Plants have their own way to draw attention to grievances in care or diseases. Stunted leaves, discoloration and small fruits are a typical sign that the lemon tree is not well. Yellow leaves on citrus plants are a serious problem. The constant loss of foliage greatly weakens the plants and can lead to the death of the Mediterranean plants.
Various causes can be the basis, if the leathery leaves of the citrus tree discolor and increasingly fall out in the main vegetation period. Passionate lovers of the Mediterranean plants should also not take lightly the weak formation of flowers and small fruits.
Only those who recognize the cause in time and remedy the reason can save the perennial plant from further damage. If the discoloration is due to a care error, lemon trees need time to respond to the right measures. It can take up to 3 weeks before the plants show how effective the measures taken were.
The following points can cause discoloration of the leaves:
- a too dark location
- lack of nutrients
Citrus plants are evergreen plants, which only take a forced break in the cold season. The conspicuousness of the heat-loving plants can also occur in the winter quarters.
The optimal supply of water
Increasing, extensive discoloration of the foliage may be due to waterlogging. When it comes to watering, the lemon tree is very demanding. The evergreen plants are used to short periods of drought. Wet feet put a strain on the Mediterranean exotics and lead to a loss of foliage. Standing water at the bottom of the tub can promote infestation with tubular fungi. These pathogens cause root rot, which is feared by gardeners. The use of fungicides is ineffective in this case.
Take the following tips to heart when supplying water:
- Water as needed
- Soil must be allowed to dry
- Use water with a moderate lime content
Among the most important preventive measures is a functioning drainage system. In the case of potted plants, this layer consists of porous material laid out at the bottom of the container. Excess water in planters and coasters should be drained out regularly. If you are brave enough and plant the lemon trees in the bed, you should mix the substrate with small pebbles or expanded clay. In this way, the soil will be permanently loosened and will not stick together even during severe drought.
If yellowing occurs over a wide area, it is advisable to act quickly. Provided that root rot has not yet appeared in an advanced stage, the lemon tree can be saved.
- Immediately stop the supply of water
- transplant the plants into fresh, dry substrate
The plants should be watered only with a greatly reduced amount of water for 2 to 3 weeks. When the foliage takes on its original color, the danger is over. Incidentally, prolonged drought can also cause discoloration. Another symptom: the young leaves curl up and wither. The upper tip of the index finger can be used to check whether the plant needs water. If the top layer of substrate feels completely dry, it is the optimal time to do so.
The lemon tree belongs to the weakly feeding plants. However, the Mediterranean plant can only cope with a completely lean soil to a limited extent. Especially older plants in tubs, whose substrate has not been changed for a long time, suffer from nutrient deficiency. Chlorosis is a form of iron deficiency, which is impressively manifested by a yellowish discoloration of the leaf veins. Small flowers and crippled shoots are further signs of a lack of nutrients.
- use fertilizer containing iron
- use in the main vegetation period
- repot potted plants annually or replace substrate
Fertilize according to the package instructions. Excessive supply of iron-containing nutrients can have the opposite effect on the lemon tree. The plant does not recover, the roots of exotics are not able to process the high concentration of fertilizer. In the winter months, the plant does not need nutrients. Here is often another underlying cause, when the plant discolors and loses its foliage.
Besides chlorosis, there are other characteristic signs of nutrient deficiency. A cloudy coloration of the leaves is an indication of a zinc or magnesium deficiency. It is advisable to fertilize the lemon tree in a varied manner. The main treatment measure for an undersupply of nutrients.
- transplant the plant into soil rich in humus
- immediately start feeding the plant with fertilizer
Recognize pests in time
Infestation with harmful insects alone in rare cases “only” causes yellowing of the lemon tree. Most often it is gray or black spots on the leaves, which brings a visit of aphids and mites. If the surface of the plant is sticky, you should still take a closer look at the citrus plant. A large proportion of cell sap-sucking pests prefer to colonize the underside of the foliage and shoot axils.
- water with nettle broth
- wipe affected parts of the plant
- increase humidity
For houseplants, setting up special pheromone traps has proven effective. Due to the sticky surface of these prepared products, there can be a strong decimation of the pests. Unlike the other causes, which are responsible for the discoloration of the leaves of the lemon tree, harmful insects pose a danger to neighboring plants. If space allows, the affected plants should be quarantined. Leaves that have fallen off or been removed belong in the trash, not in the garden compost.
The wrong location
The lemon tree is a sun-hungry plant. In the bright winter garden, the Mediterranean perennial feels at home. The plant also thrives on a sunny balcony and in a light-filled rock garden. A lack of light can cause noticeable characteristics on the leaves.
- Avoid half-shady locations
- dark places are unsuitable for the citrus plant
- avoid proximity to shade-giving plant neighbors
As with a pest infestation, the external characteristics of a lack of light rarely show up only in the form of yellow spots and leaf loss. Treat the plant to a sunny location and check to see if any other factors may be responsible for the abnormalities.
There is a well-known saying that prevention is more effective than treating the cause. This statement applies exactly to the citrus tree. Cultivation of the Mediterranean plant is not complicated, but still a few important requirements must be met in its care.
- choose the right location
- water only in small quantities
- the plant tolerates small amounts of lime
- provide fertilizer from March to August
- increase the humidity
- check the citrus tree for pests
These points can be easily implemented and sustainably promote the health of the citrus tree