How to Treat Lemon Tree Leaves Curling

Lemon tree leaves curling up in response to dry conditions. Wind, low humidity, and watering too lightly strip the sap fluid from the leaves, causing the leaves to curl in order to save moisture. Aphid infestations feed on the sap of developing leaves, causing the leaves to curl as a result of the feeding.

The most common cause of lemon tree leaves curling is drought stress. However, nutrient-deficient soil, transplant shock from bringing lemon plants inside, and even overwatering may cause leaves to curl often, along with yellowing of the leaves and leaf drop on your lemon tree. Continue reading to learn how to detect the reasons for curling leaves, how to avoid them, and how to bring your lemon tree back to life.

Underwatering is the most common cause of curled leaves on ornamental plants.

Lemon tree leaves that are withered and twisted in form are the most common indication that the tree is suffering from drought-induced stress.

When compared to other fruit trees, lemon trees actually like it when the soil is a little drier. However, difficulties might arise when the soil dries up entirely or when there is too much wind, which depletes the moisture from the leaves of the tree.

How to revive lemon tree leaves curling

Lemon tree leaves curl as a result of the following reasons:

Watering is being done too gently. Lemon trees love the top two inches of soil to dry out between watering sessions, followed by a good soak once a week, or more often if necessary. If the lemon tree is watered too lightly, the water does not penetrate the soil and reach the roots, resulting in the leaves curling as a result of the lack of infiltration.

Pots that are heated dry out more quickly. It takes far less time for the soil in pots to dry up than it does for the soil in garden boarders. Pots have less capacity for soil and, as a result, less capacity for moisture. On the other hand, lemon trees demand direct sunlight, which may worsen the drying of pots and the occurrence of drought.

There’s a lot of wind. Lemon trees should be given some wind protection because excessive wind promotes moisture loss from the leaves, which is one of the most common causes of leaves curling. For the following reasons, wind protection should be provided:

Lemon trees that have curled leaves as a result of the drought should be revived.

Certain lemon trees with curled leaves that have been damaged by drought may be brought back to life if certain circumstances are met.

Make an effort to keep the tree out of the direct wind. This may be as easy as shifting the potted trees to a location where there is a natural wind break, such as a shelter from other trees or a fence, in the case of potted trees. When relocating your lemon tree to a more protected location, take care not to deprive it of sunshine. If you are planting lemon trees in garden soil, attempt to create a wind barrier with other plants to help them survive the worst of the winds.

By misting the withered leaves of the lemon trees with a sprayer, you may improve the humidity of the micro-climate and therefore reduce water loss from the leaves. Spray the leaves twice a day during the time when the lemon tree is recovering.

lemon tree leaves curling cure

Lemon trees grown in the garden should be watered using a soaker hose. Allow the soaker hose to run for several hours to completely saturate the ground surface. It is important to be liberal with watering after a drought since excessive heat and sun scorch the soil hard, causing water to run off the surface rather than enter the roots. Make sure to give the tree a good soak after a drought to avoid this problem.

When growing lemon trees in containers, increase the frequency of watering. Potted plants dry out more quickly, especially when exposed to direct sunlight. Lemon trees love it when the soil is somewhat dry between watering sessions, but too much sun and heat may create drought stress in the plant. As soon as the top two inches of soil get dry, which might be twice a week or more in the summer, water well.

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Whenever feasible, it is ideal to immerse the whole pot of lemon trees in water, whether in a basin or wheel barrow of water for potted lemon plants that are suffering from drought.

Watering the pot completely permits the moisture to reach the roots without running off the dry soil’s top or down the edge of the pot, where it would otherwise fail to reach the roots.

After the lemon tree has had a thorough watering and its leaves have been treated on a regular basis, the leaves should begin to recover from their curled look over the course of the next few days.

During very hot weather, I propose temporarily shading the lemon tree so that it does not have to cope with scorching sunlight while it is recuperating from a period of dryness.

How to solve lemon tree leaves curling problems

Lemon Tree Leaves Curling in an Indoor Environment

Lemon trees are tropical plants that are not cold-tolerant, and as a result, they must be cultivated in pots and brought inside during the winter months to avoid frost damage.

However, there are certain particular situations that might cause the leaves of a lemon tree to curl and even fall off when they are kept inside. The following are the factors that cause leaf curl on an indoor lemon tree:

Air that is drier and lower in humidity. Lemon trees are native to tropical climes and demand a moderate amount of humidity to flourish. Indoors, the lemon tree leaves must struggle with air currents caused by air conditioning, forced air, and radiators, all of which deplete the leaves’ moisture content. As a response, the lemon tree curls its leaves in order to save moisture. This often results in the loss of some of the leaves on a lemon tree.

