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How late is too late to re-pot a soggy Meyer Lemon tree?

5 years ago

Thanks to everyone who has been a regular poster to these forums over the past years. They are truly a trove of info.

I'm sorry to say that this is another panicked "help me save my leaf-dropping citrus" post. I have a Meyer Lemon tree that's about two years old (up-potted in July) which has had a rough autumn/winter indoors at an east-facing window in NJ. First it showed signs of Mg deficiency (yellow veins), then had a bad case of scale (now sprayed away), and about 3 weeks ago I added a 45w LED grow light to try to give it more light. But at this point, the tree is down to a half-dozen small leaves and showing significant branch die-back, with some of the leaves showing darkened tips. I am now pretty convinced that I have over-watered and the soil isn't draining. Soil temp is ~64F; soil mix is mostly what came from the nursery, plus MG cactus blend (which I now understand to be inadequate). The pot is 14" wide and 20" deep with a false bottom and drain holes.

I want to save this tree. Having read posts about the benefits of repotting to a better-draining soil, that looks like a drastic but promising option. It could stress the plant more, but would also to provide it with the proper environment for eventual recovery. Others have suggested adding a wick, which I expect is gentler on the tree, but I don't know if that would be too-little-too-late in alleviating soggy soil.

If you were facing this situation, what would be your path of action? Go all-in and repot, or wick and let the tree try to find its own way?

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