Citrus - Blossom and Fruit Drop.

old_eagle(7b - North Texas)December 10, 2012

I live in North Texas (Denton) and have an orange tree that is several years old.

It produced thirteen oranges in 2010, five in 2011 and six in 2012.
I plan to repot it in 5-1-1 Mix after the harvest (this month, December 2012).

My question is that last year it produced about three hundred blossoms but only six fruits.This year it produced about five hundred blossoms but only six oranges.
I recognize that this six foot tree could not support very many oranges but I think it should mature more than six.

Any help along these lines will be welcomed.

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Well, photos always help, old eagle. Waht is the cultivar? Also, how frequently your fertilizing and with what, how much sun is your tree getting, how frequently are you watering, how big is the pot to canopy size, etc. A bit more info and photos will help us to make some determinations as to why this little tree is not producing much fruit.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 4:20PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

No pictures. It is still in the pot it came in six years ago. I plan to repot it in 5-1-1 mix after the harvest. It appears very healthy. I just moved it into the garage for the winter, (temps below 26 for several days). I have fertilized with Miracle Grow monthly. It has been getting 11 hours of sun daily. The pot is 12" X 12". The cnopy is about 2-1/2 feet. I watered once or twice weekly. Will try to send pics when I learn how to get them out of the camera.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:34PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

I finally got help downloading my pictures. Attached is a photo of my orange. Hope the picture comes through & helps.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 8:24PM
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foolishpleasure

Why are you complaining you have three nice oranges I wish I have even one on my three trees.
abe

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 10:20PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Well, does sound like it needs a much larger pot to me. Not sure if you're using appropriate fertilizer, what is the NPK ratio of your Miracle Gro fertilizer? Citrus fertilizer ratio should be as close to 5-1-3 as you can get. Most container citrus folks on this forum find that Dyna Gro Foliage Pro works very well, as well as Osmocote Plus (must be the "Plus" formulation). If you could give us a full tree shot, so we can see the pot versus canopy, and the over all health of your tree, rather than just a close up, that would help a bit more :-) Not unusual for citrus trees to put out many, many more blossoms than what it can set for fruit, and as trees mature, they'll produce more fruit, so maybe a better fertilizer, with the appropriate NPK ratio for citrus plus the micros along with more root room will garner you more fruit.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 10:51PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Is it still in the same mix/potting soil it came in 6 yrs ago?

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 8:43AM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

foolish pleasure - I'm complaining because production declined dramatically.

Hoosierquilt - I measured everything as follows: Pot is 20", canopy is 44" wide & tree is 71" tall. Fertilizer used was Peters 20/20/20 and Miracle grow (composition unknown). A full tree picture is attached. Thanks Patty S.

jojosplants - Yes, it is in the potting mix in which I received it.

Sorry to be so late in responding. I needed help and also was out of town for several days.

Thanks to all for the feedback.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 4:36PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

Pictures are attached.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 9:38PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

picture attached

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 9:43PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

pic attached

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 9:48PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

My prior message with pictures did not get there so I re-posted the pictures yesterday (with some help).

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 5:06PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Bump for you Old Eagle..

;-)

Hope this helps you!!

Laura

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:05AM
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aslan89

Well others have more experience in citrus than me here but I do have plenty of experience with potted plants. If that tree has been inside that pot for six years I would certainly lean towards the problem being that it needs a bigger pot. I'm not saying you need to go buy a gigantic pot for this plant but I'm all but certain that your tree is root bound inside that pot.

This observation is based on the last picture that was posted as I can see that the leaves are large and green so it is at least getting adequate fertilizer (although I would suggest a citrus mix fertilizer as others have already covered).

Good luck :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:46AM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

Thanks to all of you who replied. I plan to root prune and repot this tree at once. It is already putting on buds & blossom buds.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 10:18AM
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lgteacher(SCal)

"You're going to need a bigger pot." (Think Jaws.) The roots of most trees extend as far as the canopy extends above ground. It is normal for citrus to produce many times more blossoms than fruit. A large orange tree can have as many as a million blossoms. Less than 5% of blossoms develop into fruit. Some varieties of citrus are alternate year bearers, which means they have lighter production every other year.

If you find the roots wrapped in a circle when you take the tree from the pot, you will need to gently spread the roots out. Otherwise the girdled roots will not spread out and your tree will remain stunted in growth.

Here is a link that might be useful: Repotting

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 10:33AM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

lgteacher - Thanks for the heads-up. The tree has already been transferred to a larger pot, about 4" bigger. I plan to root prune and repot it this week. I think I will use the same pot and get a bigger one next time.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:45PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

I have noticed on several forums that adding a teaspoon of vinegar per Gallon of water benefits many plants. Is that amount of vinegar detrimental to any plants?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 1:56PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

Patty S
Laura
Asian89
lgteacher
Thanks for all the helpful info. My trees are putting on new growth and blossom buds but I have not been able to repot because of inclement weather here. I am almost afraid to repot because some of the blossoms are ready to open.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 10:43AM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

