7 Reasons Lemon Tree Leaves Turn Yellow and How to Fix it

They say, ‘When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.’ You can make loads of it if you own a lemon tree. But, I realize that when lemon tree leaves turn yellow, many gardeners need help identifying what to do. Having yellow foliage on your lemon tree indicates some correctable issues.

Causes of Lemon Tree Leaves Turning Yellow

Leaves Turning Yellow

Many times, lemon tree leaves turning yellow implies that the plant is going through a important change in nutritional intake. It could also be that the lemon tree plant has had a parasitic attack, or there is a need for an improved feeding pattern. Let me take you over some of the most common reasons your lemon tree leaves might turn yellow.

1. Seasonal Changes

Today, many lemon trees are grafted onto deciduous rootstocks; this means that their hosts will make them hibernate during the winter. When the rootstock begins to go into the winter slowdown, the flow of nutrients to the leaves reduces, and this causes them to yellow and then fall.

Sometimes, during the spring or summer, or after a sunny day, putting your lemon tree outside will cause the yellowing of its leaves. Sudden yellow to white patches on the leaves most likely indicate sunburn.

2. Overwatering

Generally, plants despise overwatering. And, if they are constantly soaking in water, it can lead to root rot—sometimes entirely. Root rot makes it difficult for the lemon tree to continually pull nutrients from the soil. Consequently, it slowly begins to yellow in its leaves and dry up.

3. Nutritional Deficiencies

Heavy feeders like lemons are sometimes just not receiving as much of the good stuff they need from the soil; as a result, the tree leaves are turning yellow.

Pale and yellow leaves can mean iron, zinc, nitrogen, or magnesium deficiencies. With the results, take a soil test in the root zone of your lemon plant, and make the adjustments. Sometimes, a plant spike produced for citrus trees is all that is needed. Other times the nutrients are present but inaccessible because of issues with the pH in the soil. Here, a stronger remedy is required to solve this specific problem.

4. Insect Parasites

Leaf Miner on Lemon Tree Leaf
Leaf Miner on Lemon Tree Leaf

Even insects and mites like lemons as much as humans. These insects suck the sap from lemon trees, which causes enough damage to their leaves to develop yellow spots. These spots may eventually grow together, forming large yellow patches. To see the specific parasite causing the issue, you can check the undersides of the leaves and stems of your lemon plant.

5. Excessive Exposure to Sunlight

While lemon trees need a good amount of sunlight, too much sun can be harmful.
Excessive sunlight can adversely affect lemon trees, and we see the signs of too much sun exposure in the yellowing of its leaves, brown lesions, stunted growth, and even rotting fruit.
Lemons are more sensitive to sunburn compared to other types of citrus.

6. Lacking Water

Another cause of the yellowing of your lemon tree leaves is that your tree is not getting enough water. Lemon trees need regular watering, especially during the hot summer months. Keep your lemon tree completely dry out. If you do, the leaves will begin yellowing, and when you water it again, it will lose leaves.

7. Not enough sunlight

With below eight hours of sunlight, lemon trees’ fruit will be less tasty, grow slower, and not reach their full size. There’ll also be signs of yellowing of its leaves if the trees are sun-deprived. Lemon trees reach optimal growth best in full sun, which is about 10 hours daily, and this will aid quicker tree growth and strengthen the roots.

Treatment of Lemon Tree Leaves Turning Yellow

Here are various treatment methods to apply to fix lemon tree leaves turning yellow

1. Seasonal Changes

For the grafted lemon trees, as long as other healthy leaves are intact, you don’t need to worry about it too much. Since it is a natural occurrence, it means nothing is wrong with your tree. You can leave the affected leaves in place, and they will return to full color after the season.

2. Excessive Sunlight or Sun Burn

Here, you must move your tree to a spot with less sun. You should also plant your lemon trees in partial shade, particularly if you live in a very hot climate.

3. Overwatering

If you routinely leave your lemon plant in a pot full of water or the soil drainage around your tree is not the best, dig around the roots to know their health first. White, solid roots show that it’s in good condition; brown, black, or slimy roots signify root rot is the problem.

So, repot your tree. Put it into dry soil mixed with a lemon plant in a pot that drains properly. Water it regularly (once weekly, depending on the season) until the roots grow back. You can apply it as a mild fertilizer to jump-start new leaf growth.

4. Insect Parasites

Easily spray off aphids and whiteflies with everyday garden hose blasts. However, scale and mealybugs (which possess waxy coatings) will require chemical treatment or horticultural oil; this depends on the season. And mites can be swiftly dispatched with a soap-based miticide.

5. Lacking Water

Keep your lemon plant from drying out for twenty-four hours. Ensure that sufficient water is getting to your lemon tree. Water it at least once a week, and never allow the soil to become too dry or damp. Just keep it moist.

6. Not Enough Sunlight

You can transplant the tree to a raised bed with full sun and humus-rich soil. The second is to make sure that the tree is getting enough sunlight.

7. Nutrient Deficiencies

Ensure that your lemon tree is getting adequate nutrients. If the soil lacks nutrients, your lemon tree will lack the same. So, if your lemon tree lacks nutrients, you can boost it by fertilizing it with a citrus fertilizer.

8. Pests and Diseases

Splash your lemon tree with a directed dose of Neem oil insecticide spray. Spray it on both sides of the leaves and repeat the same process after two weeks, proportionate to the level of the infestation. If there is mold growth, treat it with copper fungicide.

Preventing the occurrence of yellow leaves on your lemon tree is easier than fixing the issue. Plant the tree in well-drained soil and fertilize it regularly and appropriately. Perform deep watering, but this should be only when the soil is dry. Then protect your tree from extreme temperatures.

Provide your tree with the proper care, and if you observe that your lemon tree’s leaves are turning yellow, act quickly to address the issue. The initial step is to find out what is causing the problem and then engage in procedures to treat it.

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