Someone please save my lemon tree!

kelly633(7A)July 24, 2014

I bought a little $4 "lemon tree" at a random grocery store about a year ago.. It was ok for a while, kind of struggled at first, but then grew a little bigger had a about 3 lemons total on it. I moved across state and it had to be an indoor container plant. Moved again and it was outside where it lost all of it leaves which I've read is normal when you change their lighting.. Its grown some new leaves but now the leaves are turning brown and i don't know what to do to help it.. i'm not a gardener.. i'm a "random buy plants at the store" kind of girl. I'm also new to forums so don't judge my nescience..any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Give us some details :-)

What kind of pot, what kind of potting mix, how much light, how often watered, and how fertilized.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:51PM
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kelly633(7A)

more pictures of the damage.. Also, some of the new leaves have started curling :(

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:52PM
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kelly633(7A)

Lets see.. Plastic container, random potting soil from a garden nursery. It stays outside from late evening-till mid afternoon.. It gets to 100+ outside so I felt like that was too hot and the new leaves kept wilting.. I move it indoors in a sunny spot for about 8 hours.. (mid afternoon--late evening) I soak it when it looks dry.. once every 4-5 days and I mist some during the day. I've fertilized once since I bought it.. about a week ago ( which is what I suspect is the problem) with a organic fertilizer spike.. thanks

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:09PM
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Deeby

Lemons like cactus mix for soil. Citrus food. Good drainage. I wouldn't move it indoors, I'd just shade it. An umbrella works. Someone may say to move it indoors. Just saying I don't.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:00PM
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calistoga_al

Your pictures do not show any new growth. Container grown citrus should be fed about a tablespoon of citrus labled food once a month. Citrus do like full sun in most cases, but I think you should find a spot that does not get the sun from the west until you see some signs of growth. Moving it around I do not think is good idea. Water enough at a time that you see about 20% of the water exit the drain holes. Al

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:29PM
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kelly633(7A)

It has new growth at the top.. i didn't take a picture of it. i was really just interested in figuring out what the brown parts were and how to fix it.. Also, i have two options.. full 100+ temp sun or inside.. and umbrella sounds fun.. i'm sure my neighbors will love it!! haha! :)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:39PM
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Deeby

Anything for our lemon trees ! : )

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:14AM
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calistoga_al

There is nothing you can do about old leaves, damaged or not. Your focus should be on your new growth and keeping it healthy. Why not give us a picture of the whole tree, including the new growth? Al

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:53AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Dig out as much of that Citrus spike as possible! Those are truly awful and, indeed, I have seen significant fertilizer burn when folks use them. So dig it out and flush that mix.

Secondly, as Al said, find a good spot for the tree and don't move it around. Provide shade during the hottest part of the day - even just shading the container to keep the roots cooler will dramatically reduce wilting.

Lastly, those dead spots on the leaves mean that there are dead root-tips....whether from too much fertilizer, too much water, too little water, or too high a temperature.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 5:50PM
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kelly633(7A)

Thank you all very much! I appreciate it!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:06AM
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Oxboy555(Las Vegas)

There aren't many potted plants - not even cactus - that can stand 100+ degree afternoon sun. Pots just get too hot unless you mulch and do the pot-in-pot method.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 11:19PM
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kelly633(7A)

Thanks! and its probably self explanatory and I'm going to feel stupid for asking, however I am completely new to gardening.. what's the pot-in-pot method?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:15AM
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kelly633(7A)

I'm sorry. I didn't see your request to see the whole tree.. Hope this helps

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:37AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

It looks pretty good in that photo, but everyone is correct. The pot in 100+ degree weather in full sun will fry the poor things roots.

Can you sink the pot in ground, and turn it now and then so the roots don't go out the drainage holes? Looks in that photo, like you have some ground in which to sink the pot. In ground, the roots will stay cool, and the lemon will love the sunshine.

Suzi

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:47AM
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kelly633(7A)

I'm a dorm director at a college.. it's not my ground

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:55AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

So you need to provide shade, or get permission to sink your pot. I'd try for permission.

Suzi

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:59AM
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kelly633(7A)

Thanks Suzi! I've asked.. They said absolutely not.. ( I don't know why.. its not like their landscaping is all that magical) They have already ruined one of my pots by weed eating it.. I'm afraid if I upset them anymore they will spray all of my plants with a weed killer..

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:05PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

So you need to provide shade, or get permission to sink your pot. I'd try for permission.

Suzi

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:10PM
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