Good potting mix for Citrus + fertilizer?

PunkRotten(9b)January 25, 2014


I got 2 Citrus trees (Eureka Lemon and Persian Lime) potted in a 15 gallon pot each. Have had them both for 4-5 years, Lemon is about 4 foot while the Lime is a bushy 2 1/2 feet. Winter of '12-'13 I lightly pruned both and they responded well to that. I have no problems with the lime. However, the lemon runs into problems every now and then. One year in June it got yellow and dropped all its flowers and fruits. I started giving it Epsom salt and Azomite and it seemed to fix the problem. But it has this yellowing problem from time to time, but no fruit drop. Right now some of its leaves are starting to yellow. Some of the leaves have yellow veins, while others are just yellow. The Lime has no issues.

I think what this comes down to is the potting soil. I potted the lemon at a time I knew very little about Citrus and the mix I used was mostly wood chips with some compost I bought at a nursery. So I want to change out the potting mix. So my question is: What would be a good mix for citrus?

Materials I have on hand:

Peat Moss
Worm Castings

Would azomite be sufficient enough for providing trace minerals to Citrus? I was looking at some 10% chelated iron, but azomite has like 67 trace minerals and about 1.67% iron in it. Also, anyone care to share their fertilizing regimen.


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I also got lime and sulfur on hand if the Citrus needs a PH adjustment.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 5:55PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

No, azomite will not be sufficient.

The ingredients you listed will not make a suitable citrus mix. Perlite is the only one of those ingredients that I would recommend.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 1:46PM
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What would be a suitable Citrus mix?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 2:37PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

A mix that is coarse, porous, durable, well-aerated, free-draining. This means that the particulate needs to be gritty, with most particles in the 1/8 to 1/4 inch range. In zone 9b, you have a bit more leeway in that your warm weather will mitigate some of the issues associated with heavier, more moisture-retentive mixes.

Many of us use bark-based mixes that are amended with small fractions of perlite, pumice, turface, potting mix, et cetera. Fafard's "Nursery Mix" is reportedly very good off the shelf. "Orchid Mix" with some tinkering can be decent as well.

Most "Citrus mix" is peat-based, however, so you'd want to avoid that...or else heavily amend it with coarse perlite.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 2:48PM
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Cool, thanks. I will go do a little shopping around.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 3:55PM
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