How to treat lemon chlorosis?

Yellowing foliage on the lemon tree can evoke iron chlorosis but also many other phytopathologies. Let’s see how to determine the causes of this yellowing and treat chlorosis in the best way.

Citrus leaves with chlorosis
Citrus leaves with chlorosis

Explore hypotheses to know how to treat

If your lemon tree has a pale green foliage tending towards yellowstart by ruling out any cultivation errors.

  • And too much watering may be the cause, just like on the contrary, insufficient watering. The lemon tree should never have its roots constantly wet, it would not survive long! A substrate poorly drained will not suit it.

    In pots, or on a tree recently planted in the garden (less than 3 years old), the lack of water can also be harmful and cause yellowing and then leaf fall.

  • And lack of lighta cold and humid atmosphere can also cause these types of symptoms, as can sudden changes in temperature.

  • Of the frequent draftsor a exposition very windy are not suitable for the lemon tree.

  • A planting by the sea subject to the sprayis also not a good idea.

  • And missing, or on the contraryand excess fertilizer can cause deficiencies or burns which lead to yellowing of the foliage.

  • A pest attack can also be involved, as well as diseases. If the foliage is pecked with yellow dots, check that very discreet insects are not present on the tree.

If your lemon tree is installed in full sun, sheltered from the wind, in an airy substrate and is properly watered and fed, then it may be a victim of chlorosis.

Watch it limb leaves. If the veins remain very green but it is pale, you are in the presence of chlorosis, a plant pathology linked to poor assimilation of iron.

Causes and effects of chlorosis

Chlorosis on the lemon tree never appears by chance, knowing its causes and effects will help to intervene as soon as possible. Certainly, it rarely causes the death of the tree but can however cause it in the more or less long term if nothing is done.

Very specific reasons

Chlorosis can come from a soil too calcareous.

The lemon tree needs a neutral or acid pH soil to grow properly, unless it has been grafted onto a specific rootstock that tolerates calcareous soils (Citrus, Citrus x reshni, Citrus x, Lime rangpur, Citrus macrophylla ‘Wester’…).

In these soil types, iron is blocked by bicarbonate ions which prevent its dissolution.

The plant therefore no longer has access to this element and suffers from deficiency, often linked in this case, to a lack of zinc. Results : chlorophyll synthesis is poorly carried out because of this deficiency which induces a lack of vascularization of the plant.

In pots, planting in calcareous garden soil or watering with calcareous water as well as a lack offertilizer may be the cause. Preferably plant your lemon tree in special citrus soil et water it with rainwater if your tap water is very hard.

Visible effects

The lemon tree vegetates, has yellowing foliage, produces less fruit. It is often attacked by pests such les thrips, the twister or scale insectsbecause like any weakened organism, it is more sensitive to various attacks.

How to treat lemon chlorosis?

There are specific products based on iron chelates to combat iron deficiency. They are marketed under the name ‘Anti-chlorose‘. You can easily find them in garden centres.

The iron chelates contained in these products will capture the ferrous Fe2 ion to make it soluble in calcareous soil.

  • Water to hydrate the root ball then add the chelate product to your irrigation water, respecting the dosages.

  • Ensuite, scatter slow-release fertilizer balls at the foot of the treebecause the lemon tree, like all citrus fruits, is nutrient hungry. These wear out very quickly, especially when growing in pots!

  • Then surface the substrate with a mix of good potting soil and of compost.

  • Think of prune your lemon tree if you haven’t already. Start by cutting the stems that start at the base of the trunk, then aerate the center by pruning all the branches that cross inside the main branches.

  • Finish the size by one rebalancing of the silhouette. To do this, do not hesitate to cut the ends of the stems that protrude from the tree, always above a sheet. You will soon see vigorous new shoots forming.

Note that if your lemon tree is grown in a pot in calcareous soil, it would first be wise to place it in a substrate more suited to its needs by repotting it. You will install your lemon tree in a pot with a hole in the bottom, lined with a draining bed (clay balls) and ‘Special citrus’ substrate.

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Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by www.aujardin.info.

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