Calamondin Leaf Drop

detroitmi6August 7, 2012

I have a 1.5 year old Calamondin tree. It sits in a 10" clay pot in a south-facing window, and until recently, seemed to be thriving. It had just put out a large flush of new growth and approximately a dozen flowers, which is the largest number of blooms I've had yet. The tree's first fruit is just getting ready to mature. Ideally the tree would move outside for the summertime, but my only outdoor space is north-facing and doesn't get direct sunlight, so it remains indoors year-round.

I recently noticed a moderate scale infestation on the tree. I took the tree out onto the porch and manually removed all the scale I could see. I followed up by misting the tree with a solution of 1 part rubbing alcohol, 5 parts water, and a small squirt of dishwashing soap. I let the tree dry off, and brought it inside to recover. I put it on the dining room table, where I could easier keep an eye on it. The tree sat there for 1.5 days, and then I placed it back in its usual location.

The scale problem seems to have been eliminated. However, the tree also started to drop leaves. I didn't worry at first, but it has dropped about 30% of its leaves. Other leaves have gotten brown around the edge, and the tree is still losing 2 or 3 leaves per day.

The tree gets watered when the top inch or so of soil is dry - approximately 2-3 times per week in the hot summer months & about once per week in the winter.

Any ideas as to what might be causing this?

This branch lost most of its leaves

Browning leaves

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

Why is your Calamondin tree inside? Can you leave it outside during the summer? Citrus really need more sunlight than your window can provide. It should be outside all spring, summer and fall if possible, as long as there are no threats of freezing temps. The spots may be due to some chemical burning from your scale treatment, or possibly fertilizer salt burn. You don't mention how frequently you're fertilizing your tree and with what. Also, what potting soil you're using. Your soil may not be draining well enough and causing a build up of salts which can cause these burn marks on the leaves as well as leaf drop (not enough sun can also cause leaf drop).

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 4:33PM
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I can't leave the tree outside because I live in the city & don't have a place to put it outside - I literally don't have a yard. It is in a window that faces south, so it gets as much sunlight as the often dreary Michigan weather will allow for.

I have been fertilizing the tree with a commercially available organic citrus fertilizer. I fertilize every four months per the directions on the package. I last fertilized in May, so I don't think it's fertilizer burn. There could be some burning from the scale treatment, though, curiously, many of the leaves that have fallen are 100% green & show no signs of distress.

I'm not sure what type of soil it is planted in, but it does drain quite well, so I don't think the problem is root rot, though the build up of salts/minerals is a possibility.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 12:59AM
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