Lemon tree growing is easy when you give proper care to the plant. These trees are sensitive and need close attention to avoid the Lemon tree dropping leaves.
Environmental, nutritional, and diseases can quickly destroy the crop.
You need to know when there are changes in your lemon tree appearance to detect when you have to offer treatment and solutions for the tree.
Lemon tree dropping leaves is possible if the tree faces several problems affecting its growth and is unfavorable for it to thrive.
Reasons and Fixes for lemon tree dropping leaves
1. Enviromental factors
Cold damage: Lemon trees, like other citrus trees, do not enjoy freezing climates. When the temperature goes to 28°F, it’s cold and will lead to leaf drop due to winter seasons.
Fix the cold weather by covering the lemon tree with a blanket or move it to a warm and protected area. Try not to water the plant so much; give it enough time to dry a little and postpone pruning till the end of the winter.
Overwatering: Lemon tree is dropping its leaves due to too much water, making the roots rot. When the tree roots soak in a lot of water, they become vulnerable to fungus.
Fix the overwatering issue by planting your lemon tree in well-draining soils, which will keep the surface moist instead of muddy. Ensure to mulch around the core area and keep the grass away from the source of the tree.
High temperatures: Too much heat due to summer leads to lemon tree leaf drop. When the soils become overly dry because of high temperature and not getting enough water, the tree leaves will dry and fall off.
2. Nutritional Deficiencies leads to lemon tree dropping leaves
Lack of fertilizers: The lemon tree needs a lot of nutrients to have proper growth. So when the tree doesn’t get the nutrients, it will have the leaves dropping. These nutrients nitrogen, iron, magnesium, and zinc play a significant role in a lemon’s tree’s development.
You need to fertilize a lemon tree every six weeks if the tree is below seven years with citrus fertilizers.
Excessive fertilizers: When you add too much fertilizer to the soils, it leads to lemon tree leaves dropping. Most times, when a lemon is young, it requires light fertilizers. At one year, the lemon tree only needs one tablespoon of fertilizers each month.
Use 8-8-8 fertilizer, balancing it and sprinkling it evenly and cover the whole root area.
3. Leaf Diseases cause lemon tree dropping leaves
A lemon tree is dropping its leaves due to diseases. The infections usually result in yellowing of the leaves bringing brown spots, Phytophthora, and greasy spots, thus having the sick leaves will fall off the tree.
Spray with copper fungicides when the spring flush leaves expand and spray again when they fully open for greasy spots and Alternaria brown spots.
Improve early morning irrigation and drainage to eliminate Phytophthora and keep the area grass and weed-free. Clear any debris and mulch.
4. Pests lead to lemon tree dropping leaves
Another factor responsible for lemon tree leaf drop is the insect attacks. Pests such as Asian citrus psyllid causes sooty mold hence bringing the damage that causes leaf drop. Use oil sprays to control this pest.
Leaf miners also lead to lemon tree dropping leaves. Remove the areas with infections from leaf miners since spraying may not easily combat the problem. Introduce predatory wasps to suppress leaf miners.
Lemon tree leaves turning yellow.
When you grow lemons, the results will be making lemonade. But what if the lemon tree leaves bring yellow foliage! It indicates several issues are causing this change in the leaves’ color, so you want to know why?
1. Seasonal factors
Most lemon propagation is by grafting on hard rootstocks, so the tree hibernates through the winter. However, the winter lessens the gush of nutrients to the leaves hence causing yellow foliage and dropping.
When you place a lemon tree outside in a summer or spring season, the leaves might get sunburns, which result in yellowing.
2. Nutritional deficiencies
Lemon trees are heavy feeders, so whenever they lack nutrients because you aren’t giving them enough fertilizers, the leaves become yellow. The tree lacks zinc, nitrogen, iron, and magnesium deficiencies if you do not feed it enough.
Soil level imbalance also causes yellow leaves on lemon trees. You need to test the soils in the root vicinity of your lemon tree.
When a lemon tree soaks into much water, its roots rot. When the core begins decaying, it becomes hard for the tree to pull nutrients from the ground. With time the lemon tree begins to turn yellow and dry up.
