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14 year old lemon tree not growing

Hello all, 

Please may I have some assistance in an issue my grandma is having with her lemon trees that she's had for the past 14 years. The leaves are not growing very well and are a very pale green/yellow and they are not producing fruit - if they do, they drop off too early.

my grandma feeds them regularly with citrus feed, they are in pots and kept in the green house in winter and brought out when the weather is warmer. 

Please find attached photos. 

any help would be massively appreciated. 


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,013
    In summer (from about April to end September in fact) they need a high nitrogen feed which makes healthy foliage.  The special citrus feed contains higher levels of minerals to promote fruit and flowers but low levels of nitrogen and should be fed thru the winter months. 

    I would suggest also removing a couple of inches of compost from the top and refreshing with ericaceous John Innes no 3 type compost.   If teh water is hard, try also using a supplement of ericaceous feed as the calcium will be reducing the lemon's ability to take up iron and magnesium and that's another cause of yellowing leaves.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Your photos show trees in 2 different pots ? Is that just 1 plant that has been re potted ?I'd consider the size of either pot - they do look rather small - and whether it has adequate drainage as it appears to be placed directly onto a solid surface. I've also found that ceramic pots which are glazed on the inside aren't the best bet.
    I'd suggest that you remove the tree from it's present pot and look at the root ball - if it is congested, a larger container would be the way to go.
    Your Gran has done well to keep it for 14 years but Citrus, like any other trees, want room to be at their best.
     @Obelixx has a point re refreshing the top with new compost but that will not help in the long term if the compost is lacking elsewhere so best to check beforehand.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,742
    I agree with the others, but you might have to consider changing the soil completely.  I suggest a John Inness compost with extra grit and granular ericaceous feed.  I have done this with my ones and they are in much bigger pots. Monty Don did this with his on GW prog a few weeks ago,  you should be able to find it on iplayer. 
    AB Still learning

  • Thank you very much to everyone who has responded to my enquiry - I've relayed all the information to my grandma and she asked me to thank you all! 
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