Ask a Question forum: Any Tips for a New Dwarf Lemon Tree Mom?

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 380, Replies: 27 » Jump to the end
Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Image
ljones26
Jul 4, 2016 7:05 PM CST
Hello all,

So after 6 MONTHS of waiting for my dwarf lemon tree to arrive, it finally did! I have it in a pot in my Southern window, and it is in well-draining soil that is mixed with organic fertilizer for citrus fruit trees. Any tips on how to properly care for it?? I am so excited since I had to wait so long, so I want to provide it with the best possible care (:

Thank you.
Thumb of 2016-07-05/ljones26/6dde68

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jul 4, 2016 11:28 PM CST
Hi and welcome. Congrats on receiving your little lemon tree finally.

We really need to know a little more about your growing conditions before trying to advise you on caring for this little guy.

Could you please fill in your personal profile (the little person icon at the top of the blue side bar) with your location. Just a zone doesn't help at all especially with an indoor plant. We need to know things like your light intensity, humidity etc. How warm your indoor conditions get in summer, how cool do you let it get in winter? Do you have a humidifier? How about other plants? All these factors and more will contribute to how you will need to care for your plant.

The sunny window and a little fertilizer is a good start though. One thing most growers advise is to remove any baby fruit for the first year you have your tree. This is SO hard but if you do it you will have a much stronger growing and producing tree going forward.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Image
ljones26
Jul 5, 2016 8:07 AM CST
Thank you!

I am from central Ohio, zone 6a. My Southern window that my plant is in receives strong light for the majority of the day. I'm not quite sure about humidity, but I do own a humidifier. My room is normally about 76 in the summer, and it is the coldest room in the house so I keep a heater on during the day in the winter keeping it around 75. At night, my room is probably around 60 in the winter. I have 37 other plants in my room: succulents, cacti, a bonsai, and a fern.
Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Image
ljones26
Jul 12, 2016 8:26 PM CST
So already, I may be overthinking or just paranoid, but I spent a lot of money on this little guy and had to wait 6 months to get him in. The lower leaves are turning a light green and shriveling up, and so are the new baby leaves forming at the top. Some of the other leaves are curling up. I thought maybe it needed even more sun so I put it outside for the day and now it seems even more curled up. What's wrong???? :/ It is in a southern window that gets a lot of light, but should I get a supplemental plant light? Am I watering too much? Not enough? Thank you!
[Last edited by ljones26 - Jul 12, 2016 8:34 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1210376 (4)
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jul 12, 2016 9:25 PM CST
Lindsey, we really need to see a picture of this problem with the little tree. A little more of a close-up than your first picture would be good, and especially a close-up of the shriveling top leaves. If you can take the picture in the natural light, that would be good, too.

Are you using any fertilizer? If so, what kind and how often?

Citrus can take lots of water, as long as there is good drainage in the pot. They don't like to dry out especially if the weather has been sunny, so it's warm in front of that window during the day. Is that pot you have it in a clay pot? They are slightly porous so will dry out faster than a plastic or ceramic pot, too. I think the first thing to try is watering it more. Can you take it and put it under the shower or in the kitchen sink, and give the whole plant a good shower? Use slightly warm water, so you won't shock the plant, and spray the whole thing, leaves, stem, soil and pot. Get it good and wet, then set it in a spot where it can drain. If I had a citrus growing indoors, I'd definitely try to do this at least once a week. Then water once or twice more until water flows out the bottom of the pot, too.

They really aren't meant to be indoor plants, unless you have a big, glass atrium or a greenhouse. Even dwarf citrus get to be fairly big for an indoor plant, probably over 6ft. wide and high.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Image
ljones26
Jul 13, 2016 8:49 AM CST
Okay!!! Here are the pictures (:

The fertilizer I used is this, the people at the greenhouse recommended it. I used two cups and mixed it with well draining soil.


Thumb of 2016-07-13/ljones26/f9a980

It is in a clay pot, so I bet the moisture is leaving quickly. Here are the rest of the photos!




Thumb of 2016-07-13/ljones26/67cfc2
Thumb of 2016-07-13/ljones26/580d35
Thumb of 2016-07-13/ljones26/a73713


Thumb of 2016-07-13/ljones26/a21ac5

[Last edited by ljones26 - Jul 13, 2016 8:51 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1210746 (6)
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jul 13, 2016 9:57 AM CST
The fert looks ok, although 2 cups of it in that pot seems like a lot. There's no sign of burning, that's good. A fertilizer that is specific for citrus trees would be better, as they need some micro-nutrients that other fruit trees don't. Be sure to follow the directions on the package, because that fert looks like it's meant to be used on outdoor trees where you would broadcast it over the ground? If it says something like "lasts 3 months" or "re-apply monthly" I would only use about a tablespoon or two, on the top of the soil.

