What Are The Problems Affecting Lemon Trees

The feeling of picking fresh lemons from your garden can be very satisfying, especially for lemon lovers. But, that feeling can go away in just a moment. These moments are ruined by problems affecting lemon trees. 

Lemon trees are known for being outdoor plants however, some gardeners plant them indoors. Because the tree grows, becomes tall and creates many branches, it is better to plant it outdoors to grow out its branches. 

When looking to grow a plant, it’s better to know the problems with planting that plant or tree. The many problems affecting lemons trees include lemon leaf drops, pests and diseases, lesions on leaves, mold, tarn spots on leaves, brown scabs on lemon fruits, and yellow leaves, among other problems. For the lemon trees, such issues are easily noticeable when they start appearing, making it easier to start preventing them early. 

Once your tree is affected, likely, you won’t get fresh lemon in that season. The only option is to find the problems affecting lemon trees and fix it before it turns into a big mess. 

Problems affecting lemon trees

Lemon leaves drops

Many times you can notice leaves from your tree falling off. Some think this is due to seasonal changes because most trees shed leaves naturally. But for this tree, once the leaves start falling, this is a problem. 

Any plant has a minimum and maximum amount of water. Leaves falling is due to overwatering your plant. For a lemon tree, once you overwater it for a long time, the leaves start falling. The reason is that the plant struggles to take nutrients from the soil to the stem.

How to fix 

Avoid leaving stagnant water on top of the soil. To prevent this problem, create a watering schedule for the plant and ensure it has enough water when watering. Also, don’t plant your tree in an area with a sprinkler to avoid too much water. 

If your plant is affected by overwatering, start by leaving the soil to dry for at least a week before you water it. The next time you water, start watering the plant on alternate days for the first few weeks, or water while leaving the soil to dry before you water again. After the plant begins to grow well, resume a regular watering schedule. A normal schedule for a lemon tree is once or twice a week for younger plants and two to three weeks for two years and older trees. 

Pests and diseases

You should always be prepared for your plants to get attacked by pests and diseases, especially outdoor plants. It’s not easy to avoid this problem, but you can prevent it from damaging your plant. 

The leaves on the plant can show you if pests and insects are attacking the plant. These small animals leave marks on the leaves. It can be small spots, torn-out leaves, mold, or strange signs. 

Since this is a common problem, there are numerous solutions. First, you need to find the type of pests attacking your plant. 

Here are some of the problems that come from pests and diseases;

Black moldy spots

Moldy spots on the leaves of your plants show that a disease has attacked your plant. Aphids cause this disease. It is common on plants that are loved by aphids. 

This mold is black and comes from a sticky substance known as honeydew that aphids secrete. Even though the substance is not harmful to plants, it prevents photosynthesis on the leaves, leading to many other problems. If this problem persists, the plant can die. 

You can prevent this disease from spreading by killing the aphids on your plant. It is easy to spot these spots because they appear black, like the leaves are dusted in ash. The best way to eradicate aphids is to spray them off with water. You can add alcohol and horticultural oils to the mixture to kill the aphids. 

Another way to remove aphids is to pick them with your hands from the tree while throwing them into a bucket filled with soapy water. Also, you can introduce aphid-eating insects such as ladybugs into the tree. Since ladybugs can’t destroy your plant, they will eat the aphids and keep your tree clean. 

Botrytis Blight

Botrytis blight is a disease caused by a fungus known as Botrytis cinerea. It is found in areas with high humidity and lots of rain. 

This fungus can attack most parts of your tree, including the leaves, stems, branches, and even lemons. Once it attacks these parts, it leaves a fuzzy mold that is either brown, grey, with brown spots. 

You can prevent this fungus from attacking your plant by planting it in sunny areas so it can dry easily after long rains. On the other hand, spray it with fungicides if it has attacked your plant. 

Phytophthora fungus

Phytophthora is a fungus that attacks the plant’s cousin root rot, which results in dark brown spots on the stem and brown and rotten spots on the fruits. 

Since this fungus affects most parts of the fruits, you need to remove all the affected regions from the ground to the top. That includes pruning the branches that are more than 2 feet above the ground. Once all the affected parts are removed from the plant, spray with fungicides to kill any different fungi. 

Yellow leaves

This problem is easy to notice from afar. For lemon trees, the main problem is chlorosis. What is chlorosis? Chlorosis is the loss of color from your leaves due to insufficient iron or lack of sunlight. 

Other factors that can lead to lemon leaves turning yellow are low soil quality, poor soil drainage, underwater, overwatering, and too much sunlight. As such, the leading cause of chlorosis is the quality of the soil. 

Good soil for growing your plants should be rich in iron, nitrogen, potassium, and microorganism. All these factors contribute to the successful growth of a plant. If a plant lacks either of these nutrients, it reacts, resulting in yellow leaves. 

To prevent this problem, first, know the cause of the problem. If you have your plant in a garden, add fertilizer to your plant, water it, and then leave it to grow. Those planting their lemon trees in a pot change the soil and repot the plant with fresh soil rich in nutrients.

If the yellow is caused by overwatering, stop watering the plant for a while until the soil is dry. Check to see if the roots are rotten. Cut the rot and leave fresh roots to regrow if you have rotten roots. Change the soil in the pot with well-draining soil and ensure you have drainage holes for extra water. 

If you are underwatering your plant, water your plant until the soil is moist. Ensure the soil at the top is moist and not dry or wet. You can check soil moisture content by inserting a finger into the soil to see if it’s dry or moist. Don’t add water when it’s moist. 

For a plant that is affected by too much, try to move the plant to an area with shade. But, don’t leave it in the shade. Move it to its original position after the sun sets. In most instances, the sun turns the leaves yellow because, in the sun, the plant uses a lot of water, which results in a lack of water. So, if you don’t have the option to move it, you can water it frequently to ensure it has enough water. 


You should note that pests and diseases affect the lemon tree the most. But, this problem affects all plants, and you have to be ready with your insecticide or pesticides when this happens. These are not the types of issues to prevent you from owning a lemon tree. 

As you have seen, lemon trees are easy to care for, and you can solve problems with easy solutions without stressing yourself. Most importantly, ensure you care for the plant and provide the requirements such as water, fertilizer, and sunlight to ensure it is healthy.  

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