Various sources of heat are responsible for temperature fluctuations. Evenings are frequently the time when we switch on the heating at home during the winter. Compared to the daily cycle of temperature fluctuation that a lemon tree encounters while growing outside, this generates stress that presents itself as curled leaves on the tree itself. The sources of heat also enhance evaporation from the soil, which causes the plant to get dehydrated and its leaves to become shriveled.

There is less light in the house. Lemon trees enjoy full daylight, and as a result, they often suffer from shock when exposed to reduced light levels inside, resulting in stress.

Shock after transplant. As a result of the large difference in environmental conditions between the circumstances outside and inside your home, the leaves of lemon trees might curl as a response to a rapid shift in the environment. This curling of the leaves is caused by a quick and dramatic change in environmental circumstances, such as temperature.

How to treat lemon tree leaves curling

How to Resurrect a Lemon Tree Leaves Curling in an Indoor Environment

Even if some of the leaves are beginning to droop or turn yellow on indoor potted lemon trees, the plants will recover. The most important thing to remember is to handle the moisture balance and minimize the shock of being relocated inside.

Mist the leaves with a mist sprayer to give them a fresh look. Because it successfully raises humidity to recreate the optimal circumstances of the lemon tree, this is one of the most effective methods of restoring curled leaves to their original shape. Spray with water as often as twice a day to ensure that the leaves remain wet while the plant is adjusting to its new environment and to reduce water loss through the leaves.

Make certain that the lemon tree is not in direct line of sight of any air conditioning or forced air systems. The lemon tree should be placed in a bright window that is not in the path of air currents. On a regular basis, mist the leaves.

Increase the frequency with which you water your plants. When lemon trees are grown outside, they become accustomed to a regular watering schedule. However, when they are moved inside, their water requirements rise, causing the leaves to curl as a symptom of stress. Because of the slower pace of development in the winter, lemon trees want the top two inches of soil to dry out between watering sessions.

However, excessive heat inside the house might induce evaporation and cause the pot to dry out more rapidly. Keep an eye on the soil moisture level on a frequent basis, and as soon as the top two inches of soil get dry, give the tree a thorough bath.

Allow your lemon tree to get used to its new environment. However, as long as it is placed in a bright window and watered according to its needs, as well as sprayed on a regular basis, it should be able to recover and flourish.

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It is normal for some leaves to fall off once they have curled up, since this is the lemon tree’s method of saving moisture. If the tree is properly cared for, this should not be a cause for concern since new leaves will sprout in the spring as a response to longer hours of daylight.

lemon tree leaves curling treatment

Lemon Tree Leaves Curling as a result of Excessive Watering

As a rule, lemon trees prefer drier soil conditions than most other fruit trees. However, they are prone to overwatering, which may cause the leaves to curl as a symptom of stress. Curling leaves induced by dehydration often have a shriveled appearance, but curling leaves caused by overwatering might lose their green hue and become somewhat yellow in appearance, respectively.

In order to thrive, lemon trees need well-draining soil and want the top two inches of soil to be somewhat dry between watering sessions.

Lemon tree leaves curl as a result of overwatering and excessive moisture around the roots when the following conditions are met:

Because the soil is kept consistently wet, it is watered too often. If the soil is too wet, the leaves may curl and become yellow, indicating that the plant is stressed. Damp soil also creates the ideal environment for the development of fungal diseases such as root rot, which may be fatal to the lemon tree.

Soils with a slow drainage rate. Lemon trees do not thrive in wet or marshy soils, particularly on thick clay soils that hold a lot of moisture. It is natural for them to grow in well-draining soil that has a high organic content as well as some inorganic material, such as grit, to aid in drainage. Slow-draining soils imitate the effects of overwatering, causing the leaves to curl, become yellow, and become susceptible to root rot in susceptible plants.

Pots have drainage holes at the bottom of the pots. A common problem with beautiful pots is that they don’t have enough drainage holes at the base, allowing the soil to get saturated and causing the leaves to curl, turn yellow, and eventually drop off as a sign of stress.

Trays are placed underneath pots of indoor lemon trees to catch any drips. A tray beneath pots keeps excess water from exiting the pot and causes the soil to get soggy, which puts stress on your lemon tree’s roots.

what makes lemon tree leaves curling

How to Restore Lemon Tree Leaves Curling as a Result of Excess Watering

Reduce the amount of water that is being used. Water your lemon tree just until the top two inches of soil are completely dry. Typically, you should water your lemon tree once a week, but you should evaluate how often you should water your lemon tree based on your environment and weather circumstances. Wait until the soil is completely dry to the depth of a couple of fingers before giving the lemon tree a good bath.

