citrus leaves turning yellow

surfpnsbch(z8 NWFL)September 17, 2006

my satsuma and meyer lemon leaves are turning yellow. Help! They are both young plants having been purchased this season. I fertilized them with a balanced fertilizer when I potted them. Do I need to use citrus fertilizer now?? or what?

Thanks, Sara

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bencelest(z9 CA)

You are killing your citrus with kindness.
You should not have fertilized your plant when you repotted them. The tree were not ready to accept those fertilizers because they were stressed already. You should have waited until you saw new growth before fertilizing.
Your plants are just showing you their dissatisfaction. If you add more fertilizer now they will feel more stress and they will show you again. If they can't cope they will die.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 10:34AM
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Sara, make sure you're not overwatering..overwatering is the number one killer of plants. You want the soil to dry between waterings. Do you allow it to dry? Toni

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 3:17PM
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surfpnsbch(z8 NWFL)

Thanks for your comments. I've been very careful about watering (I have a water meter and don't water until it shows dry about 3/4 down in the pot) and am pretty sure that is not the problem. When I bought the plants, the nurseryman told me I should "punch" them with fertilizer, which is why I added slow release fertilizer to the pots. Would it help to try to leach some of the fertilizer out? Or would that much water make it worse?
I suppose I just need to let them try to make it on their own at this point and give them some benign neglect.
Think that will help?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 6:54PM
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Sarah, do you have a pic of your citrus? So many things can cause yellow leaves. Lack of nitrogen, lack of minerals (especially iron) overwatering, underwatering, and insects. Toni

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 9:46PM
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bencelest(z9 CA)

I was going to follow that the best way to dilute the fertilizers and perhaps other salts and things that causes yellowing is to soak your soil with running water for an hour or so without dripping over the pot. Sometimes I run my water overnight until I soak it and get rid of what is causing yellowing. I saved many a plant this way.
Overwatering does not happenned overnight. You have to let the soil soaked many many days perhaps weeks before the roots really get rotten. Overwatering is not the cause. It is the lack of oxygen the roots need in order to breath that cause the malady. Too much stagnant water in the soil overtime will prevent the roots to breath.
Underwatering you'll see the leaves wilt beforehand before the leaves turned yellow.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 1:29AM
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Hi,someone above mentioned that you should not fertilise
when you repot and wait for new growth.Well,that goes against
all the advice i have read on this forum from the likes of
millet etc. Their advice on repotting with all mixes including
chc chips included osmocote slow release fert added at potting time.This is what i have read several times eg 4 parts
chc.1 part peat,dolomite and slow release osmocote and then
wait for new growth before adding a soluble feed solution at
half strength.Are you saying we should not add osmocote to
our mixes? I read they are more beneficial if incorporated
into the soil,rather than on top of the mix.
I have found 6 parts pine bark and 6 parts medium pumice ,1 part perlite with slow
release fert to be an excellant growing medium which
provides the aeration in the mix you are after,most of the
mixes you buy for containers dont drain well trees have been going nuts in this mix.Orchid mix is good too but
you need to add some inorganic components(air/water porous)
to the mix.Pumice and perlite fit the bill.water should come
out of the mix very down side,it dries out quick
and you need to water and feed more often but you will be
rewarded with fast root growth which will occupy the container quickly.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 7:27AM
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bencelest(z9 CA)

What you are saying are all true and to the point. And you have a point there. Sara might have put soil that is not well draining.
I am not saying I am an expert like Millet, Joe, etc.... Take my advice like a grain of salt.
I am just letting you guys know from my own experience and from what I read that I follow.
Slow release fertilizer is just like that- slow release. The fertilizers are slowly releasing its chemical to the plant because they are coated with something. So the plant is not stressed. I should have said also that wait until new growth emerges before fertilizing with lower strength.
But Sarah's question is why is her citrus leaves are yellowing. My answers are just to justify my answers.
From my experience.
Sorry guys if my answers did not give true meaning with what I intended.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 9:02AM
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bencelest(z9 CA)

But then again I ask a question: Where can you buy pumice and perlite? There are none availlable in my area.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 1:55PM
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bencelest(z9 CA)

I take my word back. I found some.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 5:13PM
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Lol,No offence.I am lucky that pummice is easy to get in Auckland New Zealand.It rains a lot here and that has caused
a lot of problems for me with container mix for citrus.I
have killed so many dwarf citrus!!!
I have tried chc/peat,chc/coir,container mix with water storage granules,orchid mix.They have all caused trouble because of lack of aeration to the roots and some just soggy
and never dry out.We dont get the wicked heat in the summer
that you guys get.Your trees benny are a testament to your
skill in creating the ideal mix and growing contions for
your neck of the woods.Your trees are awesome.
I have killed =grapefruit,2 clementines,tangelo,lemon,orange.So I have done well at drowning my citrus!!!!
However,for all you people out there that live in a place
where it rains all the time,except summer,i have found what
is the best mix for me=
4 parts chunky bark,4 parts pea sized pummice,1 part perlite
and one part coir plus osmocote slow release citrus fert.
I cation exchange the coir to be safe.
The moment i transplant into this mix,the tree starts to
grow and it drains great and dries steadily and never remains soggy.This mix is very chunky.
When my trees look as impressive as yours,then i will be
proud.It gets expensive when you snuff your trees all the
time!My clementine i bought recently had some yellow leaves
down low when i bought it from the store but after going into my mix,its been putting out lots of new growth.Cheers
to all.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 5:04AM
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Can I spray for leaf miner when the lemon tree is blooming flowers?


    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 1:48PM
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I live in Birmingham Alabama and I have a potted Persian lemon. It's leaves turning yellow too. I do not know it because of cold weather or lack of minerals. I feed it with regular fertilizer. What type of fertilizer has all the ingredients that my tree need? Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 12:33PM
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