curly leaf meyers lemon

digger-gormetDecember 8, 2007

I have two meyers growing in big pots on the south porch in full sun. One has developed curly leaves. The other is not effected. It also quit growing. It has a lot of fruit, both immature and mature. There is no yellowing of the leaves, they are dark green. Some of the leaves have fallen off, while still green. The plant does not respond to feeding, spraying with poison( moved the plant to isolation and drenched it and the soil in the pot). Anyone got any ideas? I am afraid that when the spring growing season comes we will lose it. Digger

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

It would help us help you if you could post a photo or two.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 1:40AM
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Yes that would be great! but I don't have that capability. I am not losing anymore leaves, it seems to be just sitting there. But it isn't it's normal growing season right now and it is outside, covered with plastic, with christmas lights around the base inside the pot. maybe we will just have to wait and see what spring brings.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 2:40PM
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Digger I too think it's the time of year..I'm unfamilar with Oregon winters, but I'm assuming it's fairly gray..
What are the temps like?
Give your tree a other words, stop feeding a few months until days grow longer.
Also, why are you applying poison?? What type of poison? Are you talking about insecticides? If so, what are you using and if you don't see insects why use it?
I'd refrain from plant foods and insecticides..
Too much of anything causes more problems than not using anything. Toni

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 9:41PM
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Hello Hopeful, I used poison because there were tiny dots in clusters ( we are talking pin-point size now) on the underside of SOME of the leaves. When I cut a leaf and took it to a nursery we saw some of the dots proceed to run around, but they were not flies. Not all the leaves that had clusters were curled. and not all the curled ones had clusters. The leaves curl from the tip inward, and roll up tightly. I talked to a nursery man and he suggested that it may be somthing on the roots. Our winters are rather mild as winters go. We do get down to the low thirties at night, very seldom the upper twenties. C-7 christmas lights in the pot with plastic over the whole tree has kept them happy for seven winters. Our highs in the winter go all the way to the high 50's.We do get periods of gray but we also get quite a bit of sun too. This breed is tolerant to 28. So I don't think it is the temp.. This started late last summer. I am hopeing that the poison and the colder temps may have dealt with the problem. If I don't see any improvement in the spring I will re-pot the tree and examine the roots at that time. I have removed all fruit to ease the tree, and because it is contaminated.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 2:25PM
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Hi Digger..but do you know what type of poison was used? Was it an insecticide, in other words, a product that kills insects? If the clerk couldn't ID the insect, why on earth would he use any type of chemicals??? Unless the stuff he used is Multi-purpose..
Do you know what to look for if a plant has Spider Mites?
They're difficult spotting unless a plant is fairly to fully infested..Mites make fine (in texture) webbs between stems/around leaves. One almost has to have 20/20 vision to spot these buggers.
To test for mites, using a white sheet of paper, place sheet under different areas of your tree, tapping each leaf..If your citrus has mites, you'll find very tiny insects on the paper, moving..They're usually red or green..Mites do NOT fly. But, usually when a plant is mite invested, leaf color pales, looks mottled. There are other insects that enjoy citrus though..
Are leaves sticky?
There are safer products you can use to rid bugs, especially mites, Digger. Do you eat fruit off your tree??? (S)
Extreme cold can curl leaves, but since you've seen insects I'd put the blame on bugs not the cold.
I don't know much about Leaf Miners, but maybe you should look into it. With LM's, I'm pretty sure foliage rolls up, not just a little curl..How curled are the few leaves that curl? Is it a tight curl or the tips?
I hope you figure out the problem..Toni

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 4:33PM
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Good morning Hopeful, No, these are not spider mites. Wish it were that simple. Leaves are not sticky or yellowed, they are dark green. In fact, they are unchanged except that they are tightly curled, from the tip inward all the way to the stem. The poison I used is an insectiside, multi-purpose. No, I didn't use the fruit off the tree. I removed it before treating the tree. The other tree is normal, and I use the fruit. The things we saw are gone after the treatment. Future fruit from the tree, if any will be usable because the three week quarentine period is over. What is the weather like where you are? hope it is nice, Digger

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 2:14PM
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Hi Digger...Oh boy, I can't imagine which pests were living on your citrus..little pinpoint, running bugs?? What's odd is the fact foliage remained green..Most bugs leave evidence of their existence..
I did some research via plant books.
The only tiny insects listed in one book: aphids, mites, leafrollers, and thrips, (whitefly, too, but they fly) that curl leaves, are those I mentioned, but they cause damage to foliage..(discolor/deform)
According to one book, (Citrus, by Lance Walheim) insecticides for Thrips shouldn't be used..They recommend natural predators.
Some people haven't any problems using harsh chemicals...I prefer organics...mainly because I have birds and worry about these guys inhaling something that might hurt/cause death.
Have you tried oils? It's less harmful to humans, pets, and the environment, including the plant.
I'm sure extreme heat or cold can cause leaf curl, too. Did you say your citrus are outside? What's the coldest it gets?
What about wind? Both cold and strong gusts causes leaf curl, but that still doesn't answer your question about the insects..Unless your tree has 2 problems..
If your citrus is sitting outside, in a non-sheltered area, perhaps you should place them elsewhere..
Digger, I wish I had an answer..For the time being, keep an eye on your tree/s...Check to see if bugs return, and discolored/deformed foliage.

Oh the weather outside in frightful..LOL..actually, as of the last two weeks, we haven't had sun, and last weekend had an ice storm. The humidity is low, and of course, my humidifer filter is packed and needs replacing. Even though I mist daily, and use an indoor fountain, the humidity's about 32% which is low..I prefer 50 and up..
Do you get a lot of rain in winter? If so, is it icy rain? One advantage is an increase in humidity, on the other hand, if your citrus are sitting in ice you'll have nothing but problems..Keep roots from freezing, Digger.. I'm sure you know what you're doing..You mentioned you use anything else for protection?
I have a small 8x12 gh..most citrus reside in the gh during winter months, then are summered outdoors. Remaining citrus are in a back room before south and east windows..the room is semi-unheated. Meaning, the only heat it gets is from 2 rooms over. It doesn't dip under 50, usually..that's at night..65-68 during daylight hours.
We've a little snow on the ground, which brightens things up a bit, (sun reflects off snow) plus all my rooms are painted semi-gloss white, (white paint also reflects sun.)
Keep me posted on your citrus..How many do you have? Which types? You take care, and Happy Holidays, Toni

    Bookmark   December 13, 2007 at 9:10PM
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Good afternoon Hopeful, everything you have said would be right on but I have two trees, they are both exposed to the same wind ,sun, rain, etc.. I did try organics, no effect. As I said I took the tree out of the area to treat it. We get a lot of rain in the winter, almost never icey. Very little snow and it never lasts more than a few hours. The trees are covered with a clear plastic sheet so they are in their own little gh's. the other tree is having a great time over there about seven feet away. I think the bugs, whatever they were may be a seperate problem, or, this is the lasting effect of the bugs. Sounds as if you have a lot colder clime then we do. What do you write about, if I may ask. Thank you for your concern, digger

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 3:49PM
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BecR(zone 9 CA 19)

Hi there. I am usually on the Cottage Gardens forum.

Thought I would post here, since my citrus have had this problem of late. Hope this link helps.

Does this look like your problem?


Here is a link that might be useful: citrus leaf miner

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 5:42PM
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Happy New Year Becky, thank you for your info. While I don't have the damage that shows in the pictures I will take the leaves and put them under a microscope and have a look. I don't however understand why the other tree isn't affected since they are so close together. It is the absence of any visible damage that has stymied our efforts. Thank you once again, Digger

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 4:26PM
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