Q.The color of my 1.5 year-old lemon tree is no longer shiny, oily green, but is rather pale/pastel green.
I have started growing two lemon trees from seeds 1.5 years before in pots. I have overwintered them inside, refreshed their soil in the spring and they are outside in our patio in their pots. We have had a rather cloudy summer, with regular rains and with 2-3 sunny days/week only. The leaves of my lemon trees have lost their shine: before they were shiny, oily green, now they look pretty “pale”. Their color has not turned yellow or to any other color, just look rather “pastel” green than “shiny” green.
Is it because of the lack of sun? The frequent rain? Lack of certain mineral(s)? Or is it just “normal” for a 1.5 year old lemon tree? I have no clue what to do and if I can bring their shine back. I am very hopeful that you can help me with this.
Thank you in advance,
A happy gardener
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
This is quite normal when there is a lack of UV and sun in general. If you are in an area that is not known for growing citrus , then this could be why. They require very high amounts of light, and heat in some cases.
Citrus are VERY fast trees. If it is growing slowly, I would recommend bringing it in and placing it under at least 200 watts of quality horticultural lighting. If you are not in the position to get a quality LED, then I recommend staying away from them. Low quality LED's are detrimental to a citrus' health, as they do not contain a full spectrum required for healthy growth. Personally, Ceramic Metal Halide are one of my recommendations for cheap, but good lighting.
As long as your tree is growing quickly, then the lack of UV is not completely detrimental. The "sheen" is simply oils to protect it from the sun, or other pests.
This article will help you with the care of citrus in container: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/lemons/growing-lemon-trees-containers.htm