Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

A forum for problem solving and exchanging ideas and knowledge related to the edible garden. Now includes sub-forum for sharing recipes and other ideas for using produce.

Moderators: Forum_mod, Pam, jack, Sam, Luzy

Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby Getafix » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:56 pm

Hi,
I've noticed some blotchy yellowing of leaves on a Meyer lemon (double grafted with a lime), and i'm suspecting it's a deficiency of some sort (?iron), but wanted to check before forking out on iron chelates. Also the one with the weird brown spiral thing in the middle doesn't look typical for a deficiency chlorosis. Furthermore, not sure if the two are related, but neither of the grafts on this citrus has had any new growth since it was planted out about 4 months ago? Drainage and water are adequate (or at least i think so...pretty new to this gardening caper) and i've been gently feeding it with a bit of miracle gro, seasol and dynamic lifter. Also gets plenty of sun. So is it worth $20 worth of iron chelates? Any other suggestions?

Image

Image

Image
User avatar
Getafix
Curator
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:48 pm
Location: Newcastle, NSW

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby HouseMartin » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:41 pm

Good Day,
In this case I can almost certainly rule out Iron Deficiency. Iron deficiency appears first in young leaves and has a characteristic between-vein pattern like one shown in this photo Image.
The problem looks more like Magnesium Deficiency that usually appears as yellowing in older leaves and can also lead to necrosis (brown spots) of leave tissue. Magnesium deficiency can be corrected by foliage or soil application of Magnesium Suphate also known as Epsom Salts.
Of course, there could other reasons but I would try Epsom Salts first.
Hope this helps.
HouseMartin
Apprentice
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:11 pm

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby Getafix » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:49 pm

Thanks for the suggestion (Y) ...it doesn't really look like the photo you posted (or some others i'd looked at) and certainly the new vs old growth seems to fit as well. I'm guessing epsom salts should be cheaper than iron chelates :D . I'll give it a go, and here's hoping i get some new growth soon! (yn)
Check my garden out on MyFolia:

http://myfolia.com/gardener/Getafix
User avatar
Getafix
Curator
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:48 pm
Location: Newcastle, NSW

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby Stormgirl » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:56 pm

Sorry, no help here, but I too balked at the price of iron chelates! :lol:
User avatar
Stormgirl
Curator
 
Posts: 376
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:29 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby Pam » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:24 am

Stormgirl wrote:Sorry, no help here, but I too balked at the price of iron chelates! :lol:


Unless you have a large garden, with a bit iron deficiency. it's the sort of thing you'd probably look at sharing the cost of with a friend. A pack goes a long way.

I was wondering about magnesium too.

To clarify though, Getafix, how many of the leaves on the tree are affected? If only a small percentage, I'd be inclined to think it might be the result of physical damage rather than a deficiency.

The weird brown spiral thing
looks fungal to me. Bag and bin the affected leaves if only a small number. Don't leave any that have fallen on the ground.
User avatar
Pam
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 14418
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 1:06 pm
Location: Bundaberg, Qld

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby littlegarden » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:05 pm

Brown bit looked like sunburn to me - did it start to appear after a hot spell?
littlegarden
Senior Curator
 
Posts: 698
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:29 am
Location: Inner Melbourne

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby Getafix » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:50 pm

Thanks everyone...the brown spot has been there for some time (possibly even since i bought it in November?), and can't remember it specifically being related to any hot spells. It hasn't changed much since i noticed it. If it is fungal, should i treat the plant with anything?

I would say that most of the leaves on the lemon graft have some degree of yellowing, whereas the lime graft on the same plant is less affected but still has some. Neither graft has produced any new growth since purchase.

I have now bought some epsom salts (much cheaper than iron chelates :D ), and will give that a go.
Check my garden out on MyFolia:

http://myfolia.com/gardener/Getafix
User avatar
Getafix
Curator
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:48 pm
Location: Newcastle, NSW

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby littlegarden » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:24 pm

If the brown spot hasn't grown for months I can't imagine it would be an active fungal attack.

I hope your tree perks up! Those double grafts sure aren't cheap. They're selling them for $100 at my local garden centre!
littlegarden
Senior Curator
 
Posts: 698
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:29 am
Location: Inner Melbourne

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby jodie 123 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:19 pm

$100 sheesh ,I saw them up here recently for $49.95 and baulked at that ,but $100 no way
User avatar
jodie 123
Curator
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:46 pm
Location: latrobe valley .vic

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby littlegarden » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:35 pm

jodie 123 wrote:$100 sheesh ,I saw them up here recently for $49.95 and baulked at that ,but $100 no way

Yeah seriously. At that price I'd have a go at trying to graft my own!
littlegarden
Senior Curator
 
Posts: 698
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:29 am
Location: Inner Melbourne

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby Getafix » Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:28 pm

Yes, it was a tad pricey, but we had a 20% off voucher and i think it started a bit below $100, but we liked the idea as we don't have heaps of space. As for grafting it myself, being pretty new to gardening i think i would have buckleys of getting that right.

