Meyer Lemon – Leaves Yellowing

Q: The leaves on our new Meyer lemon tree are turning yellow and beginning to drop. I bought this as a gift for my daughter for Christmas and would like for it to look healthy when she receives it. What do I need to do to maintain this tree until then?

A: It’s typical for a Meyer lemon to lose leaves during winter indoors. There are three usual causes: lower light levels than it prefers, low humidity and soggy soil.

To give it the best care possible, do the following:

1. Don’t water unless a finger inserted two inches deep in the soil comes up dry rather than damp.

2. Keep the plant away from furnace vents. Put the pot onto a large, shallow saucer filled with gravel or marbles. Fill the saucer half-way with water so humidity around the leaves will be increased.

3. Buy a “clamp light” from a hardware store. These typically have a big round aluminum reflector and a springy clamp that can attach it to nearby window sill. Use a 25 watt compact fluorescent bulb (the equivalent of a 100 watt incandescent bulb) in the fixture. Place it no more than six inches away from the foliage of the lemon plant.

4. Don’t fertilize until the plant can be taken outdoors in spring.

See also Meyer Lemon Tree Culture

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