Garden

Frost with lemons


Question: Frost with lemons


I protected my potted lemons from the abundant snow this year with non-woven fabric, but unfortunately I found all the dried leaves, at the time of the thaw, the plant is not dead, what should I do, cut it or leave it like this ?

Answer: Frost with lemons


Dear Elena,
unfortunately the past winter has been decidedly very rigid, in all areas of Italy, so even plants that in the past years could have lived in the garden with little or no protection, this year have been very damaged.
Now that the climate is milder, it is good to favor the development of new shoots and new foliage, so that the plant can take advantage of the spring months, without suffering further due to the cold months.
The first thing to do is a beautiful pruning, in order to remove all the dry and damaged leaves, and all the branches ruined by the frost, until you get to the healthy and Italian wood; in addition to making your plant presentable again, this operation will favor the development of new shoots, which will bring new healthy leaves, useful for the development of your plant. It removes all the damaged branches, all dark or soft parts, because they act as a door for entered for fungal and bacterial diseases.
It often happens that the plants kept covered during the winter, as well as because of the cold, also suffer from drought; this happens especially for those plants, such as lemon, which do not have a real period of vegetative rest, and which, even in winter, on less cold days, would need watering. Therefore it is very probable that your plant has suffered from frost, but also from drought, for this reason it would be advisable to provide it with a fertilizer of the type to be supplied in the event of water stress, which is also useful to promote recovery after freezing; in general, this type of fertilizer is used only after the emergency, or immediately after the plant has suffered damage and is administered only once. These are specific products, suitable for stimulating the vegetative development of the root system and the entire plant. In the nursery or in a well-stocked garden center you will surely find different brands, they are often sold in small vials, since they should not be used all year round.
Once pruned, fertilized and watered, your plant should be placed in a very bright and sunny place, and start to treat it as always, watering when the soil is dry.
In about a month or so you can also start again with fertilizing, using a specific fertilizer for citrus fruits, or chopped lupins, a fertilizer traditionally used to grow lemons.