I've given it some Epsom salts and we'll see how it goes...i will keep you posted if anything changes
Check my garden out on MyFolia:

http://myfolia.com/gardener/Getafix
User avatar
Getafix
Curator
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:48 pm
Location: Newcastle, NSW

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby teashy » Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:53 pm

SO what was the outcome of using epsom salts? I have the same issue at present and I think e.s might be the go.
teashy
Groundsperson
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:38 pm
Location: Mudgee NSW

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby Getafix » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:50 pm

This plant has had quite a journey since the epsom salts. The plant continued to struggle and in the end i decided to dig it up and put it in a pot...the part of the garden it was in got to water logged and not enough sun. It has now picked up since the transplant, but i'm still not sure what that blotchiness was.
Check my garden out on MyFolia:

http://myfolia.com/gardener/Getafix
User avatar
Getafix
Curator
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:48 pm
Location: Newcastle, NSW

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby betr2garden » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:56 pm

Hi, I have exactly the same problem. I have a little garden experience (not last few years) but have only had 1 citrus tree before, with no probs. My husband bought me a Meyer lemon and a lime for Christmas. I noticed ONE yellow leaf on lemon, so got it in the ground asap. I have searched sites and forums for weeks trying to get a straight answer. Hope you can help. I will give you the info I think you need to be able to tell what's going on:

P1010060.JPG


P1010041.JPG


I live on Central Coast NSW. Tree is in a well drained, raised, sheet mulched (not recently) garden in a fairly protected backyard getting nearly full sun. It has been planted, as you do, with a basin around it and deeply watered 1-2 times/week if there hasn't been torrential rain (which has been off and on since a few weeks after it was planted up until this week.). I have raised seeds and seedling during this time without hardly having to water...real rain. When I do water the lemon is not holding water in its basin so I fear the garden is draining too well.

I was instructed not to fertilise for 6 weeks after planting, so didn't. After 6 weeks I only used Seasol. I have since fertilised with an organic 5 in 1, compost, coffee grounds. Everything is on top, out to drip line, not near trunk, just roughed in as best I can without upsetting roots. We visited the nursery where the tree was purchased and found many lemon trees completely yellow. We visited a more reputable nursery and were advised to feed with soluble fertiliser after a week or two and on-going. They also suggested the yellowing could be due to too much water due to the constant rain we have had. This sounds logical, except when searching forums and info sites (without leaving a post) the answers others have been given have been: not enough water, too much fertiliser, the nursery may force the plant for sale, it's the frost (the person asking lived no far from me and was in Oz summer too), magnesium, manganese (to the point these two seem interchangeable LOL).

I've looked at the DPI site and the potassium deficiency looks closest and says usually spring. Yellow veins are not noticeable on my leaves, but the whole tree is a very pale green so might not be as obvious:
http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets ... -2leaf.jpg

I'm now scared to water, fertilise, add anything that might make things worse (or just cost unnecessarily). If it is Potassium, is just giving tree a comprehensive fertiliser ok, or am I just adding salts (as suggested here)? Is there another way to just add what the tree needs? I've tested the PH it's 7.0. Backyard lemons are pretty common and this problem seems to be too. Feeling really sorry for people that haven't gardened at all before. The options I haven't tried yet are: the soluble plant food (wait to see what you lovely people suggest), Epsoms salts (apparently a magic cure, does it do anything except reduce PH?), potash.

Can't wait to hear what you suggest.
Thanks so much.
Keep fighting for what you want tomorrow to be!
User avatar
betr2garden
Gardener
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:27 pm
Location: Central Coast NSW

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby valleyshots » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:16 pm

The brown spot could have happened from hail damage. Usually when lemons are deficient it affects the whole leaf, the yellow seems patchy.
valleyshots
Pruner
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 9:44 pm
Location: hunter valley

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby Pam » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:35 am

betr2garden I get the impression you might have a case of information overload - too much information from too many places and you're feeling a bit lost as to which way is the 'right' way to go???

If you've had a lot of rain, it's more than likely a lot of the nutrients have been leached from the soil.

The first thing to be aware of is that addition of anything in the way of epsom salts (magnesium), Potash etc is ONLY going to be effective if there is a deficiency of that particular element in the soil, and that giving too much, or too often can actually make your soil problems worse, as an excess of one can bind up the soil and prevent it taking up something else. It's the same with PH - if your soil's PH is to high or too low it can hinder the plant's ability to take up certain nutrients.

