TWO Different Issues Causing Yellowing Leaves on Meyer Lemon Tree?

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by Shawile, Aug 31, 2020.

  1. Shawile

    Shawile New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I think it may be TWO separate issues causing my yellowing leaves.

    I have a meyer lemon tree in a pot. I've had it for around 5 years and we've had our ups and downs over the years.

    After an over watering issue caused by some roots growing into the overflow part of a self watering pot (I now realize those are bad for citrus trees and have remedied the situation), and a low light issue (I bought a nice bright light to supplement the window lighting), and a trim away of deal branches, my plant seemed to be thriving but now I've been struggling with some yellowing leaves.

    A few of the leaves have yellow spots, but some of the other leaves have more of an overall yellowing.

    This leads me to believe that I may be having an issue with PH or a deficiency AND perhaps soft brown scale. Does anyone have any advice or a diagnosis?

    More background on the plant environment:

    - Indoor plant in a pot

    - I live in Vancouver, B.C. Canada so temperatures don't fluctuate too drastically

    - It is by a window which I leave slightly open for air flow

    - I have a large 200 watt cool white LED light hanging above it (recent addition)

    - I just recently (about two weeks ago) added fertilizer (Citrus-tone from Espoma Organic 5-2-6)

    - I checked the PH with one of those 3-way testers (soil moisture, PH, and light level) and it says 7

    - Near the beginning of summer late spring I had the leaf dropping issue from over watering, after that started to heal I trimmed back dead branches and slowly started turning on the new light for longer periods of time. New growth came in like crazy and the plant seemed quite happy but now there seems to be the yellowing issues

    Hope someone can help!

    Alycia
     

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  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I had slight yellow spotting of the leaves on my Meyer lemon as seen in photo 1431. Their underside looked like photo 1435. The condition was barely noticeable at the time of purchase and stayed that way for a couple years. However it suddenly became severe sometime in July this year, accompanied by some leaf drop. At that time the spotting looked similar to that seen in photo 1429. Thinking that this is a bacterial or fungal condition I discarded the tree as a precaution as I have many other citrus trees. I've owned a number of Meyer lemon trees from the same grower over the years and they have all been similarly affected. (I will not be purchasing any more trees from that grower.) The problem with your tree appears to be isolated at this point so you may want to remove all such leaves and branches as a precaution. Perhaps that will help.

    The other problem, yellowing with green veins, may be an iron deficiency as it appears to be affecting only the newer leaves. (I would have said nitrogen deficiency otherwise.) Make sure the fertilizer you're using contains micronutrients. Is this the first time the tree has been fed in five years? Citrus trees are heavy feeders and should be fed regularly with a high-nitrogen fertilizer.

    I don't see scale. Is there any sign of honeydew?
     
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  3. Will B

    Will B Active Member

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    The first photo appears to contain spider mites. Use a good magnifying glass and see if you can identify them, they are quite difficult to see. They can cause yellow spots to appear. They also usually cause stippling on the leaves and webbing, which I don't see in the photos, but they may be at an early stage of infection and they are just on the underside of the leaves so far. The rest appear to be classic signs of iron and perhaps a slight nitrogen deficiency.

    Here is a good link on spider mites, but keep in mind that at early stages of infection you will not see webbing: Spider Mites: Kill, Control, and Prevent These Nasty Pests
     
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  4. Shawile

    Shawile New Member

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    Thanks for your responses!

    I believe we've solved the one issue to be an iron deficiency. I will remedy that with an additional fertilizer since I don't think the one I have actually contains micronutrients. I feed the plant every 3-4 months with this: Espoma Organic Citrus-tone Organic Fertilizer | Espoma but I will find something else for the micronutrients unless anyone has any suggested products?

    Now for the spots. I took out a magnifier for an old phone and managed to get some pictures of one of the spotted leaves I removed. There are the little brown spots on the underside, some white spots, and some white potential creature looking things. Could these be spider mites? I thought I had spider mites before because they did the webbing thing and I could see little black dots crawling around, this looks different than that time (I had previously removed spider mites with lots of washing the leaves with soapy water and vacuuming).

    Thoughts?
     

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  5. Will B

    Will B Active Member

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    those definitely look like young two-spotted spider mites and eggs to me... here is some info on them: The Life Cycle of Spider Mites ... there are various kinds of spider mite, so you may have had a different kind before.
     
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  6. Shawile

    Shawile New Member

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    I think we definitely found the culprit! I checked what I thought was a healthy leaf, and knocked off a little mite onto some paper and could see it wandering around with those little black spots on its back (Gross). For now I'll be back to a neem oil and washing regiment to get this taken care of. I'm also working on sourcing some chelated iron (somewhat challenging for some reason). Hopefully my tree will be happy and healthy soon. Thanks for all of the help!
     
