UACES Facebook Lemon

Lemon

June 11, 2016

Question

This is my Meyer lemon tree or a lime tree.  These places on the stem seem to attract ants in huge numbers.  These are squash, moldy looking things that do not move.  I have wiped off a lot of this & sprayed the plant with water to get rid of quite a bit.  I have sprayed the leaves with Neem oil & sprinkled ant killer in the soil.  Is there anything else I can do to get rid of this?  The tree seems to be healthy.

Picture of scale on lemon tree

 

Answer

You have an extremely healthy case of scale insects.  They are sucking sap out of the plant and giving off a sweet substance called honeydew which ants adore.  I am surprised the tree is still healthy with as many insects as you have.  The Neem oil should help.  You can also spray with a summer weight oil product—directing it to the stems, but you need to do it before it gets too hot, as it can cause a burn on the foliage when the temperatures are high.  Systemic insecticides do a good job, but not many are labeled for use on edibles.  I would continue to monitor the scale. If you find it on limbs closer to the ends of branches, you could prune it out, but the picture you have sent has it pretty much all over.


 

June 4, 2016

 

QuestionCan you please tell me where (locally or reputable catalog) that I could purchase a lemon tree? 

 Answer

Most local nurseries sell citrus trees along with their flowering tropical plants.  Meyer lemon is probably the most common.


 

April 2, 2016

Question

Our Meyer lemon tree is very ill and we are afraid we are going to lose it. After having more blooms than one could think possible as well as setting fruit, it is now dropping leaves like crazy. We researched it online and thought perhaps it was getting too much direct sun in house so have moved it to a bedroom with filtered light. This morning, I removed most of the fruit as that was one of the online recommendations. Watering has been consistent ever since we got it late last spring. It did have some scaly pest but we sprayed with diluted dishwashing soap and then when that didn't do it, we used neem oil. No evidence of any further pests. It has doubled from its original size.

 

Answer

I cannot believe it is too much light. I have seen many in greenhouses where the light intensity and duration would be much stronger than in a home setting.  Scale insects can attack and cause leaves to shed.  It is possible there are still some on the plant even after you sprayed.  It is also possible the neem oil caused some of the leaves to shed.  I would make sure you are not overwatering, and get it through the next few weeks. You should be able to safely move it outdoors by the middle of April.  Gradually expose it to sunlight and then monitor the new growth. You may need to do some selective pruning to help reshape the tree, but I think it will rebound once outdoors.


 

December 5, 2015

QuestionMy Meyer dwarf lemon tree is losing it leaves. It has new growth also. I water it once a week and I fertilize it with miracle grow every three months. What am I doing wrong? 


Answer

There are many factors that could be in play.  If you just recently moved it inside, it could be shedding leaves due to a change in conditions. The later you wait to move them inside, the more shock of transplant which can lead to shedding leaves.  If the tree is inside year-round, it may not be getting enough light.  Winter tends to be the driest season indoors and houseplants struggle with the lack of humidity.  Pot size, plant size, the temperature indoors, and how much light it receives can all be factors with how often it needs to be watered and how happy it is indoors.  I assume the pot has a drainage hole for excess water to flow out of, but make sure it is not staying too wet. The more sunlight the better.   I would keep it alive for the winter and move it outdoors next spring  

.   


 

(January 2012)

QuestionMy son has three potted lemon trees (or bushes). One he has had for three years and two for 2 yrs. The first year the first tree was loaded with lemons. I suggested he cut it back in the winter. It reproduced this year but not nearly as much. Neither of the newer trees produced as much as the first one had.  During the summer they sit in full sun all day on the deck rail. I contend the pots should be placed deep in the ground to protect the root system from the heat. What say you?

 

AnswerLemon trees like warm temperatures and should be fine outdoors unless the pot is small and overheating.  You can sink the pots in the ground to aid in watering for the summer months, but they will put out roots into the surrounding soil which can make lifting them in the fall a bit more difficult.  Lemons can be ever-bearing given the right conditions—enough sunlight (minimum 6-8 hours per day) and warm temperatures – at least above 60 degrees.  That means they can continually bloom and have fruit in a variety of stages.  I think the pruning job may have set them into a growing phase and cut back on some of the blooms.  Prune minimally, but make sure there is room to house them indoors.  Give them bright light, keep them watered and feed monthly while actively growing and they (September 2006)should rebound


(September 2006)

QuestionI brought a young lemon tree back from Florida and over wintered it.  After I put it outside in a large pot, full sun, it produced about a dozen lemons.  So far, these lemons are still very green, and have not grown much bigger than their initial growth.  When should they start to ripen, and should they have increased in size by now?  The plant is watered regularly and has good drainage. I would appreciate some information so that we can eventually taste our lemons!

 

AnswerLemons can bear fruit and ripen in Arkansas, but they are normally not winter hardy.  If they have not started changing color by early to mid October, move the plants indoors to a bright, sunny area. The fruit should eventually ripen.  The most common variety of lemon sold for container gardening is the Meyer lemon and it will produce good quality fruits, they just can't take our winters.


 All links to external sites open in a new window. You may return to the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture web site by closing this window when you are finished. We do not guarantee the accuracy of the information, or the accessibility for people with disabilities listed at any external site.

Links to commercial sites are provided for information and convenience only. Inclusion of sites does not imply University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture's approval of their product or service to the exclusion of others that may be similar, nor does it guarantee or warrant the standard of the products or service offered.

The mention of any commercial product in this web site does not imply its endorsement by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture over other products not named, nor does the omission imply that they are not satisfactory.