Dwarf Lemon Tree - Knowledgebase Question

San Diego, CA
Question by jmtown
May 12, 1999
I have a dwarf lemonade lemon tree in a large container on at sunny patio which I planted 1 year ago. There is new fruit on the lemon but very few leaves. I also have a dwarf naval orange which I planted in another container at the same time. They grow side by side. The orange has many new leaves and new fruit forming. The leaves on the lemon seem to have something chewing on the ends and sides of the leaves. I never see any insects. What can this be?

Answer from NGA
May 12, 1999


There aren't many insect pests that enjoy munching on thick, glossy citrus leaves, but an exception is snails. Lift the container to see if snails are hiding beneath. Destroy any you find. Water stress can cause leaves to drop prematurely. When you water, apply water slowly so that it can trickle down and thoroughly soak the soil. Water as often as necessary (soil dries out quickly in containers) and place an organic mulch over the soil surface to keep moisture from evaporating. An organic mulch material such as compost will provide nutrients to the roots of your plants as the mulch breaks down.

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