Why is lemon not growing?
Lemon is one of the easiest to reproduce species of fruiting houseplants. But, tempted by the ease of growing a lemon from a seed or a cuttings, the florist often make the main mistake - expect quick results. Lemons are the most capricious of indoor-sized citrus plants. Before fruiting, you need to wait many years, and problems with growth are the first reaction of the plant to any misses with conditions or care. And to understand why lemon does not grow is not always easy, because you need to analyze literally all the nuances of growing.
Colorful, filling the house with an inimitable fragrant cloud, bringing a tasty harvest, attractive all year round, indoor lemons are not by chance so beloved. They respond to proper care with even more decorative greens and an abundance of flowers and fruits. But they are more sensitive to deviations from these conditions than their counterparts.
If lemons do not create the blessed climate of the southern countries familiar to them, success cannot be achieved. Lemon is a subtropical star, requiring a cool period of rest, access to fresh air and constancy. Without perfect care and optimal conditions, lemon problems cannot be avoided.
And the most common of them is stopping or slowing down growth, violation of the growth rates of twigs and leaves, accompanied by other symptoms. Consider the reasons that can lead to problems with the growth of lemons. They should be checked in turn if your lemon grown from seeds or cuttings does not grow.
1. Violation of the dormant period or its absence
The growth arrest of a lemon, sometimes sharp after a stormy period of development, with the dropping of part or all of the leaves, is most often associated with a violation of the rules of wintering. Lemon requires a period of rest in coolness - from the ideal 7-10 degrees to at least 15-16 degrees.
In addition, during this period he needs an increase in lighting to compensate for the winter reduction in daylight hours, a reduction in watering to a light substrate moisture and a complete stop of feeding. And heat, and too plentiful watering, and top dressing in the winter - all this together or separately leads to problems with growth.
2. Incorrect transplant or soil
Lemon requires a transplant only when it is needed - after the plant fills the roots with an earthen lump. A transplant without need or lack of transplant, when the roots have nowhere to develop is equally unfavorable.
For a lemon, you should choose containers with large drainage holes that correspond to the volume of the rhizome, each time increasing by several centimeters - quite deep and wide, but not too spacious or cramped.
Lemons cannot stand deep planting: rootlets cannot be buried in seedlings, leaving them in line with the soil to eliminate the risk of decay. After planting, the plant is watered gently, allowing it to adapt in coolness, soft light and very high humidity - and only then transferred to its usual place.
Very often, the lemon does not grow, leads to a poor-quality substrate or errors in its selection. Lemon prefers peatless, loose, nutritious, breathable earth mixtures on leafy, soddy soil, inert additives and sand - special multicomponent substrates for citrus or tubular. For them, baking powder is added to the soil - coarse sand, vermiculite, perlite, coconut fiber, etc.
3. Waterlogging and rot
If it's not about wintering or soil, with poor growth of lemons, it is worth suspecting dampness and its consequences. In spring and summer, lemons are watered abundantly, but not excessively - allowing the topsoil to dry out and preventing drought. In winter, watering is reduced, maintaining light stable moisture and drying out the soil more.
Improper watering, insufficient drainage, compacted soil, stagnation of water - and rot begins to develop on the roots. For diagnosis, you need to check the condition of the substrate, the humidity in the middle layer, the presence of signs of moldiness and souring on top of the soil and in pallets.
You can carefully remove the plant with an earthen lump and examine the roots outside and the soil, checking if everything is in order. If the violations are not systemic, you can try to dry the soil. But with an unpleasant odor, traces of mold or rot, an emergency transplant is the only thing that can save a lemon. The substrate must be removed completely, the roots should be examined, removing damaged areas and processing sections. The transplant is carried out in a new clean substrate.
Sometimes problems with growth can also be caused by incorrect (uneven) watering, which is carried out on one side of the pot.
4. Sudden changes in conditions
Lemon, as well as all other citrus fruits, reacts extremely poorly to changes in temperature, lighting, the degree of moisture of the substrate, drafts - in the direction of deterioration of any of the indicators. A plant that was quickly transferred to radically different conditions, discards leaves, poorly fructifies and slows down growth. So lemons, especially young ones, often react even to rotation in relation to the light source.
Lemons need to be given time to adapt in intermediate conditions. At the same time, to improve the conditions - increase lighting, stabilize temperatures - the lemon gets used quickly and reacts to them vigorously and positively.
Often the fact that lemon grows poorly is caused by constant fluctuations in the temperature of the earthen coma - overheating or overcooling from air, contact with surfaces, or pouring cold water at any time of the year.
5. Lack of lighting
Lemons require bright lighting and long daylight hours (in autumn and winter, lighting increases, keeping it familiar). With insufficient lighting, placing lemons not on the windowsill or on the north window and without illumination, the plants stretch, lose their leaves and change colors. But first of all - they stop growing.
6. Wrong water
Lemons are painfully responsive to watering with hard, not soft enough and cold water. The water temperature should always be several degrees higher than the temperature in the room. And to use for this citrus it is better to melt, rain or filtered water.
7. Too dry air
Lemon loves ordinary, but not extremely dry air. It is very important for him to carry out spraying or take other measures that prevent the humidity indicators from falling below 45%. If stunting is accompanied by dropping leaves, it is better to create greenhouse conditions for a lemon - install a cap or a mini-greenhouse.
8. Inappropriate feeding
Lemons need nutritious soil. They are fed only during active growth, every 2-3 weeks, special or universal in alternation with organic fertilizers.
If problems with the growth of shoots and new leaves are accompanied by deformation and discoloration of the leaves, the appearance of spots, blanching or yellowing, it is worth checking the possibility of a shortage or an overabundance of nutrients or certain macro- and microelements.
It is better to focus on signs common to all plants. An analysis of whether top dressing corresponds to the development stage and individual lemon preferences will allow you to quickly adjust the procedures and composition of fertilizers. And the accompanying signs are to find out exactly what substances the plant lacks.
9. Too much flowering
Many new varieties of lemons with early fruiting are prone to blooming, but most often the plant simply does not have enough resources to ripen all the fruits that have begun to grow - the trees drop their leaves, slow down their growth, and form small fruits (and they ripen poorly). Fruiting should be regulated, partially breaking off the unblown buds.
10. Continuous monitoring of pests and diseases
Regular inspection of leaves and soil, shoots and buds can prevent serious problems. Scabies, aphids, spider mites, rusts, rot, require early detection as possible. The more the plant is infected, the more its growth is disturbed.
If signs of damage are detected, you must immediately isolate the plants and begin the fight with fungicides or insecticides.