Ask a Question forum→Mandarin tree is dying

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Panevėžys, Lithuania
effka
Dec 3, 2019 2:41 AM CST
Hello, I have a huge problem with my mandarin tree, it's dying. And I don't know what to do. I've tried to replant to new soil with 2-3 cm rock layer for drainage, after that I fertilized, I sprayed the boron preparation and watered it after 2 weeks. But nothing worked. Still my tree is dying and I don't know how to save it. Now is winter and on windowsill (there they placed) is around 18 degrees.
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[Last edited by effka - Dec 3, 2019 2:46 AM (+)]
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Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
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oneeyeluke
Dec 3, 2019 2:44 AM CST
You need more drainage in your soil because your soil is too wet. Root Rot.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Panevėžys, Lithuania
effka
Dec 3, 2019 2:47 AM CST
oneeyeluke said:You need more drainage in your soil because your soil is too wet. Root Rot.


I've put 2-3 cm rock layer
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
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oneeyeluke
Dec 3, 2019 2:57 AM CST
The soil has to have good drainage and access to air, or the oxygen will be cut off from the roots. and cause leaf drop. If you have access to perlite you could add 3 parts soil to 1 part perlite and improve drainage. .If you don't have access to perlite then reduce the size of the containers and reduce the water between watering.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Panevėžys, Lithuania
effka
Dec 3, 2019 2:58 AM CST
oneeyeluke said:The soil has to have good drainage and access to air, or the oxygen will be cut off from the roots. and cause leaf drop. If you have access to perlite you could add 3 parts soil to 1 part perlite and improve drainage. .


Is rock layer enough for drainage?
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
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oneeyeluke
Dec 3, 2019 3:19 AM CST
NO, you need to amend your soil with perlite or pumice to keep it loose and airy. The white stuff on top of the soil is an indication your soil is staying too wet for too long. I'm sorry but the soil you have is holding too much water between waterings. Can you get clean sand?
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Panevėžys, Lithuania
effka
Dec 3, 2019 3:25 AM CST
oneeyeluke said:NO, you need to amend your soil with perlite or pumice to keep it loose and airy. The white stuff on top of the soil is an indication your soil is staying too wet for too long. I'm sorry but the soil you have is holding too much water between waterings. Can you get clean sand?


No, I can't get clean sand, so the best option is to mix perlit or pumice with new mandarin tree soil?

Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
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oneeyeluke
Dec 3, 2019 3:38 AM CST
Use potting mix not soil if you are growing indoors. If you can get a quality potting mix, it will already have perlite and fertilizer.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Panevėžys, Lithuania
effka
Dec 3, 2019 4:04 AM CST
oneeyeluke said:Use potting mix not soil if you are growing indoors. If you can get a quality potting mix, it will already have perlite and fertilizer.


I always buy special mixture for citrus tree
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
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oneeyeluke
Dec 3, 2019 5:29 AM CST
Your soil is over watered and that caused leaf drop. You have to learn how to manage your watering skills more to make that special mixture for citrus tree work. The soil in the container is holding way too much water for tree seedlings . It may not be the soil, it may be just over watering.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Panevėžys, Lithuania
effka
Dec 3, 2019 5:38 AM CST
oneeyeluke said:Your soil is over watered and that caused leaf drop. You have to learn how to manage your watering skills more to make that special mixture for citrus tree work. The soil in the container is holding way too much water for tree seedlings . It may not be the soil, it may be just over watering.


Yeah, but you see I didn't water it for longer time, but still didn't help, so now I'll plant in smaller pots ant mix citrus soil with perlit and see what heppens, maybe fertilize a bit?
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
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oneeyeluke
Dec 3, 2019 5:43 AM CST
Good ideal effda a smaller pot with perlite should fix your tree watering problems. NO fertilizer until they are big trees. Little trees use almost no fertilizer for the first year or two. Good luck
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
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ctcarol
Dec 3, 2019 10:39 AM CST
effka, You never said if that pot has a drainage hole. If it doesn't, your plant is doomed. Rocks are not a solution for drainage issues, and citrus trees really need fast drainage.
Panevėžys, Lithuania
effka
Dec 3, 2019 11:19 AM CST
ctcarol said:effka, You never said if that pot has a drainage hole. If it doesn't, your plant is doomed. Rocks are not a solution for drainage issues, and citrus trees really need fast drainage.


