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Systemic for potted Improved Meyer Lemon tree?

It gets scale insects every winter. I just noticed that it has aphids as well. Double whammy! Sheesh. And of course, they targeting all the tips that have fruit on them.

It spends the summer on the deck, as soon as it gets warm enough. I physically wipe off the visible scale, then spray with Neem oil on a 7-10 day schedule and get control over them pretty quickly. I start a pre-emptive round of spraying before bringing it into the house again in late fall. But it’s still too easy for some to escape, and recolonize.

It’s now too big to carry upstairs and into the shower to spray. It’s 3 feet wide and 4 feet tall, and I pruned it hard last fall just to get it through the door. Neem works, but it’s sticky and messy: no way can I spray this in a carpeted room. When we had a few days in the high 40’s last week, I took it out a patio door and sprayed it outside. I let it drip until it was dry, which takes about an hour, then brought it indoors.

It’s due for the next round, but it’s 34 degrees out. How much cold can a lemon tree take for an hour, if I want to spray it with Neem outdoors?

Considering it has fruit on it, when is a systemic safe to apply? Fruit at this stage – size of my little fingernail - will not be ripe until fall. Is a systemic gone from fruit by then?


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