Lemon trees should be grown on soil that is well drained. If your lemon tree is located in a marshy region, it is recommended that you move it to a more well-drained section of the garden, otherwise the tree will die back over time.

In order to cultivate lemon trees, a decent potting mix or soil mixture should include 3/3 multipurpose compost, 1/3 garden compost, and a third of horticultural grit, sand, or perlite. This soil mix is designed to simulate the soil conditions found in the lemon trees’ native habitat while also providing a suitable balance of soil nutrients and enough drainage for the lemon trees.

It is important to plant potted lemon trees in pots that have sufficient drainage. If your container does not have drainage holes at the base, you should move the plant to a new pot as soon as possible since the curled leaves will turn yellow and the plant will die if left in its current pot.

Water should be drained from trays below plants on a regular basis. While trays beneath pots might be useful for preventing water from overflowing from your indoor lemon tree, there should not be any water gathering below the pot for an extended length of time.

If your lemon tree has better drainage and you follow excellent watering methods, the soil surrounding the roots of your lemon tree will be able to dry out between watering sessions.

In turn, this provides the ideal moisture balance in the soil for lemon trees, allowing the plant to recuperate and flourish. Within a few weeks, you should see a marked improvement in the curling leaves on your plants.

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In contrast, if the soil is too moist, the lemon tree is more likely to acquire the fungal illness root rot, which causes the leaves to curl, turn yellow, and fall off, eventually killing the plant. This highlights the necessity of understanding how to water appropriately.

what cause lemon tree leaves curling

Lemon Tree Leaves Curling because of Nutrient Deficiency

Lemon trees are heavy feeders and require regular fertilizer applications in the spring and summer to meet their nutritional needs and produce the best fruit and flowers. Regular fertilizer applications in the spring and summer will ensure that they meet their nutritional requirements and produce the best fruit and flowers.

In the case of a nutritional deficiency, one of the indicators of stress that might occur is that the leaves begin to curl, droop, become yellow, and eventually fall off the plant.

Potted plants are more sensitive to nutrient deficits than other plants, particularly if they have been in the same pot for a long period of time. This is because the roots use up all of the available nutrients in the soil.

It is believed that magnesium and potassium deficits in the soil are the particular causes of leaf curling, with leaves curving inwards more, suggesting magnesium insufficiency and leaves curling downwards more, indicating potassium deficiency in the soil, respectively. When there is a dearth of nutrition, the leaves may also droop and become yellow, giving the appearance of a curling leaf.

You may, of course, request a soil test, in which case you will submit a sample of your soil to a lab for analysis in order to assess the health of the soil in question. Alternatively, you may apply a citrus fertilizer to make up for the nutritional deficiency.

In order to avoid over-fertilizing your lemon tree, use a citrus fertilizer (available at a garden center or on Amazon) rather than a general-purpose fertilizer. A citrus fertilizer contains all of the nutrients that your lemon tree requires at the proper concentrations to avoid over-fertilizing, which can also cause your leaves to curl downwards.

Through the spring and summer, continuous monthly fertilizer treatments should result in the lemon leaves’ seeming much healthier rather than curled (always follow the manufacturer’s instructions).

Tips to care for lemon tree leaves curling

Lemon Tree Leaves Curling because of Pests Attacks

There are a few insect pests that may damage your lemon tree, causing the leaves to curl in on themselves.

Spider mites

It is possible to have a spider mite infestation if you detect little yellow patches on your plants, as well as curled leaves. Spider mites are more prevalent inside since they prefer the drier atmosphere of homes, and they often infest lemon trees that have been moved indoors for winter protection. Spider mites are not contagious.

Because spider mites are attracted to humidity and moisture, misting the leaves on a daily basis is quite efficient at dispersing them. Washing the leaves with soapy dishwater is also a highly efficient method of treating them. Remove any badly damaged leaves from the tree, and it should heal on its own.


Aphids may also be an issue since they are attracted to the sap of your lemon tree, which causes the leaves to curl as a result of their feeding behavior.

Although aphid assaults on lemon trees are fairly uncommon, they mainly target the more fragile younger leaves. However, any major damage is usually avoided by maintaining a healthy garden ecology. The presence of many insect predators (such as ladybugs) that hunt aphids and birds is encouraging.

A pesticide such as neem oil may be sprayed on the leaves of the lemon tree in order to control a severe aphid infestation. Neem oil kills the aphids when applied to the leaves of the lemon tree.

Generally speaking, if lemon trees are treated for pest infestations, they will recover extremely well. Cut down any leaves that are seriously harmed, and any curling leaves should be able to withstand the winter weather.

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