Ask a Question forum: Lemon Tree Help

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Brooklyn, NY
Mar 7, 2018 8:41 PM CST
Hi all,

I'm really trying hard to help save my dad's lemon tree. If you can help me I would greatly appreciate it. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. He transplanted it into a pot and brought it indoors for the winter. There were a couple of lemons, but they didn't seem to be growing so I figured I'd get one of those grow lamps. Anyway, the lemons have since fallen and the tree doesn't look like it is doing so well.

Here are the details:

-It is watered 1 liter of water a week.

-I bought this exact grow light:
Osunby LED Grow Light, 150W Equivalent Plant Grow Light Bulb for Hydroponics Indoor Plants
(Sorry, I can't provide a link temporarily because I am a new member.)

It is set to a timer and is on ~12 hrs a day.
Some of the leafs are permanently wet with what appears to be a sheen of sap.
Other leaves look like they are dark and are dying.

That is pretty much it. I hope that will give you some insight. I also added a photo to give you a better idea of its condition and habitat.

Thank you,


Thumb of 2018-03-08/Agiord/c02ced
Thumb of 2018-03-08/Agiord/2fc051

Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Mar 8, 2018 8:48 AM CST
It's a baby. There outdoor trees. They need vernalization period of many hours of cold weather in winter. First, for fruit to ripen, and second, for tree to produce good crop.
Should be in protected area outside , like patio.

I can't see sap. But usually what causes sticky wet looking leaves is aphids. Check back of leaves. Some aphids are very tiny, so you may need a magninfine glass to see them. Take tree outside and spray all sides with water to wash bugs and stickynes off. Then do same thing every couple days until bugs are under control. It my take around a week.

I do hope your going to keep up posting it, till you have her in at least a 5 gallon pot. 👍👍

Good day 😀 I tip my hat to you.

Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Mar 8, 2018 10:43 AM CST


Philip, lemon trees can not tolerate temps below 32 for any long period of time so they need to be protected by being brought inside for the winter. They do not require a winter chill to produce fruit, they require sunlight, at least 6 hrs a day. New York is too cold to leave it outside in the winter.


Tips on growing them inside:

and watering recommendations:

pest management:
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Mar 8, 2018 9:52 PM CST

Dropping fruit and leaves when you bring citrus in for the winter is normal, especially in such a young tree. In fact, I would have suggested you pick those fruits and not let them develop. Trees put all their strength into fruit production and a young tree just doesn't have the reserve to produce fruit and grow well.

I would be concerned about the sticky leaf thing though. Can you stick it in the shower and give it a good bath? If you have some Insecticidal Soap (a commercial mix) that will wash the plant and kill the bugs, even better. Drench the soil with the Insecticidal Soap also.

"Transplanted" it? He had planted it in the ground? There was never been a lemon tree ever built that would withstand NY winters. Its going to be a potted plant forever.

My daughter grows citrus in pots (10 to 15 gallon) here in Reno. She puts them outside in the summer and brings them in during the winter. She does get fruit, in fact, I'm impressed with her success. It is doable. Hopefully, your father's lemon is a small growing one or there will be a lot of pruning involved in this project. Smiling

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada

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