The Q&A Archives: Fertilizing Lemon Tree

Question: My lemon tree is looking dead what should I feed it to help it come back to life?

Answer: I'm not sure that feeding your tree will help bring it back to life, but you can try. Since it's in a container, use a half-strength dilution of liquid fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro. (Granular fertilizers can burn the roots if you apply too much.) Here are some general guidelines for growing citrus trees indoors:

Citrus trees aren?t too finicky but there are a few tricks to keeping them happy: grow in plenty of sun (especially inside); water consistently so that the soil is neither very wet nor very dry; and feed regularly.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist but never soggy. Do not overwater.
Citrus trees are heavy feeders. Feed every 3-4 weeks with a diluted solution of liquid fertilizer. Citrus need little pruning. For young trees, remove suckers and prune off branches to create desired shape. Prune older trees to keep the interior from becoming too shaded. For best results, prune after fruiting. For fun, try pruning your citrus as an espalier or hedge.

Citrus fruit ripens from fall to spring, depending on type. Pick fruits when they look grocery-store ready. Note that the fruit ripens only on the tree; do not pick early and attempt to ripen off the tree. To remove fruit, use shears to cut just above the point where the fruit joins a stem.

Winter Care: In USDA Zones 1-8, keep the tree indoors from the first fall frost to the last spring frost.

Best wishes with your lemon tree!

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