Q.Trees Are Losing Leaves And Limbs Are Dying.
I have 2 Meyer Lemon trees, 2 lime trees and 2 avocado trees. All are in pots. I brought them inside in September. The leaves are all falling off. The avocado trees have sprouted some new leaves, the others have not. A lot of the smaller branches are turning brown and dying. I have them potted in 15 gallon pots with Miracle-Gro moisture control soil. The soil always feels damp to the touch but the pots are able to drain excess water. Do I have the wrong soil or what else could be the problem? Also if the soil is damp to the touch should I water more….it has been 2 weeks since I last watered and its still damp. I also have grow lights on them since Western PA does not see a lot of sun this time of year.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
During winter, all citrus appreciate a little break from moist soils. The soil that you have chosen was designed to maintain a moist soil environment, which will not be appropriate in this situation.
Citrus can be very particular about their soil.In fact, it is best to start with a soil, specifically, blended for citrus. Consider this option until you are familiar with building a soil for citrus trees. The same can be said for feeding. Citrus fertilizers are blended to make feeding a much easier process.
Lack of humidity will be an issue, as well. Spray the tree with a fine mist once or twice per day.
Here is an article to help you with the care of Citrus indoors:
The Avocado will have similar care to citrus, but you can be a bit more broad on the fertilizer that are able to use. Again, humidity will be something that you will supplement.
Here is an article to help you:
Indoor lighting can be tricky. Most people gravitate toward LED's. This can be ok, but it is hard to find, even, a decent LED for a decent price. I would consider anything under the 500 and 600 dollar tier a "cheap" LED, and not useful for trees. A good LED panel will contain, at least, 12 different bands of LED spectrum. Infrared and Ultraviolet will be helpful to fruit trees, so if the panel lacks these bands, then they won't be useful.
Flourescent lighting is always a good go-to. You won't see a good fruit set, but they will grow fine under them.
That brings us to the most common lighting. HID bulbs. High Pressure Sodium, Metal Halide, and Ceramic Metal Halide are all common, and good choices for this application. 3 trees will warrant, at least, 200-400 watts of actual draw power to light correctly. I use a Ceramic Metal Halide system of 315 watts to light my citrus and fruit trees. This light covers a 4 foot by 4 foot area. Anything you can fit in that area will be lit sufficiently. The other two bulb types are slightly cheaper, but run slightly hotter.
Here are some articles that will help: