The online world indicates that indoor lemon trees are difficult plants. Well, they were right! On Valentines Day, my husband bought me a small indoor Meyer lemon tree. This variety can grow further north, is meant for indoors, and is supposed to be quite nice. I was so excited to get it as a gift. However, by week two the leaves were falling off daily! I did research and learned it could be winter leaf drop.
I followed all the advice online including wrapping Christmas lights around the base and no longer watering it. On sunny days I would take the tree outside in the sun…until I learned that was actually a bad thing. I moved it to a shady spot and I watered it even more sparingly. I picked the 5 or 6 lemons that were now ripe and did some pruning so the tree could focus energy on growing. Nothing was working and I was very sad.
When we moved homes, I brought the tree along and placed it in the foyer with all my mother’s plants that seem to do well. I watched for more leaf drop (by now most of the leaves were gone and others were yellowing!) but after a few days only one leaf had fallen. A few days later I noticed the yellow leaves were turning green again and no other leaves have dropped off since then! I was thrilled. Then I started to see new growth of tiny green branches or leaves and I felt a flood of relief. The tree was finally in a happy place!! All would be well again, right? I gave it only a cup of water after not watering it for a long time and I noticed a few of the flowers had bloomed and fallen off. I had hope.
Then, after awhile, the leaves began to fall again (only the old ones and not the new growth) and I worried but I hoped it was just the old ones going to make room for new ones that liked the environment as the internet suggested. The tree is looking awful, after all. But, some time passed and the old leaves keep slowly dropping and I do not see any more new growth.
Now, I have sought advice from my father in law (the orange farm owner) who has suggested a larger pot and some proper fertilizer. I went to the store and bought special “food” for citrus trees along with a larger pot and some more potting soil. I am hoping this will help. The tree is looking terrible! I did the re-potting and found that there is a lot of water in the soil which is probably one of the problems. However, I mixed in new dry soil when I did the re-potting. Now, it is in a bigger pot, has drier soil, I will not water it for a long long long long time, and I gave it some special citrus tree “food”. I am hoping there will be progress but all I can do is wait and see. Definitely been a pain but I am hoping this will all pay off. Only by trying things can I learn for next time!