Insect attack lemon leaves, causing infections, which make the leaves turn yellow. The tree leaves develop yellow spots, which later become big patches.
Insects such as Aphids and whiteflies are some of the pests which affect lemon trees.
Will my lemon tree leaves grow back?
After lemon tree leaves become yellow and fall off, you have chances for the leaves to grow again. If your lemon tree has enough reserves to grow back, the leaves will come.
Here is what you can do for your tree leaves to grow back;
1.Place the tree in a warm location with enough light.
2.Reduce watering and try to keep the soils moist instead of wet.
3. Fertilization is damaging, so you can reduce it in the first year of the tree’s growth.
4. Apply sprays every 7-10 days until the pests are gone. Use insecticide soap to kill the eggs and insects.
Doing these will help your tree regain its health, and the trees will grow back within a short period.
How to promote leaf growth on a lemon tree
The most common problems in lemon trees are pests, mold, fungus, which cause yellow and dropping leaves. When a tree experiences such issues, it gets no fruit, dieback, and the entire plant will die.
There are ways on how you can improve the growth of a lemon tree with its leaves;
1. Prune the tree
To get rid of the pests, you need to remove the stems with any infections, prune them off to rejuvenate the lemon tree into new growth. Doing this will help prevent the affected branches from spreading the diseases to the new limbs.
2. Clean the plant
Make sure to wash or wipe the lemon tree, remove any pests’ eggs, clean the leaves remaining, and not leave any signs of white stains on them.
3. Spray the tree
Use insecticides mixing it with water, and spray the leaves, stems, and the entire tree to finally kill any remaining pests. Spray at least three times a day every after two days, and the plant will come back to its expected growth.
4. Place the plant in light
After giving the lemon tree plant enough care, put it in a bright place to access full sunlight to keep it warm and enable it to bloom after several days. The tree will begin coming back to normal, and the leaves will be healthy once again.
Lemon tree leaf curl
When growing lemon trees and you start experiencing leaf curl, it upsets you as a gardener and slows down your tree’s growth.
What causes lemon tree curl?
Insects such as mites, aphids feed on lemon tree leaves and extract the juices from transport tissues.
The more the pests attack the leaves, the deformation comes hence curling and discoloration to the leaves. It would help if you sprayed the lemon tree as soon as you see signs of pests.
2. Drought stress
When a lemon tree is not getting enough water mainly due to seasonal conditions such as drought, its leaves will begin to curl. You are not giving your tree enough water, yet the season is too dry for it.
So it would help if you stepped up your watering frequently since the soils are likely to dry up faster during the dry season.
3. Potassium deficiencies
When a lemon tree lacks potassium nutrients, its leaves will turn yellow and curl downwards. You need to check the soil pH levels if it’s balancing and add or reduce any supplements as per the requirements.
Enough water to the tree will help to move potassium throughout the lemon tree system.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. Why is my potted Meyer lemon tree dropping leaves?
Your potted Meyer lemon tree is dropping its leaves because it’s sometimes natural when the tree is blooming and fruiting. However, suppose many leaves are dropping them. In that case, it might be due to high temperatures and wind, nutrient sufficiency, and dry weather conditions. Salty soils also contribute to lemon tree leaf drop, so you need to check your soil.
- 2. How does a lemon tree lose its leaves in the winter?
When a trunk of a lemon tree remains wet for an extended period during the winter, it causes root rot, which attracts fungus infections. This fungus is what makes the leaves fall off a lemon tree. On the other side, when a tree is overly wet due to winter seasons, it won’t be able to pull nutrients and serve the rest of the tree. So the lack of nutrients also leads to loss of leaves.
- 3. How often should you water a lemon tree?
You need to water lemon trees at least every seven to ten days if it’s the summer season. It’s good always to allow the water to drain into the soil and keep it moist, not soggy. Let the soil dry between watering’s to avoid overwatering the lemon tree.
- 4. How can you tell if a lemon tree is overwatered?
When you realize that the water is pudding, it’s a sign you are overwatering the lemon tree. If the tree leaves become yellow and begin to drop, it’s also another indicator you are overwatering. When the tree’s roots rot due to overwatering, it injures the entire tree, which causes leaf and fruit drop.