I think my husband may have killed my Tarocco

junebug20(Sunset 18 / USDA 10a)September 3, 2011

To preface, I have read the FAQ for citrus and read through some other posts, but I haven't found my answer. Thank you in advance to anyone willing to help.

I have a Tarocco blood orange tree that was planted in a half whisky barrel last year. It has grown nicely since then with no issues other than the oranges falling off the tree, but I understand that they are notorious for not holding the fruit very well.

Anyway, my husband and two-year-old son have taken to watering this tree a lot lately and now the tree has drooping leaves; is dropping leaves; the soil is wet, though no standing water; and basically just looks very sad. Oh and it has the early signs of powdery mildew. I am pretty sure it is powdery mildew because it has been very hot and humid and things are getting overwatered. Also the big leaf hydrangea is covered in it and the lilac has some too.

What should I do? Can it be salvaged? My husband seems to think that the sun will just dry out the soil, but it has been a few days and it is still wet. He also did this to a new Bearss lime tree.

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i would pull the tree out and check the roots for rot. if you see brown mushy roots, rinse all the soil off the roots. then sterilize a pair of scissors and trim off the rotten roots. sterilize the scissors afterwards so you don't spread it around.

i've read you could dust with cinnamon, or use a diluted hydrogen peroxide spray or an anti fungal spray for root rot. no personal experience.

if there is root rot, your soil is contaminated and should be thrown away. bleach/wash your barrel and let it sit in full sun for a few days. or throw it away and get a new pot.

use a well draining medium. you could use Al's mix, or use a store bought mix, but add extra perlite to it.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 3:25AM
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June: I am sorry to hear of this. I hope what Houston has said helps you.

Good luck


    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 8:45PM
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junebug20(Sunset 18 / USDA 10a)

Thank you for the suggestions/comments, everyone.

It appears there is NO root rot and the roots actually smelled earthy and healthy. They looked normal too.

For now, my husband drilled a few holes into the bottom of the whisky barrel and we have it on a new barrel mover (the other cheap one broke) and the water is draining. We also added some new soil and hope he perks up soon.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 5:04PM
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