Meyer lemon green leaves drop

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by blondie1, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. blondie1

    blondie1 Member

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    I purchased my meyer in the mail 1 year ago. I spent the winter in the house and is outside in the full sun in the summer. It grew to 4 times its size when it was outside. I brought it into the house this fall and was suprised when it kept its leaves and a month later exploded with flowers. Its beautiful. However, the flowers fall off at the slightest touch. Now the leaves are green still but they also fall off very easily. Every day I clean up more leaves and flowers. I never got any fruit. This tree is planted in potting soil and has been given 1 application of citrus food. Its in the sunny spot in my house. I water 1 or 2 times a week, never to run off. One branch is completely bear of leaves. I do see one new leaf coming out. Also, I noticed little nat like things flying around the soil but the plan shows no chewing or webs etc. I love this little trees smell. What should I do?
     
  2. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    It sounds like winter leaf drop Millet has told us about --caused by cold roots and exposure to direct sunlight -- plus a possibility of overwatering (soil gnats are an indication). Put a thermometer in the soil, do not expose it to sun unless the soil temp is over 60. You might also want to check the roots for root rot-- roots should be cream colored not brown and spongy.

    Skeet
     
  3. blondie1

    blondie1 Member

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    Based on the reply I received I moved my lemon out of the sunny window and put it into the kitchen. It gets filtered light and it is a bit warmer because of cooking and the fire place in the next room. I increased the bed time temp in my house from 62 to 65 and I decreased the watering. Update - the little nat things are gone but the plant only has 10 leaves left. I have a few small flower buts but it seems like a light touch knocks them off. The branchs are still green and three new leaves are coming in but I lose more than start with leaves. By the end of next week I will have a bald tree. Do I maintain the tree until spring and put it back in the sunny window?
     
  4. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    Yes Blondie, keep doing what you are doing now-- the new leaves should stay, but any leaves that were damaged by sun exposure while the roots were cold may still drop. The tree will do just fine when it gets to go back outside, just don't jump directly from filtered sun to full days of direct sun-- give it a few hours the first few days then increase-- or if you have a place that gets broken sun (like under a tree) you can put it there to start.

    Skeet
     
  5. blondie1

    blondie1 Member

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    This poor tree. I now have three leaves left. The two baby leaves died. I still have one flower bud starting but the rest of the tree is just green branches. Spring needs to hurry up or this tree will die. I roots are the correct color and the bugs I got from over watering are gone but so are the leaves.
     
  6. LukeOut!

    LukeOut! Member

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    Hi Blondie! I know this is a tough time now. Be strong. I had two Meyer Lemons and gave one to my Mother, and kept the other. We both brought ours in for a good ole Midwest Winter, and what do you know, we lost ALL our leaves. What a sight for guests. I told them it was our Charlie Brown tree. The branches stayed green, so I had hope. I did what any guy does when he really doesn't know what to do...nothing. I watched and waited. I didn't even water it until almost a month went by, and what do you know, after about six weeks, those prickley ole branches started to pop out little baby leaves. They came back, every year for three years now (Though, the first year here was their toughest). They both have produced fruit which I've started other trees with. So, it must just be the shock of bringing them in. I also have a ten year old grapefruit tree that I bring in every year also that does the same thing. Keep your hopes up!
     
  7. Artemis

    Artemis Member

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    As a serial plant killer with her mugshot displayed in garden centres around the Lower Mainland I'm relieved to read all the topics concerning leaf drop in citrus trees and Meyer Lemon trees in particular.
    I lost all my leaves one weekend and I believe now after much reading that it was due to cold roots. Thank goodness I didn't throw the body out a couple of weeks ago but hung in there. I'll be looking into some sort of a heating mat as recommended because the concrete floor in my enclosed balcony must be far too cold.
     
  8. dv002i

    dv002i Member

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    Lukeout,

    You mention starting trees from the fruit of your meyor lemon. Could you explain the process of propagating meyor lemon from seed?

    Thanks,

    -Daniel
     
  9. LukeOut!

    LukeOut! Member

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    Hi Daniel!
    Hey, I'm no expert in this field, just lucky. I'm origianlly from Indiana, and everything grows in Indiana soil. My Meyer Lemon gave me four beautiful lemons the first year I purchased the tree. I took the seeds from one of the lemons, put three in a pot, and whala! I did the same ten years ago while eating a ruby red grapefruit, and whala, I have a beautiful grapefruit tree I've brought from Indiana to Ohio. So far though, no blooms on any of those started from seed. Water, good soil, and sunlight, I leave the rest to Mother Nature! I've got four more stub lemons growing on my original tree, and hope to eat those sooner than later! Wonderful with Tuna steaks!

    I've attached two photos, one of my original Meyer Lemon compared to a common lemon, and one of my gapefruit tree at age eight if you're interested. (And if I attached them correctly).
    Luke
     

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  10. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    FYI --From what I have heard, Meyer lemons do not grow true from seed-- it could be a usable fruit and I think it should produce fruit in 8-10 years from seed. I believe the Ruby Red is true to type, but it will take 15-20 years to produce from seed (when planted in ground--it may never fruit in a container).

    You could always graft the Meyer Lemon seedling with mature wood from your other tree and get fruit sooner and be certain of the variety-- or you could grow it to fruiting and graft later if you did not like the fruit.

