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Should I repot my ailing Meyer lemon tree?

13 years ago

Dear all,

I need some advice about my dwarf improved Meyer lemon tree! I bought it last October, and was told it would be fine to stay in the pot it was sold in for a couple of years. I have it on my east-facing balcony in Pasadena, CA.

About five months ago quite a few leaves dropped off and the rest started to curl under and show "burnt" brown tips (photos in the link below). I read up on these forums and found lots of useful info which led me to believe that the brown tips could be due to build-up of salts in the pot. I have tried flushing the pot through with lots and lots of water several times, but there has been no improvement and I think it is getting worse (especially regarding the curling). There are no signs of leaf miners or other pests. It flowered in May, and there are a few small lemons coming, but I am worried that it is dying nonetheless :-(

I am now wondering whether the main problem is that the roots have rotted (perhaps I over-watered it in the winter?). I would be grateful for any input from the experts on here about this! I was thinking about repotting it in a more free-draining gritty medium and pruning away any rotten roots but I don't want to make things worse: will it survive if I attempt this at this time of year? (This is my first citrus tree and I have never done root pruning before.) Also, would it be better in a different type of pot (currently in a black plastic nursery pot)?

Many thanks,


Here is a link that might be useful: Lemon tree photos

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