Total Leaf Loss - How to recover?

MattByc(9b)September 29, 2012

I am growing citron (similar to lemon) in plastic containers outdoors in Arizona. Just left town for a week (September) and had neighbor promise to water them. Unfortunately, they weren't watered while temperatures soared to over 100 degrees.

The plants suffered from significant dryness, compounded by a nasty spider mites infiltration.

A few of the young trees lost ALL of their leaves and they are looking rather sickly/yellow.

I watered the soil, sprayed them down with horticultural oils, released ladybugs, and am now at a loss as to how to ensure they recover. This has happened before, and the plants died and did not recover.

What if anything can I do to spur their regrowth of leaves at this time of year (end of summer)?

I know I should avoid fertilizing with anything, even though I feel they could use nitrogen (those with some regrowth show a nitrogen deficiency in the new leaves). Can it help to prune them? If so, how and by how much? If I prune, is there anything (like a cream, vaseline, syrup) to apply to the tree?

Thanks for your help! If this has been discussed earlier, please point me to the discussion.

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I just heard of a similiar situation and the recommendation was to encourage root growth more than nitrogen for leaves, if it doesn't have any leaves you could burn the plant because it doesn't need much. A bit like burning a seedling.
Don't remember the name of the root growth product.

If it lost everything the plant could be toast no matter what you do.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 2:34AM
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As long as their is life in the twigs and branches, then they will recover.

I would use a good root stimulator and water it properly. Keep them in a very sunny morning or late afternoon location and watch hope it comes back.

Let's just hope they didn't dry them out so bad, that the roots dried out severely, or died. The roots will just not work and rot away as soon as water touches them.

If you start loosing branches, cut them off leaving the good ones behind. If you don't loose any, keep them on. If you loose them all, then, it's over:-(


    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 12:21PM
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Thank you for the advice.

I will try some root stimulating Superthrive. Has anyone used this product? I am bit skeptical but it was the only such product at my local hardware store.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 4:11PM
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Super thrive is Vitamin B1. Vitamin B1 has shown that in some lab tests it can stimulate root growth. However, every study I have every seen done on plants planted in the garden, B1 doesn't make a lick of difference.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 4:41AM
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RyanLo(NC 7B)

I would suggest you invest in automatic watering system, they are fairly easy to setup and inexpensive. This way you don't have to rely on anyone to water. Program it, test it, and you are good to go.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 8:25AM
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