only 4 leaves left on meyer lemon tree

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by dolphin2, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. dolphin2

    dolphin2 Member

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    Help. I only have 4 leaves left on my meyer lemon tree. I think it may be winter leaf drop. All the leaves were healthy looking, green and shiny, not wilting and the stems were still attached to the tree, just the leaves fell. From other posts it looks like winter leaf drop. My question is will my tree be dead if all the leaves fall or will it come back in the spring.

    First picture is two days ago, 2nd picture was 3 weeks ago.

    A couple months ago it started to drop leaves too. I had it in my sunroom and the temps started to drop so I took it in. I only had it for 2months at that time and hadn't fertilized any more than what was in the soil. I checked out some other posts on this forum. I then added a slow release fertilizer granules (Citritone) to the soil. I put it in the shower and gave it a deep soaking to flush it and fertilized it with general purpose Miracle Gro once a week when I watered it. I only watered it once a week when the soil, finger deep was dry. I put it in the corner to the side of my bay window (east facing). I did not put it directly in front of the window because there is a base board heater there and I didn't want to over heat or dry it out. I have it a couple feet away from the window and the heater up on a table. It started to look great, got greener and started to develop buds. I didn't change anything and a couple weeks later the buds started to dry up and fall off and some even fell off with out drying out. Once all the buds dropped the leaves started to drop. Once it got to the point in picture 1 I moved it to my kitchen window which is south facing hoping that it would help for it to have more sun. This is the only south facing window I have and tends to get a bit chilly in there. The temp at the window sill was 54 F and by the pot 62 F during the day. Not sure what it dips to at night. Probably not too much lower by the pot or the heat would have kicked on. Now I'm only down to 4 leaves. I moved it back to the same location it was in picture 2.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  2. Munchkin

    Munchkin Member

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    That could have been a picture of my tree! I bought a heating pad hoping the leaves would stop dropping but no luck. I'm sure I'll find more info on the leaf drop. There might be a thread on this forum. I've just started looking myself. I wanted a citrus tree that was evergreen so this tree is a bit of a disappointment. Many years ago I had an orange tree that was green all year and had fragrant blossoms.
     
  3. dolphin2

    dolphin2 Member

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    Good luck to your tree. Mine is basically dead at this point. All the leaves are now gone and the branches have all turned brown. I think I'm going to try to grow a Key Lime tree from seed. I heard they are easier to take care of and they only take 2 years to fruit. Hopefully I will have better luck.
     
  4. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    The problem is in understanding the biology and botany of the plant.

    These trees need very bright, normally direct sunlight in order to survive. The plant is becoming deciduous in order to preserve its own life but without some very bright light is likely to fail. Fertilizer is of no good at this point, the plant wants to create its own food.

    Once plants like this begin to mature it begins to crave even more light. A plant does so in order to produce more chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the green pigment in every plant that captures sunlight to produce photosynthesis. Plants draw in carbon dioxide and though a
    process known as being autotrophic they combine it with water that enters the cells of the leaf as a result of rainfall. Autotrophs create their own food by utilizing photosynthesis.

    The process of feeding itself is completed through the reduction of carbon dioxide by adding the hydrogen component of water (H2O) to create organic compounds. In biology, reduction is the stripping of hydrogen from oxygen allowing the oxygen to be released back to the atmosphere while the hydrogen is used by the plant. In green plants an autotroph converts physical energy from sun light into carbohydrates in the form of sugars. They may also form chemical energy by synthesizing complex organic compounds from simple inorganic materials in order to produce fats and proteins from light. The products of photosynthesis produced in the leaf are both sugar and oxygen and the oxygen is given back to the environment while the carbohydrates are used to feed the plant's own growth.

    Although home growers rarely understand the need for brighter light and high humidity to grow their tropical plants, stronger light and misting are essential to healthy growth. I recommend you read up on "autotrophic" growth and photosynthesis. It should also be understood plants also need oxygen and draw it in through their roots which is why plants like this need very sandy soil that is kept damp but not wet.

    Tough during winter, but give it the very brightest light possible. It would be best to move it into a bright greenhouse to try to restore the leaf growth, thus the growth of chlorophyll and the production of the plant's own food.
     
  5. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Once you succeed in causing the leaves to regrow, mist them often. Although many growers believe misting is useless since it does not really raise the humidity it does cause the plant to to convert CO2 into nutrients through photosynthesis. Read up on photosynthesis and autotrophs and you'll understand why.

    Steve
     

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