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Lemon tree problems over winter

A friend in London has a lemon tree that is suffering. It's been in its pot for ten years and has done fine throughout, but this winter has been all a bit much. The friend lives in a small flat up steep stairs so leaves the lemon tree outside under fleecing (south facing small patio garden, sheltered). He worries that he has lost it, though there is significant amounts of green on the branches. He's a pretty experienced gardener that takes good care of his plants.

I advised that he should wait until May/June to see how the tree recovers. Any thoughts?

I guess many of us will be facing losses this winter, as it's the coldest of recent times, as counted by the number of hard frost nights we have had since Nov, certainly in London.


  • tui34tui34 Posts: 3,450

    Yes, patience.   When new growth appears in the warmer weather, prune the dead wood above the buds.   Fertiliser and water.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,717
    Get him to scrape off a bit of lower bark see if it's green. This winter hasn't been especially harsh,I'm in the se corner,10 minutes from the sea, roughly 70 miles from London. Presumably it survived the beast from the east then? How often does he re pot/feed/water? 
  • SalixGoldSalixGold Posts: 450
    Thank you for your thoughts.
  • Quartz said:
    Thank you for your thoughts.

    Looking at your pic., it looks to me as if the problem could possibly be lack of water. Ask your friend to feel the compost, if it is bone dry, which it looks to me, could he put the whole pot in a  large container of water, dustbin, and leave to soak for 24 hrs, then drain for a few hours before putting back into position and keep watered until Spring when new growth will be showing. The branches are still green so should be OK but I think it will drop most of the remaining leaves, also, the fruit will drop off as they are showing signs of dehydration as well. 

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