Reasons why Lemon Tree leaves are Curling (And how to fix them?)

This article will be discussing the reasons why Lemon Tree Leaves are Curling. Who doesn’t love the leaves of citrus plants all dark green, shiny, and proper in shape without any spots or curling? The citrus trees are a great addition to the garden but it becomes a nightmare when their leaves start to curl as it indicates that the plant is unhealthy or under some kind of stress.

Quick takeaways:

  • The lemon tree will curl the leaves when the plant is being underwatered, overwatered, has a heat stroke, has some kind of disease, or gets attacked by pests.
  • The climate is too cold or too hot will give equal reasons for the leaves of the lemon trees to curl. 
  • The leaves of the lemon tree are curling upwards which means the lemon tree is getting too much light and heat, which is drying them up whereas if the citrus leaves curl downwards that can be due to nutrient deficiency and the plant is too weak. 

Do you know looking at the direction of the leaves curling can give hints about the causes? Let’s look at all the reasons that cause lemon tree leaves to curl and all the ways we can revive the plant. 

Reasons why Lemon Tree leaves are Curling (And how to fix them?)

Causes or reasons why Lemon Tree leaves are Curling

1. Pests

The pests, mostly the aphids, spider mites, and psyllids love feeding on the leaves of citrus plants like a lemon tree. The pest becomes clusters and usually is seen below the surface of leaves.

They suck on the sap of the lemon tree leaves and will make them weak obviously as the nutrients get eradicated. The plants start to lose shape and leaves will lose their structure causing them to curl.

How to fix them?

  • Keep a check on the leaves’ lower surface if there is any pest infestation.
  • Spray the plant and leaves with a water jet using a hose to make sure the other plants don’t get damaged and the leads are properly washed off.
  • Use organic pesticides or neem oil to remove the pests. You can remove them manually as well. Using the soap solution is equally effective in removing the pests from the lemon tree.

“Gold is a luxury. Trees are necessities. Man can live and thrive without gold, but we cannot survive without trees.”

– By Paul Bamikole

2. Nutrients deficiency

The lemon tree leaves will curl if the soil has less amount of nutrients needed by these plants as these plants need a good amount of food and nutrients to produce juicy lemons.

The potassium deficiency is mainly concerned with the curling of lemon tree leaves.

How to fix it?

The plants should be given a good nutrient supply so that they don’t droop or turn yellow. The potassium should be supplied via fertilizer that is all multi-purpose or specifically for citrus plants.

Give the plant a good amount of fertilizer during the summer heat when the fruits grow in bulk and spring season. Avoid fertilizing on cold days.

3. pH in soil

The soil ph change can also be a reason that the leaves of the lemon trees are curling. The lemon tree prefers soil pH to be in the range of 6 to 7.

The pH in the soil can deviate from normal by using chemical fertilizers, rain, pesticides, etc. The optimum soil pH keeps the roots healthy, which otherwise doesn’t happen when the pH of the soil gets abnormal.

How to fix it?

Keep checking the pH of the soil with a ph checking tool. Use a good quality fertilizer in the soil. Change the soil if the pH doesn’t get back to the normal range for a lemon tree.

4. Extreme temperatures

Extreme temperatures like extreme cold and extreme heat can also be the cause of the curling of lemon tree leaves. The high temperatures can affect the transpiration rate which the leaves defend to save themselves and curl their surface.

Similar goes with cold temperatures, which can make the water in leaves freeze and lead to tightening of their surface and curling. The leaves also turn yellow when the temperatures affect them.

How to fix it?

Try to maintain temperatures between 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a heater or fan in the garden. If the plant is potted try to move to a spot having no such extreme temperatures.

5. Diseases

The diseases can be one of the main causes that the lemon tree has been infected and showing curled leaves. The curled leaves are an indication of weak plants as well.

Fungal diseases like bacterial blasts and botrytis diseases usually cause curled leaves. The plant under stress can easily get attacked by harmful agents and diseases may occur.

How to fix it?

Using the copper sprays carefully on the plants to keep the other plants safe, can help with this problem. In such a case, your plant will be saved but its fruiting ability will be reduced.

6. Watering problems

By watering problems, we mean both the drought-like condition and over-watered conditions can cause the lemon tree leaves to curl. The drought stress means that the soil is too dry to quench the thirst of the lemon tree and the lemon tree is about to suffer.

The soil staying dry for a long can make the plant shrink or curl the leaves so that the water can be saved from transpiration. The lush green color also starts to fade away as the leaves are using energy to save water and store it for a long time by curling.

Overwatering the plant will again make them suffer leading to the drooping or curling of lemon tree leaves. The soil was wet and you went to water the soil, this is overwatering. The soil when staying wet for long becomes soggy and the plant can get overwatered. Other visible issues are dark spots, lifeless leaves, stunted growth, etc. 

How to fix it? 

  • Let the soil get dry before watering. Check the top 1-2 inches using a finger test if it is still wet, then avoid watering. 
  • Check if the soil has good drainage, and add some sand if the water is not draining properly. Add mulch to keep the soil moist. 

Wrapping up the context

The lemon tree is an amazing citrus tree, but they do need some care and look after as well. The plant needs to be checked for pests and other diseases. Giving them water regularly in summer and reducing the level in winter will help the plant to come out well. Proper regular pruning on a light basis will let the airflow between the leaves and plants. Other than this, we have included all the “must-knows” regarding the curling of lemon tree leaves. We hope you like this article and find the information useful.

Happy planting, Happy caring! 


1. Why are my potted lemon tree leaves curling?

Too much water around the roots is making the leaves of the lemon tree curl. Overwatering occurs when the soil is still wet and more water enters the soil, leading to soggy soil and water standing in the soil. All these are the leading cause of the potted lemon tree leaves starting to curl and turn yellow. 

Becky Decker

Becky Decker, our esteemed Editor-in-Chief, is a passionate gardener with years of experience in the world of horticulture. With her guidance, aims to be your trusted companion on your gardening journey. Featured In   Becky Decker’s expertise and gardening wisdom have been recognized and featured in various prominent publications, including: Yahoonews  Experience & Background   Becky Decker’s love for gardening has been a lifelong journey. She has honed her skills through countless seasons of planting, nurturing, and harvesting a wide variety of plants, flowers, and vegetables. Her deep-rooted knowledge is complemented by her Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Green Valley.   Prior to leading, Becky worked as a garden consultant, helping countless individuals turn their outdoor spaces into vibrant, thriving gardens. Her experience spans over a decade, making her a trusted authority in the gardening community.   The Birth of   Inspired by her passion for gardening and her desire to share her expertise with a wider audience, Becky Decker launched in 2021. This platform serves as a hub for gardening enthusiasts of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros.   At, we are committed to providing you with comprehensive guides, expert advice, and hands-on tips to help you achieve success in your gardening endeavors. Whether you have a small balcony garden or a sprawling backyard paradise, we have the information you need to make your garden flourish.   Our Mission is more than just a gardening website; it’s a community of gardeners who share a common love for nurturing the Earth. Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge and resources to create beautiful, sustainable gardens that bring joy and tranquility to your life.   Join Us on This Green Journey   We invite you to explore and embark on your gardening journey with us. Whether you’re seeking advice on planting techniques, pest control, landscaping ideas, or the latest gardening trends, you’ll find it all right here.   Connect with us, ask questions, and share your gardening stories. Together, we’ll cultivate a thriving community of gardeners and help each other make the world a greener, more beautiful place.   Let’s dig in and grow together at, where gardening dreams bloom!

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