Lemon Problems: The cold has damaged my lemon
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THE AGRONOMIST ANSWERS ON HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR PLANTS
MY LEMON PLANT IS IN BAD CONDITION DUE TO THE COLD
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Egr. Dr. M.G. Davoli,
following your instructions, last Sunday (15.03.2009) I intervened on the lemon tree, starting by removing the fruit and healing the cuts with a special mastic purchased in the nursery. I then repotted the plant in a much larger pot, very delicately removing the "old" earth and carefully checking the roots: I honestly did not find rotten roots or in particular negative conditions, they seemed uniformly rather healthy, not soft, and "normal" color. The only thing actually found was the particularly humid earth, not to say almost "wet" from the middle of the pot down.
In checking the roots, I gently proceeded to remove the "old" soil, where possible, trying to caress and not to force the root agglomerate of the plant. For the new pot (larger than the previous one), I used new soil specific for citrus plants (just under 110 liters), also purchased in the same nursery where I found the mastic for wounds. Continuing to follow your directions Doctor, I did not give the plant to drink, letting it "rest". The temperature in these days here in Verona is about 4/5 degrees for the minimum and about 12/15 for when it concerns the maxim. Some leaves have continued in their process of "drying" and falling from the plant, others seem "tender".
Now Doctor, how is it best for me to behave?
Alessandro (March 18)
PS: on the weekend I will take some photos so that I can show you what is described above.
good news: the roots are healthy. Contrary to what I feared, the cold did not damage them.
I don't know how long you haven't repotted but if you have been repotting it for a few years, keep in mind that the earth, like everything in creation, deteriorates and loses its structure. Also consider that obviously, since in this case we are talking about plastic pots as they are large, compared to terracotta ones they do not breathe the earth (plastic is not porous unlike terracotta pots) therefore the lower part is late a lot to dry out and take this into account when watering and do not trust that the soil on the surface is dry. Always put your hand into the soil as much as you can to feel if it is wet or not, especially now that the pot is much larger.
One thing no one thinks of doing is this: you could put earthworms in the earth, as it is large, if you can find them. Earthworms are splendid creatures that have the goodness to "eat" the earth or rather the organic substances contained in the earth and to return them, through their excrements, as excellent humus; they also play a very important role in aerating the soil and improving its structure and do not touch the plant in the slightest. Since the pot is large, it could be an inexpensive, simple, ecological and agronomically perfect way to keep the soil in good condition and also give your lemon extra nourishment.
Your lemon plant will continue to shed its leaves for a while longer. Give it time. A bit like a hangover from an illness: it takes time to recover.
Now you don't have to do anything else, just wait. Wait a few more days and then resume watering. Obviously, always keep an eye on the weather and if you see that there is a possibility of some sudden frost, get a clear plastic sheet and put it on top to protect the plant.
Don't prune anything for now, leave it alone. Pruning, as I told you, stimulates the vegetative restart and the emission of new shoots and now it is not really the case to make it work. We must resume. When you see that the plant has recovered well and the temperatures have stabilized, then you can cut the dead branches.
In a month or so, he begins to give the fertilizer, however, giving half the doses compared to what is indicated in the package and this for two reasons: the first is that having just changed the soil, the plant already has a good supply of mineral elements and the another is that the doses recommended in the fertilizer packages are always exaggerated.
That said, you just have to wait.
Let me know and thank you if you send me the photos.
Dr. M. G. Davoli
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