The Q&A Archives: Dwarf Meyer Lemon

Question: Can I keep my lemon out on the porch all year? I had it in the house and it started losing its leaves. (They were light green as they dropped).

Answer: Your lemon tree will not like the winter temperatures out on your porch. I suspect it was losing leaves indoors because the growing conditions were not quite right and your tree is going through an adjustment period. When it adapts to the growing conditions in your home, it should once again produce flowers and fruit. Like most houseplants, citrus thrive in a normal temperature range of 70 degrees during day, and 55 degrees at night. Citrus trees prefer full sun from a southern exposure. If that's not possible, you can supplement the light by installing 40-watt fluorescent shop lights above the plant, keeping it on 14-16 hour a day. As for moisture, you'll need to keep the soil evenly moist and since most interiors are quite dry, mist your plant often -- daily if you can. Give your lemon tree a shower occasionally to remove dust. You can feed your tree with a half-strength dilution of liquid fertilizer (such as a 20-20-20) every 3-4 weeks to keep it healthy and happy. Best wishes with your Meyer lemon tree!

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