The Q&A Archives: Lemon Tree

Question: I purchased a Lemon tree about 3 weeks ago. It is in full bloom with even fruit on the branches.The problem is the leaves. They are slowly falling off.I have put it in a warmer room with about 4 to 5 hours sun light.It seems to have helped, but the leaves are still coming down.

Answer: It sounds like shock. Moving plants indoors from outdoors, or from a nursery/greenhouse situation can be a real shock to their system because the conditions are usually so different. Yellowing and dropping leaves is a typical reaction. Don't fertilize for a month or so, but continue watering slowly and deeply. The plant might go dormant for a while and then new growth should appear in the spring.

Citrus generally need 8-10 hours of full sun, so try to give more direct light. Citrus are also heavy users of nitrogen, so start fertilizing when your plant recovers. Try to find a fertilizer specifically for citrus.

In spring, slowly acclimate your plant to moving back outdoors by putting it outside in a sheltered location for a couple hours at a time, gradually increasing the time period. In fall, do that in reverse, rather than abruptly moving from outside to inside, which will help lessen the shock. Good luck!

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