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Last updated on January 21st, 2020
If you are growing a Meyer lemon tree and aren’t sure why it isn’t performing well, you are not alone. Many people work hard on compost composition, plant location, and pot decisions when growing citrus lemon trees. Then all that effort seems taken away when the tree starts to show signs of sickness but more commonly dropping all there leaves, leaving nothing but bare stems. Whether you are a first-time grower or have years of experience, rest assured this happens from time to time.
Below are a few ways you can revive a Meyer lemon tree that isn’t growing well:
Tip 1: Provide ideal growing conditions
Let’s assume your lemon tree has no leaves or very few. The first thing to do is scrape back a little bark from the stem and see if it is green underneath. If it’s green you have a chance if it’s brown then you might not be able to revive it.
First off, never leave a lemon tree sitting in standing water in a tray or saucer. The soil should be moist but allow the surface of the compost to dry out before watering again. Use a pot saucer to collect the water but empty the water from the saucer. Finally, Meyer lemon trees prefer plenty of light and a warm room but don’t place them on a windowsill with a radiator underneath as they will not like being exposed to the rising height from below.
Tip 2: Time Your Pruning Habits
It is imperative that you prune the lemon tree at the right time in order to get it to grow correctly. Each year, you should prune in early spring during which time you remove any diseased or dead branches, as well as crisscrossed branches. Don’t skip this, or do it at the wrong time, as it can lead to an unhealthy lemon tree.
Tip 4: Winter Care
It is essential to protect your lemon tree against frost damage. Citrus trees are naturally found in warmer climates, so you want to bring yours indoors during the winter to keep it healthy. If you absolutely can’t, you can cover it with horticultural fleece and wrap the pot in bubble wrap or lagging. Now, assuming it was already damaged, don’t rush to chop off those cold damaged bits; save that process until the following spring when your annual pruning takes place. And remember, it still needs water, though sporadically, in the winter.
Tip 3: Remove Weeds
Whether your tree is growing in the ground or more commonly in the Uk, in a pot, there are still problems like weeds. You need to regularly check for weeds and remove them, especially if your lemon tree is young. Younger trees have smaller canopies which means more light gets through to the soil below, and that means weeds have a higher chance of surviving.
Occasionally looking for weeds and removing them won’t cut it. Allowing weeds to grow too much, unchecked, will remove vital nutrients from your lemon tree. For most people growing them in pots though, this probably won’t be much of an issue.
These three trips will help you revive your sick or unhealthy looking lemon tree in no time. Remember, it might take a few months for the tree to come back if, for example, the damage was winter weather or you didn’t provide the best growing conditions and its dropped all its leaves, but come spring you will see the tree start to look much more healthy.
Image credits – Shutterstock.com