.

Colette Says:
Oct 17th, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Hi!  I have a dwarf Meyer Lemon tree that I just brought in after a warm Seattle summer.  It has tons of bright green fruit on it, but it has also started sprouting new blossoms.  Should I remove these to encourage ripening of the fruit that is already on the tree or can it do both at the same time?  Thanks!

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Oct 21st, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Colette, Citrus fruits can take up to a year to ripen, so the bloom and fruit do cross over. You do not want a young bush to carry excessive amounts of fruit or the blooms will drop of their own accord. Citrus are rather good at self-thinning so you usually do not have to be concerned about removing blooms or fruit. If you do see fruits starting to yellow or drop, check over the bush for pests to be sure that is not the cause and keep the soil just moist and not saturated.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Oct 21st, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Henri, More about how to fertilizer your tree: You will need to renew the soil every few years and topdress and amend with compost. You should be able to get aged chicken manure, bloodmeal, and kelp meal from some source in Finland and if you need potasssium use a small amount of wood ash. Those are all basic components that you could add to your compost in small amounts and see how the tree responds. You should use caution in using small amounts.

Judy Hudson Says:
Oct 22nd, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Hi Charlotte,
I’m on Vancouver Island, mediterrannean climate, occasionally reaching freezing in the winter. Last year I left one green lemon on the tree and put it in a shed. In the spring I brought it out and the lemon was full size and grew and ripened in about July.
This year I have 12 full size green lemons and have brought it onto a sunny screened in porch. I will protect it if the temp goes below 40 degrees, but when can I expect them to ripen?
Thanks,
Judy

Cristin Says:
Nov 13th, 2013 at 5:51 pm

We have a Meyer lemon tree in our yard here in Northern CA. It is at least ten years old and seems to produce a great amount of fruit,  AMAZING tasting lemons that are wonderful.  This summer we did not get any lemons all summer, and now we are finally getting a batch. For some reason the lemons are very tiny. They have turned yellow (most) but are so small compared to how large they used to be.  Will the lemons continue to grow in size *after* they have turned yellow?

Stephanie Brown Says:
Dec 20th, 2013 at 9:25 am

Cristin, Yes, citrus left on the tree will continue to grow larger but will reach a point were it doesn’t taste so good.

Stephanie Brown Says:
Dec 20th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Judy, Lemons can take up to one year to mature, so I would be watching them from about 10 months after blossom.  They will hold on the bush for quite some time, so it is not crucial that you harvest immediately.

Amanda Armstrong Says:
Feb 9th, 2014 at 1:53 pm

I have a Meyer lemon tree and I’m very new to this. The tree has done fairly well but I’m needing advice because I want a healthy organic tree. I first bought it in august or October and during the rest of the summer it has holes in the leaves and I believe scales, too. I have read about the neem oil and other things you have suggested. And I’ll keep researching that. My main concern is the soil. I’m not sure how to do this at all. Do I mix chicken manure, mulch, or use the thrive alive. How often do I feed my plant. I also have seen blood meal in my local gardening store. I just don’t want to over do it. I also read about compost or humus… Do I just set this on top or mix it in? I’ve read a lot and would really learn what is the best way to have a healthy organic lemon tree. Thanks for all your advice.  Oh Also, how often do you amend your soil? I live in the Houston, Texas area..
Sincerely,
Amanda

Stephanie Brown Says:
Feb 10th, 2014 at 11:40 am

Hello Amanda,

Congratulations on your new tree. Is the tree in a pot or in the ground? As far as fertilizer we highly recommend that you get an organic fertilizer formulated for citrus and follow the instructions, citrus are fairly heavy feeders so the like regular fertilization. Compost can be used as a mulch, or it can be worked into the soil. If you set it on top it can act like a mulch, worked in it helps loosen the soil. Mulching is beneficial to help conserve water, make sure you keep the mulch six inches from the trunk to avoid disease. For more information on growing and pest solutions these fact sheets from UC Davis are wonderful http://ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/GARDEN/FRUIT/citrus.html

Melysa from Bryan, TX Says:
Apr 11th, 2014 at 5:06 pm

I’m thankful for this Q & A forum….I have a ? I have a 5-6’ Improved Meyer Lemon tree with at least 50 tiny fertilized blossoms (small pea sized green beginnings of lemons) and at least that many more buds that haven’t blossomed yet. I have it in a HUGE ceramic pot outside (I live in Bryan, TX 75 miles from Houston). I am growing it in a HUGE container because we have HEAVY clay soils here with poor drainage. I have read to keep it out of the wind and lately we have had high winds. So I have it on the back patio facing the west and it gets some late day direct sun and alot of bright indirect sun. Sorry…ok…my question…Some of the leaves (and not necessarily the new ones) are looking kind of chlorotic, but where the veining and adjacent leaf tissue is darker green and the rest of the leaf to the edge is pale. A few of the leaves are folding up, lengthwise. I have fed it fish emulsion water 2 times in the last month and just water it other times. I have a moisture meter that I use to gauge when I need to water it. Is there a better way to tell when it needs water, and do I need to move it out from under the pergola to get more sun (even it it means more wind), and do I need to feed it more. The fish emulsion is 5-1-1. Thank you for your advice. I really want to know how to properly care for my tree.

Stephanie Brown Says:
Apr 14th, 2014 at 9:24 am

Hello Melysa,

That sounds like it could be a zinc deficiency. Take a look at these pictures of foliar diseases on citrus and look for the one that looks most like your leaves. There are several disorders that can cause what you’re describing: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/C107/m107bpleaftwigdis.html

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