Reverse curled leaves, Meyer Lemon

woodlands73April 1, 2013


This poor Meyer Lemon is potted, and has a thin layer of crushed red volcano rock on the bottom of the pot to help drainage. It gets watered 1-2 glasses of water a day, in full sun, and I use a granular fertilizer every 3-4 months. I also spray a supplemental micronutrient monthly during the summer and fall seasons.

The leaves are bending backwards, and severly curling outward to the spine of the leaf. Some are rolling up completely. I've never seen bugs on this plant. The leaves are dark green.

This spring, it has lost almost all of its leaves, has shown LOTS of flowers, but NO new flush of leaves at all. It has little lemons all over, but i dont know how long they will stay in this condition. I am thinking of getting the Foliage Pro and begin a treatment process by its directions.

Please advise, I feel terrible.

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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

First break off all the lemons. They will pull more energy from the plant than the leaves can produce and drain it's resources.

Potted citrus trees need to be soaked thoroughly and let to drain and eventually to dry out but not totally before soaking again. The watering every day can cause a lot of root rot problems as well as dry soil problems. Potting soil is so porous and free draining that the water will flow through it so fast that the majority of soil doesn't get wet and the other soil keeps getting saturated and root rot sets in. I set my trees in a bucket of water for up to 15 minutes before taking them out to drain. I place them on a brick in a water collection tray for the water to drain. It is important the the pot's drain holes are above the dish's water level so the water can not be pulled back in. This prevents root rot and sour soil. As for the flowers, I don't know if it is important to keep or remove them. Some one else will have to help with starting a good watering cycle.
Good luck

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 3:46PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I agree that a thorough watering, followed by a drying period, would be much better than watering in sips every day.

I'm also a big fan of Foliage Pro, and Osmocote.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:27PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will try the soaking theory, and will order Foliage Pro. I'm also thinking, I have not been diligant about using unfiltered water. Since we have a softener on the house water system, I wonder if removing the "nutrients" from the water and softening with salt is having a bad effect on the plant. I need to by-pass the softener when getting water for the plant. I do not, however, see any salt damage to the leave tips, so this may not be such a big issue.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 9:38AM
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Using water from a water softener is a HUGE issue; it will kill your plant quite quickly. You would be amazed how many plants are killed by using water from a water softener; it is literally putting salt on your plant every time you water.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 12:05PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

At this point I would say flush a good many gallons of water through to flush the salt and find another source for water.

Just ,think what the salt is doing to you. Has your hair started curling lately or turning gray at the tips.

We citrus'ers have to take good care of our selves. There is just not of us around yet

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 12:41PM
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Thanks all,
I flushed the pot with 3 pitchers of non-filtered water. Thank goodness the softener is right next to the plant just outside the garage door, and there's a by-pass spicket on the back side for "fresh" water. I ordered Foliage Pro, and am going to look for Meyermike's recipe for FP and vinegar. I hope since everything is still a nice dark green, I will see some new leaves pop out. It is AGAIN budding all over the place. Had to pick off about 30 fruit from last month's budding.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 9:09AM
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Sometimes the obvious is not seen; your plant looks like you have been putting salt on it; and when I see that, I always ask the simple question about water softeners.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 11:16AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Good catch!


    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 7:09PM
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Hi Josh, Spring yet in your hills? The water softener issue is a personal one that goes back many years; I had a friend in Chico, where I lived then... and every time I gave her a plant it died. One day she asked me to come and look at one of her dying plants, and I said, "If I didn't know you better, I would think you are putting salt on your plants".
Only on the drive home did it finally hit me that they had a water softener, and that was EXACTLY what she was doing. After that, plants started to actually live; and the florist from which she regularly ordered flowers, stopped getting complaints about poor quality flowers that didn't last .

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 11:29PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

I would have never considered a water softener a problem. if I had not read this. It was only my meiwa kumquat tree and the advice from other through the garden web citrus forum that enlightened me to the idea that impurities in the water would build up over the years and could kill the trees. I was not aware that water softeners put salt into the water. I now know why my wifes house plants always die in a few years. Thanks to all of you for your help and advice. I am also learning how to move pictures and supply links on the www. through this forum. Hear's a link to my 8-mega-pix pictures presentation of my meiwa kumquat tree



Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 1:28PM
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Poncircus, so glad you and I learned something; makes me feel like my thread was worthwhile.
Today I received my foliage pro and am still searching for meyermikes fertilizing ratio of FP to vinegar.
I hope to see results soon; will post pics here.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 7:00PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

Hi woodlands73

I believe the ratio of vinegar to Water is 1 TBL vinegar to one gallon.of water. The FP will be measured to water also. The FP wont' be measure to vinegar. I believe meyermike can be reached through email that is listed on his portfolio. Just click on his name to open his chart and follow the instructions.

meiwa kumquat tree from seed 1st birthday along with equipment used to grow it.
Click on the picture to open my display of equipment on photobucket. use keyboard arrow keys to navigate

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 12:20PM
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Thanks Poncirus, haven't been able to find that info. You're a big help. Looked thru your pics, never thought about open-ended pipe for a pot, lol.
Btw, when you soak your potted plants is it THAT simple to get them out of the pot, soak and back in? Can I pick it up by the trunk?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 9:07PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

One table spoon vinegar to one gallon water is correct. Add The FP to the water solution per instruction. I like to keep my vinegar and fertilizer separate As for flushing the tree you can place the tree and pot into a tub deep enough to completely submerge the root ball. Give it about 15 minutes to completely soak. Remove the tree and pot out of the water and then pour another 5 or more gallons through. let it drip dry for an hour then lightly water with a vinegar water solution only.NEVER LET ANY VINEGAR TOUCH THE LEAVE. This should clean out any salts build up and give the tree time to stabilize. Wait till the soil dries some, Water the tree with the foliage pro per instruction with out vinegar. this way you can get it on the leaves When you water I read that you want about 10%-20% run through this will keep the bad stuff from building up. Use rain water or untreated tap water. The vinegar has worked wonders for me on my kumquat trees. If I had any idea how hard citrus is to grow I would have never started. I do have to admit they sure are very attractive and I will keep them till maturity or death. I am moving my trees out for the summer. While none of what i am doing will fit your case the following link might be interesting. I know very little about fertilizing citrus so listen closely to others. My knowledge is in gardening with garbage---SHOESTRING-BUDGET----Thank for looking and listening an good luck

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 10:00PM
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Finally, a new flush of leaves have come. I have been treating with one gallon treated with vinegar a week, and one gallon treated with FP a week, alternating weeks. The leaves get droopy between treatments, am wondering if even though the label said full sun, the plant just cant take the day's full sun in this size pot. I have attached a picture. You can see I have about doubled the leaves now with the new flush, but a few of the new flush have begun to reverse curl; most are still growing well. I have been using the neighbors water to water the plant.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 8:11AM
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