Lemon/lime trees #299299 - Ask Extension


Lemon/lime trees #299299

Asked February 02, 2016, 11:38 AM EST

At the end of summer last year I purchased one lemon and two lime small bushes or trees (?) that were on sale from a local gardening center. They are about a foot tall and one lime tree produced several tiny limes- no lemons. Well, I did read not to fertilize until early spring but two are not doing so good, I think. One is green, lost very few leaves and grew a few little limes. The lemon tree lost half of its leaves and the other lime tree lost all leaves but doesn't appear dead. I've read about citrus trees but most info is about planting them outside in much warmer zones. These trees are in my living room on a window seat that gets pm light. Any info would be helpful. I live in Lower Burrell? Thank you Edit Gentile Egent10486@aol.com 724-339-3454

Westmoreland County Pennsylvania

Expert Response

Both lemon and lime trees need as much direct sunlight as possible to flourish.  Unfortunately, the amount of sunlight which we typically receive during the winter in western Pennsylvania is not enough for citrus plants to do well.  You need to place the little trees where they will receive direct sunlight all day long.  If you don't have an area in your home that is suitable, you should probably get a "grow" light to shine on the trees during the part of the day during when the trees are not getting direct sunlight.  If the trees do not receive adequate light, they will drop their leaves.

Another problem common to growing citrus indoors is overwatering.  The trees should never sit in water.  The pots in which they are growing must have drainage holes. Terracotta pots are the best choice for citrus because they allow the roots to breathe.

 Here's a link to a lot of detailed helpful information from the Missouri Botanical Garden:

  I hope that this information helps you!

Barbara Murphy Replied February 03, 2016, 7:47 PM EST

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