Vegetables and Fruit forum: Help with Citrus (Yuzu and Meyer Lemon)

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Sep 23, 2017 2:07 PM CST
This summer, I got 1 Yuzu tree and 1 Meyer Lemon tree. Both are having trouble.

Both started out in my sunroom, which is has no windows on the ceiling, but the south wall is a 1 big window and the larger west-facing side is all windows. No windows on the north side. Lots of bright indirect light all year round, but I live in the PNW, so there are lots of clouds and not much light in the winter. Some direct light when the sun is shining through the windows. Temps get up to 90 degrees in the summer (but good ventilation with breezes blowing through), down to 40s in the winter. I use a soil moisture monitor and water whenever the plant is totally dry.

Both plants were doing beautifully when I brought them home from the nursery, but both slowly started to have trouble in the sunroom. I eventually moved them outside, but I think it was too late at that point. Any advice on what I can do to save these plants for next year? Should I bring them indoors for the winter to avoid getting their roots soaked all winter long? Are they salvagable? Here are details on what happened to each:

1. Yuzu

Had flowers and beautiful leaves at the nursery. At home in the sunroom the leaves curled up and got crispy and dried out even if I watered consistently. I did have them in a terra cotta pot, so maybe it still wasn't enough water. Moved it outside. The leaves and flowers fell off, and there were little yuzu mini-fruit buds, but they never made it to full fruits.

2. Meyer Lemon

Also had nice foliage and flowers at first, but then started getting yellow leaves. They didn't really curl up like the yuzu did, but the foliage and flowers fell off too, even after I moved it outside (maybe it was too late anyway) and no fruit really formed.

I welcome your advice!
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Name: Deborah
Southern California (Zone 10a)
Rabbit Keeper
Sep 23, 2017 2:26 PM CST
They both need to stay outside. They need humidity, air and natural sun even if there's not a lot. Keep them watered and see if they recover. Hold off food a couple of months. Cover them if you get frosts. They're better off taking their chances outdoors.

Sep 23, 2017 2:31 PM CST
Do you think it's okay to keep them outside even though our fall/winter/spring are very wet here? Should I move them under a covered area to keep them dry but still outside?
Name: Deborah
Southern California (Zone 10a)
Rabbit Keeper
Sep 23, 2017 3:51 PM CST
Just place plastic over the soil area of the containers. Like a plastic tablecloth hanging over the edges so that the water runs over the outside of the pots.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Sep 23, 2017 3:57 PM CST
Boy, I wouldn't think any citrus would grow outside year-round in the PNW. But I've never tried. Here's a short article you might be interested in.

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Deborah
Southern California (Zone 10a)
Rabbit Keeper
Sep 24, 2017 5:09 PM CST
Good article. I'd still cover the soil in wet but not freezing weather so it doesn't get waterlogged. Also, the soil should be cactus mix. I once planted one in half potting mix and half cactus mix and it was fine. The cactus mix is because citrus doesn't like wet feet, and cactus mix drains quickly.

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