sweet thunder
Senior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:43 pm
Location: Eureka, CA

Meyer lemon and chlorosis

How long should it take for me to see a change in the leaves after I add iron chelate? I did add less than the label suggested, but it's been over a week and I haven't seen any improvement.

My Meyer lemon is about 18" tall and lives in a pot on my patio. It's always had a slight yellow tinge to the leaves, but this spring is when I noticed a more pronounced yellowing with green veins. I fed it some Dr. Earth fruit tree fertilizer and then added the iron a few days later.

I would love to help this plant. It finally has a fruit that looks like it might ripen!

User avatar
Posts: 28243
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I've heard that they need zinc -- I have the vague notion it's to help with the iron uptake. I give my citruses greensand and kelp meal or liquid kelp (depending one what I have handy -- I also just make kelp meal "tea" sometimes) for the micro-nutrients.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

I'm not familiar with the Dr. Earth line. Is the fruit tree fertilizer you used recommended for citrus trees, or just your basic "fruit" trees? If it doesn't mention citrus specifically, then it's most likely aimed at pomes and drupes (translation: apples/pears and plums/apricots/cherries /peaches/stone fruits).

Before we go piling onto this poor Meyer lemon, let's find out whether the initial product was full-spectrum for citrus.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

sweet thunder
Senior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:43 pm
Location: Eureka, CA

The Dr. Earth I bought is listed for "Fruit Trees plus Citrus and Avocado."
My box is gone, but here's how the website describes it:

A superior blend of feather meal, fish bone meal, cottonseed meal, kelp meal, alfalfa meal, soft rock phosphate, mined potassium sulfate, seaweed extract and PRO-BIOTIC seven champion strains of beneficial soil microbes plus Ecto and Endo Mycorrhizae.

The iron I used is Liquinox Fully Chelated Iron and Zinc. It lists .2% iron and .2% zinc in a base of yucca extract.

I worry that, in a container in my rainy climate, nutrients wash out fast, but as Cynthia said, I don't want to pile too much on my poor little lemon tree!

Greener Thumb
Posts: 816
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:31 am
Location: Hurst, TX USA Zone 7b/8a

You could do a soil pH Test to determine if the soil pH is causing the problem due to the frequents waterings and the rain. Many nurseries sell cheap pH Test Kits, the best of which give numerical results and are usually purchased by mail. The others give approximate results but that is really all you need. All these frequent waterings make some of the minerals leech out so your soil could have an iron deficiency or a manganese deficiency. I think you should be ok zinc-wise. This deficiency usually shows up as yellow bands and causes a host of other problems that you did not mention (example in another type of plant: https://ipm.illinois.edu/bulletin/photos/zinc_deficiency.jpg ). Adding iron-chelated liquid compounds (or some garden sulphur or greensand) and some liquid seaweed as foliar food would help correct the problem. I would also make sure you are not watering too much too often and maintain as much mulch as you practically can (so you do not have to water often). Reapply per label directions; you should notice an improvement in 2-3 weeks. In the case of potted plants, I usually apply the stated amounts and not less; leeching of minerals is the reason I do that. Note: it is not necessary to make a special watering application to add these amendments. Just add them when doing a scheduled watering application.

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