The Q&A Archives: Lemon tree

Question: My lemon tree doesn't look good. Leaves are yellowing.
I don't want to lose it after weathering it in the garage over the winter. What do I need to do to get it to survive outside?

Answer: While your lemon tree needs protection from freezing temperatures, I'm not sure wintering it over in the garage is the best place. I hope you have room to keep it indoors next winter. Citrus trees are tropical in nature and the lack of sun and heat in the garage really stressed it out. Luckily they are relatively accommodating. I suspect your tree endured the winter and now will have to recover from its ordeal. Take it outdoors to a protected place and water it regularly. In a week or two gradually move it to a place that gets a few hours of morning sunshine. Continue to move it every 5-7 days into a more exposed site. Once it is in full sunshine all day you should see some new foliage.

Late next summer begin acclimating your plant for the move indoors. Gradually provide less and less direct sunlight until it is in full shade all day long. Then take it indoors (before you turn on your heater for the winter). Place it in a spot that gets bright light. It should grow happily indoors and may even flower for you in December or January. I hope so - the flowers are delightfully fragrant!

Best wishes with your lemon tree!

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