Citrus Food

citrusfreakSeptember 4, 2010

Has anyone ever used Citrus Tone by Espoma? If so, how often and how much do you use this to feed your potted citrus plants?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ashleysf(9 San Jose,CA)

In this forum, the general recommendations have been to use all chemical fertilizers for potted citrus. Infact, any organic additions to a pot is supposed to compact your growing medium and cause all kinds of trouble to your plants.
That being said, I have been using either CitrusTone(organic) or Vigoro (chemical) slow release fertilizers on all my potted citrus.
When I use CitrusTone, I mix it into the top 2 inches of my potting soil mix. I use 1.5 tablespoons every 4-6 weeks on my 5 gallon pots. My pots are outside in the California weather and do not have any issues that indoor potted citrus have.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I use Citrus Tone, but not by itself. I apply about 1 tablespoon to my 21-quart container, and about twice that to my 32-quart containers, every month-ish. But I also have (and use) blood meal, bone meal, liquid potassium, and liquid seaweed.

You should know, however, that while my plants grow like mad growing things, I'm having a persistent issue with fruit drop. I think I'm missing some important trace element. Recently I bought a liquid supplement from the hydroponics store that has a wide assortment of trace minerals, and I'm applying that once a week. We'll see if this fall's blooms retain fruit. But I don't think Citrus Tone alone contains everything. I don't know what it's missing, but it's missing something.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 10:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Displacer. I use to use citrus tone until I found myself wondering why plants still had problems...I read the ingredients and found it was lacking Iron, a big must for citrus, nickel,born,and many other nutrients..

This I know, Born (B) is in
Important in sugar translocation and carbohydrate metabolism.
Particularly needed at the location of active cell division.
Plays an important role in flowering, pollen-tube growth, "fruiting processes", N metabolism, and hormone activity.
Maintains Ca in a soluble form which is also a huge must, thus insuring its proper utilization.
Deficiencies may be aggravated by severe drought conditions, heavy lime applications, or irrigation with alkaline water.

This could be one of those things your trees are lacking, no? I am not sure of how much you even add to your regimend that you will need to keep fruit..

Now, I like to leave the guess work out of it and just use FP..It has everything plus more..I have about 30 difference products sitting on shelves, and always had to concoct a program by mixing them all together, and ended up with dead plants over time anyway..:-(

Hi Ash..Don't you find that this stuff clogs up your mix over time and attrack fugues gnats and little white tiny maggots or look alike tiny worms that help in rapid decomposition of dead materials?
It did for with and my two other friends..Anything organic like that from powders, to granules, crab shells, to anything that could become pasty always did over time..If not, good job..:-)


    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 9:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I don't use Citrus Tone by itself. Blood meal, being =blood=, contains a good quantity of iron, along with a large complement of trace elements, including boron. Anything you can expect to find in a cell, you will find in blood meal. You don't see these things on the label, but they are in there. I mean, it's dried animal cells.

Problem, I think, is that animal cells and plant cells don't necessarily use these elements in the same (or even similar) concentrations.

I don't like to use chemical fertilizers because I don't know what's in them. The hydroponics place in Louisville is big into organic farming, so I trust their liquids. I wouldn't trust anything like MG because what's in it? What's in FP? What's it made out of? I have no idea, and when I was looking at FP I could not discover this.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Let me know what you come up with to hold your fruit..

Thanks for the explanation. I hope you find out why the fruit won't set.
When you do, let us know..
Just curious, what exactly is your technique for those that prefer organic? Like for instance, if you were to plant a tree in a 5 gall bucket..?
What kind of mix? How much of the blood meal per container? How much of each to satisfy your plants need to increase size, a blanche between green leaves and flowering volume and so on?

Do you have to bring your plants inside for the winter? What is the structure of your growing mix after a period of how long once these ingredients are added? Do you get pest issues in the soil or on the plants ever? Does the mis compact in a short amount of time?

My Father wants to know since he is planning on growing a few Fig trees, and wants nothing to do with MG either...He says he wants to try the organic route before he uses my Fp, which he is very pleased with looking at my trees..It is the chemical verses organic thing he can't get past..He is from the Caribbean and is use to growing on ly in composts which at least he knows does not work in containers as well as the in the ground..I give him that credit lol.
If you help him succeed, I think you and him are going to be great friends..
My dad saw " while my plants grow mad" and that was it!

He is a bit older and doesn't know the computer enough to post here out of embarrassment on his own , and is willing to come here through me for your suggestions or in private..He is the only one in my family I can get to change his ways, no matter how successful I have been and no matter how many times he fails..So I figure someone can guide him since every plant that comes indoors by the following spring is dead, and he wants to start growing figs and try one citrus..

I hope Ashley doesn't mind, or you can just e-mail my dad separate..Thanks.

Have you posted any pictures of citrus yet? I can't remember...My dad I would like to see what they look like ..Thanks


    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 2:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I did upload some pics! I made a little photobucket album, too. I should add more pics to it ... I have hundreds of photos of my trees.

They could look better right now. I wasn't able to give them a lot of fertilizer while I was treating them for scale, so they spent most of the growing season without any food.

