I have a question regarding an orange plant that I have in my garden. It is
planted in the ground (i.e., it is not in a pot). It is about three years
old. The plant has not grown at all in these three years. There are very fe
w leaves on it. Often the leaves turn yellowish, curl up and fall down. Dur
ing summer (as in now), when other fruit plants in my garden grow and becom
e full of leaves, it has barely few. It has now started to shed even leaves
that are green.
I initially suspected some insects behind the problem. It could still be tr
ue, but that may not be the only problem.
I wonder if anyone can identify any cure for this problem.
Thanks very much in advance.
Yellow or few leaves are not a sign of one specific problem but a sign that
comes with many different problems. So all you have said is you have a sick
Where are you, what is your climate?
What is the soil like where it is planted? Depth? Composition? Layering?
Do you feed, water or spray it at all, if so when, with what?
What is the aspect? How much sun, wind and rain does it get? Is it on
potential a watercourse or a dry ridge?
Can you show us a picture?
On Friday, June 28, 2013 8:18:57 PM UTC-7, David Hare-Scott wrote:
Thanks for asking questions.
Bay area, California.
I do not know how to describe the soil. It is semi black (i.e.. not sandy,
if that is a technical term). I do not know about any layering either. It a
ll came with the house.
I water it everyday. I also gave miracle grow for fruits sometime (once in
15 days) with no visible effect.
What is 'aspect'? If you mean 'aspect ratio', it is about 3 ft tall and 1.5
ft in width measured end-to-end on its branch. It is under open sky and ge
t plenty of sun and as much rain as you get in Bay area. There is no waterc
ourse or dry ridge anywhere nearby that I know.
So you have a warm temperate maritime climate, yes?
Most of the rain falls in cooler months and very little in summer, correct?
Perhaps you need to find out what is under your topsoil. Dig some holes,
you don't need to go down more than about 18in (45cms), and find out how far
this black topsoil extends. Just as an example, if it was trucked in and is
only 4" (10cm) deep with hardpan or clay underneath then trees (even
shallow-rooted ones like citrus) will find it hard going and it will dry out
badly in summer. You need to understand your soil if you are going to do
anything in the garden apart from guess.
Stop it! Very generally, when it rains in the winter don't water it at all
and if your summer is very dry do a deep watering once a week unless it
rains. Few deep waterings are much better than many shallow. Rather than
water on a schedule it is much better to check the soil moisture and water
according to need. Mulch the surface under the tree to retain water.
I also gave miracle grow for fruits sometime
Only do this during the growing season and stick to the instructions. I
don't know miracle grow, does it have trace elements in it? Citrus are
heavy feeders and may exhaust some nutrients, shortages of iron (trace
element) and nitrogen (bulk nutrient) are common.
Aspect means the way that the garden faces, the direction, the amount of sun
and other elements that it is exposed to. How many hours of sunlight does
the orange get now?
Thank you all for sharing valuable hints and links. I am also sharing some photos as David asked earlier. The quality is not that great, hopefully it will still be useful for seeing/analyzing the problems further.
1) The tree has been planted too shallow or the earth around it has been
eroded, those are the roots you can see at the base. Add good soil around
it to about halfway up to the graft or a little more out about 3ft from the
stem, you want to encourage new roots to grow and spread out, citrus is
2) No mulch, it needs it on top of the soil. This will help it get through
dry summers. Put it on thickly but not touching the stem, something that
will break down (straw etc) not that long-lasting pink bark. You will need
to replace it from time to time.
3) What direction is the fence from the tree? This is what I meant by
aspect. If that fence is sunwards (south in your case) the tree will hardly
ever (maybe never) see sun and will not thrive.
4) Note various comments about your watering practices.
5) What is the wrapping about the stem? How tight is it?
6) Next winter prune off the dead twigs.
7) Have you dug any holes yet? What depth of soil do you have?
8) Keep the ivy away as it will compete for nutrients.
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