You are caring for your lemon trees well and suddenly one day you see some of their leaves curl. There are reasons that may cause why it happens and you need to figure it out to fix them immediately.
When the lemon tree leaves are healthy they can produce more food with the help of the sun so what are the reasons for curling leaves on the lemon trees?
7 Causes Why Are Lemon Tree Leaves Curling?
1. Cold Temperature
Cold temperatures can cause lemon tree leaves to curl. The lemon tree is an evergreen tree and they are the least cold-hardy. Mature lemon trees can go on 29 degrees Fahrenheit but they can suffer damage if it lasts for 30 minutes straight.
They need protection against the cold and if your lemons are planted outside, you can use a blanket as protection. Or if your trees are planted in a pot/container then you can just move them indoors.
Severe colds can cause leaf curls on lemon trees. Leaves are going to get damaged if the temperature gets 22-24 degrees Fahrenheit (-5.56 to -4.44 degrees Celsius). You can use LED grow lights to give them heat especially at night.
2. Extreme Heat
Another reason why lemon tree leaves curl is because of extreme heat. Too much heat can dry leaves and make them curl. You need to move your potted lemon trees to a shaded area when the heat is so strong. In that way, the lemon tree leaves will not suffer leaf curl.
A long period of drought can make the environment dry. No rainfall and the heat becomes intense. You need to give adequate water to your lemon tree to keep them hydrated.
The water evaporates faster when the heat is strong so you need to water your lemon trees more often during those times.
3. Lacking Water
Lacking water is another reason for lemon tree leaves curling. The trees can’t get water and it causes leaf curl. Lack of water can cause tree stress and you need to make a schedule of watering to avoid giving too much and too little water.
The lemon trees need more water when the weather is too hot because water evaporates quickly during those periods.
If you are going on a trip, you can water them deeply or you can ask for some help from family members to water them. Or you can buy a self-watering pot to keep your lemon trees growing.
Overwatering can cause leaf curls on lemon trees. Young and mature lemon trees need to be watered at least once or twice a week. The water helps lemon trees to grow but overwatering can cause problems for them.
You need to avoid giving them too much water to prevent leaf curl. There are ways to prevent it from happening and some of these ways are just easy to do.
If you are not sure whether to water the lemon tree or not, try checking the soil moisture first. Using your finger press it in the soil for about 2 to 3 inches deep. If you feel the soil is dry then you need to give them water.
You can also use a screwdriver to check the soil moisture. Start pushing the tool in the soil and if it doesn’t push and the soil is too hard you need to water them. If you find out that the soil is still moist you don’t need to give them and wait for a few days before checking and watering them again.
Young lemon trees need more water during the early years. The water will help them establish. Avoid overwatering lemon trees to prevent leaf curls.
Another reason why there are curling leaves on lemon trees is because of pests. Some of the pests that can affect the tree are mealy bugs, mites, aphids, scale, whitefly, citrus miners, etc. These pests can sip the liquid from the leaves which makes them curl.
You can control these pests using a stream of water hose. Blast them with water to remove them from the tree. There are other products that you can use like insecticidal soap and neem oil. Spray them on the tree but avoid spraying during the blooming season.
6. Transplant Shock
Newly transplanted lemon trees can suffer transplant shock. It can cause yellow leaves, wilting, and curling leaves. It might be the cause why your lemon tree has a lot of curled leaves.
You need to be careful in transferring your lemon tree to a new environment to prevent this from happening. When you do it successfully you will not see curled leaves on the lemon tree.
Before you do transplanting, you need to make a plan first. Get all the tools you need and know if the weather will be good. Once everything is fine transferring the lemon tree will be smooth.
It doesn’t matter whether you transplant it on the ground or in a pot as long as the tree will be in good condition it’s great.
If you transplant your lemon tree and suffer transplant shock you just need to make sure that the soil is moist but not too soggy. Also, stop watering and wait until the tree recovers. It can take about a week or more to see the results.
7. Old Leaves Naturally Curl
When the lemon tree leaves get older, they naturally curl. It happens at the end of the growing season, usually in the fall and winter. So if you see some curled leaves on your lemon tree it is probably because they are old.
Having old leaves in trees and other plants is common and it is part of their growth. The young green leaves will turn yellow, then turn brown, and eventually drop into the ground.
You cannot control those old leaves to fall to the ground. It is a cycle and just part of their growth. The only thing you can do is care for your lemon tree well.
Give them enough nutrients by applying fertilizer after a few months, give them enough water regularly, and make sure they are getting enough sunlight to make food. In that way, your tree will become healthy.
How To Fix Curl Leaves On Lemon Trees?
If the leaf curl on a lemon tree is caused by pests, you can blast them with a water hose to remove them from the tree. You can also use insecticidal soap and horticultural oil like neem to get them off the tree. Avoid spraying during the flowering stage.
If the curled leaves are caused by overwatering, you need to stop watering the lemon tree. Let the water drain and wait for a few days up to a week and see if the leaves recover.
If the cause is cold temperature, bring the lemon tree indoors every time it gets cold. You can also cover them with a blanket, canvas, or tarps when they are planted outdoors.
If the cause of lemon tree leaf curl is extreme heat, you need to give them adequate water and place them in a shaded location when the heat is extreme.
Can Curled Lemon Tree Leaves Go Back To Normal?
Yes, curled lemon tree leaves can go back to normal once the problem is fixed. You need to figure out first what is the cause and apply the best solution to that problem.
If the damage is just a little there is a chance that it will recover but if the damage is severe it might not recover.