You love your lemon tree, but so do pests like Aphids. Learn about the 5 simple ways to keep annoying creatures from sucking the life out of your lemon tree.
Lemon tree pests are one of the most common citrus tree problems you'll face.
But you don't have to sit around and wait for the bugs to show up before you take action.
Preventative measures help keep pests away from your tree. Many of the steps are simple things you can do right away.
Do these five things to keep your lemon tree healthier and pest-free.
1. Keep It Healthy
A strong, healthy lemon tree such as a Meyer lemon tree is better able to resist pest damage. Take care of your young citrus tree well from the beginning gives it a strong start.
Regular watering during the growing season keeps your tree growing well. Water evenly with about 1 inch of water.
A potted citrus tree might need more frequent watering. Give it more water whenever the soil dries out.
Citrus fertilizer helps your tree grow well and stay strong. Testing your soil helps you determine what type of fertilizer it needs. Your local extension office can give you recommendations.
Avoid giving the tree too much fertilizer. It can weaken the tree and make it more susceptible to pests.
2. Clean Up the Tree
Keeping the tree clean and trimmed with pruning can reduce pest infestations.
If the branches hang low, it's easier for crawling pests to climb aboard.
Prune your lemon tree right after the fall harvest. It needs time to recover if you don't want to miss next year's harvest.
Limit pruning to no more than one-third of the tree's branches each year.
Remove branches that are dead or affected by pests or disease.
Cleaning up around the tree is also important. Remove leaves and other debris. Bugs can overwinter here and attack your tree in the spring.
If your trees have soil around them, rake it to stir up any bug pupae. This exposes them to threats, such as birds and cold temperatures, to get rid of them before spring.
3. Create Barriers
Physical barriers can keep some pests away from your lemons.
Glue bands on the trunk of the tree can stop ants, snails, and other crawling pests from reaching the branches.
Acidic soil creating a ring around the tree can help keep aphids away. Acidic compost or coffee grounds sprinkled on the ground can also work well.
4. Use Preventative Spray
Avoiding harsh chemicals on your lemon tree is best, especially if you plan to use the fruit.
Insecticidal soap is a safer option that you can use on your lemon tree to prevent pests. It's available in premade bottles at garden centers.
You can also mix up your own. Make a large batch in a 1-gallon jug, and pour it into a spray bottle as needed for easy application.
Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of dish soap. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to help it stick to the plant. Fill the rest of the jug with water and shake well.
Spray the mixture onto your lemon tree to prevent pests.
5. Inspect Your Tree
Looking over your lemon tree regularly helps you spot problems early. If a few pests get past your preventative methods, you can deal with them quickly before it becomes a full-on infestation.
Physically removing and destroying pests you find can help eliminate the problem. Monitor the situation closely to make sure you remove all of them.
Control Lemon Tree Pests
With lemon tree pests under control, your citrus tree can thrive. Many of the best methods require no chemicals, so you can enjoy a safe and healthy garden.
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