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I have a large lemon tree planted in an eighteen inch terracotta pot.last year the ants built a nest under the tree in the pot and the tree was covered in ants so I went to war on the ants and killed the ants with a liquid ant killer.
this year all the leaves have turned a very pale yellow/green and have small pale yellow blotches all over them. the tree has flowered but the fruits that set have turned black and fallen off when they were about the size of a pea.
The poor tree is not happy, I have had this tree for more than ten years , and I have fed it each summer and had loads of lovely lemons in the past, What should I do ?



I'd imagine the liquid ant killer hasn't done the plant any favours at all. First, are you certain there was an ants nest in the pot? did you turn it out and check the rootball? If you didn't, and made the assumption there was an ants nest in there because of ant activity over the stems and leaves, the most likely explanation is that the ants were there because of blackfly or aphids generally - they harvest the honeydew the aphids produce, and do not actually harm plants in any way. It's a little late now, but I can only suggest you turn the plant out of its pot, remove as much compost as you possibly can and repot in fresh compost, then feed and water well. Unfortunately, although you can repot now, you cannot feed at this time of year, and even the repotting should be left till spring, but as I suspect the soil your poor plant is growing in is contaminated with ant killer, its probably best to get it out as soon as.

27 Aug, 2010

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