Banana and lemon tree question

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by zlwidow, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Schmee

    Schmee Member

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    Location:
    St. John's, NL, Canada
    The humidity here in Newfoundland varies. Coastal regions are obviously more humid than inland regions, especially depending on the weather...tropical air masses & depressions, tide, Kpa...all that fun stuff. We're not going to be as humid as many places in the southern USA simply due to the ambient air temperature not being as warm on an annual basis, but, we're COMPLETELY surrounded by water here and that does work in our favor. Many tropical species flourish here due to this oceanic regulation that does not occur in other places in Eastern Canada or even into the New England states. What we lack in ambient air temp, we can make up for by growing these plants indoors or in a greenhouse...air temp goes up, creating evem more humidity in an already semi-humid environment. We're also the most Eastern point in all of North America, including Canada and the USA. Some scholars have debated this, but, on average, our location provides us with more "Morning Sunlight Hours" than any other region.

    ...anyways, food for thought. Most people arent fuuly up-to-snuff when it comes to the climate here in Newfoundland...I know this as I'm not originally from here myself; I've only lived here the last 5-6 years. My perception was also, "Cold frozen Atlantic climate with snow squalls and sub-degree temeratures!". Its good to get this information out there. Many people have played with the idea that if the global environment continues to "warm", Newfoundland could very well take on characteristics of a tropical island...wouldnt that be nice...for me!

    The soil the tree is planted in right now does contain some larger pieces of bark, and is a peat mixture...mixed with what, I have no idea, I dont really know much about soil. Its pretty black though and seems like it does drain pretty well. I'll go back to the nursery however just to make sure I have the right stuff.

    Oh...and I'll keep with the soap treatment. I'll save the cayenne for Mexican tonight!!
     
  2. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Maryland USA zone 7
    Schmee, I went back to your first post and I think I've discovered the stressor to your lemon. You said:
    I hope you read the links I gave to Cathy for growing citrus in containers. In that info you will find that citrus likes to dry out between watering.

    More stressors. Adding pebbles for drainage actually gives moisture a place to stay.
    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda ...ural Myths_files/Myths/Container drainage.pdf

    Using a pot that is too large can also cause problems as there aren't enough roots to take up the extra moisture. When repotting you should use a pot that is 2" larger then the pot the plant came out of.

    Spray every 5 to 7 days. You may need to do this for a couple of months. Monitor for mites. You can tap the tree over a piece of white paper to see if any fall off.

    I think that answers your questions. If not, lmk.
    Newt
     
  3. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Siloam Springs, AR, USA
    Obviously you are going to get different advice from many different sources. You'll just have to sort it out as best you can. The person from Florida who offered a quote for you in one of my posts is a trained botanical expert who works on multi-million dollar projects. He does for certain know what he is talking about. People seek him out for plant advice from all over the globe.

    One last thing to consider. Everyone keeps talking about "southern light". I understand where that comes from since it is the best light available most of the year. But citrus trees love full sun, just not the partial sun of southern light. If you are growing in a greenhouse you have a better shot but the sheer angle of the sun where you are during the winter will reduce the strength of the sun exposure. I'd certainly suggest you not use any type of shade cloth. In a home getting truly direct sun is quite a challenge. But that lack of direct sun can easily be a source of some stress for the plant.

    As to pot size, I have attempted to stress "fast draining" soil. There is a reason for this. True, if you put a plant in a pot of soggy soil it can easily drown. The roots just can't absorb all that water. Many successful growers have learned that tropical species must be allowed to drain quickly. They love water, they just don't like to sit in water. And unfortunately, many growers prefer to just drown a plant once every week or two rather than water it as the species prefers. Ever wonder why a rain forest is called a rain forest? (I know, lemons don't grow in a rain forest). If you limit the growing size of the root system you will eventually create additional stress for the plant. It simply has no place to grow. Repotting frequently is not adviseable due to the added stress. You should see the size of some of the tropical species in my atrium! And I use as large pots as possible for those species I have to pot. The majority are just in the ground which was prepared to be tropical before we planted anything. Think about it.

    So do your homework, but talk to true citrus experts, not just plant nuts. It can make a difference. And avoid simply believing what you read on the internet. There is a lot of bad information on there since anyone can post anything without scientific verification.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2007
  4. J. E. Madsen

    J. E. Madsen Member

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    Location:
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    I, too, have a lemontree problem. Mine is a Meyer's lemon which I bought from a store with 13 lemons on it about 2 winters ago. I live in Victoria, BC. Zone 7-8 but have had it indoors for most of the year in a poor, southern exposure. It bloomed a lot the next year and I put it outside for the summer. It did very well and I got about 11 more lemons but this time only 2 of them really thrived. The others were stunted and I seemed to have a "sappy" substance all over the tree. I didn't know if this was normal or not and didn't really inspect the tree. I since moved it outside again this June and then repotted into a larger pot. I then looked at the tree and saw what looked like scales all over the plant. Are these spider mites or scales?? I cleaned them all off, picking most of them by hand, then sprayed with NEEM oil and a bit of detergent. The next day I picked a couple more off and alot of my leaves over the course of the infestation came off.

    Now my plant looks like the end of the branches are quickly drying out and turning brown. Does anyone know what I can do?? The pot I planted it in may be getting more than normal water than usual when it was inside but no different than the previous summer when it thrived. Should I cut back the plant to the green wood? Should I leave it alone and hope it survives? Should I move it into a green house I have in my back yard? Please help.

    To the person with the non-producing lemon tree....I was told to soak the tree one a week as if it were flooded. Then, when it soaked into the soil to soak it a bit more. The water would probably go into a dish below but a good soaking is what the farmers do when watering. (Got that off the internet and it seemed to work well for 1 1/2 years!!

    Thanks to all the helpers out there.
     
  5. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Maryland USA zone 7
    Hi J.E. Madsen,

    Scales are different from spider mites. It sounds like you have scales. Spider mites are so small they are hard to see and you will often find webs. Here's some different scales.
    http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/citrus/l2310.htm

    Here's several different spider mites.
    http://woodypest.ifas.ufl.edu/mites.htm

    You can also use insecticidal soap on either one. I don't recommend detergent as that can burn your plant. That may be the cause of the tips drying up. You can prune dead wood at any time. I don't recommed putting your tree in a greenhouse for now as any infestation could spread to other plants. I'd wait until you are sure there are no more pests.

    Newt
     
  6. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Siloam Springs, AR, USA
    If you have scale it can be tough to control. Some oil base agents will work to a degree but there is now a natural way to control scale available. There is a small beetle that will crack and eat them. Here's the info I got from the company that sells these critters:

    Thank you for your inquiry. Lindorus lophanthae is our North American counterpart (for scale control). They are supplied in 50 and 100 count lots.


    121511 Lindorus lophanthae, 50 (.5#) $48.00
    121521 Lindorus lophanthae, 100 (.5#) $89.00


    Lindorus MUST be shipped Overnight. Lindorus typically ships on Tuesday, for Wednesday delivery.

    Order by Thursday for fulfillment the following week. If there is a problem with supply for a particular
    week, we will let you know. Sometimes demand overwhelms production capacity.


    If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to write or call.


    All the best,


    Eric W. Acosta - Director
    Biocontrol Network
    Bio-rational Alternatives for an Ever Shrinking Planet
    5116 Williamsburg Rd., Brentwood, TN 37027
    Tel. (615) 370-4301 Orders. (800) 441-BUGS
    Fax. (615) 370-0662
    URL http://www.biconet.com E-Mail: ebugs@biconet.com
     

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