How dry should soil be between waterings? My lemon plant is about 5 years old and all leaves have fallen off. They looked perfectly healthy and just dropped off. The soil doesn't seem to dry out. I don't even put enough water in to drip out of the bottom and yet it seems to be too wet. I just repotted it into a smaller container due to roots breaking apart when I removed it from the pot. It is in an 8" pot now. I also have a lime plant and it started dropping leaves too. Today it dropped about 10 or more. I went to a local nursery and was told I should let them dry out completely before watering again. I repotted with miracle grow for cactus/lemons; however, read online that this soil has too much sand and you should add something to lighten the soil to help it drain better. I read that perlite does this so added some prior to repotting. The person at the nursery told me that perlite holds moisture and I shouldn't have added it. She recommended I repot using Espoma soil for cactus and citrus. So I purchased the bag of Espoma but am still not sure if my plants are over watered or under watered because I have found so much conflicting information. The soil is damp but not soggy. The top inches seen dry to the touch. Can you please help? Thank you! Jo Anne
Growing Meyer Lemon in Container
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
If the soil is always feeling wet, it is likely too much water.
The roots breaking is also an indication of root rot. Root rot can be very difficult to recover from.
It sounds like the soil that you have now is to heavy.
Any good quality commercial potting mix that is well draining will be fine for a Meyer Lemon Tree.
If you want to mix your own potting mix; use equal parts peat/sand/perlite and organic compost.
A slow release fertilizer can be added to the soil.
A well draining pot is very important. Make sure the plant can drain and that it never sits in excess water.
Here are some more links to help you.