I finally re-potted my Orange tree March 1st. I removed all the soil and root-pruned it and re-potted it in Al's 5-1-1- mix. It went into shock for a couple of days but I watered it daily and it now looks fine. It must have about 750 blossom buds on it. I hope that it sets some fruit. I also misted the leaves and blossom buds with Dyna Gro Foliage Pro @ 1/4 tsp. per gallon of water. We will see what happens.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 4:15PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

I finally re-potted my Orange tree March 1st. I removed all the soil and root-pruned it and re-potted it in Al's 5-1-1- mix. It went into shock for a couple of days but I watered it daily and it now looks fine. I also misted the leaves and blossom buds with Dyna Gro Foliage Pro @ 1/4 tsp. per gallon of water. It must have about 750 blossom buds on it. I hope that it sets some fruit.. We will see what happens.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 4:18PM
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aslan89

Did you find yourself a new pot or just stick with the old one since you trimmed the roots anyway? Did it get all those new blooms after it was transplanted? Sure sounds like it's happier now :) If you have a new picture I'd love to see the progress.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 5:22PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

asian89 -
I used the same pot since the root ball was several inches smaller than the pot even before root-pruning. The blossom buds were already on the tree but only a few of them had opened. Since I am waiting for the roots to get established in the new mix, I am hesitant to move it out to where I can take a new picture of it, but it looks unaffected.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:25PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

NOTE:
I harvested six wonderful oranges this season and gave four of them to our four adult children and my wife and I ate the other two.
My elder son shared his orange with three co-workers. They all wanted to know where he got such a delicious orange.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:35PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

I finally got back to Garden Web.

Since I re-potted my tree it almost died. Several of the smaller limbs died.

I think the problem was in not poking the potting mix into the root ball well enough. I thought that I had done a good job but found out later that I had left some air pockets in the root ball which was very much like a "CHORE GIRL" pot scrubber.

As soon as I discovered this, I tried to do a better job.

Today, 4/22/13, the tree seems to be recovering and putting on some new sprouts. I may lose a few more branches, some of which are still green but not putting on new growth. I pruned out all the branches that were obviously dead today.

When the thing looks a little better I will post some pictures. I am to embarrassed to show what it now looks like.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:02PM
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Krazy-in-Florida

Old Eagle, that is great new on the recovery. I made a similar mistake when I planted a Satsuma in the ground. I had air pockets in the roots. It grew poorly for 5 years until I discovered the problem. It bounced back well.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 12:51PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

My tree almost died but it will survive. I am so ashamed of it's looks that I will not post pictures until it gets a flush of growth (about April or May). I have been unable to determine what Lighting is needed during the winter. It is in the dark garage. Have been unable to locate affordable lights.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 5:33PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

Meyermike: CITRUS FORUM: I have looked at numerous forums on the subject of Citrus Lighting. Several members have recommended 5000K daylight bulbs. As almost anyone can see below, there are numerous 5000K spiral florescent bulbs available in prices ranging from $2.57 to $85.00. Being a neophyte, I cannot determine why anyone should pay more than $2.57 each. Someone, please help me understand whether there is a difference and make a recommendation.
Amazon.com: Eiko 81180 - SP105/50/MED - 105 Watt 5000K Spiral ... $24.59 each

www.amazon.com/Eiko-81180-Spiral...Fluorescent/dp/B000IBS73Iâ $25.06 (4)
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs - 85-200 Watt - 300-600 Watt ...
www.buylighting.com ⺠... ⺠Compact Fluorescent Spiralsâ 5000K $24.95 each

www.bhphotovideo.com/.../Wiko_SP42_5000K_Spiral_Fluorescent_Lamp...â $11.50 each

www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_kw=compact+fluorescent+5000k+spiralâ $19.87 EACH
LOT of 2 - 42 Watt 5000K Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb Spiral (CFL). $15.50. (2)
80 CFL DAYLIGHT 14W EQUIVALENT 60W 14=60 WATT 5000K ... $85.00. Each

www.greenelectricalsupply.com ⺠Compact Fluorescentâ $14.74 EACH

www.lightbulbsdirect.com/page/001/CTGY/SpiralFS5000Kâ $9.99 each

www.lightbulbsdirect.com/page/001/CTGY/FLFSSpiral5000Kâ $2.57 - $29.78

Light Bulbs Etc, Inc. 5000K Spiral Compact Fluorescent: $5.25 -> $18.23 each

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 12:53PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

I finally got back online.
Thanks to all of you for your helpful comments.
My Orange tree survived being re-potted and has started putting on new growth and blossom buds as of 2/1/2014. One branch about the size of a dime died.
When it has fully recovered, I will post new pictures.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 4:31PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

I finally had the urge to get back to the forum.
My Orange tree survived but only matured one Orange in 2014.
Just as the fruit was ripening, a plague of grasshoppers stripped almost all the leaves off it in less than a week. I had never heard that they would eat citrus leaves and buds.
The orange was delicious but the tree now looks horrible. I am trying to nurse it back to health.
I will follow up (eventually).

    Bookmark   January 5, 2015 at 4:49PM
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BahamaDan ZTropic

Sorry to hear that Eagle; I look forward to the updates :)

    Bookmark   January 6, 2015 at 8:47PM
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