I apply fertilizer during the growing season to my 21-quart citrus tree as follows:

- 1 teaspoon of liquid potassium each month. The brand I use is Earth Juice, which is an organic brand.
- 1 or 1 1/2 tablespoons of Citrus Tone each month
- probably an equal amount of blood meal (I don't measure it, I just kind of toss a little bit onto the soil) each month
- about the same amount of bone meal once in the spring and once in the fall

Scale up or down depending on the size of your plant.

I spray them with liquid seaweed once every 1-2 weeks (the brand I use is Maxicrop) and they get the leftovers as a drench. I've just started to give them the bloom builder supplement once a week (this is the New Earth house formula). We'll see if this helps my plants hold onto their fruit!

You have to be pretty careful with the blood meal and liquid potassium. Those can get toxic fast if you use too much at once.

The longest I've left a tree in the same potting medium, so far, has been 2 years in a 21-quart container. After 2 years maybe 1 inch of the bottom of the container was a sludgy mess, and the trees didn't seem to mind this because there were healthy white roots growing into the sludge (I removed the sludge anyway). The upper 10 inches look like fresh potting mix. I attribute this sludge mainly to settling/breakdown of the potting mix rather than the fertilizers, just by the texture of it, but I could be wrong.

There is some impaction of the potting mix within the root ball, in the sense that it's not easy to pick it out with a stick, but if you spray it with a hard spray of water it will come loose. Around the edges, no impaction as far as I've ever seen.

I do bring mine indoors for the winter. Maybe we should start a new thread for that? It's getting to be that time of year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Small citrus album

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 4:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Ok..I do remember you posting them now that I see them. Thanks for the little album.....I just couldn't find them on these threads..My dad wanted to see them. I have to say your trees look great..You have fruit on a few of them too..

I just came back from a nursery and my Dad and I asked the owner there about the blood meal and cirrus tone since my dad is thinking about growing one..

I brought up the fact that your were concerned about fruit set..He did say that Blood Meal has 12% N and mixing with other organics with N might be focusing too much on green growth...I am not sure if he is right, since I could never get the organic thing to work right for me, but it made sense..Have you considered feeding your trees in the ratio talked about on this thread in which plants use their nutrients correctly?

i will link it for you and hope you enjoy..
A fantastic thread full of goodies!!

Thanks again and I will be sure to pass you post and comments to my father..:-)


Here is a link that might be useful: Container fertilizer information

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 6:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, excess vegetative growth from too much nitrogen was one of my suspects. My list above is what I've always used in the past; I may not add as much blood meal going forward. I may use it like the bone meal, and only apply it during certain months.

I'm also going to start using FE as a foliar spray in the next few weeks. I am still giving my predator mites time to do their job before I begin that, though. That will change the nutrient balance, too.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 7:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I repotted my Meyer lemon today and took the opportunity of it being away from its normal spot to take a couple of nice pictures of it. You can show these to your dad if you like.

This tree is now about 6-7 years old (I bought it as a 2-3 year old Four Winds tree) and this is the tree that had no leaves at all at the beginning of this growing season. It does really well on what I give it, as far as growth anyway. Fruit is another story.

I also took this pic of the roots:

You can see the healed blemish where the foot rot was bleeding out in the winter of 2006-2007. I think it's really interesting that the tree still has this mark on it, like a war scar. "I survived foot rot." LOL

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 6:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

From my Dad

Thank you, thank you!..

Now he just wants to know what kind of mix you use...He uses A bagged mix from Wally's that soil and his concoctions, it is no wonder he can't grow anything..He says he wishes you were his neighbor..

Any how, he does his thing, and I do my own..There was almost a war here between who is better, but he already knows and is out to beat


I saw two lights like you want at Home Depot yesterday..If you want, I can pick one up for you and send it..Just tell me the exact measurement across..The ones I saw yesterday were 8 and 1/2 inches, almost 9 across..They only had two left..Let me know asap..I think a lot of people like those lights..


    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh, goodness. If you HAVE found one I would love it. I was just in Home Depot TODAY and because people here had talked about seeing them there I looked ... and there was nothing! The reflector on mine is about 8 1/2 inches. Just make sure it has an on/off switch. Send me an email!

The potting mix I use is primarily a brand called Barky Beaver. It is mainly pine bark fines, perlite, and sand, with a little peat moss. I don't use it straight but I'm confident someone could. Problem is that the company is based out of Tennessee and doesn't deliver outside the Southern US as far as I know, so for most people it's not going to be available. That's a shame because it's very versatile for most plant purposes.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 8:53PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Which Cara Cara Orange to Choose?
I'd like to try growing this variety in a container....
Meyer Lemon tree question
I have a 3-4yr old meyer lemon tree i've kept in a...
sweet citrus trees in 2015 diary
this is my diary of my citrus trees from the last 2...
Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)
Citrus/Orange Tree in Container---Health Concerns
Hi there! So, about three years ago a friend of mine...
Grace Larkin
Help with Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree
Hello, The bottom leaves on my dwarf lemon tree are...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™