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My pink variegated lemon tree is less than a year old and this is its first winter. Until a week ago its leaves were droopy, but still bright green. I took it home with my over christmas and think that the transporting in the cold weather may have been the cause of this. Now all its leaves are really dry and falling off. What can I do to revive him?

  • What is the mix you've potted this tree? And if you stick your finger in the mix, is it very wet? – Graham Chiu Jan 3 '18 at 1:35
  • This tree is not revivable. I hate to tell you this. There is one spot I can see that you might vegetatively be able to clone but, shoot, let's discover what it is you need to know so this doesn't happen again. I think you were thinking or intuitively knew the transporting did this plant in...if you remember this I am fairly sure you are right! This guy is dead. Bummer. Please don't let this discourage you, okay? – stormy Jan 3 '18 at 10:56
  • My lemon tree recovered from looking this bad, but it took a few years. The first spring after getting damaged by cold two leaves appeared near the bottom, on a new shoot, and nothign else. So I cut off all the dead wood – Chris H Jan 4 '18 at 12:48
  • @Graham, I only water if the soil is dry a couple inches down and the tree is potted in Miracle-Gro cactus, palm, and citrus potting mix (fast draining formula). I also watered the free with about 12oz of water mixed with the recommended dosage of a fertilizer a couple days ago. – Erin Jan 4 '18 at 17:23
  • @Chris, did you take off all the dead leaves on your tree? Im hesitating to because I don't want to take them off if there's a chance they will perk up again. Also, I can't tell if the "trunk" is alive- it's green, but so are the dried up leaves. Welcoming any recommendations of what steps to take next- i've become quite attached to this tree and can't stand thinking ive killed it. – Erin Jan 4 '18 at 17:28
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First of all, lighly scratch the bark to see if it's green under the superficial brown layer. If it's green, it is still alive.

To promote new growth remove all leaves because once the plant figures out that it has no more leaves, it will send out new shoots.

To avoid new branches to form in a random pattern and to avoid the plant dividing its energy between lots of new shoots, cut off all the branches and most part of the stem. Keep only the lower part of the stem where the first 2 branches were, just about a few cm above the second one.

Be careful when you remove those branches not to damage the area right beneath them. That area containes epicormic buds that will generate new shoots that will later grow to become branches.

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