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Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

Posted by tzvi_f NJ (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 12, 12 at 13:18

Hi guys.
Hope some experts here can diagnose my problem.
I've been growing citrons from seed and have 5 plants approximately 16 months old.
Please see attached file for the symptoms (with pictures) they have developed (curling leaves/discolored) and see if you can tell me what I can do to correct it! My trees are telling me something and I don't understand their language!

Thanks so much for your help. It was wonderful that such a forum exists.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/28993802/Citron.doc

Here is a link that might be useful: citron photos


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

Can you post some pics here?

What size containers are you using, what type of soil mix, how often do you water,
and how often do you fertilize?


Josh


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

Hi Josh,

Thanks for responding.
Please see attached file / link in original post for photos and more information.
The only thing I need to add is the soil mix. I replanted the plants in 8" containers this summer and used Miracle Grow Citrus mix.


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

Tzvi. I tried opening your link and copying and pasting in browser, but pic won't open. Toni


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

Looks to me like they are seriously over fertilized; the turning purple of the new growth is a pretty good sign.

I would give the soil a good flush and then hope for them to recover.


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

Johnmerr,

OMG Are you serious?

What would you suggest my fertilization schedule be?

PS I assume you didn't have a problem with my posted link? Toni couldn't open it.....


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

I am not expert on container growing, but Josh (Greenman) and Meyermike are; and they could give you better advice; I expect you should fertilize about 4 times per year; but some prefer every month with a diluted application.
BTW, I did have trouble with your link; but I finally found an application that opened it... still couldn't copy the photo and couldn't blow it up to make a proper guess at your problem; but my best opinion from what I saw is over fertilization. From my limited knowledge of citron it is not such a heavy feeder, as, for example, Meyers.


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

The link goes to a document which you must download to read the history and see the pictures. It's a Word doc.

Here's the text of the doc ----

Hi guys.
I hope you will be able to help me diagnose the issue with my citron (etrog) plants.
They are 15 months old in containers. Kept outside in the warmer NJ months and inside during the colder ones.
I keep them under fluorescent GE grow bulbs and temperature in that room does not drop below 60 degrees.
I started fertilizing them with miracid (30-10-10) a couple of months ago and before that I used a general 10-10-10 fertilizer. I water as needed, typically every week and fertilize them every 3 weeks or so.
They have lately developed on the very top leaves some kind of curling up symptom changing color to purple and eventually starting to dry out. I was wondering if you can diagnose the problem. I have heard opinions ranging from lack of Pottassium/Phosphorous/Mg/or possibly some kind of insect infestation too small to notice.
Here and there some leaves show some sign of possible "insect chew" but it is not widespread at all. I included their pictures below as well.
Also infrequently a leaf yellows up and drops. I included those pictures as well. So! That is my story.
Please help!
T Frank


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

Welcome Frank

The VERY first thing I would do is invest in a magnifying glass and check for pest.
In particular 'spider mites'.
They are notorious for destroying new growth in the way you explained, later on working to your older growth if not caught in time.
The fact that you say it is happening this time of the year puts red flags up with me.

Please check, and then come back once you are absoluetly certain you have none of these.

In fact, I'll bet if you took your tree to the shower and or used water to wash your tree off rubbing those leaves between your fingers, you would see the syptome abate.
I use a cotton ball or tissue and regularly wipe the leaves on any suspicious activity.

Your cultural habits would concern me after the pest option is off the table. After you clean the leaves.

Then we could go on to the next step which our dear friend Josh has brought up:-)

Thanks once again Jean, Josh and John for all you do too.

Mike


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RE: YYoung Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

Sheesh, and TONI!..

Thank you Toni for trying. I couldn't pull up pics either.

Is there anyway you could use a host site like photobucket Frank and post them here? Once you get the hang of it, you will have fun.

Mike


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

I've had problems with this pest almost constantly! It looks like leaf miner to me. This little pest gets inbetween the top and bottom of leaves, especially new growth. You can either buy expensive pheromones to lure the male insects away from real females to curb reproduction or you can buy Bayer prevention liquid. This kills the bugs when they eat your plant. You just pour it in the pot and the plant soaks up the poison. I'd get the Bayer since the pheromones aren't practical for one or two trees. Home Depot stocks it here in FL. Make sure the bottle says it kills leaf miner.

Also, with fertilizer, I use Osomocoat slow realease All Purpose and MiracleGro all purpose. Osomocoat I use as whatever the dosage is. MiracleGro I use everytime I water. Mix 1 table spoon with a gallon of water and water whenever it gets dry. Sometimes, I just water with tap water just to flush out the accumulated fert. salts.


