The Q&A Archives: growing citrus

Question: I live in Temecula, Calif. southern area about 60 miles NE of San Diego. I can't understand why my citurs trees aren't doing well. They have friut drop and some curly leaves and some leaves with brown spots. The lemon is doing better than the dwarf orange. Can you help? Thank- you. Karen

Answer: It's really difficult to diagnose a plant problem without actually seeing the plant, but I'll try to explain the possible causes for the symptoms you describe. First, it takes new citrus nearly two years to establish their root systems and begin to put out healthy new growth. So, if your trees are young, give them more time to establish. Fruit drop can be normal. Citrus trees produce nearly 10 times as many flowers as they do fruit. If the flowers are not pollinated, tiny fruits will begin to grow but the tree will abort them by the time they are the size of a golf ball. Lack of pollination can be weather related or can be caused by lack of insect activity (due to excessive pesticide use). Curly leaves can be physiological (tree maturity, environmental conditions), due to insect feeding, or can indicate a need for feeding. I've noticed that rampant growth in the summer can result in off-colored and curled leaves. The leaves eventually flatten out and become deep green, but it can take several months. If you don't want to wait for the tree to correct this problem on its own, you can cut off the rampant growth. New growth, which develops more slowly in the fall and winter months, won't have the same curled appearance. Be sure to feed your citrus trees with a specially formulated citrus tree food - in amounts and with the frequency as recommended on the label. This will take care of the nutritional needs of your trees.

Hope this information is helpful.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Char and is called "'Diamond Head' Sunrise"