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What does my tree need?

Posted by Suzy11 Pa (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 10:54

Hi! I was wondering does my little tree look okay? It has a lot of yellow leaves.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What does my tree need?

sorry about the picture


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RE: What does my tree need?

What kind of citrus is this? Lose the tray under the pot - may cause the roots to sit i water. What kind of potting mix? Are you fertilizing? Is it outside all the time? How much sun is it receiving? We need more info to be able to answer your questions. And, closer photos, so we can make sure you're not dealing with any insect issues (such as scale or spider mites). If you're using an iPhone, you can correct your orientation issues with your photo by positioning your iPhone sideways, with the volume buttons facing upward. That will give you a photo that faces the correct direction. I think I've shared this with your previously? And, you can always fix the orientation of your photos by opening them in a photo editing program, and saving the photo with the correct orientation.

Patty S.


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RE: What does my tree need?

This is my little Mayer tree. It is in organic mechanic container soil. I fertilize it every other week in summer withh jacks all-purpose fertilizer. It is on a screened in porch with skylights and is sitting under a skylight. Yes, it is outside all the time so it gets sunlight all the time. You think that it needs a new pot?


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RE: What does my tree need?

Another


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RE: What does my tree need?

Turn your phone around 180 degrees. Your photos are now upside down. And, I think you probably need to use a better draining potting mix. I think the forum has talked to you about using 511 mix? And also using Foliage Pro? Your potting medium looks terribly wet, so I am guessing you are drowning/suffocating your tree's roots because of too much water retention in your soil, and possibly too much fertilizer, causing a build up of the salts, which can cause burning of the roots and leaves. I think we've covered all of this in previous posts with you if I'm not mistaken? I would go back to those previous message threads and follow that past advice. Think several of us, including myself and MeyerMike have given you some global advice about managing container citrus, so that would also apply to your Meyer lemon tree as well.

Patty S.


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RE: What does my tree need?

Suzy..Hi)

I know we have gone over your care for citrus before, and I wonder why you are not applying what we have shown you after all these months?

You are never going to get those healthy green fruit heavy trees with the kind of fertilizer and soil you are using..It's just impossible, unless you plan to prove us wrong?
I wish you the best of luck with that kind of mix. I have many Asian and Portugeese friends that would only use that organic stuff you are trying to use, and I have convinced them to use a very porous mix in which they are very happy! The kind of mix you are using is old school and would probably work if you replaced it every other month or two and had your tree under 8 or more hours of direct sun 365 days of the year.

MIke)

This post was edited by meyermike_1micha on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 19:12


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RE: What does my tree need?

  • Posted by axier Z9 Basque C. (Spain) (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 13, 14 at 4:57

Patty, please, correct me if I am wrong, 511 mix is 5 parts small pine barks, 1 peat, 1 perlite, is it right?
I have read several 511 versions, sometimes with difficult to find components.

This post was edited by axier on Wed, Aug 13, 14 at 5:10


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RE: What does my tree need?

Axier....Yes correct..


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RE: What does my tree need?

Yes, Mike jumped in I see, thank you Mike. Mike has had exceptional success with his citrus (and many other container citrus folks on this list as well), using 511 mix. Because I am in the "citrus belt" in S. California, and in a Mediterranean climate, I make a modified version, since my weather is warm and dry most of the year, except during the winter, when we get our only rains. So, you may need to modify your 511 mix, if your container citrus will be outside all year, as mine are (I see you're in Spain and zone 9). You may find small pine or cedar bark chips for orchids, or for reptiles in your country (coarse orchid bark, or reptile bark is perfect). I would think any online horticultural store would have perlite, and then not sure where you would find peat or peat-based potting soils - a good garden center/nursery in your area perhaps?

Patty S.


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RE: What does my tree need?

  • Posted by axier Z9 Basque C. (Spain) (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 18:21

Thank you Mike and Patty.
As you say, I have my citrus all year outdoor. Usually, we have no frosts in winter here. My climate is mild in winter and summer, and humid all year.
Fortunately, I have no problems to find peat, and perlite, but small pine chips is more difficult.
Thank you for suggestion of orhid or reptil bark, it is a good idea.
I will do it.


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RE: What does my tree need?

Buena suerte, axier. Háganos saber cómo te va!

Patty S.


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RE: What does my tree need?

