Dwarf Meyer Lemon with chlorosis

ernie85017July 16, 2012

This poor tree has been a wonderful producer. A couple of years ago I noted some chlorosis so gave it ironite. No change.

Life complications arose and it was ignored other than water for quite a while.

This spring the fruit set was much less than usual. I learned that our alkaline soil can block iron absorption.

Since Spring, in addition to organic fruit tree fertilizer per schedule, I have used Epsoma Soil Acidifier and Ironite, twice. No change. I found a liquid acidifier and chelated iron supplement and have used that per instructions.n Twice. There is still no change. There is new growth, and the lemons are growing, but the new growth looks the same as the old. A dwarf valencia orange 10 feet away is coming around beautifully and has great dark green new growth.

The "cures" were deeply watered in, and the tree has been on a deep watering schedule appropriate for Phoenix. Am I expecting too much, too quickly? It's been months! Am I missing something?

THank you all, I learn so much from Gardenweb.

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Hi ernie85017,

Yellowing of leaves or chlorosis can be caused by a number of things. Watering is always on the top of the list so in order to rule it out you'll want to start there. This time of year citrus need watered about once every two weeks as long as the water is soaking down deeply into the soil. The ideal depth is 3 feet, which creates a moisture zone that takes a while to dry out and enables you to water less often. It also encourages deep roots and the water carries salts down below the root zone. Salt accumulation can be lethal to plants.

The easiest way to water deeply is to create a 6 inch berm around the tree at the drip line. Some folks like to add a second berm about 12 inches away from the trunk to prevent water from reaching it. Filling the basin should provide adequate water for your citrus. Here's a link to the University of Arizona bulletins on citrus (including irrigation) http://cals.arizona.edu/maricopa/garden/pubs.htm#Citrus

Nitrogen and iron are necessary to produce nice green leaves but soils that are too moist can prevent absorption of these and other nutrients. That's why its important to let the soil dry out a bit in between waterings. We're talking wrung-out-sponge dry, not bone dry.

It's also a good idea to add a 3-4 inch layer of organic mulch or compost over the soil in the basin. This will slow evaporation, keep soils cool in summer, release nutrients as it decomposes and helps to lower the pH.

Lack of nitrogen usually causes yellowing of older leaves while lack of iron is seen in the new growth. To be beneficial to the plant, iron must be in an absorbable form. Ironite doesn't provide this but your chelated iron will.

Here's information on nutrient deficiencies in citrus. I hope it helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Common citrus nutrient deficiencies and herbicide symptoms

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:39PM
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