The Q&A Archives: Lisbon Lemon Lost Leaves

Question: My Lisbon lemon tree/bush has lost all of its leaves. Do I throw the plant away or will leaves be re-grown this coming summer. The plant was not left outside during the winter (I live in Salt Lake City, Utah), but is in a house at a constant temperature of at least 64 Degrees, near a southern window.

Answer: Some leaf drop on citrus is normal, usually in late winter and early spring, as the plant is gearing up to produce new growth. Complete leaf drop might signal overfertilizing, improper watering (too much or too little), or that the location isn't to its liking. They need plenty of sunlight. Make sure it isn't experiencing severe temperature fluctuations from cold drafts, drying air from heater vents, etc. There is also a condition called citrus mesophyll collapse in which fruit and leaves will dry up and drop off. This is usually due to stress brought on by extreme changes in temperature (usually outdoors) in which the tree plunges into and out of dormancy. It does not kill the entire tree. I would suggest continuing to care for the plant with appropriate water and fertilizer, as it may well leaf out in spring.

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