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Raewyn
06:13PM, 22 Oct 2009
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Category: Fruit & Citrus
Expert
06:13PM, 22 Oct 2009
Sarah
Medium_naked_lemon_tree All the leaves have fallen off my lemon tree

Last year my lemon tree lost all its leaves during winter. Come Spring he seemed to perk up a little bit and grew back nice and bushy. Then I think he suffered a bit with our bad summer: too much rain and wind and not enough sunshine. Now, in the last week, all of his leaves have shrivelled and fallen off. He's got a nice sunny spot, reasonably good drainage and I've been giving him his lemon feed on a quarterly basis. He is a dwarf lemon tree and now about two years old. I live next to the beach and wonder if the sea air is having a bad effect. Am I losing my lemon tree? Is he going to make it through another winter?

Submitted: 10:24AM, 21 Mar 2012
Answer: Hi Sarah,

Your lemon tree is looking a little sad, but it still looks green with some foliage, so I am sure you are not going to lose it.

Lemon trees grow extremely well in pots, particularly the dwarf varieties. There must be a reason why it drops its leaves from time to time. Citrus grow well along the coastline so I am sure that is not why it is dropping its leaves. You say you have the pot in a sunny spot. It needs to be protected from the winds though. It looks to be planted in a good size pot and I am sure you have filled the pot with a good quality potting mix.

You don’t mention the type of fertiliser you used. It is best to use a slow release fertiliser such as Acticote for Citrus (applied in spring and again in autumn) or Dynamic Lifter for Citrus (applied early spring and again in late summer). The granular type citrus food is only suitable for citrus in the ground. If you apply it to a citrus in a pot, it may be too strong for such a small surface area and the tree will let you know by dropping its leaves.

At this stage, don’t fertilise any more. We would suggest that you use a product called Uplift Organic Plant Starter & Root Booster. It is particular effective in ensuring that plants recover well after periods of stress.

It would be a good idea to check the drainage holes in the bottom of the tub to make sure they are not blocked. Drainage is so important when growing citrus.

I am sure you will be able to save your lemon tree. A little bit of TLC is what it needs.

Answered: 12:07PM, 21 Mar 2012

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