  7. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    If you detected spider mites then of course take necessary measures. However the darker, symmetrical, circular spots seen in the closeup photos appear to be stomata while the white material appears to be remnants of the soapy solution you had used from before. Having said that, there are three white spheres in photo 1447 that look suspiciously like eggs. I believe the larger, bumpy spots seen in photo 1445 are bacterial or fungal in nature. I'm reminded of a not so distant outbreak of spider mites which also produced orange-colored spots and leaf drop but it looked a bit different.

    Rather than adding specific supplements like iron I suggest you use a water-soluble fertilizer that contains a full complement of micronutrients.
     
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  8. Shawile

    Shawile New Member

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    Thanks, Junglekeeper. So it sounds like maybe 3 problems might be a foot. Perhaps the spider mites left damage, and therefore, an opening for bacterial or fungal infection? How do you suggest the fungal/bacterial infection be treated? Perhaps removal of the infected leaves? The infected leaves appear to only be in one area. More photos included.

    As for the mucronutrients, I ended up getting this as a temporary solution:
    https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00A51Y8ZM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     

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  9. Shawile

    Shawile New Member

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    I also took some pictures of the underside of some leaves with the light shining through. There seems to be a drastic difference from the otherwise healthy leaves, minus the deficiency, (1468) and those of the leaves with the yellow spots (1471), and even of those that I thought were fine but seems to be showing some signs of infection (1470). Maybe these additional pictures will help.
     

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  10. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I don't know the cause of the spotting or how to treat it. I suggest the removal of the one branch if all the infected leaves are isolated to that one branch. However if indeed the cause is bacterial, viral, or fungal then the entire tree is likely to be already infected even if part of it is asymptomatic. It may stay relatively healthy for some time but I suspect it will take a turn for the worse one day, as my tree did.
    Yikes, that is one premium-priced product. A new fertilizer would be much more cost-effective.
     
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  11. Shawile

    Shawile New Member

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    Ok, I did some more research because nothing seems to look quite like these spots and I think I MAY have figured it out. I think it is citrus measles.

    Fact Sheet: Measles | Citrus Diseases

    https://escholarship.org/content/qt50k9h224/qt50k9h224_noSplash_f3f23322ce958f5cf4127ae70e0bf000.pdf

    I have yet to be able to find a solution. It doesn't sound like it will kill the plant but maybe I've misunderstood. This sounds exactly like what is going on with my tree though, it seems to be a rare genetic issue stemmed from grafting that will keep coming back.

    There doesn't seem to be much information on the topic. Does anyone know where I may be able to find more information? Or has anyone heard about this?

    My desperation to get this plant healthy again has pushed me to all sorts of spending.
     
  12. Will B

    Will B Active Member

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    It is very unlikely that it is citrus measles as that is very rare. My guess right now is that the mites were causing the damage. Like I mentioned before, mites can make yellow spotting like that. Sometimes greasy spot fungus that is just starting can look like that as well. In the very unlikely event that it is citrus measles there is really not much to be done. There is no treatment that I am aware of. I would suggest you treat the mites, use the fertilizer, and hopefully that is all that is needed.

    Sorry to hear about the spending, that is not normally needed. Usually I just give my citrus a cheap common fertilizer with micronutrients, like Miracle Grow, and they have been very happy with that.
     
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  13. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I previously considered citrus measles for cases similar to yours but while it looks quite similar there are differences. The spotting in this case is irregular and the spots are much larger in size. Your tree is probably a rooted cutting and not grafted. In any case, it's possible the grower is using contaminated stock to propagate their trees. I agree with @Will B, treat the mites and hope for the best. Similar sentiments on fertilize; using a proper one will resolve any mild deficiencies without having to purchase supplements.

    I would not spend a lot of money on this tree unless it has sentimental value. It would be better spent on a new one from a reputable grower. Also, I suggest you sanitize your pruners after use on this tree as a precaution.
     
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  14. Shawile

    Shawile New Member

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    Thanks to both of you! I'll start off dealing with the mites and deficiency first (the ultra expensive nutrients should be arriving soon and this weekend I'll have time to do some serious cleaning for the mites). I'll start looking for a better fertilizer and phase that old one out so I don't have to deal with the supplements.

    The tree does have sentimental value, which explains going the extra mile, so hopefully the solutions you both gave do the trick and it can get back to producing lemons again soon.

    Thanks again for all of the help, and I'll post back here with any updates in case either of you are curious how it works out.
     
  15. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    You can continue to use Citrus-tone but you should be aware of the shortcomings of using an organic fertilizer. Have a look at the following thread: Fertilizer for indoor dwarf citrus? In addition,
     
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  16. Shawile

    Shawile New Member

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    Thanks for the link. I'll definitely switch over to something better soon. I did a good wash down of all the leaves and applied neem oil so hopefully after a couple more cycles the mites will be gone and I can focus on the deficiency. Fingers crossed that solves all my issues and I get a good fruit harvest next cycle.
     

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