Multiple problems existed with the Meyer lemon tree that was introduced in 1908 by Frank Meyer. In the 1940s it was banned from the U.S. for carrying a virus that devastated other citrus crops. The Meyer lemon tree was reinvented and improved in 1970. This is the variety grown today as a hardy producer, suitable for container growing. The Meyer Improved dwarf experiences fewer problems than the original.
Provide the Meyer Improved dwarf with good soil drainage, whether planting in a container or in the ground. A condition called foot rot can kill the tree and is caused by poor soil drainage. Diagnose poor drainage by yellowing leaves and soggy soil. If leaves are yellowing and soil is not too wet, fertilization is needed.
Fertilize the Meyer lemon regularly with a high-nitrogen fertilizer in slow-release form. Supplemental fertilization through foliar feeding aids health and fruit production. Withhold fertilizer during winter. Diagnosis of fertilizer deficiency is made when flowering and fruit are not abundant. Leaf drop may signal nitrogen or iron deficiency and not enough water. Citrus fertilizer, such as Miracid, is ideal for the Meyer Improved dwarf.
Water the tree regularly, maintaining soil that is moist. Dry soil creates leaf drop. Provide humidity to the Meyer improved dwarf by placing a pebble tray near the containerized tree. Low humidity is indicated when buds drop from the tree.
Remove competing weeds that grow near the ground-planted tree. Meyer lemon, as a grafted tree, produces many suckers from the base, particularly in containerized trees. Remove suckers regularly by breaking or cutting.
Prune fruit clusters when they produce five or six small fruits. Two fruits should be left in each cluster for the largest and juiciest fruit.