    Skeet
     
  11. LukeOut!

    LukeOut! Member

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    Thanks Skeet!
    It's been a few weeks since I last logged in and a lot has happened since. The Ruby Red Grapefruit for the first time in it's life, has hundreds of buds on it! I'm crazy happy, and it smells great! I'll have to attach another photo as soon as I get one. As for the Meyer lemons, I'll just let them grow and see what happens. (The sprouts and the mature bark grafting lost me). So far, it seems the less I do, the better! No green leaf drop either! But, it sure is nice to know youz guyz are out there, just in case!
    Thanks!
     
  12. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    Glad to hear your grapfruit is blooming-- you are re-writing the record books on that one.

    Budwood from any tree that is already bearing fruit is called mature wood and when buds from that wood are grafted to another tree, no matter what the age of the tree it is grafted to, any growth coming from that bud is capable of producing fruit. I actually have a grapfruit bud on a lemon tree that is less that 1/2 inch long that is flowering.

    Citrus is one of the easiest of all trees to graft using the T-bud method. If you are interested I can provide a link to a good tutorial. If you can get the budwood, you can put several varieties on your grapefruit or your Meyer X tree.

    Skeet
     
  13. LukeOut!

    LukeOut! Member

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    Thanks Skeet!
    Yes! I would love the link to grafting. Sounds like fun. Spring is around the corner also, (80º Monday, 25º today with 6" of snow...hmm), right, and they can't wait to move outdoors for the Summer. I can't wait to see what happens to these grapefruit flowers also. I've seen my Meyer Lemon bloom, get little nubs, some stay green and turn into fruit, while most others turn yellow, and fall off. I hope some grow to be big fat juicy grapefruits! It amazes me that I can have this citrus tree stay green and fragrent all through the Winter. It does pick the spirits up when everything is white and gray.
    Thanks Again Skeet!
    Luke
     
  14. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2007
  15. tanksalot

    tanksalot Member

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    I've been trying to grow Meyer lemon trees for over 10 years, with limited success. Reading that maximum citrus root growth occurs at temps. of 80ºF or higher (totally stops at 54º) makes growing them in the Northeast challenging, and I've had limited success with bottom heating.

    Now, Finally, I believe I've found the answer!! I read an article about heating the roots of plants in pots, set it up with my ailing trees, and it works terrific!! For a passionate Meyerholic, it's the best news I've had in years, and it's very simple.

    Each pot gets wrapped on the outside with vinyl tubing, with 2 or 3 feet extra hanging loose. I used vinyl cement to glue the tubing to the pot. I then wrapped each pot with flexible foam insulation, and set up an aquarium heater with a circulating pump. By pumping the 90º water through the tubing, the roots stay at 80º or more without a problem. The heat is uniform around the root ball and the pots can be moved relatively easily. Now my Meyers can overwinter in my sunroom, keep their leaves on them and not suffer severe setbacks every January/February when the air gets hot and dry and the roots are ice cold. Wish this was my idea, but it wasn't.
     
  16. LukeOut!

    LukeOut! Member

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    I posted these pics on another thread, but thought I should put them here just in case.
    Luke
     

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  17. speedracer

    speedracer Member

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    hello everyone,
    I'm new to this site but have a little experience with the Meyer lemon. I went on a trip to Calif. and purchased 2 lemon trees to bring home w/ me. I was so hot on the ride home that I stayed at a motel in Texas to get some relief. Much to my dismay I forgot my trees were in the car. All of the leaves turned brown and started dropping off. I bought a hand sprayer and misted them all the way home (N Carolina). I gave my brother one and I kept one. His died, probably from neglect even worse than my previous bout, but mine, after a lot of care lived and is still in the same pot that I purchased it in (2 gal) and apparently was stunted from the heatbath I left it in. It is about three ft. tall and about 5 ft. wide w/ a lot of 2" thorns on it. It started flowering the first year and has produced big juicy lemons every year since. This was seven years ago and I am now going to try and get some of the seeds to sprout. I have never put this tree outside and have had it in a sunroom that gets direct morning sun for about three hours, and in the winter the room gets to almost freezing but the plant seems to care little about the cold as it is still thriving. I take a small paintbrush and "pollenate" the flowers when they bloom by wisping it from one flower to another and that seems to work fine. I may have just purchased an oddball tree but I am very happy with it.
     
  18. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Rising Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Welcome to the forums, speedracer.
    Meyer lemon seed is monoembryonic and will not grow true to type. You would be better off to root cuttings from the tree.

    It's not necessary to hand-pollinate the flowers as fruit will form parthenocarpically . (i.e. without fertilization).
     
  19. blondie1

    blondie1 Member

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    I posted the origianal question about the Meyer Lemon tree. Its been a year and what a difference. This winter I had a better location for my Lemon. I kept the leaves all through the winter and I got lots and lots of flowers. What I didn't get was a wonderful smell. The flowers had almost no scent. I did get tiny fruit started but they all fall off. The are less than the size of a pea and they all fell off the tree. Simply walking near the tree could cause a lemon to fall off. Anyone have this issue? Darn it, I will have fruit!!!
     
  20. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    I don't know why your flowers were not fragrant, but the fruit drop is normal. Only 1-2% of flowers will end up as fruit. The tree will undergo two drop periods, on right after bloom and one around June (often called June Drop). A citrus tree will only keep the fruit it can support.
     

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