Dwarf Oro Blanco HELP!

GoatNoiseJuly 21, 2014


I am panicking about whether I killed my Oro Blanco tree. I also have a bearss lime and a sweet naval orange, both of which are doing beautifully and producing fruit for the record. My oro blanco is not so good. I usually buy my dwarf trees bearing fruit but this one I decided to take a chance on since it was the only oro blanco that I could find and it appeared to be in excellent health.

A few days ago we had a very big windstorm swept through my area and it knocked over my oro blanco tree, the other two were still standing. I noticed probably within an hour or two and stood it back up. I have been watering only when the top inch or two of soil get dry (about every 3-4 days depending on weather). Two days ago I went outside to check on my trees and ALL of the oro blanco leaves were curled in on themselves and looking dry and shriveled though the leaves were still green. I ran water through the soil for about 3-5 minutes because I heard the salt content can build up when it gets dry. I also read the leaves would start to fall off over the next day or two. The leaves are almost all gone and I am worried I somehow killed my little friend.

The branches are all green still and have a slight amount of bend. Any tips? Will it survive? How long will it take for the foliage to come back? What should I be doing in the meantime? I should also note I bought all my dwarf trees from Home Depot and they are about 3-3.5 feet high with an inch diameter trunk, 5g pot, I haven't repotted any of them yet. I can take the tree back for a refund but I know they will just throw it away when they get it and I would like to give it a fighting chance before I send it to it's grave.

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Photos, please. Sounds like you may have some water retention issues, as those trees are not designed to stay in the grower pots and soil for too long (designed to be planted in the ground). So, I would recommend re-potting your trees with a good, well-draining potting mix. If you search for "511" or "Gritty Mix" on this forum, you will get the formulas for some great, home made potting mixes. You should be then watering regularly. Testing the soil an inch or two down will only tell you if the soil is dry at the top. Not what's going on at the bottom of a pot. If water is being retained at the bottom, it will eventually rot the roots, and you'll kill your trees. Once you re-pot, you should be fertilizing regularly. Most container growers on this forum prefer to use Dyna Gro's Foliage Pro with every watering, as well as a high quality slow release product such as Osmocote Plus. A liquid fertilizer will help to reduce the build up of salts, which can burn your tree's roots. Flushing your citrus out occasionally is a good idea, but only if your potting medium drains well enough. Your fertilizer should be as close to a 5-1-3 NPK ratio as possible, along with all the micronutrients.

Post photos so we can help you further.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 10:14AM
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Here is a pic. It has since lost more leaves. Is it possible the soil was draining too well? I really don't know what's wrong with it. I am hoping it isn't a lost cause and I will see new growth on it. The base of some of the leaves have stayed green and healthy with the tips crunchy.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 11:01PM
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Here's a better pic. It is from my cell phone sorry about the rotation

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 11:11PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

It's recovering, and it was badly, badly dried out. It may be root bound (grapefruit and grapefruit hybrids can be pretty precocious growers), so I would pot up into a pot twice the size. Put in the shade, water appropriately. When you start to see new leaf flush, start fertilizing. Once the tree is clearly recovering with lots of new leaves, start to put into the sun slowly, until it is in full sun. If you nurse it carefully back to life, it will survive.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:04AM
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Thank you so much Patty. I put it in shade yesterday and it seems much happier today. The small parts of the leaves that are left are green and alive looking again. I have hope it will be back to its beautiful self eventually. I will take your advice and buy a bigger pot and make a batch of soil tomorrow to repot this weekend. Glad I didn't give up on it. Pretty new to this citrus tree thing.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:22PM
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Follow up! I haven't repot the tree yet, but I have pulled it into the shade and water it more. Today I noticed the leaves are growing back! So happy I didn't take it back now.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:07PM
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