Dwarf Citura Tangerine Growth

Forest-fan(8a South Carolina Sand)December 14, 2011


I have a patio Dwarf Citura Tangerine and I am having trouble getting it to grow. Maybe I should be happy that it has not died...it's fine...it's happy not growing it seems. I place it in the recommended light in the summer and water it as needed, not soaking it. In the winter I bring it into the office and place it behind some other plants where I have a flourescent plant light, and I mist it, so it's not getting bright unfiltered light. I water it as needed and use the citrus/cactus mix for soil.

When I first got the plant in the mail a couple years ago it had 8 leaves and was just a few inches tall. Now it is probably 5-6 inches wide and 6-7 inches tall. And it's a sparse plant. I looked up pruning to see if that might generate new growth and that looks like it's not the answer.

Any ideas on how I can get my plant to grow, branch and leaf out? I'm starting to give up on the idea of fresh tangerines.

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You don't mention fertilizer. A good balanced citrus food applied according to label several times per year is essential for growth; without food, the plant will just stay as it is as long as it can survive.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 10:39AM
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Forest-fan(8a South Carolina Sand)

This is the only plant that I use Miracle Grow soil with. It is the only way that I could get it to grow. I thought that since there is fertilizer in the Cactus/Citrus Miracle Grow soil that I cannot add any?
Maybe I should scrap that soil and fertilize. What do you suggest?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 10:51AM
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I am not a container expert; but there are lots of them here who can give you advice. I am not a big fan of any of the Miracle Grow products; but that is a personal bias; I do know that whatever fert was in your mix has been used up long ago. Don't worry about changing the mix, if your plant is happy; but DO get some citrus fert and begin a regular application. I think you will see your plant begin to grow again in a short time.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 11:24AM
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Forest-fan(8a South Carolina Sand)

Thank you - I will and I'll follow up and let you know.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 11:40AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a


Miracle Grow makes an awful soil product...and don't be fooled by the "Cactus/Citrus" labeling....
that product is still mostly peat moss, which is not recommended for Citrus container gardening.
You want a mix that is porous, fast-draining, and durable - something that you can thoroughly water and
fertilize, and then allow to dry. This combination will make for much happier citrus indoors during the winter.

John is correct. The small nutrient charge in the Miracle Grow expired long, long ago.
Those nutrients generally last 3 - 6 months at best. So, yes, it is time to begin fertilizing.
However, since this is winter, you'll want to fertilize at a reduced rate - maybe half-strength.
Most plants use nutrients in a 3:1:2 ratio, so it's good to select a fertilizer with the same ratio,
which helps reduce waste and also helps prevent salt accumulation in your soil. I favor a product
by Dyna-Gro called Foliage Pro 9-3-6. Some consider it a bit light on nitrogen for citrus, but the fact
that all the micro-nutrients are included more than makes up for that. Also, I mix Osmocote into my
potting mix, as well as Dolomitic Garden Lime which provides Calcium and Magnesium in the proper ratio.

Move your tree into brighter, more direct light.

Re-pot your tree in late Spring, between growth flushes, into a slightly larger container.
If you find that the tree is root-bound, you'll know that, too, was contributing to its lack of growth.

There'll be lots of help when you're ready to re-pot.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 12:20PM
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The conventional wisdom says citrus absorbs fertilizer at a 5-1-3 ratio NPK; but for some heavy bearers like Meyer lemon, you have to kick up the P and K or you will just grow pretty green plants with little fruit. You'll also have to address essential minerals like Iron, Zinc, Sulfur, Calcium, Magnesium, and maybe Manganese; for my garden trees, I put a good foliar every 2 weeks; because they compete with other garden plants and citrus are not good competitors. I like Bayer Bayfolan Forte; but there are others equal or maybe better... again, the container gurus here can give you better advice.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 2:45PM
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Forest-fan(8a South Carolina Sand)

Wow, thanks for the great info @greenman28. I love details!! I'll start helping my little buddy out pronto! And @Johnmerr thanks for the extra input!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2011 at 5:51PM
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My tangerine is dying, applied some citrus fertilizer last week but still no help. Last year it was healthy and produced normal fruits this year it's dying and fruits are tiny, see attached pics. Any suggestions on how to save this baby? Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 7:38PM
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more images to above post

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 7:41PM
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close up pix

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 7:46PM
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molewacker z9b Napa CA (No.SFBay)(9b Danville E(SF)Bay CA)

It looks extremely dry. What is that granular material surrounding the trunk? Where are you located in the country? What are the temperatures? How do you water?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 11:35PM
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