Why are the Leaves on Your Lemon Tree Drooping?

Are you a proud owner of a lemon tree, watching it grow with excitement? Suddenly, you notice a few drooping leaves, and it sets you into immediate concern. Questions like “Is it receiving enough sunlight?” or “Am I watering it properly?” start to flood your mind. While leaf droop can be alarming, it’s important to understand that it may not always be a cause for worry. However, it could also be an early indicator of a more serious issue. The good news is that, with the right care and attention, your lemon tree can quickly recover. So, let’s explore why your lemon tree’s leaves may be drooping and what you can do about it.

Temperature or Light Change

Lemon tree leaves can droop when exposed to extreme temperatures or a sudden change in lighting conditions. The younger leaves or new growth are especially prone to this. If your lemon tree is positioned near a window that allows cold drafts at night or if you recently moved it outside, exposing it to direct sunlight or heat, there’s no need to worry. These are normal causes for leaf droop. As long as your lemon tree is not exposed to prolonged temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit or excessive light or heat that leads to drying, browning, or scorching of the leaves, it will recover once it adapts to the new environment. If you suspect a lack of light, consider repositioning your lemon tree near a south-facing window that receives at least 6 hours of full sunlight.


Underwatering can also cause leaf droop. If it has been a while since you last watered your lemon tree and the surrounding soil feels dry when you stick your finger an inch or two deep into it, it’s time for a deep watering. If the leaves perk up after watering, there’s no need to worry about any other issues. However, be cautious not to overwater your lemon tree, as this can also lead to stress, root rot, and even death in extreme cases.


Leaf droop can be an early sign of overwatering, particularly for potted lemon trees. When a plant is overwatered, the soil becomes waterlogged, depriving the roots of the necessary air pockets for nutrient absorption. This slows down the plant’s metabolism, causing the leaves to droop. If your lemon tree is planted in the ground outdoors, overwatering is unlikely to be the issue. The good news is that leaf droop is usually an early sign of overwatering, allowing you to take corrective action in time. Ensure you allow time between waterings for evaporation and plant water intake, and choose a pot with good drainage and a porous material to avoid waterlogging.

Nutrient Deficiency

Drooping leaves could also indicate a nutrient deficiency, particularly for potted lemon trees. When plants are potted, their roots only have access to the nutrients present in the soil within the pot. If your lemon tree’s leaves not only droop but also display a difference in color, such as lighter green or yellow speckles, it’s likely that your tree is lacking essential nutrients. Consider fertilizing your lemon tree with a citrus-specific fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during active growth to provide the necessary boost.

With the right care and attention, your lemon tree will soon regain its perky and healthy appearance. Remember to monitor watering, provide adequate lighting, and ensure proper nutrient supply. Enjoy the beauty and bountiful harvests that your lemon tree will bring!

Related Questions:

  • How often should I water my potted lemon tree?
  • How to fertilize a lemon tree.