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Help Advise with my citrus / lemon tree

Hi all,
I'm very new to this so please be patient.
about 13 years ago I brought my Mum and lemon tree that had some lemons on it when purchased. sadly my mum passed away not long after receiving the gift. My dad has watered the tree since then however never had any lemons grow. I now have taken this home and will try and take better care. The tree does not look in the best shape (or maybe it's meant to look like this)I water it depending on the weather - hot weather more water cold weather less or no water. currently watering about once every two / three days. I brought a cheap plastic green house for the cooler nights and some citrus food. it's also in the sun for most of the day. Some of the leaves look likes it's been eaten however seen no evidence of any bugs? please take a look at the attached pictures and any advise will be much appreciated.
Many thanks, 


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,309
    The tree doesn’t seem to be in too bad shape overall.

    There are some obviously dead bits. They need to be pruned off to an outward facing leaf bud on a healthy bit of stem.

    There are some nasty looking raggedy stumps where old stems have been removed. Prune these with a sharp pair of secateurs as close to the main stem as possible. Raggedy stumps are just an invitation to infection.

    There are some nice new long green stems, which is good.

    Wouldn’t worry too much about pockmarked leaves. 

    The real thing is that the pot seems to be only half full of compost. The compost looks very fluffy. For a tree to grow permanently in a pot it needs a good quality soil based compost. John Innes Number Three is what you are looking for.

    The roots appear to be above soil level. Take the plant out of the pot, shake off as much of the old compost as will fall off. Empty the pot. Put some drainage crocks or chunks of polystyrene packing in the bottom. Put a good layer of John Innes No 3 into the pot, enough so that when you put the tree in the base of its stem is about an inch below the level of the rim of the pot. Fill up the pot with more compost. Firm it down. Water it well but let it drain well too. Make sure that the roots are all below soil level.

    Citrus trees are hungry trees. They like a lot of food, both through their roots and via a leaf spray too.

    You are doing OK. 
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • hey,

    That's great advice thanks so much for your help!! hopefuly this time next year I'll be lots of lemons!
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,324
    Agree with pansyface’s advice, it’s looking quite healthy and you are doing fine. They do need lots of feeding. If the leaves start to go yellow at any point some sequestered iron will give it a boost as well as your citrus feed. Mine is in a pot and gets moved to an unheated poly in the winter, the pot wrapped in bubblewrap and a horticultural fleece draped over as well if we have a hard winter, as they are not too hardy here. Don’t water too much in winter or let it stand in water.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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