Q. The leaves of my Meyer lemon tree yellow and fall off.
It is not over-watered and I add citrus fertilizer every 6 months. It does still bloom and produce fruit. What is wrong?
If you are growing this plant in your home, it is a challenge. Citrus plants originate in tropical forest regions of Asia and their need for humidity, air circulation and strong light are difficult to provide for in a Northeastern home.
Growing a Meyer lemon plant indoors successfully requires providing it with at least eight hours of strong sunlight daily. Place your plant in the brightest spot in your home, with best results in a south or southwest facing window. In summer, place your plant outdoors if possible, in bright light for vigorous growth. Provide increased humidity by standing your potted plant on a tray of damp pebbles. Mist-spray occasionally.The humidity necessary to keep a citrus plant in good health is above 50%; you can test for humidity in the area of your plant using a simple hygrometer device.
Water during active growth moderately, allowing the top inch of the potting mix to dry out between regular, thorough waterings. Do not let the roots dry out or they will be burned by the fertilizer salts in the soil. Water your Meyer lemon plant less in the slow growth period during the winter.
Your citrus fertilizer should be given every two weeks for actively growing plants, especially during flower and fruit development. Feeding is not necessary at other times.
Normal room temperatures, between 55 and 85°F. are fine. In summer heat, the plant must have good air circulation but be kept out of drafts. Stable warmth is important. Do not subject the plant to temperature shocks. A variation of ten degrees between day and night temperatures is best for the plant and will enhance flowering. In winter, a rest period takes place and gradually adjusting to cooler temperatures of 50 to 60°F. is healthy for the plant.
Learn more from our guide Citrus as a Houseplant.
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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