Meyer lemon trees are evergreen trees which keep their bright green leaves all year. Meyer lemon trees are perfect in pots or as a screening tree because they have leaf coverage throughout the year. Meyer lemon trees can drop their leaves if they experience extreme weather conditions, if they are underwatered or stressed.
This article will explore all you need to know about growing healthy Meyer lemon trees with healthy leaf coverage and lots of fruit.
When Meyer lemons grow the most leaves
Meyer lemon trees grow lots of leaves during spring and fall. These periods of mild, warmer weather allows the plant to grow new leaves and extend the length of their stems.
Meyer lemon trees will add on lots of new growth in the Spring. After a period of slower growth in the winter, the tree with spring to life when the weather starts to warm. Try to protect your lemon tree from frosts by keeping it protected by a nearby wall or move a potted lemon tree undercover.
You will see new growth which will start of a darker red color. This will eventually turn to a light green color and then the leaves will darken. The older leaves will turn a dark green color as they develop more chlorophyll to turn sunlight and carbon dioxide into food for the plant.
The next main growth period for Meyer lemon trees is fall. After good summer growth and producing lots of lemons, the tree will be ready to add new leaves. You can prune the tree after it has finished fruiting at the end of summer and the trimmed stems will grow new leaves.
The process of trimming the plant at the end of the fruiting season helps it to grow stronger and fuller. You will have lots of healthy leaf growth which will support the tree to grow more fruit in the next season.
How to grow Meyer lemons with good leaf coverage
To help your Meyer lemon to grow a healthy coverage of leaves follow these tips below. Healthy leaf coverage will help the plant to photosynthesize, make their own food and prepare to grow flowers and fruit.
1. Top dress Meyer lemon trees in spring
One the best things you can do for your Meyer lemon tree to prepare it for good growth in spring is to top dress it. This means you will add a 2 inch layer of a compost and cow manure mix on top of the soil which will feed the plant and protect the roots.
To top dress a Meyer lemon, first rake back any old mulch on the surface of the soil. Do this gently to avoid disturbing the lemon tree roots near the surface of the soil.
Mix together compost and cow manure. This can be a 50:50 mix or whatever you have available. Mix through a shovel full of worm castings if you have them.
Sprinkle this mix over the surface of the soil around the roots zone of the Meyer lemon tree. Gently rake it flat so that it is around 2 inches thick. This layer will help to feed the tree when it is watered, help to prevent weeds around the root zone and protect the roots from harsh weather.
2. Water Meyer lemon trees regularly
Watering Meyer lemon trees regularly during the growth periods and over summer is important to encourage healthy leaf growth. If lemon trees dry out rapidly they can lose their leaves in response. Hot, windy weather can also cause the tree to drop leaves.
To prevent this, deep water the lemon tree in the morning before a hot, windy day. During summer you may need to deep water your tree twice per week if you have low rainfall. Water the tree once every 2 weeks deeply in spring and fall.
In winter, you can decrease your watering schedule. Deep water the tree every 3-4 weeks if you have low rainfall. Do this in the morning to avoid the roots staying wet for too longer over the cooler nights.
Always water lemon trees at the root level. Watering at the base of the tree instead of on the leaves will help to prevent fungal growth on the leaves.
3. Add a thick layer of mulch
To support Meyer lemon trees to grow a healthy coverage of green leaves it is important to add a thick layer of mulch. Good mulch choices include bark mulch, straw, pea straw, hay or lucerne. Layer this on top of the top dressing.
This will help to keep the top dressing and the soil moist for longer, prevent weeds and feed soil bacteria and worms. Creating a healthy ecosystem of soil bacteria and worms will help to aerate the soil and break down the organic matter in the soil and mulch. This will make the nutrients available for the tree to absorb.
4. Fertilize with pelleted chicken manure and trace elements
Always remember to feed your Meyer lemon tree regularly to keep it growing lots of healthy, green leaves and producing fruit. Growing lemons takes a lot of energy and nutrients which the tree will use up in the soil. These nutrients need to be replaced regularly to keep the tree growing fruit.
To fertilize Meyer lemon trees, give them pelleted chicken manure at the start of each season. Feed them with trace elements in spring to replace the nutrients used up in the last years fruiting season.
If the tree has yellowing leaves with bright green veins, feed it with some iron chelates to help to replace the lost iron.
5. Add seaweed solution
Adding seaweed solution to your tree regularly will help to improve root and stem growth. This will help the tree to grow large and healthy and be strong enough to produce and carry more fruit. Mix liquid seaweed solution into your watering can and water it onto the roots.
Do this once per month throughout the year. Seaweed solution will also help to improve root growth and soil bacteria balance.
Do Meyer lemon trees lose their leaves in winter?
Meyer lemon trees should not lose their leaves in winter. They are an evergreen tree that will have leaf coverage throughout the year. Meyer lemon trees will only lose leaves in winter if they are experience stress due to extreme weather, if they are being attacked by pests or disease or lack nutrients.
Are Meyer lemon trees evergreen or deciduous? | Summary
Meyer lemon trees are evergreen trees that make a great screening tree that also grows fruit. Meyer lemons are easy to grow if you follow a regular fertilizing schedule, water them regularly and top dress them with compost and mulch.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.