Yellow leaves = too much water?

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Postby Di » Wed Aug 17, 2005 5:31 pm

Pam,

When I watered my trees two days ago, the water soaked straight in and was in the saucer in about 30 secs. Already they look like they could do with another water. I gave them about 4.5 L of water each, but I haven't had time yet to grab some citrus fertiliser.

Thanks a bunch for all the comments everyone, it all helps! :D
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Postby Luzy » Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:12 pm

Hi Pam,

You made me feel really bad about the lemon tree, so I rushed straight out and gave it another once-over. The borers I mentioned were old, but I did poke two holes that looked like they might be active (got three thorn spikes for that). The scale is okay at the moment - sprayed with white oil earlier - but will still have to watch it as we have a very active ant population. And cut out about a dozen galls (got seven thorn scratches for that - lemon trees are not appreciative!). The allysum and poppies are actually growing the mulch (pile of dead weeds, actually) so I'm not too fussed with them, but the galls really amazed me. A couple were quite large (heading towards half golf ball size) but had new shoots complete with blossom and tiny lemoms. Did the tree puncture me because I was cutting out its friends?

Cheers!
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Postby Pam » Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:30 pm

I rather suspect it was trying to give you a hug of appreciation. :lol:
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Postby Luzy » Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:35 pm

Maybe it could blow me a kiss from afar when I approach with the fertiliser... :wink:
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Postby Ann » Thu Aug 18, 2005 12:35 pm

If the water is just pouring out that fast it prob is just running down the sides of the pot and not getting to the roots. :cry: Pam's advice for Cyclamens, and one we all use, is to soak the pot in a container of water til all the air bubbles are gone and the soil is WET. :D I'd be using Wettasoil in the container as that's what they advise anyway. This ensuures that water will then go to the plant roots when you water-well for several months when you repeat the exercise. :D Or repot and add a wetting agent if necessary or soak as before. :D :D
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Postby Astar » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:20 am

Haven't read through all the replies properly, but lack of Manganese in citrus causes yellowing too.
Flowers are like people, each unique in their own way.
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Postby Di » Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:52 am

I visited another nursery on the weekend with a leaf from my lemon tree (I don't really like/ trust the first nursery) to see if they had any ideas on my yellow leaves and they said to fertilise with Seasol and mulch around the top of the pot. This lady said that citrus fertilisers are not as good as Seasol and that she didn't think liquid dynamic lifter was any good (which is what I had been using). If all else fails, I should try repotting.

I think at this stage, I will fertilise on a monthly basis with a seaweed fertiliser for potted plants (should run out very shortly so I can buy some decent citrus stuff), mulch around the top of the pot with something like lucurne and move my plants to a more out of the wind spot.

Does anyone think this is a bad way to go? I'm starting to get confused with all the good advice I'm getting :? but please keep it coming!!

Thanks again,Di

PS. The orange tree is getting better, but the lemon is staying the same even though they are both getting exactly the same treatment. Does anybody with a Bokashi box live near me? :)
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Postby Herby » Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:18 pm

Luzy wrote:This might be totaly irelevant for potted citrus but for the past two seasons I have noticed that our old lemon tree (and our neighbour's young one) both have lots of yellow leaves over winter. The yellowing increases when the rains arrive (or, just about snow like recently...). Once the weather warms up, the yellowing decreases and decreases more after a spring time fertilise. Our soil is a reactive clay type and, I'm only guessing, but I reckon that the cold weather makes it harder for the tree to pick up trace elements from the clay.

Just a thought :wink:


That's pretty much my story too.
maybe it's a melbourne thing?
mostly my mandarine does it, my lemon tree is huge so I don't
notice it as much.

Mulch is the trick i think.
my mandarin doubled in size and had heaps of fruit
this year after i raised the bed around it and filled it with mulch.

I don't fertilise my citrus at all,
I just pee around the drip-line of the trees.
seems to work a treat and keeps the weeds down too. :lol:
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Postby Pam » Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:17 pm

PS. The orange tree is getting better, but the lemon is staying the same even though they are both getting exactly the same treatment. Does anybody with a Bokashi box live near me?


:lol: Good to see you're getting the idea, Di! :lol:

My understanding is that Seasol is a soil conditioner, rather than a fertilizer?! I certainly wouldn't be depending solely upon it to do the job, Di. On the other hand, if the product you have states that it is a fertilizer which contains seaweed, that is another thing altogether. Yu might want to check its NPK ratio against the requirements for citrus, which you should be able to find online some place.

I'd still do a PH test and give it a dose of trace elements, however, and don't be too concerned if you don't see any change in the colour of the existing foliage. Often at this time of the year it is the new growth in Spring which reflects any improvement in health.
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Postby kitkat » Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:46 pm

My poor lemon tree still has no leaves at all.I brought it in February and it had several lemons on it which I picked off.I planted it, mulched it , gave it seasol and then it dropped all its leaves and is just sitting there doing nothing,there is a sign of dieback on the twigs that held the lemons though ...is that a bad sign I wonder?
the orange I planted at the same time is getting new leaves so I am crossing fingers that the lemon is just closed down for the cold and will soon pick up its game...if not thats another lemon tree over the rainbow bridge for me.
Mind you I was pretty unhappy when I took it out of the pot to find its roots were going in circles and it had lots of slaters in the pot....just what I needed.I did trim the roots back a little and tease some out so it should have taken by now I was very gentle with it poor thing.
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Postby Pam » Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:44 pm

As nice as a fruit tree looks with fruit on it, 'they' say you shouldn't buy little ones with fruit. 'They' also say we should tip every plant out of the pot before we buy it though, to check for root spiralling etc ('they' obviously hadn't thought of the possibility of slaters in the pots at the nursery). How many of us are prepared to upturn a pot at the nursery, though??

I'd be waiting for the nurseryperson to come up and abuse me if I even thought of it. :roll:

Why do you suppose it is that many of us are prepared to accept sub-standard product from nurseries when we wouldn't from anyone else?
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Postby Luzy » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:27 pm

Hello Di,

It seems that a lot of us are rallying around to watch the progress of your lemon tree. Now, I've had another thought (and I hope that I don't get a reputation for dumb thoughts...) but is your dwarf lemon actually on dwarf stock? It took me 12 months to find a lime that was on certified dwarf stock - and $40 to buy it. I went through several nurseries that I didn't like/trust before the purchase. My potted lime (purchased about May and with stock certification) is just sitting there in the pot, though it has some tiny buds on the leaf axis that might come to something. I potted it in a "premium" mix (and shoved pansies around the outside for a living mulch).

May be your lemon tree could do with a "rest" from all the nutrional changes? Maybe lemons don't like plastic pots? Plants can be stubborn? :wink:
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Postby Pam » Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:11 am

Luzy, I don't like to have to tell you this, but citrus don't like any sort of root competition. :( Maybe a do-able compromise might be to enjoy the pansies for a brief period only?!
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Postby Di » Mon Aug 29, 2005 8:35 pm

Hi everyone,

For those of you who are still interested, my lemon tree is showing signs of improvement!! I examined both trees yesterday and although the orange tree is being stubborn, the lemon tree is producing new growth!!! There are small flower buds and new leaves sprouting and the spring looks promising :)

I still haven't managed to find a decent mulch, but I'm working on it and this new development is motivation to hurry up! Thanks again everyone for your great advice!

Di
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Postby Pam » Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:28 am

Glad to hear it, Di. :)

I've just been re-reading your previous posts - is that a lemon I see in the pot with that tiny, tiny plant?? The poor thing! :lol:

And the nursery guy who told you to use Dynamic Lifter fortnightly! (I don't know why none of us picked up on that one before!) MY GOSH! What is he thinking? This would seem just a little excessive, I think.

I still haven't managed to find a decent mulch


I found the coir that comes in a compressed block to be a reasonable mulch for pots.
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Postby Marrion » Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:33 am

Sounding good, Di (yn) I too missed the fortnightly bit! I use Dynamic Lifter on mine but only a couple of doses per year :) I think the Citrus fertiliser would be the way to go and follow the instructions on the pack as your trees are quite small.
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Postby Di » Tue Aug 30, 2005 12:31 pm

Hi Pam,

Yes that was a little lemon in the bottom of the pot! It was on the plant when we were given it, but it fell off when I planted the tree, which was probably a good thing. :lol:
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Postby Ann » Tue Aug 30, 2005 12:55 pm

:oops: :oops: Pam, I planted two citrus last year, lemon and mandarine, and this autumn I planted calendula round one and tansy round the other as insect deterrents. The trees seem to be OK.
I'm a bit like Bruce's spider; try, try, try again. Sonas, Ann
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Postby Pam » Tue Aug 30, 2005 1:26 pm

this autumn I planted calendula round one


Ann, I hope they were colour co-ordinated?! :lol:

There are probably a few factors involved with how well they tolerate the competition, eg. how well looked after they are.
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Postby Lea » Sat Sep 03, 2005 5:59 pm

Good news on your lemon tree, Di (Y) If you ever have a suspicion that the soil might be too dry or too wet (which both cause yellow leaves - as well as too much fertiliser ;) ) the best way to really check for certain is to dig a small hole beside the roots of the tree and see what's going on - do you agree, anyone? I say this because we were really shocked last week, when we decided to plant some primulas around the base of one of our roses - we dug a couple of little holes for the primulas, and found that there was about 1cm of damp soil, and below that, the entire root ball of the rose and its surrounding soil were dry as bone :shock: ;) Hence my idea about digging down a little way to really check for certain :D
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