I brought my potted meyer lemon tree indoors for the winter and soon after it began losing buds, then leaves?
What would be the best way to revive it? I am trying to avoid over-watering which may be the cause. It gets nice morning light on sunny winter days and its not near an air vent. I have heard that Fish fertilizer helps? Sun lamp? I did see some black non descriptive bugs a few weeks ago when I first brought it in and sprayed the leaves with horicultural oil to avoid an aphid outbreak as I had experienced one last year. And it had taken all summer to revive. Could that have caused the leaves to fall? Thanks
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The first thing that you need to do is get this out of that soil and that huge pot. I believe this is what first started the issue.
Make sure to use a soil specifically designed for citrus. This is a very light, airy mix, with lots of organic matter. It is very similar to orchid soil, but a little heavier and made of different materials. Couple this with a citrus fertilizer once or twice per year.
The container that you choose should only have about an inch between any side of the container and the roots upon transplant. Anything more than this is prone to rotting from overwatering. It will stay in the container for at least 1 year but for up to 3 without root pruning or a new pot.
When you put it in its new container, you will need to cut off all of the branches that are leafless. This will be a severe pruning. The more of the infected branches that you remove, the less that you have to kill within the tree. Leave enough leaves to continue on living. This can be as few as 3 or 4. but the more the better.
When you transplant, and cut... Take note of the weight of the dry soil and tree in the new container. You want it to be close to this before you water each time, but not all the way dry. The next step will be to water in with a solution of 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide to 1 cup water. Allow ALL extra water to drain off and remove this. You will only need to do this once, or upon further fungal infection in the future. This will kill off the infection in the root zone and anything that has already transferred to the new soil.
Put it under a good horticultural light, such as LED. There are several options available for lighting, though. 200 watts will sustain a single tree. Leave them on for about 16 hours per day.
Unfortunately, this is going to be a very ugly, mangled tree for a year or two. With proper care, you will see a tree that will be far superior to a tree that has not been stressed.