  • Posted by axier Z9 Basque C. (Spain) (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 15, 14 at 6:18

Muchas gracias Patty :)
Veo que hablas bien español. Te tendré al corriente de cómo van mis cítricos.
Este año van muy bien en un sustrato de compost y turba, es muy aireado, pero tengo miedo de que con el paso de los años, a medida que se descomponga, se compacte demasiado y empiecen los problemas...
Por eso mi interés en el sustrato 511.

Gracias y un saludo!


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RE: What does my tree need?

Muchas gracias, pero no :-) My Spanish is rather poor, sadly. I just do not have many Spanish speaking people that I can chat with, so I am losing my Spanish speaking skills :-( I grew up listening to Italian (I do not speak Italian well at all, but understand some), so learning Spanish was fairly easy for me in school. And, living in S. California, learning Spanish, especially as nurse, was pretty important.

And yes, I agree with you - your potting mix will eventually become compacted, so making a more porous and airy potting mix will be the best solution for you, long-term. Are you Basque or Spanish? Do you also speak Basque? What a VERY interesting language Basque is!

Patty S.


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RE: What does my tree need?

  • Posted by axier Z9 Basque C. (Spain) (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 16, 14 at 12:53

I suspect that your Spanish level is more than you say... :-)
I am Basque, the Basque Country is currently an autonomy within the Spanish state, and yes, I speak Basque, and you are right, is a very ancient and interesting language for philologists.
Apparently, it has not any link with any other language in the world. its origin is a bit mysterious.
I see that you are a cultured person.
And coming back to citrus, I will try for sure the long term solution of 511 mix.
Despite I have several citrus in ground, I want to keep some appreciated and difficult to find varieties in pots for long time.
Than you again Patty!


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RE: What does my tree need?

As I told you before I need a bagged soil. I can not transplAnt my calamodin, it is to big. I can the meyer. If i do how do I figure out what one part is or 10 percent? I do Not have an Iphone


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RE: What does my tree need?

Hi Suzy..I hope you have been well these days..)

Suzy..Why do you need a bagged soil?
I hate the word SOIL in any pot..What about bagged mix?

If anything, until you start growing your trees in bagged mixes very porous or porous mixes in general, there is not much more we can do to help..

Mine never did well in the mixes you use, so I couldn't help you there...


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RE: What does my tree need?

Thank you, axier :-) I love different cultures, especially cultures that are ancient, venerated and unique. The Basque culture is fascinating. And yes, the language is one all unto itself! I, too, have some more unusual varieties in pots, so they get a little extra special care. You are very welcome, and glad you found our forum!

And Suzy, if you're not using an iPhone, then make sure you take your photos into a photo editing software, so you can adjust the orientation, so they do end up posting to the forum sideways or upside down :-) You'll know if the orientation has been fixed because when you preview your post, the photo will have the correct orientation. If not, and it is still sideways or upside down, take it into your photo editing program. It the orientation appears okay, try rotating it once 90 degrees clockwise, then back 90 degrees counterclockwise. Make sure the orientation looks correct. Then, save it back to itself (to over-write the previous version). That sould fix your orientation issue with your photos.

And, as far as trying to by a ready made potting mix, the only one out there that really is suitable are the Farfard Professional Mixes. There are 2 types that forum members have used successfully out of the bag. I cannot tell you the names of them, as I cannot get Farfard where I live, but if you search this forum, you'll see the two that folks recommend. Otherwise, I would mix up your own version of the 511 mix. IT really isn't hard to do at all. And one part is just one part of whatever measuring container you are using. Such as a 1 lb. coffee can, for example.

Patty S.


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RE: What does my tree need?

Oh Thank you. You see, I have been going to a nursey to get my trees repotted and I had to use what they recomended but now I have to repot myself. I have to repot my new blueberry bush and will make the soil, I guess that I have to. A baged soil is easier and my mother doesn't like a lot of soil sitting around. I also didn't know how to do the measurments.If you make it you have to buy many ingredients not just one. Why do you not like organics and do you now like peat again?


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RE: What does my tree need?

