Calamondin deficiency

econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)February 11, 2013

I have a calamondin ctirus tree in my yard that is very healthy and vigorous. The problem is that the leaves make it look like the tree is suffering from some type of nutrient deficiency. I was hoping someone could help me identify what the problem is.

Thanks,
Tom

This post was edited by econ0003 on Mon, Feb 11, 13 at 13:52

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Tom, looks like our typical Manganese deficiency we tend to see this time of year, when our weather turns cold (and possibly zinc, and less frequently iron). You can try applying a micronutrient foliar spray, such as GroMore Citrus Grower's Blend, or apply Peter's S.T.E.M. as a soil soak. You can also try to acidify the water just a bit with 1 Tbsp of vinegar to 1 gallon of water with the S.T.E.M. to improve uptake (this is our issue - slightly alkaline soils in combination with colder temps tends to lock out some of the micronutrients, mainly Manganese). This was recommended to me by Dr. Lazaneo, who was the San Diego Master Gardener Horticultural Advisor (he just retired last summer, which the MG program will miss his legacy.)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:58PM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

Thanks Patty.

I have noticed that it is more visible in the winter when temperatures get cold. Where can I buy Peter's S.T.E.M in San Diego? Do most nurseries carry it?

Tom

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 3:16PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Well, take a deep breath when you go to buy it, Tom. It's what commercial citrus orchardists use, so it comes in quantity (I believe 25 lb. bags). Grangetto's carries it, and I would imagine any orchard supply store might as well.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 5:25PM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

I bought the seed for my tall fescue lawn in bulk from Grangettos. Much better seed than the junk they sell at Home Depot. I'll have to head over there to see if they have Peter's S.T.E.M.

I am OK with a 25 lb bag. Those small containers of GroMore Citrus Grower's Blend don't last very long for me. It seems seems so expensive for what little you get.

This post was edited by econ0003 on Mon, Feb 11, 13 at 19:13

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:10PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Yes, Grangetto's is our "gem" in San Diego county for sure. I try to buy my fertilizer there, as I can get 40 lb. bags, which provide a cost savings. They will carry Grow Power products which I really like. Has a very large amount of humic acid and humus in it, which is very helpful for our thinner soils here. I'm on nearly all DG, so adding this to my soils helps to promote better biodiversity in my topsoil (and help to create topsoil, which I don't have a lot of, along with the mulch I put down every few years.)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:45AM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

Patty I think I may have the same DG soil that you have. I did a soil test 5 years ago when I bought my house and it looked like about 90% DG and 10% clay. It was basically concrete in the summer when it dried out. Impossible to dig.

I have put down about about 20+ yards of free mulch around my fruit trees since then and the soil is gradually turning darker, lots of earth worms. More like the soil I was used to when I lived in the midwest.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:22PM
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johnmerr(11)

To the OP... if you can't grow Calamondin, give up on any other citrus; Calamondin is like a weed; it is soooo forgiving. It is like raising goats to learn about raising something like sheep or cows... even a fool can grow goats.
Not implying you are a fool; only that if you have problems growing Calamondin, do not try any of the more sensitive citrus.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:07PM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

My Calamondin seems much more sensitive to the cold weather (brings on yellowing of the leaves) than my other citrus. Not sure why. It is the only citrus I have on a standard rootstock. Maybe that is why?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:12AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

