Lemon Trees problem

I have two lemon trees, improved myer and eureka variagated pink, both purchased from Park Seed last fall. I bought them intending to grow them indoors since I live in Minnesota, zone 4a.
They both have problems.
The meyer improved has lost a lot of leaves
The eureka pink has lost some but it seems to have some pest problems. --bumpy leaves --a greyish tiny insect or mite that is kind of football shaped (I found one at least) --sticky substance on the leaves --white growths on the bud scars. Right now I can't tell if they are flower buds or fungal growths.
I am actually an experienced gardener but this is my first time growing citrus. I repotted them soon after they arrived in new potting soil mixed with worm castings and I included the correct amount of osmocote for the size of the plants. I've been watering them about once a week, which is when they are dry about one inch down. They sit in tall, narrow, Southern exposure windows although we have had numerous cloudy winter days lately.
If anyone has any advice to give about getting these plants healthy, I.d be much obliged
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Insect problems as you describe are showing you the stress the plant is living with. Unless you have a hot house, citrus will never get enough sun to maintain photosynthesis and foliage will die back.
Mites are not visible with the naked eye. You'd need a 10x loop to see those. It sounds like you have mealy bugs which can be controlled using insecticidal soap, two or three times, two weeks apart and as often as necessary.
I have the same plants you have and unless I put them in the greenhouse, they lose all their foliage and go dormant till I re-expose them to very full sun, slowly to acclimatize them back to sun. Also, these plants need 30 gallon containers and I'd stop using Osmocote as liquid seaweed is superior and you won't be eating synthetic nitrogen in your fruit.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My dwarf citrus are in large pots (~26 gal). They seem to do okay.
I'm not sure how large a container you would need for non-dwarf varieties, but I am sure you would not be able to move them without a motorized forklift. The weight might even damage your floors, subfloors, and possibly even foundation.
I think you are overly optimistic if you think you can grow citrus in your climate without a greenhouse or conservatory. Even at Longwood Gardens near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border -- with a climate less severe than yours -- the citrus are in an orangery (a special conservatory designed specifically for citrus).
Citrus in containers needs frequent but light feedings with a high-nitrogen, acidic fertilizer. The fertilizer should contain both iron and zinc. Since commercial citrus fertilizer seems to lack zinc these days (but does have iron), I supplement each feeding with about a tablespoon of zinc sulfate (which you might have to special-order). I would not recommend seaweed, which might contain salt; citrus is very sensitive to salt.
** Begin Rant **
Nitrogen is nitrogen; it's an element that cannot be synthesized. Some nitrogen compounds (e.g., urea [which is far too strong to use as a fertilizer on a potted plant], ammonia) can be synthesized; but don't confuse the element with its compounds.
Whatever fertilizer is applied, the nitrogen compounds must first be converted by soil bacteria into nitrates, negative ions of 1 part nitrogen and 3 parts oxygen (NO3). Plant roots take up nitrogen only in the form of nitrates. The problem with some synthetic fertilizers is that they dissolve too readily. Excessive feedings not only burn plant roots but also disinfect the soil, thus eliminating the bacteria needed to convert the nitrogen compounds into nitrates. Very light applications of such fertilizers will not have these problems.
Once the nitrates are taken up by the roots, it is no longer possible to distinguish the source of the nitrogen compounds. I challenge anyone to do a double-blind analysis on lemons or oranges -- the ripe fruit -- and tell me which trees were fertilized with synthetic compounds of nitrogen and which were fertilized with natural compounds of nitrogen.
** End Rant **
Jangchub wrote:

--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I am sorry, I should have clarified. These are two small trees, I don't know if they are dwarf or what but Park claims that the Meyer Lemon would grow 6-8 feet and was suitable for containers. At the moment it's about 18 inches tall. Same with the Pink Variagated Eureka. Maybe to 12 feet tall. That sounds like dwarf stature to me.
I have the room indoors and the southern exposure to winter them over, or so I thought. Right now, neither of them is looking too good so the height /weight problem may be moot.
They both came in trade gallon containers and I moved them to pots that were about twice as big and tried not to disturb the roots too much. Neither were pot bound. In fact, I suspected that the Eureka had been replanted in the trade gallon just before shipping.
I have decided to take the advice that the meyer isn't getting enough sun and moved it downstairs to the basement where I have grow lights for most of my wintering over plants. I also got some mineral tablets which contain zinc, iron and other trace elements, crushed them and mixed them into the soil, watering them in. Hopefully this will revive this suffering plant.
I will also follow the advice on the Eureka and apply insecticidal soap and probably a soil drench for houseplants to see if I can kill whatever's giving this plant problems. If that doesn't work then I'll try the light and mineral therapy, assuming the other plant doesn't show signs of being harmed by it.
I know that it's chancy to try citrus indoors, but I read up on the meyer improved variety and people seem to say that if you are going to try a citrus indoors, this is the one. The Eureka was a freebee thrown in by Park. If I can just get them through the next four months, they'll be able to go outside and get full sun during the summer to gear up for winter.
Thanks!
mm

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 02 Jan 2007 16:25:02 -0800, "David E. Ross"

I recommended 30 gal and you have pots just four gal short so what seems to be the problem with what I said? By the way, when you grow a tree in a container, even 30 gal, by default you are raising a dwarf tree.
I move my trees around all the time, no forklift just a husband. If two 30 gal containers can damage floors, subfloors or foundations, there is a lot wrong with the floors, foundation or subfloor.

You aren't serious, are you? Seaweed contains salt? I've been using it for decades and I'm doing pretty well. Your comment it contains salt is really something you should do some research about.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.