Q&As/Citrus/Caring for Citrus

Question

My gardening question is regarding citrus. The leaves on my 2-year-old lemon tree appear to have a yellow hue and subsequently dropped off. It doesn’t appear to be dire straits yet as there are lemons still blossoming but I’m concerned about how to promote the growth of future leaves. 

Answer

Usually, yellowing leaves on citrus plants indicates a nutrient deficiency, especially a lack of nitrogen. However, this does not always lead to leaf fall, therefore there are other possible reasons why your plant is being defoliated.

The two-year-old tree may have become excessively dry over the hot summer months or been exposed to strong winds which can cause defoliation. At this time of the year, mulch with Daltons Compost or pea straw, and water deeply 2-3 times a week.

Citrus are known as ‘heavy feeders’ so apply Daltons Citrus & Fruit Fert just outside the branch ‘drip line’ at 4-6 weekly intervals from late February/early March through to early April and add a good side dressing of compost. Recommence applications from late October to early December. Ensure you water your fertiliser in well to wash nutrients into the root zone.

Remove any fruit or flowers as they appear for the next 6 months to 1 year. Tempting as it may be to leave them on, removing during the early years helps the tree establish a strong framework, without all its energy and nutrients going into fruit. Your tree will last longer and be much healthier if you do this. 

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