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I have a 3 year old potted dwarf meyer lemon tree that's not doing particularly well at the moment. It's never had a huge abundance of leaves, but a few weeks ago there was a particularly windy storm and it lost a lot of leaves. Yesterday it had about half a dozen leaves. Today it's down to two!

Photo of my sad lemon tree

I'm in the southern hemisphere, so it's mid-spring. Some of the branches look unhealthy (maybe already dead) but most are still green, and it's still budding like crazy. I feed it sporadically with Osmocote citrus pellets, and water it approximately weekly.

I assume that flowering is taking up a lot of the plant's resources, so I guess I should pull off all the buds ASAP. Is there anything else I should be doing? I've read citrus can be quite hardy plants, but this is the worst state mine has been in. Two leaves does not make a tree.

  • Has it been in the same pot for 3 years, or even 2 years? If so, turn it out and check whether its rootbound ... what planting medium did you use in the pot? – Bamboo Nov 1 '18 at 10:30
  • @Bamboo Yes to the same pot. It still feels so small to be rootbound, but I guess that's a possibility. I'll check tomorrow. I used a citrus potting mix. – curiousdannii Nov 1 '18 at 10:42
  • Also check for things that shouldn't be there in the soil/roots, such as grubs, ants and so on... – Bamboo Nov 1 '18 at 20:53
  • @Bamboo Not rootbound, and I couldn't see any large insect colonies. – curiousdannii Nov 2 '18 at 1:23
  • The trouble is, its now too late to decide if it had an infestation or infection anywhere because the leaves have all disappeared. If its not rootbound and all appears good at root level, then its just a wait and see if it puts out new growth. You could certainly trim back and cut the flowers off, but it might not help - it may have decided to flower as a last gasp attempt to at least reproduce itself before it kicks the bucket, a common phenomenon with sick plants. Think I'd cut it back by half anyway, hoping to encourage more growth... – Bamboo Nov 2 '18 at 17:20

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