You don't want to disturb the soil around a citrus plant because they put out feeder roots close to the soil surface, so if you were to dig the fert in, it would break the new roots.

I am very puzzled that your plant has two stems. A dwarf lemon tree should have a single trunk with a graft (would look like a slight bulge or joint) a few inches above the soil line. You might want to e-mail the person who supplied this plant and ask about that. It looks to me as if you have two cuttings rooted in that one pot. Not a good situation. When you re-potted it, did you bury it deeper than it originally was?

For now, yes I'd just try watering more deeply and more often. Use a bigger saucer and let the pot soak up some water before you empty the saucer of drained water. Clay will also absorb water then slowly evaporate it. But don't let it sit in the water for more than an hour or two. Do the spray/shower thing, because the leaves will love it and it also prevents insects like aphids and spider mites getting established. The major leaves look good, a nice color and shiny.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Image
ljones26
Jul 13, 2016 10:05 AM CST
Perfect!!! You have been so helpful thank you Elaine. The plant did come with two stems, and I did not plant it any deeper, the top of the soil in the center is actually the original that came with the plant! I will go to my greenhouse today and ask them about it, hopefully someone will know! Thank you again!
Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Image
ljones26
Jul 13, 2016 10:08 AM CST
Is it possible to separate the cuttings at all?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jul 13, 2016 11:24 AM CST
Yes, if it were my plant I'd just gently try to pull out the smaller of the two stems, and pot it up separately as long as you get some good looking roots with it.

When you go to your nursery, take a picture and show it to them if you can.

Btw. a nursery in Ohio is not likely to carry a citrus-specific fertilizer. You might have to order it online if you can, or go to somewhere like Home Depot or Lowe's and ask them to get it. They carry it here, so can certainly get it in for you and not charge you for shipping.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Image
ljones26
Jul 14, 2016 7:20 AM CST
I gave it a bath in the sink this morning!!! (: Also, I tried to pull one of the stems out, and it will not budge. :/
Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Image
ljones26
Jul 14, 2016 4:51 PM CST
Also, I read that they need a lot of humidity when indoors. What method do you recommend to increase the humidity? I read that misting the leaves everyday helps. I also just ordered a moisture detector.
[Last edited by ljones26 - Jul 14, 2016 5:03 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1212305 (12)
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jul 14, 2016 5:29 PM CST
Extra humidity sure won't hurt, Lindsey. I would keep a spray bottle of water near it, and just spritz it whenever you think about it. You need to consider where lemons grow in nature, warm climates, but not necessarily humid. Florida, Texas and California all grow citrus commercially, and the last two don't always have a lot of humidity.

As far as the second stem goes, I don't know what to tell you. You definitely don't want to try to grow two lemon trees in one pot. They will eventually strangle each other. I'll shout out to someone else who is knowledgeable about citrus and ask her opinion. @Daisyl What do you think? (go back and read the whole thread to see the situation)
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Image
ljones26
Jul 14, 2016 7:08 PM CST
I just tried to remove the other again and it felt like I was ripping roots so I stopped.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jul 14, 2016 7:18 PM CST
IF you do remove it, first have a pot of soil ready to put it into right away. IF you don't, it will dry out quickly, which will probably kill it. It's touch and go whether it will survive anyway. Pot it up, put in a stake to keep it upright, and set it in the shade for a week or two, to help it survive.

The roots of the two will absolutely be intertwined, so yes, you will have to break some roots to get it out. Pulling at it a little bit every day for a few days might be a good way to go. Place the fingers of one hand on the surface of the soil to try and preserve the roots of the bigger plant, then pull with the other hand?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lindsey
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Image
ljones26
Jul 15, 2016 12:21 PM CST
Oh gosh I'm scared haha I will be so so so sad if it does not survive.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
Image
crawgarden
Jul 15, 2016 2:42 PM CST
Did you ever see the movie "The Worlds Fastest Indian," it has a funny part showing the main character fertilizing a Lemon Tree in a unique way...great movie!
[Last edited by crawgarden - Jul 15, 2016 4:29 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1213171 (17)
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jul 15, 2016 4:56 PM CST
Oh yeah, one of our favorites! Not what you want to fertilize with on an indoor plant, though.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
Image
crawgarden
Jul 15, 2016 4:58 PM CST
Just have to have good aim! : ))
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jul 15, 2016 5:01 PM CST
Variable strength, and the smell wouldn't be great, either. Rolling on the floor laughing
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Dianthus 'Nyewood Cream'"