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

I agree with John - looks like fertilizer burn very clearly on the new growth. No CLM activity at all. Unfortunately, I'm the resident expert on that, sadly. We have extreme issues with this here in S. California. I would consider switching fertilizers to Citrus Grower's Blend, which is a great, great product, and works very well for potted citrus. Flush out your soil, allow to dry out some, then start fertilizing with Citrus Grower's Blend. And yes, there's some insect damage as well, hard to say what might be chewing at the leaves, so you'll have to look closely for the insects. Trying looking for them in the evening. Most insects do their work in the evening or nighttime. Beyond this, I defer to Mike and others who are more expert with container-grown citrus. John and I are fortunate to live in parts of the world where we're able to grow citrus directly in the ground :-)

Patty S.


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

Hello everyone.

When it comes to identifying insects, I always defer to Rhizo to make ceratin that the pest your dealing with is accurate.

I like to be on the precaution side, never using a pestsicide unless I am absolutely certain of what the pest is and that it can be handled with a simple swipe of the fingers and or with water.. for me, showering mine clean or wiping them off often does the trick without oils.

Most oils do the job too and can be safe, but then some burn plants too.

The very first thing I always do when I see any difference on the leaves of mine, especially distortion, is count out pests. I make absolutely certain and then identify if need be before I fool around with my fertilizers.

The next thing I always do is make sure my 'mix' is working correctly and that it is one that will not allow even the possibility of over fertilization to harm anything. If it drains freely every time you water, that is an advanatge for you that Josh had tried to point out.

Then I go from there. Usually I one can easily determine if they are over fertilizing with no hesitation, if they are not following label instructions, using less than the prescribed dosage, watering first in an open mix then coming behind and fertilizing, or using a heavy mix that takes too long to dry out, which in this instance is guarenteed to hold salts if not flushed out often This can be something easy to figure out for each of us in our own circumstances.

Accumilated salts in your mixes can make your leaves look burnt and so can spraying your leaves with fertilized water.

It's so nice to see so many here Patty, Rhizo, John, Josh, Jean, and Toni guiding you along. You'll get it.

Nice to see you 'Rhizo' and Patty and others!
Mom sends a big hug to you Rhizo!

Mike


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

Thank you all for your assistance.
I'm trying to follow EVERYONE's advice.

Apparently, there seems to be two opinions here.
Over fertilization and insect infestation (possible citrus leaf miner).
For the over fertilization, I am now allowing my pots to dry out (almost there) and then will flush them till they won't recognize themselves.
Will then try to adapt a different fertilizer or different schedule. Will sort that out later. (Currently using miracid every second watering, will probably change to once a month...)
For the possible infestation, I will shower the plant with water, allow to dry, spray with Bayer, pinch off the affected leaves and hope for the best.

Please tell me if I'm working in the correct direction.
Can't thank you guys enough!

I'm trying to attach photos again. See if it works!

http://www.dropbox.com/gallery/28993802/1/Citron photos?h=100b2b

Here is a link that might be useful: Citron tree photos


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

I don't SEE insect damage in your fotos; so I wouldn't stress about that. Washing is always a good idea; most citrus are healthier with a regular spritz of water to help control insects, dust mites, lotsa stuff like that.
A shiny leaf is a healthy leaf.
At least I think you are becoming better informed; and that means your plants will be happier.


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

I wish you great luck!


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

Hi guys,

One more question. For some reason, only one of my pots does not drain well at all. (I think it has the same mix as the rest....not positive....) It almost never dries out! I never had any issue with this and it never caused me to be concerned. (Until now.... but ALL my pots are suffering from this symptom, not only this one).
Do you suggest I switch the mix, if yes should I wait till spring?


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

I just spent hours on Google images looking up leaf miner.
There is SOME kind of indication on the leaf itself (besides the curl) that an insect was there.
My leaves do not resemble anything I found online at all.

Actually, the only resemblance I found online was this

http://idtools.org/id/citrus/diseases/factsheet.php?name=Citrus+chlorotic+dwarf+virus+CCDV

Cool site.

My leaves most resemble those affected with the Citrus Chlorotic Dwarf Virus.

We shall see if spraying and flushing work though......

Thanks for your help!

