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Joined: Aug 2014
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Coogie Offline OP
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Hi Gardeners Forum,

I'm new to the whole planting thing. I have 7 seeds from an amazing Siracusa/Femminello St. Teresa/Sorrento Lemon (whatever the real name may be). Basically, I brought back two lemons from Sorrento, Italy and have started to grow them in a large pot outside my apartment.

Everything has been wonderful with them the last two months. They've grown (between 1 1/2 inch to 2 1/2 inch in height with bloomed leaves) due to a lot of rain we've had in Houston and they love the humidity here. The last few days I've been coming home to my largest (of my four growing) with a half eaten leaf. I didn't pay much attention... I just water these little ones. I haven't put any pesticide. Yesterday evening, we had a ridiculous storm. I leave this morning and all my little guys are missing leaves. Can lemon trees continue to grow without leaves?

While inspecting them tonight, I noticed that there was a caterpillar (of unknown species) roaming around my pot and I panicked. I pulled it out and ran to the computer to find some solutions. What I did do was:
1) Get warm water mixed with dish soap to cover my baby trees from being completely eaten to the roots.
2) I then busted out my citrus tree feed and spread it around the top of the soil and watered the area.
3) Sprayed the trees again with a bit of soapy water.

I really am out of my element here -- are these trees too far gone to rescue?

Last edited by Coogie; Aug 12th, 2014 at 03:23 PM.
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California Queen
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California Queen
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I do not know. Do not spray the dish detergent on them again for awhile though. It can actually burn a plant. Do spray it on the soil. That may help any soil bugs from hatching and growing.
Are they missing all of their leaves?


~Tina
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What every gardener loves the most, Begins and ends in rich compost. (Tina)
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Frogger
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I was thinking it may well be the caterpillar. Did you look the rest of the plant over to see if other caterpillars are there. if so remove them.
I think I would water the plant, then spray the soil with the soapy water. THEN let the dirt dry out for a week or more to make sure any flying pests larvae will die. Some pests like moist conditions to live..

and/OR I guess you could do 1 of 2 things.
1) You could put a cutting from the plant in water to get it to root. (as a safty measure ) & go from there..(My grandma always put a pinch of african violet food in her water when rooting a plant.)
OR
2) you could take the plant outside, remove the pant/dirt from it's pot, spray off the plant and the roots, & examine the roots to see if they are healthy and viable, & then repot in new good soil. And also thoroughly wash the pot with soapy warm water & rinse well.

Some plants will grow new leaves when there are none at all & some will not--but why not try to see if your plant will grow some.

if I find anything else that will help I will let you know.


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Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain!! .....

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