I purchased a 1-2 year old Meyer lemon. We keep it indoors and it was doing great, and started blossoming all over. Then we re-potted it, using some citrus soil and one of those self watering pots. I poked holes in the self watering pot so water could drain out. I also used a light layer of gravel on the bottom to help drainage. We watered it and put it back in the window. When we woke up the next day, the leaves were pale and yellow and falling off; most of the blossoms have also fallen off. I picked up some fertilizer today and mixed a little less then recommended with water and sprayed the leaves today to see if it was a nitrogen issue.

The leaves don't seem as shiny as they were when it first arrived. I'm scared to do anything else with it.

What should I do to help my lemon recover?

meyer lemon

falling leaves

  • i just realized also, that the side of the plant thats facing the window, is still green, the side that faces in the room is yellowing. Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 1:49
  • What part of the world are you in?
    – Bamboo
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 10:14
  • One night? Massive root trauma? Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 12:30
  • We are zone 7, Eastern us. Not sure about root trauma, we didn't break down the rootball, just put it in the pot and filled the sides with soil, then lightly watered. Today some of the leaves are cupping.
    – user11996
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


Here are some recommendations:

  • do not put gravel in the bottom of the pot. This does not do any good.
  • if you are going to use a self watering pot putting holes in the bottom defeats the purpose of self watering
  • leaf drop can be caused by under or over watering, root damage, virus/fungus or insects
  • do not repot a plant that is flowering. As you have found the least little thing causes the blossoms to drop

Here is a checklist for plant health:

  • when you re potted the plant were the roots firm and white? Mushy or smelly roots indicates over watering.
  • look on the underside of the leaves for spider mites which are quite common on indoor citrus.
  • use a citrus fertilizer with chelated iron. A soil pH can become more alkaline and inhibit the uptake of manganese and iron. I prefer to apply more often at a weaker strength.
  • put the plant where it used to be if you moved it
  • if using a pot that drains maintain a consistent watering cycle. Usually once a week will do but higher light areas may need more water.
  • water deeply, till water runs out of the pot

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