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Yellow spots on Lemon Tree

ascoli28
August 11, 2018
last modified: August 11, 2018

My container lemon tree has an enormous amount of yellow-spotted leaves, decent amount of fresh growth, and just a few lemons beginning to appear. Obviously worried that the whole tree will be dead soon. Help!!!



Comments (26)

  • jenny_in_se_pa

    Do you have any pictures? Is it in the ground or a pot?

    ascoli28 thanked jenny_in_se_pa
  • ascoli28

    In a pot

  • ascoli28

    Ive uploaded the photos twice but they don’t seem to have appeared in my first post or this one.

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

    Keep trying to figure how to post the images. We need to see the leaves (top and bottom), the trunk, and even how it's planted in the container.

    Also, please indicate how long you've had the tree and a bit about its repotting history. What's your general location?

  • myermike_1micha

    Rhizo, is that really you!!!? I was thinking of you the other day. I'm glad to see you have posted for that let's me know you are still around. I keep watching the weather in your area and boy you have had some doozy storms. You will hear from me soon)))))

  • mirage

    For posting photos, you need to make sure your photos have finished uploading before you hit post. If you are doing it on the computer, you will need to wait until the photo changes from a grayed out/washed out photo into a fully colored photo. That is when the upload has completed.

    ascoli28 thanked mirage
  • ascoli28

    Thanks, Mirage! Finally worked! I've uploaded photos of my lemon tree...in a pot.. outdoors on my patio in Cincinnati, OH. Weather has been tremendously warm all summer; that combined with a very hot brick patio may have contributed to the blotchy leaf development...I don't know. But, would love advice on what to do about it.

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

    How long have you had this plant, where did you get it, and what is your fertilization routine?

    No one can help you you until you help us figure out what it is. Doesn't appear to be insect related. It looks like a mosaic virus but I have no idea if citrus mosaic disease even exists in this country.

    Hopefully, some of citrus peeps (like Mike) will hop in to help.

    ascoli28 thanked rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
  • johnmerr

    Looks like a pH related micronutrient issue, most likely Manganese. Do you know the pH of your soil and your water? Lowering the pH of your soil and/or your water should solve your issue.

    ascoli28 thanked johnmerr
  • jenny_in_se_pa

    There was a similar thread about spots like this here -https://www.houzz.com/discussions/3462336/meyer-lemon-yellow-spots-please-advise

    and the thread pointed to an article here -http://itp.lucidcentral.org/id/citrus/diseases/key/Diseases_of_Citrus/Media/Html/Leprosis.htm

    that discusses citrus leprosis which is caused by a virus transmitted via certain types of mites. These mites not only can affect citrus, but tropical hibiscus, passifloras, and coffee - all plants that are also often sold in retail establishments in the north. Apparently symptoms would also include damage on the stems as well.

    ascoli28 thanked jenny_in_se_pa
  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

    Ascoli, does your fertilizer have a decent micronutrient component? Your situation doesn't look like manganese (or any other) deficiency to me, though.

    ascoli28 thanked rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

    Jenny, that really looks like it, doesn't it?

    ascoli28 thanked rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
  • jenny_in_se_pa

    rhizo - I thought so too. Almost wanted to call it citrus greening but the series of circular spots didn't seem to fit. Usually when you see what looks like a color break in leaves and/or flowers, it's due to some type of virus (like you see with some lilies and other bulbs or even orchids and roses).

    ascoli28 thanked jenny_in_se_pa
  • johnmerr

    Before we jump to the exotic world of viruses,,, first we ought to try the simpler, more common issues of micronutrient deficiencies that are soooo common for container citrus.

    ascoli28 thanked johnmerr
  • myermike_1micha

    John, the last time someone posted something similar you said this..

    johnmerr(11)

    The circular nature of the spots leads me to suspect a fungus. The fact that you do so many things to keep a humid environment (not needed by citrus, which grow so very well in desert-like climates), further leads me to fungus.

    Try dropping the misting and the humidity tray; and give it a shot of some sort of fungicide; you may see your problem go away.

    So, I tend to believe Rhizo is on track, after a track of years being on the mark here!

    Mike

    ascoli28 thanked myermike_1micha
  • poncirusguy6b452xx

    Is HLB a possibility.

    ascoli28 thanked poncirusguy6b452xx
  • johnmerr

    Clearly NOT HLB, the patterns are not indiscriminate

    Mike... Rhizo is expert/genius about insects.. we love her and respect her for that... not so sure about virus

    ascoli28 thanked johnmerr
  • ascoli28

    Thank you all for your assistance! I am simply your typical homeowner who bought a lemon tree from a local nursery called Rahn’s in Cincinnati about 16 months ago. I’ve watered the plant when it was indoors - weekly, for a year, and did nothing else. It’s had excessive amounts of water since it’s been outside all summer - but didn’t seem to suffer from it bcz the heat seemed to dry it out daily. I’ve only recently bought Jobe’s plant spikes thinking they may help with the blotching issue.. And, to top off my green-thumb talents, I put some used coffee grounds into the pot thinking that may help with the lack of nitrogen (if there was a lack!). I obviously know nothing about ph’s or even fertilizers. So, we need to start from scratch, I’m afraid. I will buy a fertilizer, a fungicide and anything else to try to rid this problem. Can you advise on which order to begin?

  • poncirusguy6b452xx

    Rahn’s I have been there. I was looking for kumquat trees 6 years ago.

    Steve

  • Vladimir (Zone 6a Massachusetts)

    Get rid of the Jobe's and use Foliage Pro 9-3-6, 1 tsp/gal water. It has all the nutrients required by citrus. Jobe's does not. Get a pH test kit (the kind used for aquariums) and measure the pH of your fertilizer solution. If necessary, adjust it to pH 5.5 to 6.5 with white vinegar. It should take about 1 Tb vinegar/gal fertilizer solution.

    I doubt that coffee is helpful. May be harmful. The fertilizer (FP) will supply nitrogen.

    It will not hurt to spray fungicide.

    ascoli28 thanked Vladimir (Zone 6a Massachusetts)
  • soozifroozi

    My two cents. I had the same problem, and I found that everywhere there was a yellow spot, there was scale!

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    That is NOT a manganese deficiency!! That shows up as interveinal chlorosis (much like an iron deficiency), not as random yellowing.

    The random patterning does look very viral to me as well......very characteristic of a mosaic virus. Nutrient deficiencies just do not present in that manner. I would suggest you take your photos and a few of the most disfigured leaves to your county extension service. They will have access to a plant pathology lab to provide an accurate (not an online guesswork) diagnosis. May cost but worth the investment to find out exaclty what's up and if fixable (virus diseases are not, unfortunately).

    ascoli28 thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • ascoli28

    I can’t thank you all enough! Headed to the store now to make recommended purchases. Will follow all directions - I am grateful for your kindness in responses!

  • johnmerr

    Lemons are not susceptible to citrus leprosis; so I think we can rule that out. And, while you are at the store, get a bigger pot; and one that is not terra cotta (clay).

    ascoli28 thanked johnmerr
  • ascoli28

    Ok, John... so, is plastic ok?

  • johnmerr

    plastic or polymer or ceramic... the thing is that clay wicks out vital salts and the evaporation thru the clay cools the soil; and citrus roots do not grow well in cool soil

    ascoli28 thanked johnmerr

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