I'm possibly going to add to your confusion now betr2garden but soluble fertiliser every couple of weeks is possibly more work than you need to put into it, and while it will possibly give you lots of lush new growth, this growth will be soft, and probably a magnet for every bug in the neighbourhood. They are also not a complete food - they concentrate on the 3 major elements that are essential for plant growth (nitrogen Phosphorus and Potassium,) but usually don't contain the minor elements necessary to maintain premium health of the plant. Plants generally don't NEED these to grow, but if they're lacking the plant will suffer.

If you get yourself some granulated CITRUS food, the composition has been developed to suit the specific needs of citrus and only needs to be applied 3 times a year - once in early Spring, again in November and then in March (so now, which would give your plant a little kick that it needs).

On the topic of Epsom Salts, if you give your plant a single dose (2 teaspoons in a 9 litre watering can applied to the whole root area) it certainly can't hurt, and if the plant was indeed lacking in Magnesium you'll know it when the plant turns a beautiful darker green, and you'll know from experience what to look for next time.

A dose of Potash will help strengthen the cell walls (creating a hardier plant) and seems to help with fruitng.

EDIT: I've just come accross this page that gives a really simple understanding of the effects of various deficiencies - no pictures, though
http://www.phoenixtropicals.com/vitamin ... lants.html
User avatar
Pam
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 14418
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 1:06 pm
Location: Bundaberg, Qld

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby Pam » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:57 am

I figured I'd pop this in a post of its own rather than clutter up the post for betr2garden.

On the subject of iron Chelates - yes, it can seem expensive, but a single pack is likely to be the only one the majority of us here is likely to ever need, as it goes a very long way. As I already suggested, thecost can be reduced significantly by splitting a pack with someone else.

BUT, bear in mind that the cost of a pack is roughly equivalent to the price of a single (cheapish) fruit tree or most other plants for that matter. Okay you might be able to buy a couple of cheap 'other' plants for the same price. If a plant is deficient in iron, it's eventually going to die unless something is done to fix it, so if you lose just one plant from iron deficiency you've lost (costwise) the equivalent of the pack of iron chelates anyway, along with the time and care the plant has taken to reach the size it was before its demise.
User avatar
Pam
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 14418
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 1:06 pm
Location: Bundaberg, Qld

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby goldbullion » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:37 pm

Betr2garden, looking at the leaves on the tree I'd say you have a nutrient imbalance thrown in with some pest damage.
Given the very wet summer, you should not have needed to water.
My two cents worth (I have 7 citrus trees), is similar to what Pam mentioned: high rainfall leaches nutrients out of the soil. The number one nutrient often leached is Nitrogen (N). Adding individual elements can cause more problems than it solves if one is a novice and unsure. Give it a complete citrus fertiliser if it hasn't been fed recently.
My other thought would be the heavy rainfall has exposed a drainage issue. I'm assuming you are on clay too. This can be the Achilles heel if the drainage is not spot on.
goldbullion
Head Gardener
 
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:35 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby betr2garden » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:02 am

Thankyou so much for the great information. Pam, you are exactly right about the information overload - or misinformation overload. That's why I came here; too many sites saying opposing things, needed some people that seemed to know what they were on about. I've grown a lot of things in my time, but this one got the better of me. This one was a gift from my hubby so it's annoying that it came up trouble from day one.

Since I posted this my tree has become quite green (with yellow blotches). Makes the yellow look worse but at least it looks like it is worth the fight now. Apart from yellow blotches, the tree looks quite healthy. No obvious insect attacks, etc. No new growth, though. I think the brown bits are either from a bump at the nursery or just the drying of those parts of the leaf that are yellow (ie part of the same problem).

I am seriously thinking about lifting the plant, but the spot it is in is ideal (apart from the bit where it isn't). Full sun, no wind, raised mulch garden. My vegies would die for that much sun. PS Tomatoes and parsley growing not far from the tree are doing much better than the same plants elsewhere in the garden (at least someone's happy!)

Do you think I would get away with carefully removing the plant, doing some work on the water holding capacity in that spot by adding more humus and replanting? As you can see the plant is very small - only put in at Christmas.
Keep fighting for what you want tomorrow to be!
User avatar
betr2garden
Gardener
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:27 pm
Location: Central Coast NSW

Re: Blotchy lemon leaves-?deficiency

Postby Pam » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:54 am

As it's only newly planted Betr2garden it should be fairly simple. Leave it until Mid Winter or thereabouts though. If you live in an area where barerooted trees are sold, when they start to show up in the shops you know it's time to move your tree. :) Just be sure that when you replant it, that it is at the same depth that it previously was.
User avatar
Pam
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 14418
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 1:06 pm
Location: Bundaberg, Qld

Next

Return to Fruit and Produce

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron