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Newbie Needs help

Posted by foolishpleasure 7B (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 14, 12 at 1:55

I have a naval orange tree planted in ten gallons pot with soil mix of compost, perlite and cow manured soil. I kept on the porch and I fertilized it with miracle grow. The tree is 5 feet tall with branches and looks very healthy. My first question I got no flowers and no orange yet. Why?
My second question is I have to take the tree inside the house now. I have two places the garage where I winterize my fig trees and keep the temp between 35 and 40. Then I have the utility room where the heater, the washer and the dryer are. The temp is 65. Which room is the best for the orange. Should I put a heating mat beneath the pot. Does the orange tree go in dormancy? Is she going to drop all its leaves? Also what is the best soil pH for orange I can add soil amendment. I am newbie about orange and need help.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Newbie Needs help

foolishpleasure,

I'm not a container grower like some of the folks around the forum. However, I'll take a stab at answering some of your questions:

1) Why is my tree not flowering / fruiting?

Citrus can take a little while to bear fruit. If it's a grafted tree it may take a year or two from when you bought it. They are heavy feeders and like nitrogen in particular. You should try and fertilize with a fertilizer designed specifically for citrus. Foliage Pro would be a good choice because it has the right amounts of NPK and micronutrients.

Citrus also like the sun so make sure your tree is getting plenty of it. This will help with fruiting and overall growth.

2) Does the orange tree go into dormancy? Should I place a heat mat beneath the pot? Should I put the tree in the garage or utility room?

Nope, citrus grow year round. They are a subtropical plant. When it gets colder their growth will slow down though. As long as it doesn't get below freezing your trees should be just fine. I'm a little more familiar with in ground tree's here but I don't think 35-40 should be an issue.

Sounds like both locations are warm enough so I would prefer the spot that gets the most sun exposure. Citrus still need light in the winter!

3) Will my tree drop all it's leaves?

Whenever I plant new citrus they always seem to throw a temper tantrum. In my experience citrus really don't like changing conditions; especially abruptly, and they will tend to drop leaves when this happens. Try to slowly acclimate your trees to their new homes. This will help with some of the shock from the change in light, temperature and humidity conditions.

4) What is the best soil pH for citrus?

It slightly depends on your rootstock but a good rule of thumb is 6.0-6.5; and 5.5 - 7.0 being acceptable. My soil is quite alkaline (8+) and they still do OK. I just have to supplement Iron, Zinc, and a few other micronutrients. Foliage Pro has these nutrients already.


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RE: Newbie Needs help

Cayden

Thank you and happy Thanksgiving


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RE: Newbie Needs help

do you have grow lights?


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RE: Newbie Needs help

I have no heat fluorescent lambs three or four and very bright. Should I turned off at night.


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RE: Newbie Needs help

yes, turn them off at night. the cool temps in the garage won't hurt the trees, as long as they get a minimum of 6 hours of light. preferably more if you're trying to get them to bloom and fruit.

you could keep them in the garage with 8hrs of light till Jan. then in Feb move them to the utility room and up the light to 12-14 hours. that would give your trees a head start in the spring to bloom. then move them outside around Apr, whenever you're area is clear of frost.


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RE: Newbie Needs help

Plants do need a dark cycle to aid photosynthesis, ita been a few years since I had biology but I think it takes some extreme levels of light for 24hrs a days to see noticable effects but it does happen.
Try to reproduce real world conditions, citrus didn't evolve to grow in climates that have 24hrs of sun.


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