The Q&A Archives: Leaves Dropping From Dwarf Lisbon Lemon Tree

Question: I purchased a dwarf lisbon lemon tree that looked very healthy. I have it in full sun in my backyard. It is still in the original pot. I have had it for about a month and most of the leaves on the bottom 3/4 have fallen off but none of the leaves are discolored or showing signs of insects or fungus. The leaves on top are curled in slightly. Do I just need to put it in another pot. (the one it came in is rather small and the tree is about 5 ft.) Or is it a hopeless case. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Answer: Citrus trees have some very specific requirements - full sunshine, well-draining soil, consistent moisture (don't let the soil dry out completely or get soggy), and constant feeding during the growing season. Plants in pots tend to need more frequent watering than those planted in the ground, and roots in plastic pots can become overheated if the pot is exposed to summer sunshine. Since your tree is still in its original pot, you may want to repot it (if you see roots coming out of the drainage holes, indicating it's rootbound), or you may want to place the original pot into a slightly larger pot to help shade the nursery pot and keep the roots from baking in the sunshine. If summertime is very hot in your backyard, consider moving the tree to a cooler site - where it will get morning sun, yet receive some protection from hot afternoon sunshine. Water your tree as often as necessary to keep the soil moist, and feed weekly with a quarter-strength liquid ferilizer. Following the above suggestions for care should help your tree regain its health.

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