The Q&A Archives: meyer improved lemon

Question: I recently got a meyer improved lemon. It looked great and I wanted to stick it outside, so I put it in the shade for about a week and a half. The leaves look bad and they fall of every time the wind picks up. To top it off I've got swarms and swarms of ants. What can I do? How can I get them lush and suitable for outside?

Answer: Ants like the nectar in the flowers so when you tree stops flowering, the ants will go elsewhere. Or, you can place a sticky trap around the trunk of your tree to keep the ants from crawling up. The ants aren't really doing any harm and they may even help pollinate the flowers as they move from one to another.

Because citrus is evergreen, it's normal for them to lose a few leaves. As long as your tree is putting out new growth, a few lost leaves shouldn't compromise its health. If it is not putting out new growth, you may need to water more frequently. Citrus trees like lots of water which you can accomplish by deeply soaking the soil as soon as the top inch dries out. Aside from watering, you may need to feed your tree to help it green up. If it's still in a container, use a diluted liquid fertlizer (such as Miracle-Gro). If it's in the ground you can use either a liquid or a time-release granular fertilizer (in amounts as recommended on the label). Hope your tree perks up soon!

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