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Jan 4, 2011 05:20 PM

One meyer lemon tree dropping leaves

I have two meyer lemons--the expensive one is dropping ALL of its leaves. Less expensive one has plenty of leaves. Both have many flowers. Expensive one also has thorns.
I have moved them indoors now that it is cold in Virginia (Zone 8). Any ideas? I will not be happy if my $40 tree dies.

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    1. Well, I don't know if this is helpful since only one of your trees is dropping, but - my Meyer lemon dropped many of its leaves every time I brought it indoors (I'm in Zone 6). It often loses a lot when I move it back outside, too, so I assumed it was just a shock thing. I usually leave it outside until we've had a light frost or two.

      but then this year, I gave it a layer of compost a few weeks before i brought it inside and it hasn't dropped it's leaves. So maybe the extra nutrition helped to protect it?

      1. Don't give up on it -- keep normal watering etc until it can start again, even if that's next summer outside.

        6 Replies
        1. re: pitu

          My Meyer routinely goes through dramatic phases--loses leaves or loses early fruit, or leaves go yellow, but always seems to revive itself (we call it the Sarah Bernhardt tree). We're in southern CA, though, so weather is on our side. If you're past frost dates, might try fertilizing with a citrus blend.

          1. re: pine time

            I'm in southern Ca too & just bought a meyer lemon tree & planted it over the weekend. The last lemon tree I bought a year ago (Sorrento) now only has 1 leaf, no blossoms & I never did get any stinking lemons from it. Any advice for me on the Meyer tree so it doesn't suffer the same fate? For what I have spent on these 2 trees, I could have lemons gift wrapped & delivered to my house weekly by a chauffeur. And then I see trees in some abandoned yard with 1000's of lemons on them--I don't get it.

            1. re: sparkareno

              I'm in Connecticut; my lemon tree spends the winter in the living room. Try Holly-tone--it seems to be doing right by my tree. She's coming back beautifully from last year's bout with spider mites, which yielded NO blossoms and NO fruit. Now, spring is bustin' out all over in my living room...and is incredibly fragrant with jasmine, too.

              Wishing all of us lemon lovers lots o'luck. Otherwise, I may have to look into that home delivery option, HA HA!

              1. re: kattyeyes

                What nice blossoms! Great photos, too, you must be a horticultural wizard.

                1. re: EWSflash

                  Aww, thanks! Merely some combination of luck and Holly-Tone, I think!

              2. re: sparkareno

                I feel your pain. Last year I had barely anything (crappy dry winter, real hot summer), this year I had a pretty good assortment, even the kaffir lime had a bunch of fruit on it- and we had a b1tch of a multi-day freeze that wasted every last one. I know some will come back but I have concerns abvout a few of them, and every single fruit turned into a mushy ball overnight (I have no idea why I didn't just harvest them beforehand- sure should have)and now I have squat. The nelected lemon down the street didn't freeze, somehow, maybe their clothes dryer vents out by the tree or something.

          2. Now that it's warmer have you tried really deep-watering them both?

            1 Reply
            1. re: EWSflash

              Good point. For all types of planting (container and otherwise) I think alot of people do more surface watering than deep. We had a "sidewalk" tree in SF years ago. When we planted it, we actually put in a piece of PVC pipe so we got WAY down to the roots. And it helps the roots grow down not out.

            2. Dunno if this helps, but there are apparently (at least) two strains of Meyer lemon tree out there. The original strain has lots of thorns and is much less disease-resistant (we lost one that was 30+ years old this winter). The "improved" strain is hardier and less prickly. Sounds like you may have trees that are cousins rather than siblings.

              2 Replies
              1. re: alanbarnes

                Interesting. Our part-time next door neighbors live in Alameda in the East Bay. I hope their tree survived. She brings me lemons. Certainly can't grow anything like that here.

                1. re: c oliver

                  The guy from the nursery seemed to think ours succumbed to old age as much as anything. Shouldn't be an issue for anybody else. At least the Ponderosas came in heavy this year - different flavor, but plenty of lemon nonetheless.