All Things Gardening forum: Meyer Lemon Tree

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Jme
Apr 4, 2018 6:47 PM CST
I just recieved a Lemon tree as a gift that will need to be grown indoors. Its 2-3 years old with blooms already. I feel that the pot this tree is in is too small. I contacted the company it was purchased from and they said it was in a 3 gallon pot and needed to be repotted asap (within a week) to a 5 gallon. I bought what I believe to be a 5 gal Tera Cota pot and it appears to be virtually the same size as what it's already in (slightly bigger). When I think 5 gallon, I think of the size of a 5 gallon bucket... Does this tree need repotted? If so, what size pot?

I measured the soil wetness and it was quite dry too (read 2 on my meter if it's correct)... I noticed some yellowing of the leaves and wonder if it could be from lack of water. Otherwise, the plant appears healthy. Last picture shown seems to be roots of the tree at the top of the soil? I really don't know... Any tips and advice would be appreciated!

Edit: Tree was shipped from SC to Ohio, by Fast Growing Trees Co.

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[Last edited by Jme - Apr 4, 2018 9:33 PM (+)]
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Name: greene
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greene
Apr 4, 2018 6:49 PM CST
Hey, @TheCitrusGuy, can you jump in and give some advice, please?
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Name: Cheryl
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ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 4, 2018 10:31 PM CST
I like the Terracotta size. Too big and your tree will concentrate on filling the pot with roots. The size you got will let the tree wiggle its toes while setting fruit, which is what those flowers will want to do.

Water well after the transplant. Feed a citrus food about every 3 weeks. Set in a sunny (window) location. Welcome!
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Jme
Apr 5, 2018 5:51 PM CST
Thanks! I will get it transplanted. Smiling

Growingtolive
Apr 5, 2018 6:30 PM CST
You'll be perfectly fine transplanting with that size of a container. In fact, you may even be safe going up one more size. There's a ton of great info on YouTube about this. I recommend "Organic's Best Urban Gardner." I enjoy growing citrus in containers as well.

A few months ago I made a video about my overwatered lemon tree. My YouTube channel is "Growing to Live."

Jme
Apr 8, 2018 5:03 PM CST
GrowingtoLive, I watched your video. That's definitely a sad looking lemon tree. I hope to avoid over watering mine (I've already over watered my strawberry plant and some of my new seedlings that need transplanted to bigger containers).

The pot is not big enough for this tree because it tapers on the sides. The tree may fit it if I disturb the root ball and kind of force it in, which I don't think is a good idea. The pots must be the same size, just shaped differently.

The lower and middle leaves are still curled under. I watered it Wednesday when I got it. It's now Sunday and the soil definitely feels dry, but I wanted to wait to water it until I transplanted it into its new pot. I'm hoping the curling is just caused by it wanting a drink and that adding additional soil designed for citrus will feed it enough to prevent more leaves from yellowing. How long after transplant should I wait to feed it? The soil I have for it is Miracle-Gro enriched.


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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Apr 10, 2018 4:55 PM CST
I would be reluctant to repot or disturb the roots while it is in bud. There is nothing wrong with keeping it tightly potted as long as you water frequently enough and thoroughly enough so that the soil never gets too dry.

Bear in mind that until recently your Lemon tree was grown in near optimum conditions of a greenhouse and it will now be in your home where light is greatly reduced. That means growth rate - both above and below the soil - will gradually slow down. Thus, the need to move it into a larger pot is probably not as urgent as you think. Just keep the soil moist and it will be fine.
Will Creed
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Jme
Apr 11, 2018 7:21 PM CST
Thanks for the advice WillC... I repotted it on Sunday though. It's definitely something I will keep in mind in the future, so I don't make the same mistake twice. I'm new to this growing thing.

More blooms are opening up, but I have had some leaf drop, too, of new growth. 6 or 7 leaves, all healthy looking. I assume it may be due to needing time to adjust to its new environment since it's not in optimal growing conditions and the weather has been quite dreary and overcast. I've been debating on whether to purchase a grow light for it.

My biggest worry is over watering it... I last watered Sunday when I transplanted it. It's now Wednesday evening and my meter reads at 3. Am I letting it get too dry?
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Name: Cheryl
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ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 11, 2018 7:37 PM CST
I had a gazzillion (at least!) yummy scented flowers on my potted Improved Meyer Lemon this spring. I got one lemon. I saw bees hovering around it. I crossed my fingers but still only see one little lemon. That's going to be one loved glass of lemonade!

The potted Satsuma Orange otoh had fewer flowers but ever single one seemed to set fruit. I am sure the tree will pick and choose which orange will stay through maturity. If not, I see some staking up in the fall!
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Apr 13, 2018 2:51 PM CST
Jme - Your tree may be reacting to root damage/disturbance due to repotting and to not very good light. A grow light will help a bit, but probably not enough to warrant the expense.

Don't rely on the meter. They are notoriously and seductively inaccurate depending on soil quality. If you watered it thoroughly on Sunday, it certainly should not need water again by Wednesday.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
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MindiHammerstone
Apr 14, 2018 5:00 PM CST
Good luck with your Myer Lemon tree!! Had a gigantic one in the backyard when I lived at my old house. We rented there. It was always packed with the most tasty lemons. Almost with an orange flavor as well. Heavenly scented too. We used to get bags full and give them around. Way better and less costly than the grocery store for sure. Your tree probably just needs some acclimation time before it picks up again.

Again, good luck!!🍀

Mindi

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