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Lemon Tree Leaves Turning Yellow: Causes & Fixes

I know you are already feeling the sour taste just by reading the title of this article. But that sour taste it’s what makes this fruit one of the healthiest fruits and I’m referring to lemon.

Not everyone likes lemons, but no one can deny the fact that lemons enhance the flavor of everything. And it’s a pity when you see a lemon tree not at its best shape.

This article is dedicated to the problems you might have with the lemon tree, such as yellow leaves!

Lemon Tree – What Does It Represent?

In the flowering plant family Rutaceae, the lemon (Citrus limon) is a species of small evergreen trees that is indigenous to Asia, particularly Northeast India (Assam), Northern Myanmar, or China.

The ellipsoidal yellow fruit of the tree is utilized for both culinary and non-culinary applications all over the world. Its juice is particularly useful for both cleaning and cooking.

Additionally, the rind and pulp are utilized in baking and cooking. Lemon juice has a pH of 2.2 and contains between 5% and 6% citric acid, giving it a sour flavor. Lemon juice is a vital component in a variety of dishes and beverages, including lemonade and lemon meringue pie, due to its particular sour flavor.

Lemon Tree Leaves Turning Yellow – What’s the Cause?

It’s upsetting to see that your tree has more yellow leaves than yellow lemons as you eagerly await the thrill of picking that homegrown lemon. What is happening? Here are the major causes of lemons’ yellowing leaves and some tips for keeping them lush and green.


Overwatering is one of the few things that all plants detest equally. When non-bog plants, like lemons, are left submerged in water over an extended period of time, their roots may rot completely. This makes it difficult for the plant to continue drawing nutrients from the soil, which causes it to gradually become yellow and dry up.

Dig around the tree’s roots to assess their health if you frequently keep your lemon plant in a saucer of water or if the drainage is poor. Brown, dark, or slime roots indicate root rot is at blame; white, firm roots indicate everything is good. Repot your tree in dry, citrus-mixed soil in a pot with good drainage.

Remember to empty any excess water that gathers in saucers as you water it frequently until the roots begin to regrow. After that, you can fertilize it lightly to encourage the growth of new leaves.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Because they consume a lot of food, lemons occasionally lack the good stuff. Pale leaves may be an indication of magnesium, zinc, nitrogen, or iron deficiency. Test the soil around the lemon tree’s roots, then make the required modifications.

Sometimes all you need is a citrus tree plant spike. The nutrients can occasionally be present but inaccessible because of pH issues. This typically necessitates a stronger solution tailored to the issue.

Insect Parasites

Although humans love lemons, insects and mites also enjoy them. Sap-sucking insects can harm leaves to the point where they begin to show yellow spots, which may gradually coalesce to form larger yellow patches. Look for the relevant parasite on the undersides of the leaves and stems.

Depending on the season, scale and mealybugs (which frequently have waxy coatings) may require chemical treatment or horticultural oil; aphids and whiteflies, on the other hand, can easily be eliminated with routine garden hose blasts.

Mites can be easily eliminated with a soap-based miticide even though they are technically arachnids and not insects.

Not Enough Fertilizer and Iron

Lemons consume a lot of nutrients, much like adolescents do. Older leaves on the tree may turn yellow when they run out of nutrients. When applying a comprehensive citrus meal, aim for midsummer and late winter. Before and after applying fertilizer, make sure you water well. Overspread the soil near the tree with the fertilizer.

Lemon leaves can become yellow from a lack of iron. Iron chelates, a type of soluble iron that is available at garden centers or hardware stores, can be used to water the tree as a temporary solution.

Lemon Tree Leaves Turning Yellow – Preventive Measures

If you take precautions, your harvest will be abundant with yellow lemons rather than yellow leaves.

Balance Temperature

Significant seasonal fluctuations might stress your citrus plants and cause their leaves to turn yellow. The summer months are fruitful for lemon trees, but excessive heat might cause them to dry up. Additionally, if the winter temperatures are extremely low, the frost can damage and brittle the leaves.

Therefore, based on the climate, you can strive to maintain a balance by either providing shade or removing it when you notice leaves curling.

Proper drainage

Root rot may result from standing water that is trapped in the soil. Make sure there are enough holes for proper water drainage if your plants are in pots. When the roots outgrow their pots, rotting might also happen. If your lemon tree is outgrowing its container, move it to a larger one to give it more space!

Prune and Trim

Pruning citrus trees on a regular basis promotes growth, photosynthesis, and airflow. Bugs can avoid scaling the tree by using techniques like topping and skirting. Your tree will be more vulnerable to the transmission of illnesses from the soil and other tainted leaves if you don’t prune it.

Closing Words

The next time you see yellow, remain calm! Although at first it can appear worrying, everything should be alright. The whitening of the foliage is only a signal that your lemon tree needs some additional support.

Further Reading

Let’s see! I think I have one more article related to the lemon tree, and that article talks about the watering process of a lemon tree!

Additionally, just for fun, you can also read about other fruits that go perfectly in a fruit salad with lemons, such as strawberries. You can check the article about the watering process of reviving a strawberry plant. 

And to finish with, you can read more about how many blueberries can you get per bush. 

Ella Holmes

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