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Lemon tree losing its leaves..HELP

I have a Meyers lemon tree, about 5 years now. I kept it out in the garden all summer this year, usually it sits on the porch all summer. It did great. It got real bushy and bloomed like crazy.
As it got cooler, I moved it onto the porch again and into a lower light area, preparing it for the move into the house. I moved it into the house (southern window & grow light) two weeks ago.

Well...it has started dropping leaves like crazy. They turn a mottled yellow and fall off. It's probably lost 1/3 of its leaves. All of the little lemons have also fallen off. The larger ones are still hanging.

I've inspected it for mites, scales and whitefly and it is clear. HELP. I don't know what to do. I has a period of leaf dropping every year but I think this is the worst ever.
 
Making a splash on the Kings River in Northwest Arkansas. Zone 6a
When my lemon trees drops leaves "like crazy," I assume one of the following:
1) Since it has been outside all summer, it probable has teeny, weeny bugs and I spray it with insecticidal soap.
2) Reduce watering, but give it an iron snack.
3) Realize that since it was outside all summer, it grew alot more than it would in the house and now has more leaves (and lemons) that it needs. Although in some years my lemon was naked by spring, it has always come back beautifully.
 
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Thanks for the information. I'll give it a spray. any other ideas out there?
 
Making a splash on the Kings River in Northwest Arkansas. Zone 6a
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A friend of mine has one(lives in zone6)
She had it lose tons of leaves one year, also.
Seems it was pot bound. In the spring she pruned the roots and nourished it with fresh soil and fed it.
Most likely the leaves it drops are the old ones(like with a ficus) especially if it had a good growth season.(?)
Maybe try a diluted feeding during this 'adjustment' indoor period.
 
"Maybe one of the secrets of survival is to learn where to dance." Stanley Kunitz
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I've learned not to try to grow many of the wonderful plants you folks in cold climates can grow. It was hard giving them up, too (ie cherries and pears). So then why are some of you trying to grow plants that need year round warmth? Maybe it's similar to women with straight hair getting permanents and women with curly hair straightening it?

BTW, citrus isn't all that easy here either. There are LOTS of pests and problems. The Meyer lemon will lose some leaves but never most of them. Right now it's loaded with maturing fruit and some new blossoms.
 
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I grow orchids and have tropical house plants.
I have a ten year old rosemary shrub that I take in.
I also had a green tree iguana that lived 16 years.
Meyer Lemons are popular to grow and alot of people enjoy them.
I think wintering plants inside a greenhouse type area is a little different than trying to grow a 'cold' requiring tree like an apple in a tropical place.
Winters are long,cold and dark in the north. The pleasures of indoor plants and gardening are enormous.
 
"Maybe one of the secrets of survival is to learn where to dance." Stanley Kunitz
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I hear you, and now I understand much better. It would probably drive me nuts not to be able to garden year round.
 
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Another spray idea is to use seaweed or kelp every other week. A little molasses in the mix is good, too.
 
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My Meyer would lose alot of leaves until I figured out how get similar conditions to those in central Florida (where I moved it from).

Heavy pruning back early summer ro desired size and shape (thorns too). Give it a boost of iron at this point also. You'll have a flush of heathy leaves soon after during the heat of the summer. These leaves seem to withstand the sock of moving indoors better.

I leave the tree out untill the last possible moment in November. If the weather is cooperative this is usually right around Thanksgiving. One year, I didn't need to bring the tree indoors until the first week of December. This way the tree adapts to the naturally decreaing winter light and temperatures. If the nightime temp is predicted to dip past 32F for more than two hours, I cover the tree with a couple of heavy blankets.

I think the Meyer stays healthier with a little bit of non-damaging chill at night with a bit of warmup during the day. The cold treatment also helps get rid of any pests that it might have, and fosters bud development.

By the time it gets so sustained cold at night will bring damage, I take it in and put it in my moderately sunny, but chilly study.

I water once a week and mist every couple of days. We keep nighttime sleeping temperature in the house at 60-62F. The study probably dips to 58F. Daytime is set at 68F.

I always have fragrant blossoms for Christmas and New Years, and some fruit (hand fertilzed) in the spring.
Some years, I get fruit year round, as a healthy Meyer will produce blosoms even when fruit is setting and maturing.

I root prune and change soil every other year.

Sy
 
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Sycers,

Thanks for the well thought out information. I, too, used to live in Central Florida. Auburndale, heart of the citrus country.

i think I might have spider mites. I'm starting to see little webs. I'll spray it tomorrow.
 
Making a splash on the Kings River in Northwest Arkansas. Zone 6a
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Glad to help!

Spider mites flourish in low humidity. Increasing your humidity around the tree will help keep them away once you get the problem under control.

Here's a think to some Brooklyn Botanic Garden information that is particularly interesting

http://www.bbg.org/gar2/topics/indoor/handbooks/landscaping/orangerie.html

Sy
 
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Jenniferch: I've had my lemon tree for about 10 years now, given to me by a friend who no longer had room for it. I generally don't bother with fussy plants that need alot of TLC but the lemon is worth it. It usually blooms shortly after I bring it into the house in the fall and the fragrance of the flowers is intoxicating. Right now it is covered with almost ready to harvest lemons. They are sweeter and juicier than supermarket lemons and I like to give them to friends who are always amazed with them. When I have visitors to my house, the sight of a lemon tree in my living room, bearing lemons, is always a conversation starter.
 
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