The Q&A Archives: Lemon Tree Lost All Its Leaves

Question: I purchased a Monrovia Nursery lemon tree from Eden in the Alley Florist for Valentine's day. 5 days later the tree had shed all its leaves. It has tiny little buds on it now but is still essentially bare.

The florist informed me that she had purchased it from the NorthWest flower garden show and could not offer any advice or help, refering me to the website. There were no instructions with the tree when I purchased it.

It was such a beautiful gift and I would love to know how to revive it.

Is there somewhere I can take the tree for help.

I've usually always purchased directly from nurseries and when something like this happens, have never had any problem returning / exchanging the plant / tree.

Please advise. Many thanks

Ingrid Andrews

Answer: It sounds as though your little lemon tree is suffering from the stress of being taken from ideal growing conditions at the nursery to a garden show where the light is dim and the soil may have become too dry. Since you don't know whether the plant was left on the loading dock for an extended period of time and got chilled, or was given enough light and water in transit, it's hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the leaf drop. New little buds on the stems are a good sign. At this point, provide bright light (but not direct sunlight), keep the soil moist but not soggy wet, and withhold fertilizer until your tree develops new foliage. It will probably recover, but may not flower and set fruit until it becomes completely healthy again. Best wishes with your new little tree!

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