lemon & orange tree - Knowledgebase Question

Long Beach, Ca
Question by annemcmills
December 13, 2010
hello... I'm a struggling new gardener in LA. I have a small lemon tree and orange tree that are around 2.5' tall. They keep budding, but then drop the buds and their leaves. Am I watering incorrectly? Or is it something else? I have those pots that have plastic things in the bottom, but no actual drainage holes. Should there be? If so, how do you keep it from ruining your patio?


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Answer from NGA
December 13, 2010

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Overly soggy soils can cause the flower buds and leaves to drop from your citrus trees. You'll need to make holes in the bottoms of the pots to allow the excess water to drain out or your trees will eventually suffocate (wet soil is deplete of oxygen which can suffocate the roots). You can purchase drip trays to place under the pots to catch the excess water or you can set the pots in larger more decorative pots without drainage holes and periodically dump out the water that collects in the bottom of the decorative pots. Whichever you choose, be sure to repot your trees in regular nursery pots with holes in the bottoms, or punch lots of drainage holes in the bottoms of the current pots. Good luck with your citrus trees.

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