The Q&A Archives: Lemon Tree Dropping Leaves

Question: My Monrovia Lemon tree is dropping leaves and looking sad. Is this common at this time of year, or is there something I should do. My wife is transplanting it as I type this. Please let me know.

Answer: Leaf drop is a common condition with citrus trees. It is also common when plants have been outside during moderate weather and then are brought indoors for the winter. The sudden change in conditions is a "shock" to the plant and a typical response is for it to drop leaves. Keep your tree in as bright a location as possible, but away from drafts, heating vents, etc. Water slowly and deeply so water runs out the drainage holes, to leach away salts. Fertilize monthly with a citrus fertilizer (if you can find one), or a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. Your tree may not seem vigorous indoors during the winter, but it should perk up again next year. Note that citrus are extremely frost tender, so don't put it outdoors too soon! (Or, put it out during the day but bring it in at night.) Also, it's a good idea to acclimate any plant to a sudden change in conditions, moving it in stages. Hope this info helps!

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