Yes, it has. In summer and spring, they grow very fast, but when air gets colder, then my tree leaves falling off and tree is dying.
Name: tarev
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tarev
Dec 3, 2019 11:28 AM CST
Hello effka, if it were mine, I would first check the condition of the roots, if there are still roots since it is in such a dire condition already. Giving fertilizers to an already stressed plant will not improve it. It will just actually hasten its demise.

Then if there is still roots there, I would amend the soil by adding more pumice or perlite, to make the soil lighter and more well draining. That layer of rocks you put below is not helping. It is doing more harm by increasing perched water table hence not allowing excess water to drain out faster, making your soil way too dense and heavy for the roots to handle.

I hope your container has drain holes, got to allow excess water and salts to drain out. I prefer to use pumice or perlite to amend the soil instead of sand. At times sand will just make the soil too compacted faster in the long run that also damages the roots in the process.

Continue positioning by your warmest, brightest, window. It needs all the warmth and light it can get. Good luck, I am not really sure if your plant can make it given this is not the best time of the year to do a repot. But since this a rescue attempt, it will be quite educational for you to understand what your plant needs and learn more about it.
Panevėžys, Lithuania
effka
Dec 3, 2019 11:49 AM CST
tarev said:Hello effka, if it were mine, I would first check the condition of the roots, if there are still roots since it is in such a dire condition already. Giving fertilizers to an already stressed plant will not improve it. It will just actually hasten its demise.

Then if there is still roots there, I would amend the soil by adding more pumice or perlite, to make the soil lighter and more well draining. That layer of rocks you put below is not helping. It is doing more harm by increasing perched water table hence not allowing excess water to drain out faster, making your soil way too dense and heavy for the roots to handle.

I hope your container has drain holes, got to allow excess water and salts to drain out. I prefer to use pumice or perlite to amend the soil instead of sand. At times sand will just make the soil too compacted faster in the long run that also damages the roots in the process.

Continue positioning by your warmest, brightest, window. It needs all the warmth and light it can get. Good luck, I am not really sure if your plant can make it given this is not the best time of the year to do a repot. But since this a rescue attempt, it will be quite educational for you to understand what your plant needs and learn more about it.

Thank you for advice, I will try to save them if there is still a chance
Panevėžys, Lithuania
effka
Dec 4, 2019 1:20 PM CST
tarev said:Hello effka, if it were mine, I would first check the condition of the roots, if there are still roots since it is in such a dire condition already. Giving fertilizers to an already stressed plant will not improve it. It will just actually hasten its demise.

Then if there is still roots there, I would amend the soil by adding more pumice or perlite, to make the soil lighter and more well draining. That layer of rocks you put below is not helping. It is doing more harm by increasing perched water table hence not allowing excess water to drain out faster, making your soil way too dense and heavy for the roots to handle.

I hope your container has drain holes, got to allow excess water and salts to drain out. I prefer to use pumice or perlite to amend the soil instead of sand. At times sand will just make the soil too compacted faster in the long run that also damages the roots in the process.

Continue positioning by your warmest, brightest, window. It needs all the warmth and light it can get. Good luck, I am not really sure if your plant can make it given this is not the best time of the year to do a repot. But since this a rescue attempt, it will be quite educational for you to understand what your plant needs and learn more about it.


So finally replanted madarin trees in new citrus soil with perlite. Now need to wait if they recover. After replant I've watered a bit.
As you can see roots are looking good, what do you think?
I have an idea to put my trees under these blue bottles to keep plants warm, moisture and move pots from windowsill deeper into room, what do you think?.
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California
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ctcarol
Dec 4, 2019 2:21 PM CST
It needs sun a lot more than heat, and needs air movement, not humidity.
Panevėžys, Lithuania
effka
Dec 4, 2019 2:35 PM CST
ctcarol said:It needs sun a lot more than heat, and needs air movement, not humidity.


In winter time is impossible to have more sun in my location, I've placed near lamp, so I think is better than nothing
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Dec 4, 2019 5:36 PM CST
I will not enclose it in that bottle. It will just increase fungal issues for it. It likes good airflow around it.
The roots looks promising. As mentioned already, it needs as much light it can get. I know it is winter time, and it will be dicey. So just try to position it close to your most sunniest window, ideally south facing. North facing is not enogh.

Good luck hope your plant recovers. Remember, no fertilizers for now, got to let that plant adjust to the new set-up. Resist moving it around, just leave it in whichever sunniest area you have there. You can do quarter turns of your container as needed just to even out light distribution too.

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