4 month Lisbon Lemon dying

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by lisbonlemon, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. lisbonlemon

    lisbonlemon New Member

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    Hi All,

    My baby Lisbon Lemon tree is 4 months old from seed. The tree has been thriving in New York City. I go home every weekend for 3 days and the lemon tree is always fine. After this past weekend (gone for 5 days) the plant was in such bad shape! It looked like it needed water so badly. The leaves are dry and drooping. I have given the plant water everyday since Tuesday but now I am afraid I am over watering, its just that it looks so dry.

    Can someone please help me out on what I should be doing for this baby lemon tree? I would really hate to see it die. I am also still clueless as to why this one weekend the lemon tree didn't do well opposed to all of the other weekends away.

    I appreciate all advice and tips! Thanks!!
     
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Perhaps the weather during past weekends happened to have been overcast thus reducing the tree's need for moisture. What was spring is now summer. Also keep in mind that the tree continued to grow during that period thus increasing that need. Five days would be a long time for a tree exposed to full sun to go without watering, especially if it's in a small container.

    You probably over-compensated by watering every day, particular if the leaves have already dried up. The tree will actually need less moisture because of the loss of the leaves. There's hope the tree will make a recovery if the main stem is still green. Keep the soil moist but not wet, watering only when the soil has had a chance to dry.

    You could always grow a new tree from seed as the one you have now is only four months old anyway. Keep in mind that a seedling tree will not produce fruit for a number of years. You'd be better off to propagate using a cutting from a tree that's already producing fruit.
     
  3. lisbonlemon

    lisbonlemon New Member

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    Hi Junlekeeper,

    I think you may be right. We had a really beautiful weekend and perhaps the plant was exposed to too much sun without enough water. The lemon tree is in a small container. Do you suggest I re-pot it now or wait for it to recover??!

    The main stem is still green so I am hoping for a recovery. How often do you think I should water the baby lemon tree? Its about 6 inches tall with 7 leaves (now shriveled and dry of course)

    Also, this little tree kind of has more meaning than just a tree so re-planting another seed wouldn't be the same - so hoping to save this one!!

    Thanks :)
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    A picture would be helpful but going by your description it sounds like the tree is still quite small and so a 4" pot might be sufficient. Gently ease the rootball out of the pot and have a look. If it's densely rooted then transplant to a container one size larger. Also check for healthy roots, ones with light colored tips. Use a porous medium. Typical houseplant mixes are have too much peat and so should be amended with medium-sized bark chips and perlite.

    Refer to my previous post as to frequency of watering. Water as needed, not by a schedule. Abstain from fertilizing until the tree develops new growth. At that time I would fertilize at perhaps half the recommend rate to start. Use a high nitrogen fertilizer such as 24-8-16 or 30-10-10 that contains micronutrients.

    By the way, how do you know the tree is of the Lisbon variety. I'm curious.
     
  5. lisbonlemon

    lisbonlemon New Member

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    Thank you for your response! It is all very helpful. I am going to transplant tonight or tomorrow.

    It was grown from the seed of a Lisbon Lemon tree my mother has. :)
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    So then you have access to mature wood. In that case I would definitely opt to grow a tree from a cutting. Not only will you get fruit much sooner but you're also guaranteed to get a tree that is genetically identical to your mother's. Lemon cuttings root quite easily.

    P.S.
    I may have been hasty in suggesting you obtain cuttings since there is a quarantine in place preventing the transportation of citrus material across state lines.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015

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