Why Are My Leaves Falling Off My Lemon Tree

It is a common question for many homeowners, why are their leaves falling off their lemon tree? The answer may not be as simple as it seems. In order for an individual to understand why their leaves are falling, there are a few key factors to consider; tree health, the environment, and possible pests.

Tree Health

The health of the tree is the most crucial factor in determining why the leaves are falling off. The reasons may range from improper watering, soil fertility, root rot, or disease. It is essential to ensure the green lemon leaves get enough proper nutrition and water. During dry periods they should be given more water, while during wet seasons they should be given less. Nutrient deficiency can cause leaves to turn yellow or brown. To identify this, an analysis of the soil or a professional soil test might be necessary.

If the soil test reveals any nutrient deficiency, the appropriate fertilizers should be applied to the soil; such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Additionally, a soil amendment such as compost should be mixed in with the soil to help improve its fertility. Root rot can also be a sign of tree health problems, and can lead to leaves falling off. To identify any root rot, the soil should be examined for root discoloration and a strong, noxious odor. If the soil reveals any of these traits, the tree may need to be treated with a fungicide and watered correctly.

Finally, disease can also cause leaves to fall off of lemon trees. Common diseases are leaf or stem diseases; some common examples are wilt, scab, leaf spot, and rust. A professional arborist may be necessary to determine the specific disease and the best course of action to remedy it.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors may also led to the leaves falling off of a lemon tree. Trees should be planted in areas with full sun exposure, as they thrive in direct sunlight. If they are kept in areas without adequate sunlight, they may not be able to produce enough energy to continue sustaining life, thus leading to leaf loss. Additionally, sudden changes to ambient temperature can have an adverse effect on the health of a lemon tree, weakening the tree and leading to leaf drop.

While trees should receive proper amounts of lighting, there are times in which too much direct sunlight can also be detrimental to the tree’s health. Constant sun exposure may cause the tree to become stressed, leading to drought and unhealthy foliage. Therefore, it is recommended that lemon trees not be planted in areas that receive direct sun all day long.

The amount of water the tree receives is also a vital factor in determining the health of the tree. During the dry season, the tree should receive regular and adequate amounts of water. Conversely, following the wet season, the tree should be given less water due to the risk of overwatering. It can be determined if the tree is getting adequate water if the soil is neither parched and dry nor too soggy and wet.


Pests such as aphids or mealybugs can also cause a lemon tree to shed its leaves. Common signs of an infestation include yellowing or browning of the leaves, and the presence of white insects on the stem and underside of the leaves. In order to remedy an infestation, treatment with an insecticide should be applied, followed by a thorough inspection of the tree’s health.

Additionally, caterpillars can also cause a lemon tree to shed its leaves. These pests feed on the leaves and can cause extensive damage to a tree if left unchecked. In order to stop the caterpillars from further damaging the tree, the infested branches should be pruned, and a caterpillar-specific pesticide should also be applied.

Finally, birds can also cause damage to lemon trees by damaging or eating the leaves. To keep them away, keeping pet cats or using bird repellents may be necessary.

Gordon Wesson is an environmentalist and author who lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing for many years about topics related to trees, the environment, and sustainability. In particular, he is passionate about educating people on the importance of living in harmony with the environment and preserving natural spaces. He often speaks at conferences and events around the country to share his knowledge with others. His dedication to protecting our planet makes him one of the leading voices in his field today.

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