Dwarf orange - So Calif coastal

Hi, group -
This is the second time I've tried to grow a Washington dwarf orange tree. I am really, really discouraged
Chronology:
Few years ago, bought tree at neighborhood nursery (So. Calif coastal).
It had 3 delicious oranges on it. After that, it hardly bloomed next season, produced nothing, then had to be taken out.
Bought another at same nursery. First year, a few blooms, 0 oranges.
Second year (2005) plant went CRAZY with fragrant blooms. You should have SEEN those blossoms!
What happened? Blooms dropped off, plant began to fail.
I gave it citrus feed, not in excess, and even some iron, though the leaves have more of a mottled green-and-yellow look, rather than characteristic chlorosis pattern.
If anybody has a clue, I sure would like to save plant and make it produce, even if I have to wait till next season.
Also, if anyone in this area is experiencing similar problems, please post.
Thanks in advance to all.
--
Aspasia

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aspasia wrote:

Citrus requires very good drainage. The soil should always be at least slightly moist but never wet. For a dwarf, this might be especially important, depending on how extensive the roots grow.
Citrus can be a "heavy feeder", requiring frequent LIGHT feedings. Today, commercial citrus food no longer contains zinc, which is required by citrus. Try to locate zinc sulfate in a nursery and give your plant a light dose every time you feed it (about 1-2 tbs).
Spider mites, scale, aphids, and snails are the primary pests afflicting citrus. Only the aphids are really visible while doing their damage. Mites and scale are hard to see, and snails hide during the daytime. If you see leaves curling, it's mites or scale. If you see that bark is damaged, it's snails. There are various treatments for all of these; check with your local nursery. (I use malathion on mites, scale, and aphids. I use carnivorous decollate snails to control the brown snails.)
Newly planted citrus might fail to bear fruit for the first year or two. It's a tree. Be patient.
See my <URL:http://www.rossde.com/garden/dwarf_citrus.html .
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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