Is anything wrong with my Nagami kumquat?

theriguyDecember 21, 2013

during the spring I bought a potted Nagami Kumquat tree from a local nursery and being my first citrus(I know its not really a citrus) I had a few troubles with my choice of soil, iron deficiency and watering but after i learned from my mistakes it seemed to recover well and exploded with new growth and blooms.

Come October it started to get cold outside so I started moving it in at night and for cold days and back outside for the warm ones before bringing it in for good. I bought a 2-lamp T8 florescent fixture with full spectrum lamps and hung it about 8'' above the top of the tree since it doesn't seem to give off much heat.

Not much happened at first but after a couple weeks the older lower leaves began to turn yellow and fall off and so did many of the still small kumquats.the drop kept accelerating and even green leaves started dropping(all older leaves) leaving some of the lower twigs/branches with little to no leaves but the branches remain green. then the drop abruptly stopped and and everything seemed okay for a while. Now over the past couple weeks the leaves on the top(new leaves) started turning yellow/light green from the tips inward and I'm not sure what is causing it. Also as of last week I noticed some new growth on the top of the tree.

-live in Manitoba Canada
-tree is now in a gritty mix (3/4'' granite, spruce bark, aquarium soil) equal parts
-stopped fertilizing when i brought it indoors
-light is on 12-16 hours a day
-no actual sun light
-tree is kept at room temperature 21-23*C(70-73*F)
-give very light watering once daily to keep soil surface moist
-give heavier watering once weekly (very little drains out)
-give it a rinse in the shower once monthly to clean leaves and flush any salts
-i have checked closely for mites and other pests and found none
-it has been very cold outside lately around -25*C(-13*F) so the humidity is extremely low and I've been spraying the entire plant with water 2-3 times daily

My questions are:
is the leaf/fruit drop normal?
will the still green twigs/branches grow new leaves?
what is causing the yellowing of the newer leaves?
is it normal for it to have new growth in the winter?
is there anything I'm doing wrong?

I have attached some images of my tree below:

This post was edited by TheRiGuy on Sat, Dec 21, 13 at 2:27

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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

look very nice. You can get the light within 2 inches of the tree and it should be vertical. the light will shine into the side of the tree and the white wall will be bright enough to significantly aid the other side of the tree. Rotate the tree everyday so all sides of the tree get time with the direct light. Keep misting. I use warm to the touch water Here is a picture of my winter set up. The trees will grow well in the winter if they have the warmth light and food

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 2:39PM
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I was told on another thread misting the trees to raise the humidy is not advised and other methods(vaporizer, grouping plants together, using some water in a tray) are better ways to raise the humidity. Have u fertilized since you repotted to the gritty mix? Did you add gypsum to your mix? From what I've read you need to use foliage pro If you are not using gypsum. I also recently repotted some of my young trees into the gritty mix. I have also experienced a lot of leaf drop. However mine are still dark green showing no signs of nutrient deficiencies. I think you need to fertilize with almost every watering with this mix. One thing I forgot was to implement a wick into my pots.

Hope that helps


    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 3:45PM
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What's the reason you stopped fertilizing when you brought it indoors? It's not dormant right now, and those fruits are using up a lot of nutrients, so they should continue to be fed.

I think yellowing in the leaf edges may be related to magnesium or manganese deficiency.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 5:10PM
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as long as it has fruit on it i should feed? even in winter? if so how often should i feed with "Citrus Focus Balanced Liquid Concentrated Fertilizer"?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 8:12PM
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You should feed containerized plants unless they go dormant. Since this tree is actively growing now (and actually even fruiting), it's in need of a lot of nutrients.
I'm afraid I don't know anything about "Citrus Focus Balanced Liquid Concentrated Fertilizer," but if that's the brand that worked for you earlier in the year, I would resume the fertilizing regimen.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 10:13PM
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okay thanks for the tips

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 11:22PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

You need to be careful on indoor citrus plant feeding. Citrus needs heat, light, and a food water solution. If the plants are missing either warmth or light then food (water solution) can be harmful. The light/growing box picture above is two stories so the plants at the bottom get light 2 hours before the citrus plants on the 2nd story. This heats the floor that the citrus pots sit to about 80 F, while the lights over the citrus warms the trees to 90 F-100 F. Even this way you will have to be very careful on root feeding. I spray the foliage with a 105 F solution of 1/3 strength 30-10-10 Miracid with micros about 3 times a day. It is so dry in the winter that the stems dry out fast enough that the plants don't get sick. Click on the link below to see what a typical tree grown like this would look like. It is a 49 week old, seed grown sweetlee tangerine tree.

I realize that this setup is not what you want but having the tree in the white corner with the light in front will work closely to what I have. I would lean towards some foliar feeding with warm solution and minimal root feeding. You will get the hang of what it takes to produce fruit in the winter. I have gotten sweet delicious figs under lights. My seed grown citrus are too young to fruit.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 11:48PM
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