The Q&A Archives: Losing Leafs On A Variegated Eureka Lemon Tree

Question: We have a Variegated Eureka Lemon tree and it was outside when the temprature got cold. Now we have the tree in the house and it has lost most of its leaves and it still has 5 lemons on it Is the tree dying or is there something that we can do to help the tree survive. It was a birthday present for my wife.

Answer: Leaf drop is a common condition with citrus trees. It is also common when plants have been outside during moderate weather and then are brought indoors for the winter. The sudden change in conditions is a "shock" to the plant and a typical response is for it to drop leaves. Keep your tree in as bright a location as possible, but away from drafts, heating vents, etc. Water slowly and deeply so water runs out the drainage holes, to leach away salts. Fertilize monthly with a citrus fertilizer (if you can find one), or a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. Your tree may not seem vigorous indoors during the winter, but it should perk up again next year. Note that citrus are extremely frost tender, so don't put it outdoors too soon! (Or, put it out during the day but bring it in at night.) Also, it's a good idea to acclimate any plant to a sudden change in conditions, moving it in stages. Hope this info helps!

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