Sunday, July 29, 2012

The plant just doesn't give up...

My meyer lemon that has been plagued with pests actually seemed to enjoy the move to Colorado. It started sprouting green growth all over and even blossomed (second time this year?), seemingly quite happy with its sunny mudroom location. I thought it's problems were over.

Then at the beginning of July, I noticed some leaf drop. I thought I'd let the plant dry out a bit. I watered it well and thought that was all it needed. Imagine my surprise when I get back from ten days a way and almost half the plant is dead! Now what?

Many of the leaves had brown edges so I googled that and couldn't come up with anything conclusive. I touched one and it was sticky. I googled that...and all sorts of articles came up on "citrus scale". I went out to inspect the plant and much to my angst it is covered with scale. How could I have missed it?

The latest nasty on the lemon "scale"

A close-up, isn't it ugly?

Scale seems quite beatable but unfortunately this plague has brought the plant back to or worse shape than it was at the beginning of the scale. Will I ever have a thriving lemon tree?

I wiped down the branches with alcohol, picking off all visible scale and will now mist it with a mixture of fish emulsion and water (1 capful to 16 ounces of water).  Apparently indoor citrus is prone to scale and it is wise to spray the plant with the emulsion mixture when it is brought inside for the winter.  Another lesson learned at this poor plants expense.  Hopefully we'll have made history of this latest pest in short order. I hope the poor tree has the resolve to spring back once more.

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