Help, Calamondin orange leaf drop

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by Lyd, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. Lyd

    Lyd New Member

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    I bought this tree back in February and haven't repotted it or changed its location since then. It hasn't had any problems except for a few small mealybug infestations. I water it about once a week or when the top three inches are dry, and I fertilize it with a general fertilizer. Recently, a large number of leaves have started curling inwards, without drying or withering. Now, completely healthy leaves are dropping and a few leaves have started curling outwards and browning. Could my citrus tree just need better drainage and a better pot? Less watering? Or something else?
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Good evening @Lyd, first of all when you purchased your Calamondin how much light was it receiving? Did you bring it home and give it the same amount of light ? I think possibly not. These plants need good natural light and do better outside. So I feel that this is your main problem together with over watering. I know you said you check below the surface, but as it is in a pot inside your house, there will be no drainage and it is probably sitting in water.
    So IMO, a better position nearer more light, re potting to allow for better drainage and do not over feed. Plants in stress become more stressed if given a lot of plant food, because the owner thinks it must need this at the first signs of unhealthy appearnance. It is a vicious cycle that gets worse until it is too late and the plant just gives up and dies.
    I hope this is of some help.
     
  3. Lyd

    Lyd New Member

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    I had originally purchased it from a grocery store that was underground, so it wasn't getting any natural light. It had about 9 hours of sun in my home (because it was winter), now it gets about 12-14 hours. I will get a terra cotta pot for it. Would adding some sand to the soil help with drainage, or is there something more suitable for helping with that? Thank you for the advice :)
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    An inspection of the root ball would be useful at this point. Carefully ease it out of the container, have a look and get answers to questions such as:
    • Is the soil dry or wet and to what extent?
    • Are the roots firm or mushy? Do the sheaths slough off?
    • Are there any mealybugs amongst the roots?
    • What is the composition of the soil? Is it dense or porous?
    • Does the container have drainage holes?
    • Is there a layer of rocks at the bottom of the container? (Edit: There should NOT be any.)
    More questions:
    • Which direction does the window face? The location appears to be rather dimly lit.
    • Are we looking at multiple trees planted in one container? Three stems can be clearly seen in the last photo.
    • Did you fertilize according to the directions on the label? The leaves show symptoms of fertilizer burn.
    • What is the composition of the fertilizer?
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
  5. Lyd

    Lyd New Member

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    Thank you for these questions, they are very helpful.
    I removed the root ball as suggested.
    - the root ball and all of the soil throughout the pot was fairly consistent in moisture and was just barely damp.
    - the roots seem fairly firm but also look kind of the same as they did when I first re-potted it in February.
    - there are no mealybugs
    - I think the soil is more on the dense side(it was a standard potting mix)
    - there are drainage holes on the pot but no rocks
    - my window is southeast facing
    - the fertilizer I have been using suggest use every 2 weeks for indoor plants, which is what I've been doing, it's composition is 12-4-8.
    I think I must have been overfertilizing though so I will fertilize less frequently. Again, thank you for these questions I am a very amateur gardener. I am curious about the root ball though, is there anything i should do to it?
     

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  6. Lyd

    Lyd New Member

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    Also it has a few hours (maybe 2-4) of direct sun at sunrise, but still gets indirect light for 12-14 hours or so.
     
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I don't have any answers for you, am just commenting that "no rocks" is good. Don't add rocks.
     
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  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    There does not appear to be any problem with the soil or the roots though the former could benefit from being more porous. If you suspect over-fertilizing then I suggest a flush of the container to remove the excess. It is recommended to not fertilize when the soil is dry as that may result in fertilizer burn. Perhaps that is what happened. The fertilizer itself is reasonable; just be sure it contains micronutrients. The tree may not be getting enough light. I suggest you move it closer to the window or, even better, to a window with more light.

    Were you able to determine whether there are multiple trees involved?

    Edit: Added more information.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
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  9. Lyd

    Lyd New Member

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    The roots didn't really want to budge and I didn't want to damage them, so I still don't know.
     
  10. Will B

    Will B Active Member

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    To me it seems to be getting too little light. The large leaves and straggly growth are indicative. From the photos it might be too far back from the window to get much direct light on the leaves. Citrus prefer lots of direct light. I would suggest moving it a bit closer to the window. Not touching the window, just closer so direct light hits the leaves for longer. There are also small signs of iron deficiency, so you might try giving it a dose of a complete fertilizer, with micro nutrients. The pot, soil, and roots all look fine to me.
     
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