Help with Meyer Lemon

LisaPDXFebruary 6, 2011

Hello -- I have my first meyer lemon tree, received in May for mother's day, in a container. The plant is about two feet tall and two feet across. It was doing well over the summer out on our sunny patio. It bloomed profusely, but didn't set any fruit.

It is now inside, in a south, south-west facing window, with a full-spectrum lamp on it during the day.

I recently figured out that it had a spider mite infestation, and have been treating it once per week with an insecticidal soap.

It is dropping leaves . . . .a LOT of leaves. About 50% or more of them. About 20 leaves a day.

After reading the wonderful posts here, I am thinking that my poor tree has been BEYOND overwatered. The soil is heavy, soggy, wet . . . .

SOOO, do I just wait for the soil to dry out on its own? Will that save the tree, or do I need to somehow dry it out more proactively?

ALSO, I just noticed today that the soil has both what appear to be "pedes" . . not sure if they are centipedes or millipedes, and what look like tiny baby earthworms. Are these pests that need to be removed . . . or just "things that happen" with indoor/outdoor plants?

Help Help Help!!

***I am not a person who knows anything much about plants really****

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Yikes! First, I would depot the plant and inspect the roots and try my best to determine the extent of the damage. If the roots are sour smelling, black, slimy, you probably need to repot to save the tree. If, by chance, the roots appear ok, you could set the plant (out of the pot) on newspaper overnight so the soil mass can dry out, then return it to the pot. I can help you with more precise directions and some tricks that will help you keep the soil from getting too soggy again if the roots are ok. If it needs a repotting, we can address that as necessary, if you're willing to put the effort into it.

The insects in the soil are PROBABLY feeding on dead plant material. Hopefully, getting your watering habits and soil moisture levels under control will also bring the insect population under control. Let's see what you have to say about the condition of the roots & whether or not you want to make the effort to repot it if it needs it.

Best luck. ;o)

Al

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 11:09PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

What is the temperature in the room? Meyer lemon does not need high temps in the winter, just enough to keep it ticking over. Mine lives in a cool glazed porch in the winter where it flowers and awaits its trip back outdoors in March. It gets a little water when really dry and removal of dead leaves. I keep the surface of the soil scratched up a little so it doesn't compact and gates a bit of air. Also you need to watch out for scale which is worse when there is no wind and rain on the foliage.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:48AM
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