potted lemon tree very unhappy

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by J Rivett, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. J Rivett

    J Rivett Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    ontario
    I have a 30 year old potted lemon tree that was grown from a seed. I live in Ontario so in the summer it is happy outdoors on my deck, in the fall in comes inside to live in my kitchen near a window. Since December it has been struggling to be happy. We recently repotted it, and still it has leaves that are discolouring from dark green to a varigated light green colour. It has new growth but the leaves are turning brown and curling underneath. Some of the new growth just falls off before it even has a chance to mature It is also losing leaves daily. It had been in the same pot since forever so I was hoping a new pot and soil would help it. It was completely root bound in the old pot. Can anyone help me. This is my husband's tree since he was a boy. It has always been very hearty. We do not want to loose this family friend. Thanks Jan
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2005
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,776
    Likes Received:
    497
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Since you've had this plant for so many years, I'm assuming that you're treating it as you have always and have not had any problems until now. And because it has been in the same pot for such an extended period I wonder if it might be suffering from iron chlorosis or some sort of nutritional deficiency. Has it been fertilized regularly? I find citrus likes a high nitrogen fertilizer like a 30-10-10 which also acidifies the soil. The one that I use also contains micro-nutrients including iron. Perhaps a plant/citrus expert in this forum can come up with a better diagnosis.

    I hope you manage to save it. I had a citrus tree of many years (though not nearly as many as 30) which was also grown from seed and I know the pain that comes with losing something so special. Good luck.
     
  3. J Rivett

    J Rivett Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    ontario
    Thank you Jungle Keeper I have added some pictures to help. Do you use a specific brand of fertilizer? You mentioned it had micro nutrients? I defininitely think it is suffering from some nutrient defeciences. Any other thoughts on my tree would be helpful. Thanks again!
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,776
    Likes Received:
    497
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    There are of course many brands of fertilizers to choose from. The brand that was recommended to me by a friend in the nursery trade is Plant-Prod (a Canadian product, BTW). I use their 30-10-10 Shrub & Cedar (aka Ever-Acid) for citrus.

    It does appear to be chlorosis but then I'm no expert. I'm hoping an expert from the Hortline can confirm the diagnosis. The last thing you want to do is fertilize a plant that's already stressed if that isn't what it needs. Citrus prefers a moist but well-drained soil. If the problem existed before the plant was repotted then the problem is not with the new medium. Was it overwatered? Any sign of bugs? It's a process of elimination.

    This has nothing to do with the problem but has the plant ever flowered for you? I'm curious.
     
  5. J Rivett

    J Rivett Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    ontario
    Jungle Keeper

    Have not received any other advice for my tree, There does not appear to be any bugs on the my tree. I have checked the soil, and all of the leaves. I bought the plant prod 30-10-10 fertilizer (ever acid) today and gave it to the tree. Here is hoping it will be what it needs! As to your question.... No it has never flowered. I figured because it was grown from a seed it may have to be grafted to flower and bear fruit. I actually don't know what kind of lemon tree it is, but it was planted from a seed of a lemon bought at a grocery store in Ontario some 30 years ago. Any ideas??? Jan
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,776
    Likes Received:
    497
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Sorry - no idea which lemon it might be. Even if you knew which one it came from there's still the issue of whether it would grow true from seed. Regarding the flowering, I'm curious because I have a couple of citrus that were started from seed. I don't even know which fruits they're from; I had forgotten by the time they germinated. Let us know how your patient turns out. Fingers crossed.
     
  7. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Citrus grown in a container for a long time will eventually
    use up the readily available nutrients in the soil medium.
    Best way to care for the tree now is to repot it in a larger
    sized pot and give it some new soil. You do have an Iron
    deficiency showing in the leaves but you also have some
    evidence of salt burn in the leaves - typical when the tree
    has not had new soil in a very long time. You've done a
    good job with this tree. Never has flowered, even when
    it was outdoors? The type of Lemon is immaterial as the
    leaves are not right in shape at this time to be a Lisbon,
    Eurkea or a Meyer. I have seen Eureka leaves become
    shaped like this before with dwarf Citrus trees grown in
    a container that also needed new soil. Still, your tree
    is not true to type for any of the production Lemons.
    Does not mean you cannot produce a Lemon in time
    but it does mean that the chances of it happening are
    on the remote side. How often do you water this tree
    grown outdoors and indoors?

    Whoops, just read you did repot this tree recently. Okay,
    go ahead with a half doze of fertilizer but water it in well.
    I would have this tree outdoors whenever the freezing
    temperatures have passed. The longer the tree resides
    outdoors, the better. When did you first notice the
    over sizing of the leaves?

    Does your water have chlorine in it? If so, let the water
    stand in a one gallon container outside for about an hour
    to let nature help you out to liberate off some of the chlorine
    gas and then bring the jug or container back inside and water
    the tree well. Well, meaning at least 2 gallons of water every
    two - three weeks or so indoors depending on how moist the
    soil is. Being on the dry side is best when indoors. 3 gallons
    of water about every 10 days or so when outdoors depending
    on how warm the days are and the dryness of the soil.

    Excess chlorine and salt burn on the leaves does give similar
    symptoms at certain stages but too much chlorine will cause
    the leaves to fall off the tree rather quickly once the leaf margins
    discolor and show their unhappiness with us. Salt burn acts
    very much like lack of water in that the tips will show the
    burning first with a burn increasing down the tip of the leaf to
    about 1/3 the way down and then the leaf will abscise and drop
    off. Lack of water will cause the leaves to shrivel up starting
    from the tip, turn a yellow brown color allover and then abscise
    and drop off the tree.

    Jim
     
  8. you have to get new soil a bigger pot (be very careful, the roots are broken easily) if you want to turn the brown leaves green again prevent other leaves from turning unhealthy, add 1 teaspoon Epsom Salt for every 4 litres of soil. Also add some fertilizer
     
  9. It looks to me like you have a magnesium and Iron deficiency. This usually happends when the PH of your soil is to high. The acedic ferts should help. I also agree with everyone else to repot. Add some dolimite lime to help with balancing PH and magnesium.

    Good luck
     
  10. As any person with plant knowledge can tell you, the lemon tree despite producing acidic fruit, likes a 5.5 to 6.5 ph soil so treating this plant with a holly tone or any acidic fertilizer will not help matters in fact where soil conditions are above 6.5, lime should be used to lower the ph

    http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/lemon.html
     
  11. AnotherAlterEgo

    AnotherAlterEgo Active Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northeast Texas
    Actually. . . Lime applications are used to raise pH, not lower it. Additionally, while Citrus prefer pH between 6.0-7.0, my soil and water pH remains between 8.2-8.9 and my trees produce nicely. Granted, the high pH inhibits the uptake of iron, which requires me to use Sprint 138 (6% fully chelated EDDHA). I also use Scotts Acid Special (21-7-7) during the 'growing' months for a slight respite from the high pH.
     

Share This Page