The Q&A Archives: lime tree leaf drop

Question: I have a lime tree that I purchased in Portland that is now in the house due to the colder weather. When we were gone for a week I followed the recommendations of the nursery that I purchased the tree from and put rocks under the pot in the larger container it sits in and added water. When we got home it started dropping leaves and has been doing so for a week. It has limes on it and I am worried that the whole tree will die. Is there anything I can do to keep from losing the tree?
Thank you,
Judy Dubal

Answer: I think the timing of your vacation is coincidental with the leaf drop on your lime tree. Citrus trees can summer outdoors in Oregon but need to be indoors in the wintertime. It can be stressful for a citrus tree to make the adjustment from being outdoors in full sunshine to being indoors in less intense light. Indoor air is often drier than outdoor air, and nighttime temperatures can be warmer than your tree experienced outdoors. I think your tree will adjust - give it bright, indirect sunshine; enough water to keep the soil moist but not soggy wet; keep it out of drafts; and mist it daily to compensate for dry indoor air. It should replace the lost foliage in a few weeks. Hope it hangs on to the fruit!

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