Why is my lemon tree not growing and looks sick? (How to Save)

Sometimes when life gives you lemons, they rot!


Why is my lemon tree not growing?

It can be either fertilizer, water, insufficient light, weather, pests or a combination. 

5 solutions to your problem:

  1. Test the soil, see what nutrients it lacks. Compost instead of mulching, add about 2” per year, don’t add compost near the stump, give it about 6” to breath.
  2. Lemon trees need an increased amount of water because of the full sun conditions. Make sure you test the soil so you don’t everwater also.
  3. They need light and they need lots of it. Make sure you are not dwarfing your tree with shade.
  4. Weather conditions are extremely important. If you live in a zone that falls below 29 Fahrenheit. Ideal temperature is 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Check for pests and insects regularly. Preventing a problem is always better than fixing it.

Why is my lemon tree sticky?

It’s called honeydew, a sticky substance found on citrus trees, and is produced by sap-feeding pests such as aphids and scale insects. These pests feed on the sap of the plant and excrete it after digestion. Despite being a byproduct, honeydew is still high in sugar, this is the main reason why it is attractive to ants and has a sticky consistency.


Why are my lemons turning black?

The black rot may be caused by a fungal disease that impacts citrus plants. Usually caused by the fungus Alternaria alternata. It is caused by damp weather and carried by the wind. Another reason may be the fact that the plant cannot carry anymore lemons and focuses its energy on a certain amount of fruits.


Why are my lemons molding so fast?

A damp environment will cause your lemons to grow mold much quicker. Make sure after washing your lemons you wipe them with a towel. Check the bowl so that it has no water on the bottom so the last standing lemon does not get moldy also.

You can always keep them in the fridge if you want your lemons to stay fresh for a longer period of time.


Why are my lemon tree leaves turning white?

Most likely it is because of missing nutrients (zinc, iron, magnesium), low fertility (nitrogen) or even lack of light. Also they will start to turn light green at first and slowly become more and more pale.

In the cold season a lemon tree can’t take up some minerals, like iron. Fertilizing at this time won’t really help. If it is a potted lemon tree then your best move will be to put it in a sunroom if you have the chance.


Lemon tree losing leaves but flowering

Citrus trees sometimes shed their blooms as a way to cope with stress. Oftentimes this is seen during dry or cooler seasons. Myers citrus trees can be fickle and may shed their leaves for no apparent reason. If the branches are still green and healthy, the tree should recover when the weather warms up.


Lemon tree lost all leaves, is it dead?

Don’t worry, the tree should bounce back when the temperature rises again in the spring. Don’t worry too much. Meyer citrus trees are known to be particularly sensitive.


If your lemon tree is not growing new leaves and branches check the beginning of our post for the 5 step solution that could help you. 


How to revive a lemon tree without leaves?

This is a tricky one, but there might still be hope.

  1. Scrape the skin of the bark near the base of the plant and check if it’s green or brown, if it is brown your tree has sadly died.
  2. If it’s a potted tree make sure it is not drowning in water, check if the pot has enough nutrients with a nutrient testing kit. Add what it’s missing.
  3. If it’s an outdoor plant, add compost but make sure you have 6” clearance from the trunk. Water the area and hope for nice sunny days to come.