Meyer Lemon Tree - Dropping All Leaves and Blooms

Asked December 24, 2018, 10:56 AM EST

I bought a Meyer Lemon tree online three months ago, after what felt like extensive online research I thought I'd be prepared to take care of this tree. She came looking very healthy and I planted her in a pot inside using citrus soil and citrus fertilizer from my local hardware store. Everything was going great, or so I thought! I found her a great sunny spot in my living room and she was full of leaves and seemed to be thriving! About a month ago she started showing DOZENS of blooms - probably nearly a hundred blooms, and again I thought things must be going well! I learned in my online research, I needed to pollinate the flowers with a brush, which I did every day. Soon after the blooms started opening up and I was pollinating them, the blooms started falling but so did the leaves!! Now it's been about a month of constant blooming and there are nearly no leaves or blooms left! I tried to be consistent with her watering making sure not to over water her, but there's a lot of conflicting information on the web about how much to water/fertilize during blooming - or if blooming is actually a sign of distress... I'm just looking for some help here to see if she's really in distress, or what else could be going on. I'd love some advice on how to revive her!

Also - when taking these photos I noticed a few small centipede looking bugs in the top 1/2" or so of the soil.... (she's always been an indoor tree so I find this alarming on a few levels.) This could obviously have something to do with the leaf/bloom drop but I did only see a few... so who knows.

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

1 Response

Thank you for your question. First, it is not recommended that you put rocks on top of the soil. The area underneath them is shaded and moist--just the environment for what I suspect are millipedes. It is unlikely they are centipedes; the difference being in the number of legs per segment, which I can't see clearly. (https://extension.umn.edu/insect-relatives/sowbugs-millipedes-and-centipedes)

As to the tree's health, I suspect it has not gotten enough light. Our modern windows have coatings that prevent infrared and ultraviolet light from getting in, exactly the ranges of the visible light spectrum that plants need! In order for them to continue to produce fruit, they need supplemental lighting (grow lamps). Here is an article about their care that might help you bring her back to life: https://fyi.uwex.edu/mastergardener/files/2016/12/CitrusIndoors.pdf