Suzy, not sure whom you're asking the question of? If it is me, I don't dislike organics, but I just don't find they're necessary for certain things, such as fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are converted to their non-organic forms in order to be absorbed my plants, so for me, it is a simple math equation: Buy more economic inorganic fertilizer that works better than the organic fertilizers that are 4 times the price. I rarely use chemicals on my citrus, or in my garden, in general. Only on rare occasion. I try to use organic methods for pesticides, as non-organic pest controls can have residual chemical effects I prefer not to use on plants I plan on eating. And, 511 mix is only 3 ingredients, not "many". My modified version of the 511 mix for my much hotter and dryer climate is completely organic, by the way. But, if mixing up 3 ingredients is problematic for you, look to see if you can locate Farfard's Professional potting mixes, and search our forum for the two types that come highly recommended for container citrus.

And, I never said I disliked peat. I don't think anyone did on this forum. What those of us who are experienced with container citrus find with most bagged mixes and straight peat, is that the particles are simply too fine for use with citrus. They become very compacted, and do not allow for proper water drainage. You're seeing what happens when you plant in a mix that is too fine right now. Peat has its place, but 100% straight peat is not an optimal planting medium for citrus. Does that answer your questions?

Patty S.


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RE: What does my tree need?

  • Posted by axier Z9 Basque C. (Spain) (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 18, 14 at 6:08

Thank you for your words Patty. I am glad I found people like you, Mike, JohnMeyer... and many other people, with wisdom and tons of patience with people learning citrus like me.

Suzy, citrus are different of blueberries, peat is recommended for blueberries because of low PH (the lower PH the more acid is), and they are not as susceptible as citrus to soil aireation problems.

This post was edited by axier on Mon, Aug 18, 14 at 6:15


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RE: What does my tree need?

Hi Patty. Thanks for answering. I guess that I was confused. 2 yrs ago I thought someone said that the forum did not like peat because of root rot and drainage. When I had my first lemon tree transplanted I ended up at the nursery where I am because of Farfard, but it was not used to transplant. OM was used because it had no peat and has very good drainage. Is 511 mix good for a certain areas? Would it be ok in PA? Is the recipe that axier spoke about organic. I don't use pesticides so what should i do about an organic fertilizer? I agree with you about not using chemicals on what you are eatting. Thats why I was looking for organic. Can I add more bark to my current mix?


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RE: What does my tree need?

Peat can be one part of the 511 mix for modified areas such as mine, where we experience hot, dry summers. No one would ever plant a citrus tree is straight peat (or really, any other plant - just much, much too fine and compact, not providing proper drainage for any container plant). 511 mix is great for folks who need to bring their citrus in for the winter, and for those that have significant summer rains. The original 511 recipes calls for 5 parts bark, 1 part perlite, and 1 part turface. Easy all to find, and easy to mix. Here in S. California, we have essentially zero rainfall during the summer. So, I add in more fines to the original recipe, because I need a more water-retentive mix than folks on the east coast, who get summer rains, and their potting medium, if using too much fines, can get very soggy. Causing root rot. Which is what your tree is experiencing. I hope this makes sense to you? Your little tree is failing, and it most certainly is due to being planted in very dense, poorly draining potting soil/mix.

I think it's perfectly fine to use a non-organic fertilizer, as all organic fertilizers are converted to their absorbable, non-organic compounds. So, in the end, it's the exact same thing, Suzi. No sense wasting your money, or risking having salts build up in your potting medium. I'm a nurse with a biology and chemistry background, so really, it's just a matter of getting a little more educated on what the term, "organic" really means. If you are bent on spending more money, then I would look for a good organic product that is formulated for citrus. It will take much, much, much longer to work, since you're not planting your tree in soil, where microorganisms get to work on those organic compounds, breaking them down into their absorbable non-organic compounds. There are essentially no microorganisms (or very few) in your container mix. So, to me, with my science background, it just doesn't make a lot of sense, nor does it make economic sense to me. You can do what you wish, but for me, it isn't logical or economic.

And, you can always try to do your own thing, Suzi. Since I don't know what your "mix" consists of, I really can't say if just adding more bark will help. We have given you the best advice we have at our disposal here on the forum. We've done that extensively and at length in several message threads. I'm not really sure what else I, or others can tell you at this point. You have our best advice. What you choose to do at this point, will be up to you. Deciding to do something different may work, it may not. We are giving you what WE know works. You're welcome to experiment on your own, but I cannot give you a guarantee on the results.

So, at this point, I'm going to step out of this message thread. I have exhausted my suggestions and abilities to help you. I would encourage to read through all the very good advice you've been given. Decide what you will do. I think you've gotten all the help we can possibly give, and at this point, we're just re-hashing the same stuff.

Patty S.


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