Why Are Lemon Tree Leaves Turning Yellow? (9 Reasons)

why are lemon tree leaves turning yellow

Seeing yellow leaves on your lemon tree doesn’t feel great. There is something wrong going into your tree that needs to figure out the cause immediately to give an immediate solution.

When there are lots of yellow leaves on your lemon tree, it will affect its overall growth. It will lead to poor growth, fewer leaves, fewer flowers, and less fruits. If you want an abundant harvest and healthier trees, you need to nourish them well.

Why Are Lemon Tree Leaves Turning Yellow? (9 Reasons)

1. Aged Leaves

The first reason of having yellow leaves is those leaves are aging leaves. Aged leaves are common for plants and trees.

The green leaves grow small during their early stage and continue to grow bigger as time passes by. When the leaves reached their maximum growth, they started to change their color. The green leaves turn yellow.

If you see aged yellow leaves on your lemon tree, you have nothing to do with them. Just leave them there because it’s part of their growth. It’s a cycle for the lemon trees; new leaves grow and old leaves fall.

You cannot stop green leaves from turning yellow. Those yellow leaves will eventually change their color to brown and sooner they drop.

By observing your lemon tree regularly you can tell if they are aged leaves or not. Some leaves will turn yellow but if there are too many yellow leaves on your lemon, there might be other causes why it happens.

You need to find it and solve it as early as possible. Nutrient deficiencies might be another cause.

2. Nutrient Deficiency

Nutrient deficiencies can also be a cause why lemon tree leaves are turning yellow. Lack of nutrients especially nitrogen causes yellow leaves.

Nitrogen helps in the production of chlorophyll in the leaves. When there is more chlorophyll, the leaves will stay green and they can make more foods with the help of sunlight to process the carbon dioxide and water under photosynthesis.

If the soil you have for your lemon tree is poor, you need to improve its nutrients by adding fertilizers. To make the leaves healthy, they need elements like nitrogen, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Pale or even completely yellow leaves are a result of a lack of nutrients.

Nutrients are essential for lemon trees but you still need to be careful in applying them. Too much fertilizer can damage the tree so you just need to add the right amount of fertilizer. If you are practicing organic gardening, then organic fertilizers will be better because they have no chemical content.

3. Overwatering Can Cause Why Lemon Tree Leaves Turning Yellow

Overwatering can also cause the yellowing of lemon tree leaves. Too much water can damage the roots which cause them to rot. When roots are damaged, they cannot transport water and nutrients to all parts of the tree which leads to the leaves being affected.

It is important to be careful in giving water to your lemon and the right amount should be given. The lemon trees should be watered once or twice a week to keep them thriving.

But there are times that the cause of yellow leaves on lemon trees is not because of overwatering, it’s because of a flood. When a storm comes, it can bring strong winds and lots of rain. If it rains for a couple of hours or even days, the water may overflow and the tree may get flooded.

The roots will be placed under the water and can cause root rot, especially for lemon trees planted in the ground. You need to make a good waterway to make your tree safe.

4. Underwatering

If too much water causes the leaves on the lemon tree turn yellow, the lack of water can also be a reason. The lemon tree needs enough water to grow well.

Lack of water can happen when the growers give them a little water, forget to water when they go for a trip, or there is a long drought. When the water is not enough, it can stress the tree.

Water your lemon tree once or twice a week but during summer the weather is hot and they need more water. Keep the soil moist to make them cool and you can also check the soil moisture by pushing your finger in the ground 2-3 inches deep to know if it’s dry or still moist; you need to water when the soil is dry.

You can also use a screwdriver, all you need to do is to push in the soil. If it pushes easily, then you don’t need to water but if it’s hard to push then it tells that soil is dry and lemon tree needs to be water.

5. Pests And Diseases

Pests and diseases can also cause yellow leaves on lemon tree. Some pests like Aphids and whiteflies sip the sap on the leaves. Because of that, it causes some damage on the leaves which makes them yellow.

You need to control these pests to make your lemon tree grow healthy. You can control them by blasting water coming from the water hose. It has a strong stream of warer and can remove those insect pests.

Scales and mealybugs need to use a chemical treatment or horticultural oil to get rid of them. And mites can be controlled using soap-based miticide.

You can also use organic pesticides or insecticides if you are practicing organic gardening. It is safer and eco-friendly. Diseases caused by fungi can be controlled by fungicides.

6. Transplant Shock

Transplant shock happens during the transplanting of lemon trees. The tree was shocked by the new environment and they started to change their color to yellow after a few days.

When this happens more leaves can change their color and some of them might drop.

When you are going to transplant your lemon trees, you need to be careful to prevent transplant shock. It is best to do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon because the sun is not bringing too much heat during that time.

Give them enough water after transplanting to help them establish. Also, don’t apply fertilizer yet and wait for a couple of weeks or months before feeding them.

7. Cause of Winter

The lemon trees are least cold tolerant. Cold temperature is also a possible reason why lemon tree leaves turn yellow. Protect your lemon trees from the cold winter by placing potted lemon trees indoors. If the temperature is too low, you can use LED grow lights to keep them warm.

If your lemon tree is planted in the ground outside, you can use blankets, canvas, or tarps to protect them against the cold. Covering the trunk with cardboard will also help.

The temperature at night is colder than the day so you need to cover them a few hours before gets dark.

8. Lack Of Sunlight

Bring your lemon tree under the sun to prevent yellow leaves. At least 4 hours of light for young lemon trees and at least 6 hours for mature lemon trees to make their foods. The sun helps the tree in making their food.

It helps the leaves to convert carbon dioxide and water into a sugar called glucose. When the lemon tree keeps receiving enough sunlight daily, it will make them healthy and lead to an abundant harvest. It will grow bigger and better.

9. Broken Branches

There are times that you will not notice that some branches on the lemon tree are broken which makes all leaves yellow. Cutted branches will not receive water and nutrients.

Since water and nutrients don’t flow to those parts, the leaves are affected and turn yellow. You need to check your lemon tree for broken branches. There are some factors that will cause broken branches on the tree.

Strong winds can break them which affects the leaves, flowers, and fruits on that specific branch. If there are green lemons also included you can consume them but they will taste bitter and you will not enjoy eating them even you add salt.

How Do You Fix Yellow Leaves On A Lemon Tree?

To fix yellow leaves on a lemon tree caused by overwater, you need to stop watering. Let the water drain after a few days. Make sure that the drainage at the bottom of the pot is open and not blocked and wait for them to recover after a few days.

If lack of sunlight is the cause, you need to bring your tree under the sun. Give them more lights for a couple of days to help them recover. They need at least 4 hours of sunlight for young trees and at least 6 hours for mature lemon trees. The leaves will go back again to normal.

If pests are the cause you need to use pesticides or insecticides to get them rid of the tree. They can damage the leaves and possibly they are the main reasons why it happens to the leaves.

Yellow Spots On Lemon Tree Leaves

Yellow spots on lemon tree leaves can be caused by a number of different factors. One common cause is a fungal disease called lemon scab, which is caused by the fungus Elsinoë fawcettii. This disease causes small, yellow or brown spots to form on the leaves of the lemon tree. The spots can become raised and corky over time, and may eventually lead to the leaves dropping off the tree.

Another possible cause of yellow spots on lemon tree leaves is a nutrient deficiency. Lemon trees require certain nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, in order to grow and produce healthy leaves. If a tree is lacking in one of these nutrients, it may develop yellow spots on its leaves as a result.

In some cases, applying a fertilizer that contains the missing nutrient can help to correct the problem. However, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable individual or a professional tree care service before applying any type of fertilizer to a lemon tree.

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