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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? Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 1:35
  • 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
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 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
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 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
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 17:28
  • Most of them fell off quite quickly after first drying out, but there were a few left on the dead bits when I cut them off. I don't think those leaves are going to recover though
    – Chris H
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 17:57

2 Answers 2


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.


I just saved my lemon tree. Sorry I can’t share it in a photo.

All the leaves were dying and I saw that its branch was green so I just removed all the leaves. After a week nothing had happened but its branch was slowly drying from the top to bottom.

  • So I cut the top drying branch until I saw green on top.
  • I put some coffee ground because it is high in nitrogen.
  • Then I also mixed a part of hydrogen peroxide and a part or two of water. You don’t need much. I used paper clothes to damp it. Then water the branches. That’s all.

It started growing slowly. I’m sure you could put it in a spray bottle. New leaves started growing.

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