John, our cold temps seem to affect my variegated Calamondin. I see more leaf drop with them than most of my other cultivars, mainly my younger trees. They revive themselves, but every winter I see the same thing. And, we get this Manganese chlorosis with just about all our citrus at this time of year due to our soils being deficient in Manganese, as well as being almost too well draining and lacking organic materials. I've had extensive discussions with Dr. Lazaneo about this, and we all see it, including our few commercial citrus growers, too. Our citrus always recover - it's a temporary condition due to a combination of a few things that all come together in the winter: colder temps, rain, soil pH around 7.0 to 7.6 (more prominent in areas with pH's towards the 7.6 range), DG soils, and lower Manganese levels. Winter creates the "perfect storm" for us to have Manganese deficiency appear. I grow over 60 different varieties of citrus, so obviously, this isn't deterring me :-) Or Tom for that matter. Even though the Calamondin is a vigorous and easy citrus cultivar, it can have its own issues, and it does tend to show the deficiency more prominently than other cultivars. My oranges across the board do just fine. My pummelos, limes and some of my mandarins tend to show this Manganese deficiency on occasion. Putting down S.T.E.M. in December, and again in later January/early February can help. Also, I put down Osmocote Plus on one of my lime trees in November as an experiment to see if a slow release fertilizer with micros helped, and the tree has almost no signs of chlorosis at at this year. So, not sure if it's due to simply being a year older, or if the Osmocote Plus was responsible for the improvement.

And Tom is no fool. He is very sharp, and knows what he's doing. Tom, you have described my soil to a "T". Funny story, I was trying to have my gardener dig some holes for a few extra stone fruit. He came back and told me "no way, you've got a big boulder in that area, can't dig any holes." Which could be true, as we have many really huge boulders on our property. I was so disappointed. Told my husband, and he said, "no way." I tried to dig a hole with a pick ax, and could not get more than maybe 3 inches down, and it did feel a lot like I was hitting a rock. Dave dragged our the impact shovel and put the chisel tool on it. Sure enough, he was right. 6" down, the chisel broke through. We had 6" of the hardest hard pan I've ever seen. What's so weird, is if it rains, it's like butter. Crazy stuff.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:15AM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

That is a funny story Patty. I almost killed myself digging holes for my trees in the first summer at my house. I didn't know any better at the time. Looking back I would have been much better off digging in the winter. Like you said the soil magically turns from concrete into butter in rainy weather.

This post was edited by econ0003 on Wed, Feb 13, 13 at 0:30

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:18AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Could be, Tom. I'm not sure why this is so with the Calamondin. I guess in my mind I had it grouped with kumquats since it has kumquat in its genetics, but this obviously appears not to be the case for me, as the two cultivars handle cold temps very differently in my yard. UC Riverside Citrus Variety Collection states the Calamondin is "strongly cold-resistant." Not so much in my yard! I am not sure what rootstock my Calamondin are on. I suspect Carrizo, as they are staying very small. Maybe even C35. I know the variegated version is less vigorous than the green cultivar, as well, and possibly less cold-resistant.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:37AM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

Patty, I am surprised that yours has stayed small. I have to prune mine aggressively to keep it around 8-9'. It wants to go straight up so I top it all the time. I should have probably gotten mine on something like C35.

This post was edited by econ0003 on Wed, Feb 13, 13 at 12:00

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 11:54AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

I think it may be due to being variegated. Most variegated citrus cultivars are less vigorous (less chlorophyll available for growth). And yes, mine are typically columnar in their growth habit, and I'm always trying to prune them to be a little rounder. I have them primarily as ornamentals along the side of my driveway. They are very pretty. My tallest one is only about maybe 5' tall, and it has to be at least 8 years old, now.

You can see the two older Variegated Calamondins in the photo, and if you look carefully, you'll 2 of the 3 newer calamondins. The newer ones I planted about 3 years ago. They are still tiny. The 3rd one is out of the photo, to the left, a bit behind a very large Foxtail Agava.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 4:09PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Tom, pretty stone fruit next to your Calamondin. Is that recently taken? My Desert Delight nectarine is in full bloom and has been for a few weeks.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 4:49PM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

Patty,

Nice looking landscape. I haven't seen the variegated ones before. I bought mine mostly for my wife. She is Filipino and they love Calamondin.

The stone fruit next to the Calamondin is an Eva's pride peach tree(picture taken this morning).I planted both trees about three years ago. The Eva's Pride always seems to bloom in January and sets a ridiculous amount of fruit. There were 2-300 peaches last year on a 2 year tree that was thinned out several times.

Tom

This post was edited by econ0003 on Wed, Feb 13, 13 at 19:30

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 5:41PM
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