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Am I loving my lemon tree to death?

Chris Crowley
last month

I have a small potted lemon tree. It had only been just okay for a couple years, and then started flowering and growing fruit. But the fruit has grown so slowly, and there's little new growth. I added a single Jobe's potted citrus fertilizer spike. No change. I then noticed the leaves getting sticky and small scabs along the underside so I hand washed the entire plant to wipe off all pests, and sprayed with an organic insecticide. I was then inserting another fertilizer spike when I discovered the old one had become a truly foul smelling slime! I've asked the manufacture if this is normal but haven't heard back.

At this point, it has three golf ball sized fruit. Last year, I'd put it outside and something ate all the small fruit. So I hoped they were big enough to be safe, and placed the plant outside again. But now the leaves are blanching -- something I've never seen it do before. And there's some sort of scab on one of the fruit, and I'm seeing small scabs along the top spine of the leaves.

So... Did my fertilizer turn rancid? Is that where the flies came from? Am I over-fertilizing it? Is something else eating it now? I'm truly at a loss for how to make this plant happy.

P.S. I'm located in Boston.

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