Kind regards,

Here is a link that might be useful: Citrus Dwarf Chlorotic Virus


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

Hi! Spring is here and I'm ready to bring my Citron plants out and allow them to recuperate.
Unfortunately they still exhibit the same symptoms we have been discussing since fall. I have flushed the soil numerous times. I have washed and bathed them in the shower. I sprayed them with GardenSafe Insect Killer which includes leafminer on the label. All to no avail. I have attached photos. Here https://www.dropbox.com/gallery/28993802/1/Citron photos 3?h=449601
I also noticed an insect that flew off the plant I attached two shots. Can anyone identify it?
After consulting with many experts, I'm leaning toward a ph/salt issue of the soil. If flushing is not working perhaps I should change the soil. What do you experts recommend that I should replace the soil with? Miracle Grow Citrus Mix?
Thanks for your time.

Here is a link that might be useful: new photos


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

Again, NOT CLM. CLM is very distinctive. You can't miss it. You can very, very clearly see the tracks in the leaves. We rarely treat CLM here, unless it is affecting a huge amount of a very young tree's leaves. It is mainly cosmetic and doesn't interfere with the tree's ability to photosynthesize. And, we tend to see CLM in July through October out here in Calif. Curled leaves to me would be more likely aphids or psyllids. CLM is a teeny tiny moth. You haven't mentioned what part of the country you reside in? Are your citrus outside at all? And, if you could copy the HTML code and paste that right into the body of your message, your photos then get embedded right into your message. Much easier for us to read and see at the same time :-)

Patty S.


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis! Photos

tzvi, I see from your first post you're in NJ perhaps? I wanted you to see what CLM actually looks like. Here are two very good photos:

PhotobucketPhotobucket


And this one you can actually see the CLM larva at the end of the tunnel:
Photobucket

The tunnels are the giveaway, and very, very obvious. No guessing with CLM :-) At this time of year, I would suspect aphids. They appear usually in the early spring and will cause leaf curl. So will psyllids too, though. So, that is a little disconcerting. But, your bug photo doesn't look like a psyllid to me. When they're attached to a leaf, they are very easy to identify because they point the ends of their abdomens up in the air.

And, you can see how a photo looks embedded in a message. Much easier for an old fogie like me to be able to check out and answer :-) I would check out your state's cooperative extension web site, and look up agricultural pests to see if you can match up the image of your bug to something there. Or better yet, send it off to a coop extension agent to ID for you. In any case, I would say an insecticidal soap should kill the offenders. If you want to resort to an insecticide, imdicloprid will probably also be affective, but it's always best to get a confirmed ID if you can, so you can use the least toxic method to eradicate the pest without harming our beneficial insects or yourself.

Patty S.


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

OK Patty, Let me try reposting with the embedded photos. Let me see if I can get this to work....
Hi! Spring is here and I'm ready to bring my Citron plants out and allow them to recuperate.
Unfortunately they still exhibit the same symptoms we have been discussing since fall. I have flushed the soil numerous times. I have washed and bathed them in the shower. I sprayed them with GardenSafe Insect Killer which includes leafminer on the label. All to no avail. I have attached photos.




I also noticed an insect that flew off the plant I attached two shots. Can anyone identify it?


After consulting with many experts, I'm leaning toward a ph/salt issue of the soil. If flushing is not working perhaps I should change the soil. What do you experts recommend that I should replace the soil with? Miracle Grow Citrus Mix?
Thanks for your time.


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

Hi guys,
It's been a year and my citron trees have done very well over the summer/fall.
Now I have been overwintering them in my office under four fluorescent bulbs. I added Dr. Earth's organic tree fertilizer and to my alarm leaf drop started as well as curling etc etc. Thinking that Dr. Earth was the culprit I scooped out the top layer of soil - I use the 5-1-1 mix (the odor was unbearable anyway- yuck!), flushed out the remaining soil and (thought) I'll start again.
That's when I noticed the webbing. MITES!!!!!
Perhaps they were the culprit all along - NOT the organic fertilizer.
I CANNOT get rid of them. Multiple applications of insecticidal soap is not working. Recently I purchased a bottle of Rosemary oil and mixed it into the solution. Apparently the insects enjoy the smell as much as I do! Please see photos below and try to help me get rid of these pests! Thank you all!

Webbing - seems to be telltale signs of typical spider mites
1webbing

Mite - close up photo shoot. Am I correct in identifying this as a spider mite?
mite1

Trees (5 in all) - I keep em in Lowes containers - do any of you feel that they are two narrow?
P1090523

Various
P1090510

P1090508

P1090511

P1090525


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RE: Young Citron trees - leaf curling - need diagnosis!

That webbing looks like mites to me, too.
And those orange leaf-margins would seem to be fertilizer burn.....? I'm not sure.
Thanks for the follow-up.

By the way, how close to the 5-1-1 is your mix?


Josh


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